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Thread: Deaths Head Luger 08

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by 03man View Post
    If I'm wrong(a not uncommon occurance )and the answers to my objections in in the book you mentioned, just a short quote will suffice.
    03man, quite tough to describe in words what pictures show best but ... In the book I mentioned on page on page 501 you will see a rifle with a Lazy S Deaths Head with an armorers spare barrel supplied by ERMA with a commercial proof from June 1938. The markings on this barrel indicate barrel production in 1938 from a Döhlen steel barrel blank. On page 504 another rifle is shown with a barrel manufactured by Steyr in 1938 which is marked with a Deaths Head with SS runes above it, commercial proofs from 1939 on it. On page 510 a Kar 98a conversion is shown with a ERMA manufactured barrel which dates to 1936 and is marked with two Lazy S Deaths Heads. The commercial proof of this rifle is June 1938.

    I honestly have no idea how I can then else persuade you the SS did follow proof laws. Additionally and as I had previously mentioned ALL of their Short Side Rail sniper rifles are based upon these conversions to K98k, and ALL of them have commercial proofs. How else would you explain that?

    Vlim, these are just three samples where the barrel itself was made 1936 to 1938 and carry Deaths Head stamps which are identical to the ones that appear on Luger pistols. Vlim, I fully agree that blanks often have long lifes, but in this case it is quite close after production and in my point of view just another proof for the SS reworking rifles. Where the barrel was as bad that it needed a replacement got a new barrel, where the barrel was good enough they scrubbed the markings and converted the rifle to K98k configuration (shortening of the barrel).

  2. #32
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    Dave thanks,
    the info on barrel dates , etc. is helpful.

    Regarding:
    I honestly have no idea how I can then else persuade you the SS did follow proof laws. Additionally and as I had previously mentioned ALL of their Short Side Rail sniper rifles are based upon these conversions to K98k, and ALL of them have commercial proofs. How else would you explain that?

    On the first point, you can't- unless there is documentation of such in archives somewhere.

    I'd explain the presence of commercial proofs as I said before- previously commercially reworked arms that were purchased by the SS.

    Further, as I understand it, replacement barrels would have been proved at time of manufacture and certainly if sold out of the mfg. concern;
    and again when installed and the entire arm re-proved- would this not explain the presence of commercial proofs on replacement barrels?

    I believe we may be a little at cross communication, we should likely define better which "SS" and what time frame this discussion covers.
    Are you referring to the Waffen SS or Allegemine SS? From inception to end, or the period 193x to ?

    I'll say again that I have no doubt that the DH you describe are found on and were placed on longarms of the SS at some time.
    With the significant numbers of rifles so marked, I still have a big problem extending use of the same or even a similar DH on pistols; very few pistols are noted and many rifles, and only lugers; why not other pistols? Have P38 pistols been seen? other foreign pistols taken into service?

    Did use of the large DH were discussing have a definable start date, even approximate? and an ending date?

    Seems this subject is prone to more questions than answers, thanks for your patience.
    03man - Don Voigt
    Luger student and collector
    Looking for DWM mil.side plates- 69 and commercial # 32, Dreyse "K.S.Gendarmerie"

  3. #33
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    03man, the SS has had gun workshops. There are even pictures from prisoners doing work on K98k rifles, most possibly bending the bolts, in the books that I have recommended. They have the manpower and they have the equipment to do this work, why would they need to pay gunsmiths for this work and which gunsmith at that time would had been able to convert such large numbers of guns over a few years and which gunsmith then uses the Deaths Head proof stamp on a rifle that is sometimes also found on Luger pistols? I am questioning why exactly the same stamp with the same size that is associated with SS K98k rifles appears on Luger pistols. How does that one fit to the previous explanation that some WWI units used Deaths Head insignias and they therefore maybe applied these stamps also to pistols?
    Re your question why no other than Luger - that is pretty easily answered. Newly made guns - both rifles and pistols - went exclusively into Army, SS didn't get them (otherwise they would not had needed to get rifles made themselves as well), but had access to old disposed weapons and weapons with issues. So they made themselves what they were in need for, converted themselves, repaired themselves. This ends when SS get access to Army weapons what - without looking it up, the particular date and order is shown in the books I've mentioned - is in 1941 (if I remember correctly). And how many P.38 were made prior to 1941 plus how many of those would have been disposed or been damaged?

  4. #34
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    How many Mauser P08s have a DH marking?

    Mauser made them from 1930 onwards. It would be strange to see only WW1 era P08s based on that logic.

    Co-Author 'The Parabellum Is Back! 1945-2000'.

  5. #35
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    Dave,
    without defining the time frame of "SS workshops" and "prisoners available", it is impossible to ask an intelligent question or answer yours.

    The SS did not spring fully formed with workshops and prisoners in the early days, and by 1940 or '41 were an entirely different organization.
    If the SS began to use the DH at some point, then when did it stop? I presume their work shops did not stop repairing arms in 1941 or did they?

    Let's review:
    1- Most luger collectors suspect all DH lugers are fake, post war creations; in large part because 90%+ have only surfaced in the US-a hot-bed of luger fakery.
    2- A very few DH lugers may have been marked in the early 1920s by one or three Freikorps units.
    3- SS rifles have lots of DHs on them in various sizes.
    4- Some lugers have the same size DH with lazy S as is on some SS converted rifles.

    What does this mean?
    I really don't know and cannot draw any significant or logical conclusion.
    A really simple explanation is that post war, someone used the SS DH to create fake lugers! But of course that does not explain a single specimen reported in Europe from the USSR.
    I would have expected many DH marked lugers in the thousands that were imported into the US from the former USSR- but none have been reported here.

    I don't have and am not going to buy the book you recommended - as I am just not that interested in the SS DH and whether they put it on a very few lugers- or not. So please stop implying my questions are fully answered in the book. Please quote the book with some definable reference in time and place.

    If you don't want to answer these silly questions and doubts of mine , I understand completely- as I am not at all likely to buy the SS connection to the luger DH marked pistols I have seen based on an argument that if SS rifles had them luger pistols must also have had them.

    But it is possible.
    03man - Don Voigt
    Luger student and collector
    Looking for DWM mil.side plates- 69 and commercial # 32, Dreyse "K.S.Gendarmerie"

  6. #36
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    The worlds of Luger collecting and Mauser rifle collecting rarely intersect (although I actively study all fields of German arms collecting, even Machine Guns and Lugers). I can tell from reading this that some of you should as well. This isn't a slight - there is so much more to learn in other fields that would help you understand the field you obviously love so much - but you are lacking. For instance, 03man, your library of books for the K98k stops in 1998. So much of what you believe was written before the internet - surely you acknowledge the importance on collecting the internet has, you are on a forum disseminating just such information. That doesn't make the information correct, but the volume of information has affected the hobbies in a positive way.

    The biggest error I see here is the assumption that the Totenkopf skulls are some kind of SS property mark, and that the SS went around stamping skulls on rifles and pistols to imply ownership. This is not the case. For the SS, these skulls were depot stamps. For some, you require documentation - it doesn't exist (yet), but will one day be discovered. But, just like a lot of what you believe, trends and reported examples can be used to form opinions. I would bet 75% of what you believe you have no documented proof of. Asking for that documentation proof before you explicitly believe these exist as SS Lugers is interesting mental gymnastics.

    I see the question - Why would the SS stamp a big ass skull on top of the receiver? Simple - because at the time these were reworked (mid-late 30's), that was one of the marking conventions of the Army Lugers that were reworked in their Heereszeugamt. Have you ever seen a "Kl" marked Luger? I know, many think its "Konzentrationlager" or some such nonsense. No, it's "Kassel", one of the Heereszeugamt in Weimar era that reworked Lugers. The SS copied the Army organizations when it was set up. They copied everything, Heereszeugamt, Kraftfahrpark, unit formations.....they modeled their "army" on the real thing. If you actually studied the German Heereszeugamt system (even from WW1, and how things were done then) you would be miles ahead in collecting.

    The SS did not have access to new production weapons (of military type) but could obtain older models for use, which they did. Lugers, Rifles, MG's. This is why they used WW1 Lugers, no other reason. The reason they used commercial proof houses, they DID have to follow proof laws, they were not exempt from them. They used Suhl as did other commercial (i.e. non-military) enterprises. If a pistol required proofing (such as barrel or bolt replacement) it was commercially proofed. The SS were not above the law. The military did not have to follow such laws, they had approved proofing facilities inside factories making weapons. Lugers that did not require reworking were issued to the SS without "skulls", but pistols that were reworked were marked, for the same reason the Army marked reworked weapons - in case of issues, the issued unit Waffenmeister would know the piece wasn't factory built and had replacement parts. It allowed them to track problems, etc. Simple really.

    As to "lazy S" or "gull wing" skulls, I have a good working theory on those. You put your thinking cap on and work on it - but I'll say this: The 2 biggest SS facilities were in Sachsenhausen and Münich. S (lazy S) and M (gull wing skull). Theories - but very convincing.
    www.thirdpartypress.com

    "Experience is a hard teacher, because you get the test first and the lesson afterwards!" -unknown

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 03man View Post
    The SS did not spring fully formed with workshops and prisoners in the early days, and by 1940 or '41 were an entirely different organization.
    If the SS began to use the DH at some point, then when did it stop? I presume their work shops did not stop repairing arms in 1941 or did they?
    Thought I would address this individually, as it's a good question.

    An oversimplification - the SS organization was split in 1941 into the Waffen-SS and Allgemeine-SS. Those units associated with the Waffen-SS were allowed at that time to draw weapons from the Army, and those units used Heereszeugamter for weapons repair, no longer solely relying on SS depots. But, the SS DID continue to use the "skull" all the way through 1943 at least at Waffenwerkstatt Dachau *(this is the SS2 skull seen on K98k reworks from 41-43 at a minimum, possibly 1944). As the organization aged, the depots did continue to work, but it seem the SS-Zentralzeugamt took over the task of inspections (see SSZZA4 rifles) at some depot rework facilities. Very few "gew reworks" were done once the SS got its hands in the Army depots. Those SS units outside of Army control (Waffen-SS units were under command of the Army) such as the SS-Totenkopf KL units, training units, and SS Police still relied on the SS depots for weapons and repair of weapons, but not to the same degree as previously needed. The SS- Verfungstrupp were the fighting branch who really wrecked equipment, those were the units converted to the Waffen-SS. It's an oversimplification, but without a full history of the SS organization it gets you there.
    www.thirdpartypress.com

    "Experience is a hard teacher, because you get the test first and the lesson afterwards!" -unknown

  8. #38
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    mrfarb,
    thanks for your answers and information; and suggestion for study of the HZa organisation.

    Anyone have a picture of the "gull wing" skull on a luger? or perhaps Munich only repaired rifles?
    03man - Don Voigt
    Luger student and collector
    Looking for DWM mil.side plates- 69 and commercial # 32, Dreyse "K.S.Gendarmerie"

  9. #39
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    mrfarb,
    Very informative and enlightening! Thank you for taking time to post.
    Tom

  10. #40
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    mrfarb, thank you very much for this detailed insight which is highly appreciated! 03man, I unfortunately don't own a rifle with a "Gullwing Deaths Head", but once again in the book I keep recommending in nearly ever post of mine you'll find several of them.

    To my original post at the beginning as a first reaction to my post several have questioned the existance of Deaths Head marked WWII items. I'm interested in a discussion with them and would highly appreciate it if they would give their feedback to the additional information since their post. I'm hear to learn on Luger pistols and it would be great to get the knowledgeable persons to post their opinions - Thank You!

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