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Unread 03-22-2021, 05:47 PM   #1
Gudabeg
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Default To buy or not to buy a Luger

I'm thinking of getting a Dutch Pistol (preferably KNIL issue) to go with my KNIL Dutch Carbine.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of going for a Luger vs another pistol (such as a 1922 FN Browning)?

It seems that other pistols (take the 1922 Brownings for example), while less iconic and a younger design, seem to be cheaper. Also, I would feel less bad shooting one on occasion. (E.g. if it was to break by accident)

On the other hand, the Lugers are more iconic, look nicer, and it is possible to find ones issued to the KNIL. However, they tend to be expensive.

What are good resources to look into for each? For a nice one that I would shot on occasion, would it be better to go for a cheaper pistol and leave the Luger for a nice display piece (that I'd buy in a while when I have a place to put it)? I'm not planning to spend a ton (e.g. 2.5 K seems like a lot (and is), but that seems to be the ground floor for Dutch Lugers that can go for easily twice as much, while Brownings can be found for 1.2 K).

Also, I wouldn't shot the gun that often anyways (as 6.5 Dutch for the carbine is expensive/hard to find/not easy to make, and I'd most likely shot the guns together as a set for fun). So I would like a gun I could shot, even if I wouldn't take it to the range every time.

I've looked around at pre98, Simpson LTD, Legacy Collectables, etc. and it seems like there are so many variables it's hard to tell what makes one more or less valuable if I wanted to buy one from an auction (rather than from those sites).

It seems that higher straw, bluing, condition make it more valuable, as does being from Mauser > Vickers > DWM, but it seems strange that being from Vickers makes a 70% Blued with a poor bore worth ~$350 more than a DWM that is 93% blued with a very good barrel when both served in Indonesia. Then again maybe a "British Luger" is just that valuable.

In summary, my question is whether it is a good idea to buy a Dutch Luger for this interest. It'd be nice to have such an iconic firearm, but I worry about damaging a nice one/overspending when I could get another pistol and leave the Luger for a later purchase for display only. At the moment I wouldn't intend to resell, but I still wouldn't feel good damaging one.

I especially don't want to be the one who damaged a valuable piece of history when something less valuable could have served my purposes equally well. At the same time I feel that some things need to be used to be remembered, and it would seem strange to me to treat a 2.5 K pistol as gingerly as a 15 K pistol. (Obviously treat it well, but still take it to the range on special occasions), and there is always that allure of a Luger (and having a "WW1-ish" set of 2 pre-1914 designs that both served in the same service).

P.S. Resources like what to look for on each gun (to determine value, condition, etc.), what is "good enough" to shot and look nice but not pay more than is needed (or put at risk a very nice example that would be better a display while an okay example would be better for my purposes, etc.). E.g. should I look into aspects of the gun for a hobby but for now pick a good one off of Pre98 or a similar site because they can reliably evaluate pieces and the extra cost is worth that.

Sorry for the rambly writing, I figured for this it's better to have more information than less.
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Unread 03-22-2021, 09:07 PM   #2
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Are there any like out there to compare anywhere? Don't jump into luger marriage! Could you post some pictures please? Is this your first luger? Why Dutch? Eric https://www.landofborchardt.com/1928dei_luger.html
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Unread 03-22-2021, 11:29 PM   #3
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The best advice I received when I was a new collector was, buy what interests you. It is subjective. It is best to start with a 'shooter', a pistol with some combination of refinish, mis-matched parts or cosmetics that make it relatively inexpensive, $900-$1,200 is typical. I personally found that starting with a shooter allowed me to get to know Lugers better and I discovered my collecting interests as I proceeded.

Collectible examples have original finish, all or almost all matching parts, and are in good or better cosmetic condition. Most collectors don't shoot these nicer guns due to the risk of breaking a numbered part which can immediately convert the collectible into a shooter.

There is overlap between these categories and often debate between collectors about the borders of these categories. One man's shooter might be another's low or mid-range collectible. For I think most collectors, it is difficult to find a single pistol that satisfies the pleasures of shooting and owning a nicer gun; many of us have one or more shooters and several collectibles.

As far as where to find them, dealers, other forum members, and auctions have worked for me. Gun shows and local gun shops have been useless.

Be sure to read the FAQ. Also browse old threads, it's enjoyable and informative.

Best of luck to you and let us know what you get, preferably with photos.
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Unread 03-23-2021, 01:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cirelaw View Post
Are there any like out there to compare anywhere? Don't jump into luger marriage! Could you post some pictures please? Is this your first luger? Why Dutch? Eric https://www.landofborchardt.com/1928dei_luger.html
There are several on pre98, Simpson LTD, and Gunboards that I have been looking at.

E.g. https://simpsonltd.com/search-result...?q=dutch+luger

If I were to get one it would be my first Luger.

The reason for a Dutch one is to go with my KNIL Calvary Carbine, and I have ancestry/family from the Netherlands (both the homeland and colonies) so there is that connection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4 Scale View Post
The best advice I received when I was a new collector was, buy what interests you. It is subjective. It is best to start with a 'shooter', a pistol with some combination of refinish, mis-matched parts or cosmetics that make it relatively inexpensive, $900-$1,200 is typical. I personally found that starting with a shooter allowed me to get to know Lugers better and I discovered my collecting interests as I proceeded.

Collectible examples have original finish, all or almost all matching parts, and are in good or better cosmetic condition. Most collectors don't shoot these nicer guns due to the risk of breaking a numbered part which can immediately convert the collectible into a shooter.

There is overlap between these categories and often debate between collectors about the borders of these categories. One man's shooter might be another's low or mid-range collectible. For I think most collectors, it is difficult to find a single pistol that satisfies the pleasures of shooting and owning a nicer gun; many of us have one or more shooters and several collectibles.

As far as where to find them, dealers, other forum members, and auctions have worked for me. Gun shows and local gun shops have been useless.

Be sure to read the FAQ. Also browse old threads, it's enjoyable and informative.

Best of luck to you and let us know what you get, preferably with photos.
Sounds good!

I've been mostly looking through the internet, but it seems like most Lugers tend to at the least be low grade collectable (starting around 2 K for Dutch pistols). Would it be better to broaden the search to simply Lugers of any kind to get more "shooter" ones (though at that rate it feels like I should just get an FN Browning 1922 to shot and later on get a nice Luger to collect)? Or do they tend to show up in private sales (e.g. private dealers, forum members, etc.) more?

Last edited by Gudabeg; 03-23-2021 at 01:10 AM. Reason: Combine messages to avoid spam
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Unread 03-23-2021, 01:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gudabeg View Post

I've been mostly looking through the internet, but it seems like most Lugers tend to at the least be low grade collectable (starting around 2 K for Dutch pistols). Would it be better to broaden the search to simply Lugers of any kind to get more "shooter" ones (though at that rate it feels like I should just get an FN Browning 1922 to shot and later on get a nice Luger to collect)? Or do they tend to show up in private sales (e.g. private dealers, forum members, etc.) more?
Perhaps you'll be lucky enough to come across a shooter grade KNIL, one never knows. If you were paying for it here's what I'd do. Grab an FN Browning to be able to do the occasional heritage shooting with the rifle first thing. Next, get a shooter Luger, which you can shoot as a stand-in for the KNIL until you can afford it. Be forewarned, one's first Luger can be the entry level drug to quite an addiction!
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Unread 03-23-2021, 07:18 AM   #6
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If you find your interest leaning to Lugers then do what the other members suggest and get a shooter, mismatched, refinished whatever then get books, read and study the variation that catches your focus. I definitely suggest that you go through this forum for all the info you can and read all the latest posts as I find the members enthusiasm infectious and also there is nothing that the members collectively can’t answer!
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Unread 03-23-2021, 07:43 AM   #7
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A shooter is the way to go!!!
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Unread 03-23-2021, 08:00 AM   #8
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Of all the lugers I purchased a shooter from George Anderson, He assembled a top of the line, fine tuned luger to shoot and not ruin my originals!
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Unread 03-24-2021, 03:15 PM   #9
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Start out with a shooter priced Luger (that actually functions properly) and spend money on some of the more current and complete reference books first... That is the deluxe version of "Luger University".

There is much to study, know, observe, analyze and judge when it comes to buying a collectible Luger pistol. You can have luck and get a good or average buy... but you can also not have luck and get taken by someone misrepresenting a Luger as something that it is not. There are so many variations, markings and collector demand interests that it's something of a minefield if you don't have the studying commitment

You can always buy from a trusted dealer, and pay their overhead markup. But... not all online dealers should be trusted. There are even some that constantly rise from the grave after lawsuits and that have been in business many years that specialize in fakes.
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Unread 03-24-2021, 03:26 PM   #10
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Truer Words Cannot Be Said!!! In law 'Caveat Emptor' Buyer Beware!!
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