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Thread: Did Mauser chamber any "byf 42" pistols in .30 Luger?

  1. #1
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    Default Did Mauser chamber any "byf 42" pistols in .30 Luger?

    Hello guys... first time poster,

    Okay, a friend of mine (I'm sure you've heard this before but...I swear it's not me) bought a Luger off of GB and was showing me his purchase. I'm no Luger expert but when he showed it to me, I was suspicious right off the bat because it was chambered in .30 Luger. It was also suspicious because it had several strange proof marks that I can't find in my very limited Luger reference books ("Lugers At Random" by C. Kenyon, or "German Pistols" by R. Whittington. These strange proof or acceptance marks are stamped on the frame ridge immediately above the slide release toggle on the left side.

    I suspect the gun has been reblued because it looks too good, there are smoothed edges, the proof marks are not crisp, and the safety bar is blued instead of raw metal which I've always seen on WWII Lugers. The trigger plate has a matching last two digits to the gun serial number, but on the inside of the trigger plate, there is a non-matching two digits. There is also an serial number electric penciled on the bolt. for some reason I suspect fraud. There are no modern import marks that I could see. He didn't pull the grips for me, so I have no idea what markings are under them.

    Before I go through the trouble of uploading the pics of the proof marks, can anyone tell me if Mauser made any "byf 42's" chambered in .30 Luger? The seller maintained (and my friend the buyer hopes....) that the gun was probably a factory rework . I call "shenanigans". What say y'all.
    Last edited by cantgrowup; 04-14-2015 at 10:11 PM.

  2. #2
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    Michael,

    Welcome to the Forum.

    Well, I'll take a shot but without pictures the information I can provide is limited.

    But... You say it is a Luger and a byf 42. Okay, what you have just said is that it is a Model P.08 made by Mauser in 1942.

    Now Mauser made other Lugers in 1942 and later that were made for commercial, police or other governments. They had a Mauser Banner on the toggle. In theory, these Banners could have been made in .30 caliber. But unlikely, unless they had a Banner and a specific suffix. BTW, these were primarily 7.65 mm DWM barrels that were left over. And there were out of sequence guns made later using left over parts. But the rule was 9mm except in very specific cases and that is why photos of the guns and proofs are important.

    What can be most certainly said is that the German military never acquired a Model P.08 in anything but 9 mm Parabellum for issue to its forces. The definition of the P.08 is very specific.

    Now, what makes you think it is .30 caliber?. Does it say so somewhere??

    Does the gun have P.08 stamped on the left side of the frame just under the toggle knobs??

    Again without pictures, it is really difficult to be specific about the gun and its origins.

    Hope this helps.

    John

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    Last edited by guns3545; 04-15-2015 at 09:16 AM.

  3. #3
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    - - - Updated - - -





    I did not get pics of the upper toggle, but it has "byf" and the top of the chamber has "42". The bore was definitely smaller than a 9mm bore by comparison, but there was no caliber markings anywhere on the pistol.

  4. #4
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    Pretty sure they are East German acceptance and proofs.

    the serial placement on the barrel is wrong for military.


    ed
    Last edited by Edward Tinker; 04-21-2015 at 07:41 PM.
    Edward Tinker
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    Co-Author of Police Lugers
    Co-Author of Simson Lugers
    Author of Veteran Bring Backs Vol I -- Vol II and Vol III - a collection of stories on guns & equipment brought back by GI's.


  5. #5
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    The pistol is marked P.08 under the left toggle knob.

  6. #6
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    The proofs are indeed strange! Pistol has been rebarreled. Also, looks like it has been reblued. Bill
    NRA Endowment Life member
    Proud veteran of the Naval Security Group

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    Good morning gentlemen....( and ladies perhaps ). I am new to the forum and the owner of the pistol that is the subject of this thread. Yeah...my buddy (the original poster) and I have been scratching our heads over this one.
    For some reason, I can't pull up the pics from the thread. I'm thinking it might be because they are tied to photobucket? And I can't access photobucket from the computer I'm on right now...( I'll leave it to you to figure out why....lol ) Just to add some more info to the issue at hand....We know it's a .30 because you can hold it up next to my 9mm Luger ( 1938 chamber dated S/42 ) and see an obvious difference in the bore diameter. I have indeed had the grips off of the pistol, and the serial number is penciled on the underneath side. Which I understand they did on some of the Lugers? However, I don't believe these are original to the gun in any way. They are just too nice. In fact, this entire pistol is just "too" nice. Whether this was a factory re-work, or an individual re-do, it was done very well. As cantgrowup mentioned earlier, the proof marks on the left side are not crisp, but I'm not convinced that they have been buffed or just poorly stamped from the beginning. Heck....I don't even know what they are....Import marks?....Re-arsenal marks?....They most likely were buffed. The Nazi markings on the right side of the pistol look pretty unmolested to me. The "byf" and the "42" are very sharp and crisp. The biggest red flags as he mentioned, are the mis-matched number under the trigger side plate, the electric pencil markings on the bolt ( which I still don't understand ), and the blued safety bar. If this were an attempt at fraud, why would they leave the mis-matched numbers under the trigger side plate, (because all of the other numbers match on the gun ) and the electric pencil marks on the bolt?....Not to mention, why would they blue the safety bar? It's now obvious that the pistol was re-worked, (but factory or individual). It's also obvious that it has seen ZERO use since. In fact, I don't think it has been fired or holstered since.
    Just to be clear, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, and I don't think the seller was trying to mis-represent the pistol. He was pretty forthcoming with everything. I think he is probably as stumped over it as we are. And, I'm not unhappy with it. It's very nice and I believe worth every penny I paid for it. ( at least in my mind....lol ) I would just like to know more about it.
    BTW guns3545.....you mentioned "the rule was 9mm except in very specific cases".....Can you elaborate on these "specific cases" ? Who knows...I may have a "specific case".....lol.
    If anyone else would like to comment but need more pictures, I will try to take whatever they need. Sorry this was so long. I'm looking forward to hearing any and all theories. Thanks

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cantgrowup View Post
    The trigger plate has a matching last two digits to the gun serial number, but on the inside of the trigger plate, there is a non-matching two digits.
    The number inside the sideplate should be one number higher than the first two numbers of the serial number.

  9. #9
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    BTW guns3545.....you mentioned "the rule was 9mm except in very specific cases".....Can you elaborate on these "specific cases" ? Who knows...I may have a "specific case".....lol.

    Terry,

    Welcome to the Forum.

    Well, we can now tell that your gun started life as a plain vanilla Model P.08 manufactured by Mauser in mid-1942. The e-suffix and the proofs on the right side of the receiver tell us this as do the 42 and the byf. Check the side plate numbers. As has been mentioned, the numbers should NOT match. But, it definitely left the factory as a 9mm caliber gun.

    Your gun is not a special case as these were foreign contract guns and were marked differently.

    However, the gun has passed through a lot of hands. I am not familiar with foreign proofs but others can speculate.

    As you point out the barrel is a different diameter and I hope other modifications have been made to accommodate the 7.65 mm cartridge. But I am not a gunsmith.

    But there is what appears to be a Nitro proof (Eagle N) on the left side of the receiver (and one should also be on the barrel) which would occur if changes to the barrel chamber and/or bolt have been made.

    So all I can say at the moment is that some of the work was done in an environment where the gun was reproofed.

    A lot of Lugers fell into the hands of the Soviets. Don't think this was one because they totally obliterated the Swastika. Lots were left in East Germany. Perhaps this one and it was reworked to 7.65 mm although I can only speculate on what the reason may be.

    I guess some people collect these guns. Most that I see at ranges are treated as shooters. Sorry I cannot be the bearer of better and more detailed news.

    Hope this helps,

    John

  10. #10
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    Concerning additional changes needed to convert a 9mm Luger to a .30 nothing but a barrel change should be required since the .30 Luger was the parent case of the 9mm parabellum. The case rims, therefore are exactly the same. The magazine is also the same for both. The pistol mainspring (9mm) could be a little strong for the .30, but I haven't found that to be an issue in my interchange of parts between pistols of the two calibers. Bill
    NRA Endowment Life member
    Proud veteran of the Naval Security Group

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