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WW1 vetaran's battle-damaged Luger

Article about: I recently obtained a WW1 veterans battle damaged Luger which had been handed in by an elderly man several months ago. The man who lives in Yorkshire had tried to sell the pistol to a dealer

  1. #1

    Default WW1 vetaran's battle-damaged Luger

    I recently obtained a WW1 veterans battle damaged Luger which had been handed in by an elderly man several months ago. The man who lives in Yorkshire had tried to sell the pistol to a dealer - not realising that it had to be deactivated before he could do so.

    He explained that it had been handed to him back in 1962 by his very elderly next-door neighbour who had brought it back as a souvenir at the end of the great war. The pistol is a 1912 dated Erfurt which has all matching number's, apart from the sear-bar, which was missing when I purchased it. So the story goes, the original owner had removed it to stop it being fired. And he had even cut the wooden base off the magazine to stop it being removed.

    The pistol has taken a strike to the left of the frame just by the safety. There is an indentation on the safety (CH of GESICHERT), and the edge of the frame is also bent over. The lower left grip has a slice taken out of it, and the lanyard loop is bent inwards. The lower rim for holding the sear-bar flat-spring has also been blown out. It is only a small sliver of metal, but it is highly likely that it was this - more than anything else that put the pistol out of action. Without that small piece the flat-spring would have more than likely popped out.

    After studying the damage, I came to the conclusion that the weapon must have been in the process of being cocked at the time of the strike. The toggle action would have to have been held up, as the weapon is not fitted with a hold-open device for the last shot. It must to be nice to have a pristine example, but I think this pistol has more history to it. The holster and belt were a recent purchase from RJ Militaria, and I think they complement the pistol very well. The holster is a 1911 dated example. I have also taken the liberty of replacing the missing sear-bar and damaged magazine base.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: WW1 vetaran's battle-damaged Luger

    thats very nice.

  3. #3

    Default Re: WW1 vetaran's battle-damaged Luger

    Beautiful peice of history you have there. The story makes it even better.

    Thanks for showing
    Burt
    Happiness is a belt fed weapon

  4. #4
    ?

    Default Re: WW1 vetaran's battle-damaged Luger

    great find Steve and good to see you around here mate , hope all is well ?
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  5. #5

    Default Re: WW1 vetaran's battle-damaged Luger

    Nice find. Did it cost much to get it deactivated and was it a hassle?
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  6. #6

    Default Re: WW1 vetaran's battle-damaged Luger

    Hi Jerry,

    It was offered to Arundel Militaria by the elderly gentleman. He didn't realise it had to be chopped. They arranged for a section 5 dealer to pick it up and deactivate it. Unless you looked down the barrel you wouldn't realise it has been done. There is no outward sign of it having been deactivated. Even the proof house put their stamps out of sight. They can only be seen when sthe pistol is stripped. Will post more pictures tomorrow.

    Cheers,
    Harry.

  7. #7

    Default Re: WW1 vetaran's battle-damaged Luger

    Quote by Paul E View Post
    great find Steve and good to see you around here mate , hope all is well ?
    Hi Paul,

    Book is on the Helion website. Amazon are also advertising it. Actual publication date is 15th March 2013. Slight change to title... Belfast Diaries, A Gunner in Northern Ireland 1971 and 74. Poppy selling went well. Generosity of the general public was overwhelming, and good turnout at the cenotaph on Sunday morning. I trust you are well also?

  8. #8

    Default Re: WW1 vetaran's battle-damaged Luger

    Its a shame it had to be deactivated, it could have been placed on a section 7 and it has been known for the Police to grant a free licence for such things. A few years ago, a young man was rebuiling a 2lb gun (He got from a scrappy) outside his garage when a neighbour complained to the Police. Instead of the ARV attending a Policeman went around, had a chat with him, told him it needed a licence, gave him the paperwork and said as it was of historical intrest, the Police in this instance would waive the cost of the application. Now that was a switched on Police Man.

  9. #9
    ?

    Default Re: WW1 vetaran's battle-damaged Luger

    Quote by HARRY THE MOLE View Post
    Hi Paul,

    Book is on the Helion website. Amazon are also advertising it. Actual publication date is 15th March 2013. Slight change to title... Belfast Diaries, A Gunner in Northern Ireland 1971 and 74. Poppy selling went well. Generosity of the general public was overwhelming, and good turnout at the cenotaph on Sunday morning. I trust you are well also?
    Thats great mate i'll look for it , i can't wait !! I'm fine spent Sunday after the service with a few old boys from 4 Regt !!
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  10. #10

    Default Re: WW1 vetaran's battle-damaged Luger

    Further pictures of the pistol. The first picture show's the side of the frame in more detail. The second picture is of the damage to the left barrel extension. The missing sliver of metal is ringed. The replaced flat-spring is home-made, and I made the end where it fits in the slot slightly larger to compensate for the missing lip. I would argue that because of this damage, it wouldn't have been worth putting on a section 7 licence. The chances of the spring popping out under recoil would be too great. The third picture show's the lower frame and lack of hold-open device. The last picture is a general view of barrel and toggle-action.

    The pistol had been on the website of Arundel Militaria for a while. The description they gave of the work carried out on it by the old soldier was rather off-putting though. It stated that the spring-bracket assembly had been removed, which even I took to mean that the mainspring and the anchor point had been cut out. That would have been fairly disastrous to say the least! It was only when I sent an email for clarification that I found out thay actually meant that the sear-bar had been removed. Never take a description at face value.

    Harry.

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