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.