Re: looking to get feet wet with a luger
It depends a bit on what you want. If you want a collector grade, all matching (except maybe the magazine) with lots of original finish, count on spending a minimum of $1500-1700. If you just want a Luger to shoot and study, and are not particular about matching parts or a particular date/maker, you can still find them for $900 or so.
I would suggest some books, but in too many cases they are detailed books for collectors and serve only to confuse the novice.
If there is a major gun show in your area, go and look at Lugers. At one show last year, I saw a WWII Luger, all matching but the magazine, on one table for $2000. Yet, three aisles over there was one made by the same maker in the same year, also matching, with almost the same degree of finish, for $800. Further, the "cheap" gun had a matching magazine.
I don't know why the difference; probably a realistic price would have been between the two extremes. Or maybe the second seller just didn't know or care what he had.
The second gun was "dry" with no sign of oil, and looked dull and uninteresting. It wasn't, if one knew what to look for.
If you can get to a show, look at Lugers. Just look. Don't get talked into buying or jump on the first one you see at a low price. Just look and remember (don't take pics without permission, though). If you see something interesting, take the seller's name and ask if you can have the gun shipped to your dealer if you decide you want it. (All original Lugers will be C&R, so if you have a C&R license that will simplify matters.)