1. If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

  2. Dismiss Notice

Luger P08 Black Widow!

Discussion in 'Mil Surp Collectors' started by Mountain, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Mountain

    Mountain NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    4,455
    Checked off a bucket list gun this week- a nice condition wartime Luger P08, in particular the 'Black Widow'. Of course the term 'Black Widow' is an American moniker given years ago to market the late wartime Lugers with the dark chemical blue (rather than rust blue), black bakelite grips, and black plastic magazine bottom.

    I had stopped by Pack and Postal for the usual check for K31's, Swedish Mausers, etc. and happened to see the Mauser BYF 42 hanging on the wall. Took it up front to Joe and he proceeded to tell me everything about it while disassembling and reassembling. Joe really is a walking gun encyclopedia, but he also pulled a couple reference books to show additional info on the BYF 41's and 42's.

    The bluing showed barely any wear at all, with the only light spots on the edges of the muzzle and the raised 'lug' on the side plate. There is a little wear to the lower edge of the grips too- basically whatever would rub when laying on its side. It has been fired, but very, very little. There are a couple light scratches on the trigger guard, but essentially zero wear on the front and back of the grip. All marked parts match, inside and out. As best as could be determined, it appears to be completely unmolested. The condition was nice enough that I had incorrectly assumed it to have been refinished. Joe set me straight how to verify it had not. I didn't buy it on the spot but came back later after researching a little. Very fair price (don't ask) vs. what the 'Black Widows' were actually selling for on GB and elsewhere.

    Couldn't find my good camera and had to settle for taking pics with the phone camera set to flash, which highlights every speck of dust and oil and creates a lot of glare. I'll try to take better pics later, but these will do for now:

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]


    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    I will shoot it every once in a while, but this will be the closest to a true safe queen that I have. Range report to follow [smile].
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017

  2. Maddawg1952

    Maddawg1952 NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2016
    Messages:
    2,022
    Likes Received:
    1,167
    Location:
    Northshore, Ma.
    Very Nice! Congrats.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. martin08

    martin08

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,171
    Likes Received:
    349
    Location:
    Western Maine
    Tried to open the pics to get some close up views, but that danged Photobucket won't let me.

    Any chance you could use the forum pic uploader, please?

    What I can see looks promising to start.
     
  4. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    25,783
    Likes Received:
    3,565
    Love pack and postal . I,have not been there in years. No time or money anymore so I don't bother.
     
  5. martin08

    martin08

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,171
    Likes Received:
    349
    Location:
    Western Maine
    Ah. I figured out how to 'View Image' and expand.

    I like the Luger. It looks like a valid '42 Mauser in excellent original salt blue, with a correct fxo mag.

    I think the grips were added. Check the chipping, dings and wear around the complete grip set, and the wear pattern simply does not come close to matching the nice original finish of the gun. We should see some comparable wear and/or scratches in the metal, especially adjacent to the chips in the edges of the grips. Maybe clearer macro pics will prove otherwise, but this is what the current pics show.

    Still, very nice, desirable and valuable. But I think this would originally have had far better conditioned plastic or walnut grips to match the metal finish. A lot of folks have found original black plastic grips for their '42 Mausers to give them the widow look, without regard to matching wear patterns. This might be one of them, IMO.
     
  6. majspud

    majspud NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    6,934
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    South Shore, MA
    Very nice! I still haven't gotten there yet.

    T
     
  7. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    25,783
    Likes Received:
    3,565
    better than most gun shows , especially in mass
     
  8. Mountain

    Mountain NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    4,455
    I was thinking the same thing regarding the grips. I do think it's possible the grips are original for the same reason the high spots on the sides show some very slight silvering at corners- storage in some type of holster with the grips exposed. Scratches on outside of the trigger guard are a head-scratcher. Entirely possible (likely, LOL?) that originals were walnut and that's OK. I may mount some repros for the occasional times I shoot it anyway- even if not original to the gun the grips appear to be original bakelites. I'll know for sure once I take them off, which won't happen until I have repros. Given my holster theory- they might be original...[wink]

    Yep, mag 'correct'- as you know there was no numbering of the plastic base mags so that's easy for a 42. Also I'm partial to the salt bluing. However, if I get another (when?), I'll get a mix-master shooter grade that can be range flogged at will.

    All in all happy with it and as people know, P&P is a great shop to deal with. This kills my funds for a K31 and 03a3, but that's OK- I don't have my C&R and it's not every day that a MA available P08 of interest pops up. BTW, Joe has a ton of Lugers of various types that a C&R holder or non-MA resident could purchase.

    - - - Updated - - -

    P&P really is- they still have the M3 Infrared Night Sniper Carbine at the shop. It's sold and just waiting for a couple parts to make it 100% functional. Always some cool stuff to see there, and they have a lot of uncommon ammo too.
     
  9. daekken

    daekken NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Messages:
    3,219
    Likes Received:
    1,846
    Location:
    NH
    Very nice, congratulations! An iconic firearm. Did you happen to notice if they had any K98s? I still haven't made it there either.
     
  10. Mountain

    Mountain NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    4,455
    Thanks, and yes- I believe there are a couple K98's there.

    He must have a pretty good following from collectors- anything really interesting goes quickly. I'm lucky to work 20 minutes away and can swing by during lunch.
     
  11. daekken

    daekken NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Messages:
    3,219
    Likes Received:
    1,846
    Location:
    NH
    Nice, thanks. I've been meaning to get there but haven't made it yet.
    Looking forward to the range report, love the toggle lock.
     
  12. JZ1018

    JZ1018

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2013
    Messages:
    1,524
    Likes Received:
    367
    Location:
    Principality of Sealand
    Interested in how you can tell if a Luger has been refinished.
     
  13. Mountain

    Mountain NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    4,455
    In this case, the machine lines start to blend / fade or even disappear. Very fine, sharp machines lines start to go away or become less sharp. Easier to see when you can compare with one that has been refinished.

    Not sure about the rust blue, but for the salt (chemical) blue, any remaining machine marks don't change much after the original bluing process.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  14. Mountain

    Mountain NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    4,455
    Range report:

    Took about 4-5 shots to settle down first time firing. Might have had something to do with the barrel cleaning. After that, accuracy was decent. Here's 10 shots at 15 yards:

    IMG_0627.jpg

    Not bad at all and fun to shoot. Trigger may have the heaviest pull of anything I have, but the break is nice. No problems running Fiocchi ammo.
     
  15. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    25,783
    Likes Received:
    3,565
    Nice. Good shooting also for 15 yards. My great uncle used to say there where so many lugers around in,Europe during WWII they where more common for poker chips than cigarettes.
     
  16. Mountain

    Mountain NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    4,455
    That vertical string is a little weird, but not as weird as it would be if I had not thrown a couple to the left. The Luger shoots a little high and to the left. I was aiming for the yellow 'dash' between stickers, about 5:00 on the center diamond. Also hooked my trigger finger over the trigger a little further than usual to bring the shots right. Takes some concentration with that gorilla trigger pull. I'd try to improve that only if there were a way that was completely reversible and would have no effect on condition.

    I like the way it 'feels' when shooting- quite different than a typical semi.

    I do remember when basic shooter grade Lugers were relatively cheap. My Gramps and great uncles were all 100% ethnic German, living in an area with a lot of ethnic Germans. They were all sent to the Pacific Theater- no surprise there. Not sure if Uncle Sam was concerned about how they would perform against their countrymen or if there was some concern how ethnic Germans would be treated if captured. Anyway, in my Gramps' case the bring-backs came from the Philippines and/or Japan, so no Lugers.
     
  17. radioman

    radioman NES Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,540
    Likes Received:
    1,328
    Location:
    N.C.MA, NRA Life Member
    That's an awesome piece! I know you said not to ask but I'm real curious as I would like a pistol just like it. It's definitely a bucket list gun for me also. Let's say I had 2500 bucks on the counter would I be getting any change? Or might I need to add a little more?
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. martin08

    martin08

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,171
    Likes Received:
    349
    Location:
    Western Maine
    You would be in the ball park for an average conditioned item, and may get some change back. For very good to excellent, you might need a few more Benjamin Franklins to lay down.
     
  19. 45collector

    45collector NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Messages:
    11,816
    Likes Received:
    3,656
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Nice piece!

    Radioman, you can find Lugers in "shooter" shape for much less than $2500. I bought a nickel-plated 1917 DWM a few years back that has some surface rust from sitting in a WWII holster for probably over 50 years.
    Took me hours to clean it up and get the action moving again. It was seized up tight. Took the whole gun apart and cleaned the hell out of it and now it's a fine shooter. It was originally an artillery model, and was re-arsenal'd sometime during WWII and fitted with the P.08 barrel which has a force matched S/N. The rear toggle was also replaced and force matched, as the artillery models had no rear site on the toggle. The markings on the right side of the upper receiver tell the story. Pretty interesting history in this poor old P.08.

    $200 got me the gun, a WWII holster, two WWII mags, and a WWII takedown tool. Its too bad Bubba had to f*ck it up but I still enjoy shooting it. Can't beat the price.

    1917001.jpg
     
  20. majspud

    majspud NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    6,934
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    South Shore, MA
    I'd take for that price, but I'd have to reblue it. A bright finish on these just isn't right.

    T
     
  21. Picton

    Picton NES Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    7,795
    Likes Received:
    5,240
    Location:
    MA
    $200 is a no brainer. Nice resurrection.
     
  22. 45collector

    45collector NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Messages:
    11,816
    Likes Received:
    3,656
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    It's earned it's right to stay in that condition. The way I see it, the plating job is part of its story and I have a soft spot for rescuing old plated guns like this and leaving them just the way they are. Besides, to do it the right way would cost me more than I paid for the whole rig! ;)

    1918 Colt will also remain as-is.
    IMG_0560.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  23. majspud

    majspud NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    6,934
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    South Shore, MA
    [wink]

    Ok, now I have to go play with my 1917 Efrurt tomorrow.

    t
     
  24. majspud

    majspud NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    6,934
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    South Shore, MA
    83F, sunny, breezy. Had to wait for the torrential thunderstorm to pass this morning. Range was under water on the right side; I hope they grade it when they're done. Shot about ~32 rounds of WWB. Unfortunately she was very cranky today; most I got was five rounds in a row - lots of stove pipe ejections and misfeeds. Well, after all, she is 100 years old. Springs should be replaced, but I'm not going to bother. Started at 75 feet; unable to see my hits, but they were the very high and left. Moved to 40 feet and hit just fine.

    T
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  25. jbert27

    jbert27 NES Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    South Shore MA
    Very, very nice. On the list but...
     
  26. Mountain

    Mountain NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    4,455
    Looks great regardless of age and particularly great for a 100 year old pistol! Amazing machines these are, especially considering the patent will be 120 years old next year.

    I think I've read that others have had some trouble with the WWB. Maybe not completely filing the mag would help? Joe D at P&P said of all the modern stuff, +P would run best and that old sub-gun ammo, which is a bit hot, would be what the P08 was designed for. Anyway, I had good luck with the Fiocchi ball.

    - - - Updated - - -

    +1

    I'd leave the plating alone. If I ever run across a plated one for a good deal I'd be hard pressed not to go for it. Seemed to be a 'thing' for a lot of the bring-back guys.
     
  27. majspud

    majspud NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    6,934
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    South Shore, MA
    dupe

    t
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  28. majspud

    majspud NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    6,934
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    South Shore, MA
    I've been told WWB is the perfect round for the P08 and the P38. I've never had this much trouble with it before. Most of the trouble is the spare magazine; it will only hold 7 and not 8 rounds, and most times something happens every other round - stove pipe ejection and misfeed. I also noticed for the first time that the toggle didn't return into battery every time - I had to tap it down 3 or 4 times.

    I do have a box of 124g Winchester NATO spec left over from my P1. There were arguments on the P38/Gunboards forum that even the historical ammo was too hot for a P1. I'm not sure I want to run it through a 100 year old Luger.

    t
     

    Attached Files:

  29. PATRON

    PATRON NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Messages:
    4,563
    Likes Received:
    1,534
    I love doing this because then everyone starts showing their toys.
     

    Attached Files:

  30. majspud

    majspud NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    6,934
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    South Shore, MA
    That snail drum must be fun to play with. 75 rounds, was it?

    t
     

Share This Page