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1915 Deaths Head Luger

Article about: This last weekend I had the privilege of looking at a friend of mines 1915 Deaths head luger. Studying lugers for 25 years and talking to some of the most Knowledgeable people in the luger c

  1. #1

    Default 1915 Deaths Head Luger

    This last weekend I had the privilege of looking at a friend of mines 1915 Deaths head luger.
    Studying lugers for 25 years and talking to some of the most Knowledgeable people in the luger collector world I know some were "faked" and some people say "they were never made". Well here is a ghost from the past. From a Schooled gunsmithing stand point, this is the real deal! No one can age engraving, bluing and polishing marks on the entire pistol that my microscope wouldn't detect.The barrel is stamped with the German Military Acceptance Stamp Adler and it is clear that the Death Head (Skull) was rolled onto the headspace above the date.
    All my friend said was he "aquired it from a WWI vets family". The pistol is 69% in my opinion in condition. I have been researching it for 2 days and this is what I have come up with.

    August von Mackensen; German field marshall. A type of irregular light horsemen were already well established by the 15th century in medieval Hungary. On the eve of World War I there were still Hussar regiments in the British (including Canadian), French, Spanish, German, Russian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Romanian and Austro-Hungarian armies. In most respects, they had now become regular light cavalry, recruited solely from their own countries and trained and equipped along the same lines as other classes of cavalry. Hussars were however still notable for their colorful and elaborate parade uniforms. The German Imperial units had adopted the Deathhead(Skull-Totenkopf) as their symbol and this is probably the origin of the German units.The "death's head" continued to be used throughout the Prussian and Brunswick Armed forces until 1918, and some of the storm troopers that led the last German offensives on the Western Front in 1918 used Death's Head badges. Some Flamethrower assault squads used the same symbols.
    I wish I owned it, but I don't. Just thought I would share this rare luger with the rest of you on this forum. Thanks for looking.
    John
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    I specialize in M1 carbines and Lugers.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 1915 Deaths Head Luger

    What a beauty !!

  3. #3
    ?

    Default Re: 1915 Deaths Head Luger

    1st one I have ever seen. Nice.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 1915 Deaths Head Luger

    Pretty cool!!!

  5. #5

    Default Re: 1915 Deaths Head Luger

    Not there's a Luger you don't see every day! Like you said, it's almost certainly a Regimental marked piece! I love the cartoony skull-it's priceless ! What an excellent find!
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  6. #6

    Default Re: 1915 Deaths Head Luger

    Thanks for looking and all the great complements. Maybe someone can post a thread on the entire Deaths head symbol history through 1945 and how it changed between WWI and WWII. Just a thought. All I researched was WWI for this gun.
    i have found, you should never say something was NEVER produced, because one day one will show up at your door step.

    John
    I specialize in M1 carbines and Lugers.

  7. #7
    ?

    Default Re: 1915 Deaths Head Luger

    Wow...what a let down. You have to know the "lazy S" was an SS proof applied to reworked small arms from the late 1930's until maybe 1941 at the latest. THat this pistol exhibits a Lazy S proof and shows no rework at all..., and does not appear to be stamped...really really bad karma !. I would not touch it with a ten foot pole.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 1915 Deaths Head Luger

    yes. The Lazy S was used as an SS proof "stamp" for reworks. But The symbol came from somewhere. The germans would not have reinvented the wheel. This one is not stamped. As with some fakes. This one does not appear to be a rework either. Interesting as it seems. I know that fakes were made of these. The aged bluing and polish marks are the same in both the areas as with the whole gun. I don'think you could fake something my Microscope wouldn't pick up on a 97 year old pistol. I respect everyones opinion. Like I said before. I would never say something was not produced, because it will show up on your door step someday.
    Thanks,
    John

    Quote by gew98 View Post
    Wow...what a let down. You have to know the "lazy S" was an SS proof applied to reworked small arms from the late 1930's until maybe 1941 at the latest. THat this pistol exhibits a Lazy S proof and shows no rework at all..., and does not appear to be stamped...really really bad karma !. I would not touch it with a ten foot pole.
    I specialize in M1 carbines and Lugers.

  9. #9
    ?

    Default Re: 1915 Deaths Head Luger

    Quote by guns ltd View Post
    yes. The Lazy S was used as an SS proof "stamp" for reworks. But The symbol came from somewhere. The germans would not have reinvented the wheel. This one is not stamped. As with some fakes. This one does not appear to be a rework either. Interesting as it seems. I know that fakes were made of these. The aged bluing and polish marks are the same in both the areas as with the whole gun. I don'think you could fake something my Microscope wouldn't pick up on a 97 year old pistol. I respect everyones opinion. Like I said before. I would never say something was not produced, because it will show up on your door step someday.
    Thanks,
    John
    So your saying ..assuming this marking had to come from somewhere so your conjecture /assumption so makes it thus valid ?.
    I have seen some very very artful fake lugers in my day.
    An the SS use of the Lazy S was not for reworks..it was applied to rifles built for them - salvaged by civilian gunmakers from gew98 and kar98a's. There are a few other SS totehead proofs as well found on these rifles built for the SS in the late 30's through early 1940's before the SS got their hands in the wehrmacht cookie jar of weapons.
    As a collector of Imperial era german small arms I have yet to see any german small arm of that era with other than typical state/government proofings. As well unit/regimental markings follow known patterns and not 'symbols' excepting sterne gewehrs of course.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 1915 Deaths Head Luger

    It is as valid as the research I have done will permit. Contact some of the luger experts in the field. I would start with Richard Ellis who lives an hour and half from me. Who wrote books with Charles Kenyon. I have seen one other luger in my research with the exact same "roll mark" as this one. Some of the pictures of others have the same "stamp" as the rifles do and not roll marks. Now they look fake. No craftmanship as you would expect from german engravers.
    From a Schooled gunsmith of 27 years. someone tell me how you fake aging on bluing and engraving under a 30 power lense and trained eyes would not pick up a fake, unless it was done 70 years ago.
    I am not trying to be an expert on this luger by any means. But do some extensive research and not opinions from others that has never seem one before. This is what I have come up with in valid research.


    Quote by gew98 View Post
    So your saying ..assuming this marking had to come from somewhere so your conjecture /assumption so makes it thus valid ?.
    I have seen some very very artful fake lugers in my day.
    An the SS use of the Lazy S was not for reworks..it was applied to rifles built for them - salvaged by civilian gunmakers from gew98 and kar98a's. There are a few other SS totehead proofs as well found on these rifles built for the SS in the late 30's through early 1940's before the SS got their hands in the wehrmacht cookie jar of weapons.
    As a collector of Imperial era german small arms I have yet to see any german small arm of that era with other than typical state/government proofings. As well unit/regimental markings follow known patterns and not 'symbols' excepting sterne gewehrs of course.
    I specialize in M1 carbines and Lugers.

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