Curse you Pilgrim and Mil Surps ((in a good way))

Aug 23, 2005
Jacksonville, FL (AKA a free state)
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Ok, took the dive into collecting bit with a ton of help from a friend and a generous donation.

I can see where some of the interest in collecting comes from, finding out a lot about the particular firearm you own.

I am just enthralled trying to find out more info on the Luger and Model 1903 I got and just love the 1911.
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Thats nothing. Wait till you start seeking out certain dated rifles from certain manufacturers. Buying missmatched rifles and searching the net and gun shows for parts to make it correct and complete. Taking a milsurp apart and deciphering every single stamp found on the receiver, barrel, mag, etc. and then going nuts because you have one particular stamping that no one has any idea what it indicates.
Then comes accessories... slings, stripper clips, ammo pouches, muzzle protectors, cleaning rod guides, and anything else you can find to complete the one rifle. Then if you're like most of us, you can't settle on collecting just one type. For example, you realize you need a Mosin Nagant M44 from Romania, one from each Russian arsenal, one from Poland, and so on. The real experienced collectors that pick say Finn captured M39 rifles often have one from every date manufactured from a certain arsenal. Kind of a goal to get a VKT in every year made for some.
Its all a sickness and only when you find yourself sitting on the bed with 60 year old guns out cycling the bolts, inspecting for corrosion, even smelling them (yes smelling them, some oil soaked wood smells pretty good and gets to ya after a while[smile] ). Thats when you realize you're hooked.
I first realized it when I got on a first name basis with the UPS driver and he admitted to stopping by when I was home for lunch because he knew long boxes meant a signature needed, and knew what they were.[wink]
Here is the thing, it appears my friend has caught the bug too. I'm also kind of anxious to show them off some too.

Right now I'm trying to find out if 3 digit SN's for Lugers are common. All I see are 4 digit ones, and it has an 'i' date code.
Right now I'm happy trying to get one of each type of milsurp rifle made since the Civil War as well as a few of the major players of the 'foreigners' of the same time.

I figure that will hold me for a while. Then I'll try for different mfgrs of each type...starting with M1 Carbines and 1917's... I really like them. Then maybe some of the older black powder jobs. They cost much more but require much less paperwork.[wink]

Reading up and learning all about them is a great bit of fun. You learn a lot of interesting history with each one.

It's a curse, I tell's a curse!

BTW, funny you mentioned Lugers, as I was just pondering how much I want one. I've got a real nice WW2 P38 coming my way one of these days.
You have any books on Lugers? I am trying to ID one for my friend to get a ballpark figure. If your on the South Shore I'd be happy to meet and show you it. The interesting thing is the holster since it appears to be a WWI holster.
You have any books on Lugers? I am trying to ID one for my friend to get a ballpark figure. If your on the South Shore I'd be happy to meet and show you it. The interesting thing is the holster since it appears to be a WWI holster.

Nope, no books and no Luger. I really don't know anything about them yet, just that I want one someday.
skald, see my post in your other thread with the pictures. Paul is probably a good source of info on all of them. He's a collector, FFL, auctioneer, etc. . . . and he's in your neck of the woods!
the "i" is not a date code, but rather a suffix to the serial number.
Numbering went in blocks of 10,000; starting as 1 - 9999, next block
1a - 9999a etc.
And yes, 3-digit serials are common.
For a wealth of information on Lugers go to and .

As to dating of the gun, please let us have the chamber and toggle inscriptions, that will give it away.
Ah yes. The blessed curse of Milsurpitis. It's incurable though it can be treated.

Treatments include, but are not limited too.
1. Researching the manufacture/history/design and purpose of your firearm.
2. Internalizing the manual so you could disassemble said firearm in your sleep.
3. Restoring the firearm to shooting condition.
4. Shooting your milsurp.
5. Reloading for your milsurp.
6. Spreading the disease to your fellow gun nuts.
7. Buy another Milsurp.
8 Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

For me the disease started with a 1944 Remington Rand/Ithaca/Colt RIA rebuild. Then came the '03, M1917, K98K, M1 Garand and then '03 is liquidated to buy my P38. THAT's JUST THIS YEAR! Good luck with your Luger. I'm green with envy.
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