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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm thinking of getting a Dutch Pistol (preferably KNIL issue) to go with my KNIL Dutch Carbine.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of going for a Luger vs a FN Browning?

It seems the Brownings, while less iconic and a younger design, seem to be cheaper. Also, I would feel less bad shooting one on occasion.

On the other hand, the Lugers are more iconic, look nicer, and it is possible to find ones issued to the KNIL. However, they tend to be expensive.

What are good resources to look into for each? For a nice one that I would shot on occasion, would it be better to go for a cheaper Browning and leave the Luger for a nice display piece (that I'd buy in a while when I have a place to put it)? I'm not planning to spend a ton (e.g. 2.5 K seems like a lot (and is), but that seems to be the ground floor for Dutch Lugers that can go for easily twice as much, while Brownings can be found for 1.2 K).

Also, I wouldn't shot the gun that often anyways (as 6.5 Dutch is expensive, and I'd most likely shot the guns together as a set for fun).

I've looked around at pre98, Simpson LTD, Legacy Collectables, etc. and it seems like there are so many variables it's hard to tell what makes one more or less valuable. (E.g. obviously higher straw, bluing, condition make it more valuable, as does being from Mauser > Vickers > DWM, but it seems strange that being from Vickers makes a 70% Blued with a poor bore worth ~$350 more than a DWM that is 93% blued with a very good barrel when both served in Indonesia).

Edit: Resources like what to look for on each gun (to determine value, condition, etc.), what is "good enough" to shot and look nice but not pay more than is needed (or put at risk a very nice example that would be better a display while an okay example would be better for my purposes, etc.). E.g. should I look into aspects of the gun for a hobby but for now pick a good one off of Pre98 or a similar site because they can reliably evaluate pieces and the extra cost is worth that.
 

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Ultimately the decision is yours as to which is “better.” Luger collecting is its own entity, and prices are largely determined by scarcity. There were surely a lot fewer KNIL Lugers than German Wehrmacht guns. Things like matching numbers will also play a role, and in this sellers market, it’s a mistake to assume any online dealer has a highly scientific pricing structure or that there’s any rhyme or reason why one gun is priced $1000 higher than another. They’ll ask as much as they think or hope they can get, and eventually they may get it.

If you’re paying several thousand dollars for a gun, shooting it is your decision, but remember, it cost that much presumably because it was all original and numbers matching. You shoot it and a numbered part breaks and now your collector piece is worth half. If you want to shoot it I’d find a more common 1922 or Luger and leave the knil collector piece at home... you should be able to find a non-knil 1922 for much less. Neither the 1922 nor Luger are, in my opinion, amazing shooting experiences as far as milsurp pistols go. But they would certainly be fun.
 

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I'd recommend a "Dutch Contract" Royal Netherlands Army (Koninklijke Landmacht) Pistool M25 No.2 (Fabrique Nationale Browning Model 1922). They're beautiful, well made pistols and the distinctive 'Royal Crest' on top of the slide makes them neat and very distinctive, Here are a couple photos of mine. Also, easier to find and a lot less money than the Luger.

3811506

3811507

3811519


Here it is side by side with a Kingdom of Yugoslavia contract Fabrique Nationale Browning Model 1922
3811514
 

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If you are wanting something to go with your KNIL carbine go for the Luger. Most of those were issued to the KNIL. Get one with the brass unit plate soldered to the left hand side of the frame. Set your sights low in regards to condition and expect some rust and/or minor pitting. These were used in a tropical climate after all. This should also help keep the price low to some extent. The FN 1922 was not issued to KNIL troops. It was issued and used in the Netherlands, not in the Dutch East Indies.
Dan
 

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While I can appreciate the Browning nothing beats a Luger for looks, history, they are the Stradivarius of pistols IMHO but to each his own. Just do your homework whatever you buy.
 

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While I can appreciate the Browning nothing beats a Luger for looks, history, they are the Stradivarius of pistols IMHO but to each his own. Just do your homework whatever you buy.
It should be remembered that the FN Hi Power was used by far more countries than the Luger.
 

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While I can appreciate the Browning nothing beats a Luger for looks, history, they are the Stradivarius of pistols IMHO but to each his own. Just do your homework whatever you buy.
Failure to eject is more common to a HP platform than people care to admit. Yes, I've had many of each and I do replace extractors and springs on Brownings as needed. I personally prefer Lugers. Generally more accurate, especially in .30 cal. and more reliable overall. I am talking about all original matching P.08s though, never had a mismatched one.
 
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