value of 1916 Luger ?Officer? Gun??

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by back_woods_4life, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. back_woods_4life

    back_woods_4life New Member

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    im looking for the value of a 1916 Luger 9mm. got it in a trade and i want to know more about it! its in excellent shape with over 95% of the original finish. wood looks good and isnt cracked or chipped or anything. it looks great for its age. but the original holster dry rotted and it didnt come in the trade...

    it has the German word for "safety" and the bird markings that ive seen on all the others. but this one has markings im not sure about. going up the inside of the grip it has the markings " S.Ar. I. 114 " the number 114 is smaller than the letters. each letter and number is "X"ed out. appears to be a serial number but its been crossed out...the previous owner told me it was an officer's gun and they had to X out their serial number when it was brought here as a "war trophy"...ive had it appraised by a local, but he didnt know about the markings or value differences they could mean. do all 1916 Lugers have a crossed out serial number on them like that?

    just wondering if this really is an German Officer's gun and if that affects the value. and what the value would be with and without the original holster.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  2. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Never heard that one before.....
    The S.Ar.I.114 is a Police mark for gun #114 belonging to the 1st Command of the Prussian Police (Schutzpolizei) in the Arnsberg District. The markings were probably cancelled when the pistol was surplussed out.

    (Note) These markings were inforce in 1922. Don't know when they originated, but probably post war.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The marking is a police marking, Schutzpolizei Arnsberg, First Division, Weapon number 114. The markings were crossed out when the weapon was turned over to another police force or to the Army (probably during WWII, when the police had to give up their Lugers to the Army).

    I have no idea why or by whom the serial numbers would have been crossed out. The story about the officer's gun is not true. If the gun was "drafted" into the army, there is no way of knowing to whom it was issued. The German army issued pistols to many soldiers, like machinegun crews, artillery crews, and so on, as well as to NCO's and officers.

    The value is not affected too much by the police number being X'd out, but if the serial numbers are crossed out, not only is the value seriously affected, but there may be legal problems as well, since it is illegal in the US to possess a pistol with the serial number obliterated or altered (no matter when that was done or who did it). If the numbers and the suffix letter are still readable, it would probably be OK.

    The value in the condition described would be in the area of $1000 IF the serial number is readable. If not, you have a problem.

    I will add a note of caution. It seems unlikely that a Luger that had been in police and possibly military service from 1916 to 1945 would be in 95% condition. Many such guns were reblued in the U.S. If your experts are not experienced in telling the original finish from a reblue, they might have overlooked the refinish, which would seriously reduce the value of the pistol.

    HTH

    Jim
  4. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    Lugers were issued to both officers and enlisted men, so it may or may not have been carried by an officer. One thing is certain though, it was carried by a German police officer after the war. As for value, if all the parts match and the bore is in good condition, the value will run from $900 to $1200. With any non-matching parts the value is closer to $700.
  5. back_woods_4life

    back_woods_4life New Member

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    this helps out a lot!!! and NO this gun has NOT been re blued. and all the other numbers are readable and havent been altered in any way. i just wanted to know more about the crossed out number going up the grip. it was most like a police issued gun and and belonged to a POLICE OFFICER, not a German Military Officer. i kinda figured the story was exaggerated over the years. the locals put a value of 1,500-2,000 because of the good original condition. its been very well taken care of over the years, but its no "war trophy"....
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    My feeling is that if you want to sell the gun and can get $2000, take it.

    Jim
  7. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Agreed!!
    I would feel that while having a police marked Luger might or might not add value, having one that had had the markings "X"'ed out would lower the value. Not by much, but some....

    BTW, you didn't mention if all of the other numbers (and there are quite a few) are matching or not. This can make a big difference in value.
  8. back_woods_4life

    back_woods_4life New Member

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    basically after a lot of UP Trading, ive ended up with this gorgeous Police Issued German Luger...ill double check the numbers later, but they supposedly match. even if they dont ive doubled my money. but if they really do, OMG, right!....but i have no intentions of selling this gun
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  9. back_woods_4life

    back_woods_4life New Member

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    the same gun WithOut the police markings was on an episode of Cajun Pawn Stars the other night. they offered the guy 2500 for his...and the guy turned it down...i might throw this one in the auction block one day and see where it goes, but its got an interesting story behind it so ill most likely keep this one
  10. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Like many other guns, Luger value is spread over a wide range, from a couple of hundred for a junker to tens of thousands for some rare models. Some folks have tended to overprice them when putting them up for sale, but find there are no takers at inflated prices. So setting a value is tricky; all we can do on here is take a best estimate of the retail value.

    Jim
  11. back_woods_4life

    back_woods_4life New Member

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    NUMBERS MATCHING!!!!!!!!....i double checked them when i got in from work!.....

    and thats the truth. ive seen the 1916s sell for anywhere between 700 to 3000. but condition is key, and everyone grades them differently. and stuff like the original holster would help...mine has police markibg but they are crossed out for some reason which might help OR hurt the value....i wouldnt know what to price it for. but ive got a beautiful old gun with an interesting story and a little mystery behind it. i think ill keep this one!!!
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  12. back_woods_4life

    back_woods_4life New Member

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    sorry in advance for the blurry camera phone picture, but i wanted to show a rough idea of the marking. you can still read the numbers and letters plain as day, but they have been crossed out.

    Attached Files:

  13. back_woods_4life

    back_woods_4life New Member

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    working on finding the right lighting to get a better picture now.
  14. back_woods_4life

    back_woods_4life New Member

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    so whats a rough estimate of the value? its a Numbers Matching Police Issued German 1916 Luger 9mm. great condition and it does have a holster but its just a modern replica of the original.
  15. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    All I can tell you is that what I've seen the Lugers going for at auction is from 1700 - 2800$ in nice condition. Now, if you were to send it to one of the special collectors auctions (and there is one I know of) you could even a higher price - however, remember that selling at an auction you will pay a commission. If you want to sell it, my advice would be to put a price tag on it of $3500 on a firearms listing site and see if you get any hits where it is free to list. If you list on an auction site you may find yourself being legally bound to complete the transaction at whatever final sale price is achieved.

    Provenance also has to do with the value. The value is lower if there are no papers with it.

    The highest priced Lugers I've seen go for sale are the few existing ones that were sent to the US when the US Army had an open bid for a new sidearm (Colt won the contract - hence the 1911 model).. Those Lugers were stamped with the US Eagle on them.

    Personally, if it were mine, I'd keep it and insure it in my meager collection with a value of about 1500-2000 and provide ample recent sales history of comparable pistols and what they sold for to the insurance company. I'd let one of my kids inherit it and get the best value for it when I die then unless I was seriously desperate for some ready cash.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  16. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    An update on the value of Lugers:

    As I stated earlier, some of the rarest Lugers are the test Eagle Lugers that were sent here to the US. I have found 4 of these currently for sale from $6,000 to $11,000. Next in line for rarity are the longer barrel models - these were issued to the German Artillery and to the Kriegsmarine (The German Navy) - These can be bought from $3000-$7000.

    The police stamped Lugers I can find as low as $1,800 - but I haven't found any over $3,000

    I have found some really decent WWII Lugers I could get for no more than $1000 though......

    There's a place called the Jackson Armory and they have a lot of Lugers available. You should look them up on the net and probably mail them.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  17. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    Look at the magazine for the Luger you have - does it have a matching serial number to the pistol? Also, with Lugers, all the major parts were stamped with the same serial number. A lot of Lugers have been re-worked with later parts. They then fall into a kind of general 'shooters Luger' category and generally don't have a value of more than 750-1250 bucks. Also, does the magazine on your Luger have a wooden base or an aluminum base? The original magazine could have had either but the serial number would match.

    I mentioned the Jackson Armory down in Texas in my last message - perhaps this will give you a good assessment of what your Luger is worth:

    DWM 1916-1920 Double Date Police Luger, All Matching W/2 Matching Mags! Stock # MMH152908SP. Serial # 32xxf. This 9mm DWM Luger began it’s life as a WWI German Military pistol in 1916. After the war the pistol was re-worked, and the 1920 re-work date was stamped on the receiver atop the 1916 date. The pistol was also fitted with a sear safety, indicating police use. The pistol is all matching, including two matching aluminum-based magazines – a rare find! The pistol is in very good condition, the finish rates somewhere between 90-95% with only holster wear. About 85% of the original straw remains. All markings and proofs, including the Weimar eagle on the receiver and barrel, remain crisp and visible. The original wooden checkered grips are pretty nice also, rating 85-90% (2 or 3 minute green “rust” spots on the right grip from holster wear – easily removable). Bore condition is nice also, rating 90%, and the toggle action and trigger pull are both smooth. This is a very desirable double-date Police Luger that will really enhance your collection.

    They have this pistol listed at $2,500

    Overall, I expect that: 1) If the bore is really clean and 2)if the serial numbers ALL match for the major parts including the magazine then you will hit the 2500 range to a little over. I do not think you will get 3000 since as you can see, pretty much the same pistol is available for less than that.

    If ANY number of ANY part of the pistol that would have been numbered does not match, then the pistol drops in value to a 700$-1750$ range - which is still quite a large gap in price range. NOTE: The high end of this estimate is based solely on the available description you have provided in your posts. If the overall condition - including the bore is lower then you end up back to the high end value of 1250 at the beginning of this post.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  18. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid we're going to need some close, clear pictures to confirm this.
    So far we have one fuzzy picture and the word of several unknown "experts" that it is a 95% original finish. What finish (color) is on the trigger, takedown lever, magazine release, thumb safety and ejector? Also, how much wear on the stocks? Are the checkering points sharp or somewhat rounded? (Good pictures needed....
  19. back_woods_4life

    back_woods_4life New Member

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    Numbers Matching Aluminum Clip!!!!.... ill get some good pictures posted this afternoon. and seriously, it looks like it was stored under glass all its life. two experts have told me it IS the original finish, you can look at it and tell its an old gun, but its been very well taken care of! only a few blemishes and scuffs here and there. it does have a minor wear to the grip, you can tell its been carried, but not for long. only the very tips of the little diamond shapes in the grip are wore down, its very clean and every number on it matches. but ive never seen one with the police markings to compare this one too. im still curious as to why the number got crossed out.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  20. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    JimK pretty well answered why the police marks were crossed out. It was when teh gun was released from the police armory. The aluminum magazine is a replacement. A 1916 should have a wooden bottom. You didn't answer my main question about the finish on the various small parts. Are they blued, in the white or straw colored?
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