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Thread: 1938 Matching S/42

  1. #1

    Default 1938 Matching S/42

    Hey,
    I picked up my first Luger recently. A 1938 Mauser S/42 w/ all matching parts, grips, magazine (except for the hold open) EDIT:Magazine was pointed out to be restamped below and I agree. Much more clear in the photo than in person that there is a flat spot from filing. Unfortunately it's had some touchup work done but I knew all this going into it and wanted something I could shoot occasionally. The receiver proofs are kind of faint. Barrel is suspiciously clean but looks original.

    Backstory: I got the bug a while back 3D printing a functioning Luger. I am a model maker and machinist by trade and was fascinated by the mechanism. Someone online designed it originally but it was far from working. I needed to tweak so much to get itto feed, cycle, release sear. Here is a quick video of it in action (sans recoil spring).
    It was kind of a nightmare. I got as far as designing and installing a working recoil spring and s-link. I got it to cycle but definitely not with a cartridge; and it kept putting stress on the frame (I'll post a video of the working recoil spring if anybody actually wants to see that). Even with my access to expensive Polyjet, FDM, SLA machines it took dozens and dozens of iterations with each part. I quickly realized why things were serialized. Long story short; I was very familiar with the Luger before I handled mine.

    Anyways. Here are some photos (if you want any more just let me know). I plan on getting some shooter grips and a magazine so I don't ruin it completely. I have a Lugerman magazine coming (hopefully), but I now realize the Mecs would have done me just fine. Any suggestions on grips would be great I tried some around $30 but they were undersized before I got the chance to fit them. I plan on keeping the original grips on the majority of the time; I just want some grips for the 2 or 3 times a year I pan on shooting it.
    DSCF0453.jpgDSCF0454.jpgDSCF0459.jpgDSCF0473.jpgDSCF0457.jpgDSCF0495.jpgDSCF0485.jpgDSCF0497.jpgDSCF0492.jpgDSCF0496.jpgDSCF0494.jpgDSCF0491.jpgDSCF0501.jpgDSCF0458.jpg20200305_224638.jpg

    BONUS. I got pretty comfortable installing the Luger mainspring. I couldn't find a lot of great videos to walk me through so I made one. THORs guide got me started but I couldn't begin to understand his whole "under the table" with "use upward pressure with your thighs" tips. I think my use of vise makes it pretty easy.
    Last edited by TheCafeRacer; 03-13-2020 at 12:38 AM. Reason: Updated information on magazine.

  2. #2
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    Looks like it should be a good shooter. That's a really nice bore.

    The magazine base looks to have been scrubbed of the original serial number and stamped again.

    The firing pin should be fluted. It's from a much earlier Luger.
    Lugers; A Century & Counting!

  3. #3
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    Mar 2017
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    Georgia
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    This is just insane! Looking at some of the comments on the original designer's site suggests there is a HUGE latent interest in these guns. For you, was it the technical challenge, or the romance ("avatar of evil," etc.) that was uppermost and caused you to keep at it and make a success of this? Nice gun, by the way! Your photos and the production on the videos are first class, also. Check the buy and sell portion of the forum for grips if someone doesn't step forward. You can post a Want to Buy and see if anyone bites. Welcome to the Club. . . it'll be interesting to see if you can stop at just one!
    Cheers,
    James

  4. #4
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    Mar 2014
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    Maine
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    You have three off-site links in your first post on Luger Gunboards? What are your motives? I sense something nefarious.

  5. #5
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    Centennial/Colorado
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    Welcome and thanks for posting. Your mainspring-install video is a definite help and I will try your method next time. What I really like about your approach is that it decreases the chance of marring the pistol. There is a special tool with a curved working end that makes the job easier. I think your method is the best I have seen for those who don't have the special tool.

    As far as grips, Simpsons sells high quality repos. I have used grips from Numrich in the past with success. Grips are also frequently available on eBay and Gunbroker, also occasionally in the WTS sections of the two Luger websites. My experience is that fitting any grip to a Luger requires adjustment.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2014
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    Centennial/Colorado
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    I have a friend who is also an expert machinist and he is likewise fascinated by Lugers. Seeing my modest collection was his first exposure to the pistol. The Luger pistol includes various cuts and recesses that pose a machining challenge. Typically modern designs for anything avoid some of the complexities in the Luger design because of cost. My friend expressed admiration at the mechanism and workmanship of the Luger. It is not surprising that a skilled machinist would want to play with the design and show his results. I personally welcome such experimentation and sharing.

    The day is coming when it may be possible to use modern computer assisted machining to create working reproductions of the Luger at an affordable cost. I'm told we are not there yet. When people try stuff like this, I think we get a little closer.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Doubs View Post
    Looks like it should be a good shooter. That's a really nice bore.

    The magazine base looks to have been scrubbed of the original serial number and stamped again.

    The firing pin should be fluted. It's from a much earlier Luger.
    Interesting about the magazine. I wouldn't be surprised. I heard I should be suspicious every time I see one.

    The firing pin does have fluting. I might have not gotten it from that angle.

    Thanks for the info.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesPopoff View Post
    This is just insane! Looking at some of the comments on the original designer's site suggests there is a HUGE latent interest in these guns. For you, was it the technical challenge, or the romance ("avatar of evil," etc.) that was uppermost and caused you to keep at it and make a success of this? Nice gun, by the way! Your photos and the production on the videos are first class, also. Check the buy and sell portion of the forum for grips if someone doesn't step forward. You can post a Want to Buy and see if anyone bites. Welcome to the Club. . . it'll be interesting to see if you can stop at just one!
    Cheers,
    James
    At first I just wanted a prop that I could hold in my hand. I make corporate prototypes for a living so I don't get to play around with Hollywood props as a model maker. I'm about to finish a fully painted stielhandgranate with a CNC turned wood handle. I just need to cut some vinyl for the decals.

    Once I saw how much effort that designer put into having a functional toggle, I knew I needed to finish it. I'll have to take a picture of the parts that I have that literally has at least 10 of each part filling up a tackle box. Here's a video of the recoil mechanism I got working later removed because it's not strong enough: https://youtu.be/xK92cOASLUA

    I've made a few Form 1 supressors from scratch and a bunch of 80 percents. My plan is to eventually get around to designing and building my own firearm from the ground up.

    [

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by 4 Scale View Post
    I have a friend who is also an expert machinist and he is likewise fascinated by Lugers. Seeing my modest collection was his first exposure to the pistol. The Luger pistol includes various cuts and recesses that pose a machining challenge. Typically modern designs for anything avoid some of the complexities in the Luger design because of cost. My friend expressed admiration at the mechanism and workmanship of the Luger. It is not surprising that a skilled machinist would want to play with the design and show his results. I personally welcome such experimentation and sharing.

    The day is coming when it may be possible to use modern computer assisted machining to create working reproductions of the Luger at an affordable cost. I'm told we are not there yet. When people try stuff like this, I think we get a little closer.
    Absolutely. As a machinist it's really easy to see how much goes into making a Luger. After holding it for weeks some of the features still baffle me.

    Looking at the cutout on the grip for the safety, I'm assuming they used one of those etchomatic milling machines to copy a template for that shape.
    They used to use those machines to do engraving a lot. You can have an oversized template and it'll trace it on the mill at a smaller scale if you want.
    I dabble in heat treating and that operation alone would make the Luger hard to replicate from scratch.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by 4 Scale View Post
    Welcome and thanks for posting. Your mainspring-install video is a definite help and I will try your method next time. What I really like about your approach is that it decreases the chance of marring the pistol. There is a special tool with a curved working end that makes the job easier. I think your method is the best I have seen for those who don't have the special tool.

    As far as grips, Simpsons sells high quality repos. I have used grips from Numrich in the past with success. Grips are also frequently available on eBay and Gunbroker, also occasionally in the WTS sections of the two Luger websites. My experience is that fitting any grip to a Luger requires adjustment.
    Thanks for the feedback on the video. It's where I had the most trouble and had a quick idea that I thought might at least help one person. It's made it pretty easy that I can install one and under a minute.

    I'll have to check out those manufacturers. I think my problem was trying to be cheap.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    114

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCafeRacer View Post
    At first I just wanted a prop that I could hold in my hand. I make corporate prototypes for a living so I don't get to play around with Hollywood props as a model maker. I'm about to finish a fully painted stielhandgranate with a CNC turned wood handle. I just need to cut some vinyl for the decals.

    Once I saw how much effort that designer put into having a functional toggle, I knew I needed to finish it. I'll have to take a picture of the parts that I have that literally has at least 10 of each part filling up a tackle box. Here's a video of the recoil mechanism I got working later removed because it's not strong enough: https://youtu.be/xK92cOASLUA

    I've made a few Form 1 supressors from scratch and a bunch of 80 percents. My plan is to eventually get around to designing and building my own firearm from the ground up.

    [


    - - - Updated - - -



    Absolutely. As a machinist it's really easy to see how much goes into making a Luger. After holding it for weeks some of the features still baffle me.

    Looking at the cutout on the grip for the safety, I'm assuming they used one of those etchomatic milling machines to copy a template for that shape.
    They used to use those machines to do engraving a lot. You can have an oversized template and it'll trace it on the mill at a smaller scale if you want.
    I dabble in heat treating and that operation alone would make the Luger hard to replicate from scratch.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Thanks for the feedback on the video. It's where I had the most trouble and had a quick idea that I thought might at least help one person. It's made it pretty easy that I can install one and under a minute.

    I'll have to check out those manufacturers. I think my problem was trying to be cheap.
    Check out the Diamondback DB9, a native Florida design that closely follows the Glock. It's been around for a decade or more, I think, and it's still the smallest, lightest 9X19mm on the market (13 ounces). It's a simple and effective firearm with a polymer frame, pinned metal structures holding the action parts and the slide/barrel/recoil spring. It also uses a version of the Tennifer process to enable use of easily-machined mild steel. It has suffered a so-so reputation for reliability because early versions used MIM parts with indifferent QC, but mine has never failed me and others likewise tout their own experiences. My point in raising that example is that your plan seems quite achievable with present technology. Best of luck!
    Cheers,
    James

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesPopoff View Post
    Check out the Diamondback DB9, a native Florida design that closely follows the Glock. It's been around for a decade or more, I think, and it's still the smallest, lightest 9X19mm on the market (13 ounces). It's a simple and effective firearm with a polymer frame, pinned metal structures holding the action parts and the slide/barrel/recoil spring. It also uses a version of the Tennifer process to enable use of easily-machined mild steel. It has suffered a so-so reputation for reliability because early versions used MIM parts with indifferent QC, but mine has never failed me and others likewise tout their own experiences. My point in raising that example is that your plan seems quite achievable with present technology. Best of luck!
    Cheers,
    James
    Thats funny. One of my mentors who taught me to design/machine/run injection molds had made molds for Diamondback at his previous gig.

    I don't work too far from where they are at!

    Thanks!

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