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· Registered
103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So the other day I got lucky and managed to acquire a Luger barrel and slide assembly. Amazingly the sear parts and the ejector were attached to the slide thingy. The barrel looks good. I love the way it all rings like a tuning fork when I tap it against the counter. Some amateur had ground off all of the slide stamps (he missed two small ones, also missed the barrel serial # stamp) and re-blued it poorly. I suspect from exam before he got it someone dumb, or not knowledgeable had stored it for years in a leather holster which of course allowed much pitting of the sight and other areas. Somehow it landed on Ebay.

So from various sources I have ordered some toggle assembly parts. What I see as the problem with assembling my Frankenstein Luger top is the middle toggle link. In a word, headspace. I suspect this was one of the most important handfitting tasks at a Luger maker's factory or a unit armorer's desk.

Consider, the location of the rear toggle link pin is fixed. Also fixed in position is the breech and the firing pin. Not fixed is the length of the middle toggle link which joins the two parts. There was a reason why the middle link often had the serial number of the gun it went to on it. During the Luger's 40+ year history of military usage it had been made at several factories, using different drawing sets. Machines wear out and sometimes the part made at the end of the production run has slightly different dimensions than the parts made at the beginning of the production run. Since we are talking about a breech seal the difference in length of the middle link (which has pin holes at both ends) is critical.

If the middle link is too short, then the seal of the breech to the rear of the barrel is loose and the gun should not be fired. If the middle link is too long, then of course the toggle can't close. Because they dealt with P.08 Lugers from Simpson, Erfurt and DWM and Mauser I am envisioning Wehrmacht unit armorers (like Colt gunsmiths who had cylinder hands of varying lengths, or 1911 armorers with multi sizes of barrel links) had bins of toggle middle links of varying lengths. That would allow them to find a replacement middle link of the proper length when and if they had to.

For myself in the here and now with no N.I.B. parts available I forsee myself as ultimately buying a whole bunch of middle links until I find the one that fits the rests of the parts perfectly.

Why am I doing this? Because Lugers are fun to shoot. However the 70+ year old flat springs of the Luger top assembly sometimes break. So too sometimes does the firing pin or the extractor. Very few parts in the bottom half of a Luger break with usage (the flat magazine retaining spring is an exception of course, as is the flat spring of the hold open latch, but neither of those springs are numbered). All of my Luger's top parts are original to the pistols. Breaking a serial numbered part greatly destroys collection value. The extractor is a numbered part. So too is the rear link pin (which also has to fit tightly enough to not slide around, but also loosely enough to allow the toggle action).. The third piece of a toggle action is the firing pin assembly. It too has the gun's number on it. Sometimes that part breaks. The little recess for the tab at the rear of it sometimes sheers off after a few thousand shots. The spring of the sear is also a numbered part.

My thought is if I shoot my Luger's enough, eventually a piece willl fail. Why not have it be a piece of a top assembly I don't care about? Artillery Lugers are clumsy to shoot one handed. Having a 'disposable' top assembly to use when plinking will be fun. When it is worn down one thought is to replace the 9mm barrel with a .30 Luger barrel rechambered to Tokarev dimensions. If I slapped that on one of the P.08 frames along with a 10% Wolff mainspring that would allow usage of a bin I have of unwanted Tokarev ammo I picked up before realizing it wasn't good for my C96. :)

· Silver Bullet member
2,238 Posts
I did a frankin-luger many years ago. It could win the grand prize in an ugly Luger contest. No issues with head space. I must have been lucky. On the other hand all of the major top parts used were DWM.
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