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Unread 12-20-2004, 06:11 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Washougal WA
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Post Krieghoff Luger SN 8523

Hi all,

Thanks to the members of the Forum for the information on the Krieghoff Luger, it was helpful. I went back to the Portland show to look at the Krieghoff. Because this gun is in 99% or better condition I felt it was a rework even though the stamps and marking were all very sharp and didnâ??t look like they had been buffed at all. The guy selling it said it was a rework because it didnâ??t have the Krieghoff thumb print on the back.. I did not know what the Krieghoff thumb print was so I asked the seller. He said it was a proof mark that was shaped like a small thumb print on the back of the toggle, and that this gun didnâ??t have one, it had been buffed off. I took him at his word and passed on his cash offer price. We haggled back and forth on a trade for another luger I was trying to sell but it was not worth very much and I knew it, we didnâ??t make a deal. We parted and wished each other a Marry Christmas. I took a quick tour of the show as people were closing up then headed out. I ran into the Krieghoff owner just outside where he was packing up his truck. We talked a little more and he offered me a trade on my luger and cash for the Krieghoff that I could live with. So now Krieghoff SN 8523 has been added to my meager collection (or as some have said â??accumulationâ?).

When I got home I went to my copy of â??The Krieghoff Parabellumâ? by Randall Gibson. One of the first things I did was to look up the â??Krieghoff Thumb Printâ? Gibson said this was a difference in the way the bluing adhered to the back of the frame because of the heat treating that Krieghoff did. Per Gibson; â??In proper light, the spot so hardened will appear as a greasy thumb print. This trait used to be an important determinant in detecting a re-blued pistol. Lately, however, restorers have mastered the art of replacing this hardened spot prior to rebluingâ? When I look at the back of the gun and held it so the light would bounce off at an angle I could clearly see the thumb print, exactly as it appears in Gibsonâ??s book. I donâ??t know how pronounced this should be as I donâ??t know Krieghoffâ??s very well, but this one looks to be as pronounced as the example used in the book. From the second part of Gibsonâ??s statement this is not a clear indication that the gun was not reblued, but it did cast doubt on the sellers reasons to believe it was reblued. When I had asked the seller about the rebluing, he said he didnâ??t know who did the rework or when it was done. If it is a rework the guy who did it was a master restorer (Thor if you see this tell me if you can identify the work, or who you know that would have the skill to do work of this caliber).

If 8523 itâ??s a rework I am in it at least as much as itâ??s worth, I am certainly okay with that as thatâ??s what I expected when I bought it. But now I am not sure it is a rework. All of the stamps are sharp and where they are suppose to be. All of the machining variations that Gibson notes are as they should be for a Krieghoff. I can see the thumb print on the back frame, but only when the light is at the right angle. The bluing on the receiver is starting to tint a very subtle plum color suggesting it has aged (I donâ??t know if you will be able to see this in the pictures, in strong light I donâ??t notice it). I have seen this same color on 1938 and 39 era Mausers that were salt blued.

I check most of the small parts, the toggle parts side plate takedown lever sear-bar, firing pin, extractor, magazine release, recoil lever, safety lever, grips, etc are all marked with the correct e/2 Krieghoff stamps(two variations, mixed, as Gibson says is correct) . All of the parts that should be serial numbered are and in the proper palaces (many out of sight on the backs of the parts) (Note: the magazine release button is not Straw but a darker â??Fireâ? blue color, Gibson says this is correct for a gun in the 8000 serial number range). None of the markings look like they have been buffed. I know that most are hidden and would not normally be buffed but all of them are sharp and do not show any signs of deterioration at all. All of the sharp edges of the gun are still sharp and do not show any buffing. The only really strong case for the gun being re-blued is that it is too nice. It appears to have little or no wear at all. Any insight into how to tell if it is a re-blue other than what I have already looked for would be appreciated. If the gun was re-blued I canâ??t see any obvious reason for it. No pits are left or incompletely buffed out. No traces of rust or abuse under the grips or on the interior of the frame. The contours of the gun do not appear to be altered, and all of the edges are sharp. One thing that I did note was the back of the frame (where the thumb print is) doesnâ??t have any pronounced marks where the toggle has come back and hit it, so it appears the gun has not been fired very much if at all. The picture Gibson used in his book to show theâ? thumb printâ? looks very much the same, without any impact marks from the toggle.

I would be appreciative of any information the members of the forum could give me on Krieghoff lugers and identifying reworks. When I bought it I was sure it was a rework, when I got it home and went through it I started having doubts. I wonâ??t be disappointed if it is a rework as thatâ??s what I expected, but I would be elated if it turned out to be original. Probably at the very least it is not just a re-blue but a quality restoration.

Comments Welcome
Bob M.


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