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WWi or WWII Luger

Discussion in 'German Light Weapons' started by John Nolan, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. John Nolan

    John Nolan New Member

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    I am having a reunion with two cousins whose father served in both WWI (Pilot, 96th Bombardment Sqd.) and WWII (Corps of Engineers). In his belongings is a Luger, which they will bring to the reunion. How can we identify if it is from First or Second WW ? Do they use the same cartridge? Can they handle current loadings of currently available ammo?


    Uncle Geo was quite a story- Youngest American Pilot in WWI. Captured and escaped and recaptured in WWII, Captured "while hunting" in No Affrica.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  2. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    What are the markings on the top of the toggle? In general:

    WW1 Lugers will have DWM or Erfurt on the toggle. Both DWM and Erfurt models will be stamped with the year.

    Inter-War Lugers (pre-1934) will have either DWM or Simson the toggle. DWM Lugers will likely not be dated. Simson Lugers will be dated if made prior to ~1930.

    WW2 Lugers will be marked Mauser, S/42, 42, byf (for Mauser) or stamped with a stylized anchor (Kreighoff -- note, this does NOT signify Kreigsmarine use). These Lugers will generally be dated with either a 4 digit or 2 digit year. In addition, a relatively small number were made by Simson in the mid 1930s which will only have a S on the toggle.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  3. John Nolan

    John Nolan New Member

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    Alan, Thank you for this detailed info. The Luger owner is on route now, So I will be able to check the data tomorow.
     
  4. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    Early German Army models of the Luger, P00 and P02, were chambered in 7.65mm. The later P08 (standard in both WWI and WWII) used the 9x19mm Parabellum round. The 9mm is readily available today, but I don't know if vintage P08s would be able to handle modern ammo smoothly or not. For that you would have to seek advice from an experienced shooter, website, or perhaps best of all a gunsmith.
     
  5. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  6. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Long way from an expert here but I seem to recall reading that Lugers could be rather finicky with regards to ammo.
     
  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    To confuse you further, both WWI and interwar Lugers were reissued again in WWII.

    As for reliability, ALL vintage semi-automatic weapons should have the springs changed, and that includes the magazine springs. Old, weakened springs can break the gun - a weak recoil spring (for example) is forcing the toggle to get battered with unnecessary force. The variety of other springs can also damage the gun, but will certainly force malfunctions. Weak magazine springs will not lift the cartridge fast enough to ensure reliable feeding before the toggle/chamber face comes back to ram it into the bore.

    I've done this a number of times, most recently just a few months ago. Somebody had an old gun that was "broke" and in this case it was a Mark II Hi-Power dated 1985. I picked it up for a fraction of its value, dropped in a $4 recoil spring and it ran flawlessly. With semi-auto guns, 99% of the time the thing that is "broke" is worn out springs. AND with the 1% old semi-auto guns that are actually broke, it's because somebody didn't change the old worn out springs.

    Do not shoot it until you change (at least) the recoil and mag springs.

    At the bottom of the page of the link below is a service pack with all the springs for a Luger for $15. Somewhere out there, YouTube certainly, has step by step vids on how to disassemble and change those springs. If you don't feel competent to do it yourself, then take it to an experienced gunsmith. Certainly, do not shoot it until you change the mag and recoil springs. Those are simple enough that you you should be able to do it on your kitchen table.

    https://www.gunsprings.com/LUGER/NEW MODEL 7.65 & 9mm /cID1/mID38/dID162
     
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  9. John Nolan

    John Nolan New Member

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    Thanks everyone for all the good advice.
    it was a WWII issue, and shot well. We all survived.
     
  10. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Re. the "shooter luger". Personally, I'd be more "afeared" of the "shooter" than one in good condition with matching serial numbers. The Germans made good guns so if the pistol has been well taken care of, it should be ok to shoot every now and then. If the gun has mis-matched serial numbers and looks like its been through a tough time, then what KB says above certainly applies. Many Lugers and P 38s have non-matching magazines and sometimes that can cause a problem-in fact most failures to feed stem from mag problems. Many of the German WW2 sidearms were seldom fired in the first place. Some, I suspect were issued to rear-echelon people who put them in their office drawer and only wore them on ceremonies. I have a nice Mauser "byf" 41 with all matching numbers and "bring back" papers. It was picked up at the end of the war probably during the general surrender in late April-early May 1945. I shoot it about once a year with no problems noted. The real problems with Lugers and other desirable German firearms is that they've been faked so much and so well that it's really easy to get scammed. If you want a shooter Luger, Mauser made one last run of Lugers in the 1970s. They can still be found for sale on the internet and cost less than the older models.
     
  11. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Great to hear...

    ...BUT us Luger nuts on here need more information to feed our eclectic interests. Year/factory, etc. Pics if possible. One doesn't just say they have a Luger and shot it -- if you do that you get the Luger nuts on the edge of their seats in anticipation of hearing more :D
     

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