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Is This a Real German Naval Luger or a Faux Commercial Version? What's it Worth?

A 1920 commercial version of the more valuable 1914 German military Naval Luger, dated 1917, is still valued between $1,750 and $2,000.

Gun Room: Is This a Real German Naval Luger or a Faux Commercial Version? What's it Worth?

Question: I bought this Luger in the ‘80s from a man who bought it at a pawn shop. All the parts are matched to the serial number. The barrel and bluing are in excellent condition. I put a dowel down the barrel and it measured 5 15/16 inches. The grips are not original and the magazine serial number does not match the gun. The barrel is date stamped “1917”. Lightly stamped on each side is the word “Germany”. I assume this gun was imported for commercial sales. The problem I have with this date is World War I wasn’t over ‘til 1918, and I doubt we were buying anything from Germany in 1917. I also doubt Germany was making any weapon except those for the military. Can you help me out with this problem? I would also like to know the value of this gun for insurance purposes.  

-L.P. via Email

Answer: From what I can see, the pawn-shop find appears to be a 1920 Commercial version of the 1914 Naval Luger that has had the date and “crown M” proofs added to make the piece look like the more valuable military issue. This is not uncommon with this model; 1917 is the date usually seen. Still, it appears to be in reasonable shape with the exception of the aftermarket grips. I’d value it in the $1,750 to $2,000 range. If it was mine, I’d replace the grips with military-style stocks. Originals and repros can be found on the internet. 

-Garry James

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