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Old March 10th, 2013, 06:58 AM #1
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Took the Luger plunge

-I've steered clear from Lugers in the past as they can be a minefield of sorts. But I've always wanted one and when Poulin Auction released their huge March firearm auction catalog with approx. 75 Swiss Lugers I decided to educate myself on the subject so I could bid with confidence.
-First trip was to Jan Still's forum over on GB to find out what reference works were best. They recommended Fred Datig's The Swiss Variations as a starter work and Vittorio Bobba's Parabellum A technical History of Swiss Lugers. Found Datig's book on Evil Pay for $20 and got real lucky finding Bobba's here in the US for just under $100 (most folk have to import a copy from Bobba's native Italy, paying upwards of $150 for a copy).
-Forearmed with some knowledge I decided, after looking at market prices, to go with a Model 1906/29 as it fit my Ramen noodle budget better. Luger folk seem to put a premium on the original red canevasit grips as their a bit harder to find intact (easy to break, they were frequently replaced with the newer black or brown bakelite examples).
-There were approx. 8 nice examples of 1906/29s w. red canevasit grips in the auction yesterday, I went with one built in 1939 that still had the original finish w. minor wear to high points. A good, solid example.
-My thought process was that with 75 Swiss Lugers alone (they had a pile of German Lugers as well) prices would be depressed a bit, hovering around low pre-sale estimates. And I was correct. Got mine for $1250. With the buyers premium that comes to $1500. Exactly where I wanted to be as nice examples are currently fetching around $1750-2000 in today's market. The only down side to this example is that it doesn't have the canvevasit mag bottom. Will have to keep an eye out for one.
-Have a bid in on a nice, proper 1906/29 holster up on GB. Hopefully I'll have a complete rig soon!
-Auction catalog photos for now. More to come later when it arrives.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 08:51 AM #2
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Well done and congratulations. Looks like you really did your research and hopefully it will be as good as it looks... I recently bought a Ruger mini-14 at Cowan's auction using the same more = less philosophy.. It kills me to pay the ~18% buyers premium though.. I've been watching and waiting to buy a good, solid USGI M-1. I will really get serious when my C&R comes in.. Thanks for sharing.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 11:08 AM #3
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I expect no less from you, sir
Congrats on a great Luger and another fine piece to the collection
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Is there a cure for Mosinitis? Sure there is, but it's complex and involves a C&R license and a credit card...

Antaa tulla vaan!
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Old March 10th, 2013, 11:49 AM #4
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Mawkie,

You always go for the best, congratulations! That is a very nice gun, and a steal for a Swissy. Heck you cant even get a standard DWM 191X for less than $1500 these days hardly (felt lucky the last DWM 193X I scored for $800). Heck I even paid $1,000 for my mismatch (two small parts) but of course it came with a 1937 holster and an extra mag (both match).

Luger has become one of my favorite pistols, and something in terms of engineering I doubt we will see again. Eyeing up a nice .30 luger now.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 12:03 PM #5
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Is that metal piece on the back-strap a safety like on a 1911?

Regardless, Congrats! that's a great looking pistol
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Old March 10th, 2013, 01:10 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todbiker View Post
Is that metal piece on the back-strap a safety like on a 1911?

Regardless, Congrats! that's a great looking pistol
Yup, it's a grip safety. Every Swiss Luger produced had one from the first Model 1900 to the last 1906/29 built in 1947.
The Swiss were the first to adopt the Luger for their military and one of the last to give it up for the equally impressive SIG P210. In my eyes the early Swiss Model 1900 is nothing short of stunning, almost as much high art as engineering. The 1906/29 is a plain looking cousin in comparison as the Swiss re-engineered it to cut production costs.
And while I carried a derivative of the Colt 1911 as my personal sidearm, trusting my life to it, I have to admit that the Luger is one of my favorite handguns to shoot. Easily the most instinctive pointing pistol I've experienced. Yet that wonderful grip angle also makes it prone to feed failures (and try to load a Luger magazine w.o. a tool to help depress the stiff magazine spring!). Will have to comb the market to find some .30 Luger ammo and give it a go, it's too tempting not to.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 01:11 PM #7
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Originally Posted by h2u View Post
I expect no less from you, sir
Congrats on a great Luger and another fine piece to the collection
Thank you my friend!
When the last batch of Finn Lugers was imported back in 2005 I didn't take the plunge. Years later I regretted it (the story of my collecting life). So when this big batch of Swiss Lugers came up for auction I was determined not to let one go if at all possible.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 01:24 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walleyeco View Post
Well done and congratulations. Looks like you really did your research and hopefully it will be as good as it looks... I recently bought a Ruger mini-14 at Cowan's auction using the same more = less philosophy.. It kills me to pay the ~18% buyers premium though.. I've been watching and waiting to buy a good, solid USGI M-1. I will really get serious when my C&R comes in.. Thanks for sharing.

-Glad to hear you got the Ruger you wanted! Cowans is a good house to deal with.
-Yeah, these high buyers premiums suck and just depress hammer prices as most are not willing to bid up to market and then throw an additional 18-20% at a lot. I always factor that in when bidding. Look at it this way, it could be worse. Alex Cooper in Towson charges 20% plus the MD sales tax for a whopping 26% bite. At the one and only auction of theirs that I attended old man Cooper himself was bitching that the lots weren't fetching the market level pre-auction estimates. Doh! Do ya think the 20% buyers premium might have had something to do with it?? That 1903 Springfield isn't any more valuable just because I bought it from your auction house! Clueless.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 02:12 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mawkie View Post
Thank you my friend!
When the last batch of Finn Lugers was imported back in 2005 I didn't take the plunge. Years later I regretted it (the story of my collecting life). So when this big batch of Swiss Lugers came up for auction I was determined not to let one go if at all possible.
I want to pick one up sometime too. I keep kicking myself for not buying one when they were more available in the 80s.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 02:17 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mawkie View Post
In my eyes the early Swiss Model 1900 is nothing short of stunning, almost as much high art as engineering. The 1906/29 is a plain looking cousin in comparison as the Swiss re-engineered it to cut production costs.
From that combination of engineering/art you alluded, I would be inclined to call it a gentleman's weapon.
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