Suggestions for an old Luger

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Many years ago (35) I bought an old Luger from a FFl dealer friend of mine, it is a all matching Waffen proofed DWM s/42. I got it very cheap as it looked like s***.
The toggle was blued as it came from the factory, but the rest of the gun was finished in what I believe was Sunkorite.
The finish was beat with chips and scratches.
At the time I didn't think it had any collectors value, so I decided to strip off the old finish, what a chore that was, The first to come off was the black topcoat which revealed a grey "primer".
It took 6-8 applications of paint stripper to get to bare metal, no metal tools or abrasive was used.
When it was down to bare metal I was able to see all of the proof marks, some which supprised me. There were the German Waffen Eagle proofs on the frame and the barrel with bore diameter , plus English "Tones"
The overall condition of the metal is without pitting or scratches.
I would like to do something to restore it but not sure which to go. A reblue and grip restore is about $850.00. I am not sure if that is worth it. the other option is to finish it with the Suncorite,
which I know is not available anymore.
Any suggestions?
 
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Leave it in the "white?"
If you stripped off all the original finish or someone else's applied finish, the collector value has been eroded. Re-finished Lugers are like re-barrelled Lugers, but it's still a wartime production Mauser & has value....

Professional ceracoting might be an option, & cheaper than your noted price. Turnbull restorations would be my only choice for re-bluing but......
Perhaps just enjoy it as a shooter grade?
 
OP
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I think it was refinished (painted by the British) after the war. I think if I were to finish it like the British it would be more like it was, than trying to make it look new.
I know what kind of work Turnbull does and am not trying to pass it off as factory new. I think the progression from Nazi to British would make a interesting piece.
 
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I think they only look right when blued. This one was re-blued some time ago. Proof marks shows it was issued in to the military in 1916, then reissued to the East German police in the 1950's IIRC. Maybe re-blued on reissue. You can see the straw parts are blued. The reissue plastic grips were garbage, so I ordered Nill walnut. I think purchase price, just a few years ago on Gunbroker.com, was around $750 plus shipping and transfer. So that tells you what a not original finish does to the price of a matching numbers DWM. I bought the case which is canvas, leather, wood and brass, plus the tool and a spare mag. It shoots well and is a nice presentation piece that doesn't break the bank. People who know Lugers will instantly recognize it as a refinish, but those that don't think it looks good. I probably have $1000 all in, which is about what it is worth

DSC_0345.JPG
 

Flymph

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If you've tinkered with it that much it might be worth your trouble to go down to the pawn shop, buy some cheap guns and practice blueing in preparation for your project.
I'd reblue myself, and I wouldn't worry about it. Pictures help with ideas, but it all depends on what you want to accomplish. Do you want a nice looking shooter, or just to resell?

Here's an idea, put it up for "cheap" as is and I have no doubt somebody here will buy it...
:rolleyes:
 
OP
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I'm not looking to sell it, it is just something I have had for many years, and now that I am retired have been thinking about doing something with.
 

Jonnyuma

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Hard chrome should run considerably less $ than a quality hot blue job and wouldn't look out of place on a classic Luger.

Might be a little flashy, but I'm pretty sure I've seen chromed (or maybe nickel) presentation-grade Lugers before.
 
OP
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Not a big fan of chrome, I do have a chrome plated VIS Radom I got from a platers widow some years ago, the trigger hammer and safety are gold plated,
I was thinking of stripping it and getting it reblued.
 

RVTECH

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While it may not be 'perfect' a cold blue job can be accomplished cheaply and with a little extra prep such as polishing, complete cleaning, degreasing and preheating the metal prior to applying the bluing it will come out pretty nicely if all prep is accomplished.

I have done a couple barrels this way and they looked pretty good and have lasted much better than I expected.
 
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Hard chrome should run considerably less $ than a quality hot blue job and wouldn't look out of place on a classic Luger.

Might be a little flashy, but I'm pretty sure I've seen chromed (or maybe nickel) presentation-grade Lugers before.
Yeah, think of the Mitchell 'Lugers'.

And there never were ANY factory-finish chromed [or maybe nickel] presentation-grade Lugers. Most all of them were done in back-street plating shops by Germans making a fast buck from GIs with money to waste spend.

The absolute worst examples I ever saw were a HTG pair of sequentially serial-numbered Krieghoff Luftwaffe contract pistols. Chromed and fitted with MoP grips...:eek:

Current value unmolested, maybe $20K and up....................

In their sparkly new pimp suits - maybe as much as quarter of that.
 

arrowshooter

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I have been "practicing" cold bluing with the Birchwood Casey products and just discovered the Paste version which works better than the liquid IMO. Clean is key, even between applications. Pick some up, find some obscure parts, and have at it. At least you will know.
 
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IF the OP is going to refinish this piece, then I respectfully suggest that any 'cleaning up' of the flats of the toggle parts be carried out on a piece of plate glass and - at the very coarsest - 800 grit wet and dry paper, aiming for a mirror finish. My two Lugers, a 1918 DWM and a byf42, opened and closed with a very sharp snap, due to the incredibly fine tolerances that Mitchell failed to replicate in their ill-fated venture into making a 'modern' Luger.
 
OP
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The funny thing is the toggle is the only part that has a finish like the day it left the factory, dark blue no pitting or rust.
If I do decide to refinish I would go the hot blue route
IF the OP is going to refinish this piece, then I respectfully suggest that any 'cleaning up' of the flats of the toggle parts be carried out on a piece of plate glass and - at the very coarsest - 800 grit wet and dry paper, aiming for a mirror finish. My two Lugers, a 1918 DWM and a byf42, opened and closed with a very sharp snap, due to the incredibly fine tolerances that Mitchell failed to replicate in their ill-fated venture into making a 'modern' Luger.
 

arrowshooter

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Good to know!
Is it easy to apply and spread evenly?

Any hints will be appreciated!
1-Buff with some 000 steel wool
2-Wipe/clean with brake cleaner
3-Warm with hair dryer, but works without it.
4-Apply with Q-Tip, yes spreads easy and it does not take much.
5-Let sit for a minute.
6-Wipe off then rinse with cold water.
7-repeat as you see fit, then apply gun oil and let sit over night.
 

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