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Unread 07-06-2011, 10:23 PM   #1
GeorgeA
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Default 1917 Artillery

Newbie here, thought I'd share my grandfather's captured Luger from WW I. As a South African studying at Cambridge, he joined the Royal Garrison Artillery and served in France, winning the Military Cross and bar. At some point he captured this pistol, which is a 1917 artillery model, serial 4181. It's all original, with the holster stock, cleaning rod and tool.

I'd be interested to get any information and history about this particular weapon, if anyone can help. Let me know if you want more pics.
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Unread 07-07-2011, 12:13 AM   #2
Norme
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Hi George, Welcome to the forum! Thanks for showing us pictures of your beautiful 1917 Artillery. We'd love to see photos of the stock and holster too. Unfortunately there is no way we can help you with this gun's history, you already know more than we can possibly tell you. Regards, Norm
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Unread 07-07-2011, 01:14 AM   #3
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Hi George,
Welcome to the forum. The full S# is 4181c. Very nice artillery Luger with front and rear fine tune sights. Fine tune sights began to be fazed out during 1917.
Thanks for posting. More pics please!!!
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Unread 07-07-2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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A real pretty piece!
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Unread 07-07-2011, 02:15 PM   #5
John Sabato
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Let me add my welome to the forum and please do grace us with additional photos of this fine example of a 1917 Artillery Model.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 02:36 PM   #6
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Default Holster Photos

Finally got around to taking some pics of the holster. Let me know if there are any details of interest and I'll take some more.

I am concerned that the leather needs some TLC. So I'd welcome advice on this topic, as I don't want to do the wrong thing.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 02:45 PM   #7
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Absolutely beautiful rig. Thanks for sharing.

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Unread 10-09-2011, 07:52 PM   #8
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What is the date of the holster?
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Unread 10-09-2011, 10:20 PM   #9
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This is the only marking I have been able to find on the holster:

303
a
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Unread 11-13-2011, 10:43 AM   #10
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Hello,

Regarding the leather care, first and foremost, all leather care products are bad for leather. Initially they may clean it up and make it look good but long term they will cause faster deterioration. Mink oil, saddle soap, neatsfoot oil, gun oil, etc…all bad.

A few years ago I managed to get in touch, by phone, with a restoration person at the Smithsonian. She confirmed this. Her basic comment was "do nothing". She was very insistent on this. When pressed a little she said that on very fragile items they use a product (can't remember the brand) that contains a silicon or acrylic base. Apparently it is very thin and soaks into the leather to bond the fibers together. This preserves the item but basically renders it unusable. Of course, it was probably unusable to start.

Another point, oil evaporates. Not very fast but it does. The oils used to tan leather will evaporate and leave the piece dry, stiff and subject to damage if used. Even unissued, never used leather items will dry out. So if you want to use it these then the oils need to be replaced.

Now having said that, from my own experience I have used two products that seem to work well and do minimal harm. One was a product called “ British Museum Leather Dressing” by Fisher Scientific Company. They don’t make this anymore.

The other is Pecards Leather dressing. Pecards seems to be the best choice and used/recommended by most. It is a very thick paste. It will darken leather. Some stores carry it or you can buy it online. Unless you have a garage full of old leather buy the small container. A little goes a long way.

When working with your leather items first scrub your hands to remove oils and acids. Or, better, wear surgical gloves. Two techniques I use are as follows. One is for the outside of the leather, the other for the inside/backside.

Lightly warm the leather dressing container in a bowl of warm water to soften it. Not hot, this will cook your leather and it is ruined. Touch it to your wrist. If it feels hot it is too hot.

For the outside leather rub a small amount of dressing onto your hands. Then lightly rub over the outside of the piece. If you use only a small amount it will not significantly darken the leather.

My personal preference is to apply the dressing to the inside of the item. This will add the oils but not darken the outside. Again rub a small amount of dressing onto your hands. Now apply to the inside of the item.

With both techniques you will want to try to get into every crack and cranny. Don’t worry about this. You will end up putting too much dressing in these areas and causing a dark color mismatch. The oils will soak and spread out.

Remove any excess dressing. Remember, small amounts, lightly applied. Now, walk away. Let the item naturally absorb the oils. This could take days or weeks. If you feel you need to add more dressing or touchup some spots you missed wait a few days between applications. Several light coats are better than a couple heavy coats.

Again, all leather care products are bad. But if you want to use an item and follow the techniques above you should only cause minimal damage. Will collectors two hundred years from now curse you…maybe, but it is yours to own and enjoy. The choice is up to you.
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Unread 11-13-2011, 11:24 AM   #11
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The topic of leather care has been addressed many times, on both forums. Despite what Johnny has said, the consensus view is that Pecard's is bad and Connolly's is good. I've used Connolly Leather Dressing on a few scuffed and dried out holsters myself and have been quite pleased with the results. The leather does get noticeably darker, but appears much healthier. If there is any interest I can post before and after photos, perhaps on a new, stand alone, thread. Regards, Norm
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Unread 11-13-2011, 01:01 PM   #12
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Hi, Eric I am interested as I own a 1900 Test Holster that I can't afford to ruin it. Its been a while since I asked! I really don't remember useing anything but one of Debbys' facecloth!
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Unread 11-14-2011, 05:08 PM   #13
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Default I Finally got my 1917 Marked Artillery, My Biggest fear

is there are stress points that have to be addressed. Should I just ignore or another suggestion would have Jerry surgically remove the weak part. Another issue We live in Florida with air conditioning all the time. Should I store it differently my friends out west? Tks Eric
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