Thx much guys ;-)

The kid was only early/mid twenty something, couldn't get rid of it fast enough, and the sad thing is he told me he'd been trying to sell this stuff for a long time, but his Grandpa kept putting him off... saying "maybe some day".

Yes, the P .08 is truly something to behold, and while most gun owners collectors like to have stuff in perfect condition... yes, there's something lacking in character with a sidearm that looks amazingly pristine, even though they are more desirable. The late war wood grip Walther PP looks like it went through hell, maybe the most worn Walther I've ever owned, virtually zero finish on the slide, but instead a nice "browning", a sort of smoky tan color, and the grips show much wear, not to mention being incredibly darkened from sweat and oils, not to mention that they look a little mouse chewed in a couple places on the right grip.

The Luger, I'll have to forgive it... is not totally matching, but so very close. The right grip panel seems to be stamped 11, instead of 45, but it is Waffen proofed, and it was slightly loose on the gun, which I didn't like much but repaired very successfully (pics attatched), and the rear pin, of all things... which got by me (newbie...) and I didn't notice it until a few days after I bought it and was learning to take it all the way apart. The rear pin is 86 instead of 45, but fits it like a glove, you could not ask for a finer fit. Each one of these things makes you wonder what happened... Someone may have been cleaning it or who knows and fumbled and lost the pin and another hurriedly procured, or maybe even more likely is that a company armorer was cleaning a couple guns at the same time and mixed the pins up? The right grip could have been ruined in action, it's only a flimsy piece of wood after all... What's amazing is that even though the grip panel is numerically mismatched, color and wear wise it is dead nuts identical to the other side. In a way, these pieces may not have been "original" to the gun when it was made, but to me, they are "original" to the gun now, meaning they came with that gun as I acquired it.

The right side grip panel would slide forward and back a touch, I'm sure many collectors have encountered this before. I took it off and noticed that the flimsy frontal rib that keeps it located in the frame was cracked loose, and that the grip was outright cracked at the bottom, in the same retaining rib area. Nothing harder than mixing a little Titebond with a drop of water, carefully spreading the wood with a toothpick, letting the glue seep into place, and some judicious clamping, and wiping excess glue off. I was pretty proud of myself on the clamping and actually took pics ;-) Because it is such a neat clamp, and because it is old, and because it is made in Germany!

The way I came about this clamp is I dabble in vintage guitar repair/restoration a wee bit (that's the other side of my collection ;-), and some years back I was making a bone nut for an old dreadnaught acoustic I was restoring, and I mentioned to a friend of mine who is a professional luthier how hard it is to hold that thin piece of bone while endlessly sanding it down, and he told me to look for what's called a "hand vise", which I'd never heard of even though I'm sort of a tool whore... but mostly mechanic stuff.

So I went on eBay and found one, a gorgeous old thing with some nice patina, undoubtably old enough to have been pre WWII Germany, could be 100 years old? And I have used it for so many things since then I can remember all of them. But this time it was especially satisfying. I repaired the grip in two sections, first repairing the cracked loose rib at the top, and then after that had cured, the bottom part which was more involved with a very heavy rubber band folded over the whole grip twice, just enough to really clamp the split area, but not so much as to cause it to misalign as it was drying, and then the hand vise over the rib at the same time, and let dry in a window sill for an afternoon. When it comes to wood and glue and something this delicate, you only get one chance to make it right...

And here a couple pics of this little gem in action ;-)

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