1918 Luger Info & Value

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by EPENROD, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. EPENROD

    EPENROD New Member

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    Hello all, I am helping my father in law research this unusual Luger he has had for quite some time. It is stampted 1918 and appears to have been modified maybe?

    I tried to photograph every angle and hopfully one of you can help me out here.


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    -Eric
  2. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I cant wait to hear what the experts say about this gun. I cant find anything about a Luger with that short a barrel.:confused::confused:
  3. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    Man, that thing has been butchered! Good thing it was just a "parts" gun.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
  4. grcsat

    grcsat Active Member

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    It looks like it was once a dewat parts luger that someone tryed to make serviceable.
    As to value , don't know other than salvaged parts.

    Sorry. Hope I am wrong.

    Just my opn.
  5. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    What a piece of junk! Anyway, some of the parts may have some value as follows:
    Grips..................................................$75
    Haenel Schmeisser magazine...................$150
    Toggle train.........................................$50
    Assorted small parts..............................$50

    Total value for parts about $325
  6. EPENROD

    EPENROD New Member

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    I had a feeling that would be the opinion.
    Could one of you fill me in as to what a dewat parts luger is exactly? and why someone would do this?
    my knowledge is obviously weak on these and I want to explain to my father in law who is 82yr old.
  7. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I don't know what the "dewat" is, but a parts luger could have two meanings I guess. One could be a luger put together from spare parts and the other could be one that is only good for parts.

    Why would someone do that? Anybody's guess, too much time on his hands, or just an idiot!
  8. grcsat

    grcsat Active Member

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    Dewat is a common term , as least were I live , meaning a working firearm has been made non functionable acording to the leagal paramiters of that area.
    So a dewat gun was once a real gun has BUT cannot fire ammo.

    It was once very common for people to buy a dewat and try to make it functional again.
    My thoughts on your luger being a dewat stems from having holes drilled in key areas and having steel pins installed to make it inoperatble. Obviously the steel pins have been removed. This would also account for the very short barrel as I belive it was once pinned and simply cut off short .

    I recall that in the 1970s dewat lugers were being sold in my area for around $45-$50 in much better condition and had the apearance of being fully functionable.

    Just my thoughts and if I'm wrong then please correct me.
  9. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The term "DEWAT" comes from the DEactivated WAr Trophy program, an old Treasury Department program (1950-1965) for unregisterred automatic weapons. People owning them as war souvenirs could deactivate them as prescribed by ATTD (predecessor of BATFE) and keep them even though the law as written made them contraband. Once deactivated by welding, they were no longer guns and could be bougth and sold with no controls.

    When arms importers realized that the law did not specify that only veterans could own DEWATs, they brought in auto weapons by the thousands, welded them up and sold them like table lamps. Naturally, a few were restored to firing condition by people who were either criminals or publicity seeking anti-gun crazies, and the program was stopped. The GCA '68 required registration of all DEWATs, even those that had never been "rewatted". One interesting point is that the current owner of a registered DEWAT machinegun can pay the $200 tax and reactivate it, since it is already on the federal register.

    In addition, some states (specifically New York), stationed police at the docks and graciously allowed veterans, even those not from New York, to have their trophy handguns welded up on the spot; if they chose not to do so, they could be arrested and sent to prison for many years - a typical "liberal" New York way of thanking those who fought for the country.

    Jim
  10. grcsat

    grcsat Active Member

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    In Canada a dewat has a slightly different meaning and of course slightly different laws.
    However the jest is still somewhat the same. The dewated firearm can no longer function as a firearm. However the term of dewat aplyes to any firearm in Canada ,not only to full auto.

    I thought I would mention this for our Canadian members.

    Gary
  11. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    Thank you, I have learned something tonight. Of course I have heard of deactivated but never dewat, having been in the Army for 30 years, I should have known the acronym!!
  12. majex45

    majex45 New Member

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    I believe this is a war surplus (bringback?) Luger that has been converted to a Humane Killer for killing animals in a slaughterhouse, by a veterinarian or possibly, a Farrier Sergeant on the battlefield.
    The muzzle can be pressed onto the forehead of the animal (often used for killing injured horses, which were used as transport by civilians and military in those days) and the holes in the chamber vent off the excess gas. It may have been rechambered for a different cartridge than the original 9mm.
    There looks to be some attempt to remove and change the original Imperial acceptance marks. With the addition of Ro or Rg (?) stamp.
    An interesting modification. This may be from the original period, the Germans would have needed a humane killer in the First World War to dispatch wounded horses and they would probably have used a "bitser" made from old, damaged or rejected parts to make it.
    The barrel crowning looks too good to be amateur and the chamber is oversize(??). I cannot see any rifling.
    Remember for many years lugers and other surplus pistols were considered "cheap as chips" and with no collector value so were often modified.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  13. EPENROD

    EPENROD New Member

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    Thank you for your insight gentleman, and majex45 that is an interesting observation. I wonder if it could add any significant value?

    -Eric
  14. majex45

    majex45 New Member

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    Looking at the holes in the receiver, they would be within the chamber area, this makes my first thought less likely unless they used a shorter case than the standard 9x19.
    Perhaps you could check if a 9 mm will chamber?
    If the holes are in the chamber area there could be a "jet" of molten brass out of each hole.
    I don't think it will increase value compared with an unaltered Imperial Luger but is a fascinating piece of history.
    I'd be interested to know if a standard (or other) round will chamber.
    These pistol conversions are common in the UK usually converted from a Webley revolver or auto (see: http://www.gavingardiner.com/BidCat/detail.asp?SaleRef=0011&LotRef=3) they often have a "captive bolt" and are then powered by a blank cartridge.
    It is VERY difficult to possess a "normal" pistol in the UK.
    The problem with the pistol being deactivated is the lack of a barrel, however this may make it a "non-gun" as the British definition is a "lethal barrelel weapon" - take away the barrel and it no longer needs a license ?????
  15. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    My thinking is that the holes are not through into the chamber, but were meant for attaching something to the gun. So it could have been modified for some industrial purpose or for a "cattle killer" of some kind.

    If it should be desired to "restore" the gun, replacement barrels are available and the holes could be filled in by a good welder or with plug screws.

    Jim
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