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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I can see if you spent $2500 or more on a fresh out of the dead soldiers cold hands a WW2 something, you'd like to know it wasn't altered by some bubba in his basement. But in reality, I'm sure there are/were plenty firearms used throughout that went back to the armory to get repaired and went out with mis-matching serial numbers.

As long as the parts were made for a particular type of firearm, say a 1911, and it shoots with said replacement parts, are mis-matched P/Ns that bad? I'm sure matching P/Ns command a higher price, but what's wrong with a part or 3 that don't match with the rest of the gun? If you know beforehand they don't match and what you're looking for is THE gun you've always wanted at a price you can afford, are non-matching numbers so bad?
 

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Usually, outside of Russia, if it went in for a service, the numbers got matched.

The issue is, many of the guns made outside of Russia were pretty much hand fitted. If you swapped out parts, it wasn’t “as good” as it could be, and could even be dangerous. US tolerances were tight enough off the machining stage that our guns could usually do it, Russian guns were loose enough that they could do it, but German and Brit gun’s were less happy with swapped parts.

The other issue is, if you want a gun that was made by company X in country Y in year Z, you want the whole gun, not most of it, but with a few parts Bubba swapped in.

So really, missing numbers aren’t bad, IF the headspace is right, IF the mag follower lifts bullets right, IF the sight is correct, and IF the parts match and work properly based on any changes, like your barrel band being wonky, or missing a sling swivel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I see it, if you're a "collector". I don't collect to be collecting, I like to shoot what I buy. If something's not working, I'll fix it, numbers don't come into the decision making. It would be nice to have matching numbers, but sometimes it just can't be. Working properly is foremost.

I wonder how the Germans made the replacement barrels for their MGs so they could swap them before they got warped? Did they keep matched sets with the gun on the battlefield at all times or were there instances where they simply grabbed a nearby barrel to stay in the fight? Or maybe those types of barrels were made to be universally swappable, being they weren't threaded on.
 

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And in no way disputing anything that Ajole has said above, but I had a Mauser 98K that was stamped 1943 that had parts with mixed serial numbers. Best I could figure it had made its way to Israel and seen service there and then somehow made its way here to the states. Fortunately...and perhaps because it may have been worked over by armorers in Israel?....it worked just as if it was all matching in terms of smooth, reliable function with modern 8mm Mauser ammo. So it is...at least in my experience with a German and several Russian rifles...possible to have a well functioning firearm despite mixed serial numbers...at least in some situations.

For what it is worth...both the dealer I purchased the 98k off of...and a gun dealer friend of mine told me that the 98k would probably be safe but could quite possibly blow up in my face if I fired live ammo in it (I had purchased it for WWII reenacting) but I just had to chance it to see what the old girl felt like with a live round.

As evidenced by my being alive and intact to type this reply...the LORD Jesus was (as per usual) looking out for me on that summer afternoon.

YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
but I just had to chance it to see what the old girl felt like with a live round.
That's the way I felt with my Carcano M41. Bore looked awful when I got it but it shot fine and actually cleaned up a bit more than I had hoped. I'm pretty sure the bolt in it is not the original one.
 

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I may have gotten carried away in my explanation. By WW2, the Germans were NOT hand fitting things, they machined things well enough that anything would fit anything.
But they weren’t as nice as the older Mausers, and the acceptable accuracy with matching parts, while not measured this way, was about 4 MOA. Non-matched parts could be even worse.

Good example of mis matched numbers are the RC Mausers. The Russian Captured Mausers were treated like Mosin, the story is the Russians took a lot of guns apart, tossed everything in vats of cleaner, then pulled parts out (Mostly bolts) and reassembled guns without worrying about numbers.
Still work, still safe.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I saw on a video by "The Gun Jesus" (or is that just Gun Jesus) that armorers had un-numbered parts they used for repairs. But did they then mark them with matching numbers for that particular firtearm?
 

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I saw on a video by "The Gun Jesus" (or is that just Gun Jesus) that armorers had un-numbered parts they used for repairs. But did they then mark them with matching numbers for that particular firtearm?
In some systems, yes. In others, not as much.
 

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The Swedish Mauser Armorers usually stamped the serial number on their new parts if they had them. Or, if they had good parts from scrapped rifles, they would refit and headspace bolts. Then stamp over with the correct rifle number. They were super serious about rifles at all times. These old rifles can shoot incredible groups even today. And are 6.5 X 55 caliber. Pleasant to shoot for an old guy like me. Never a sore shoulder if I shoot some of mine all day long.
The 6.5 X 55 is pretty much the Granddaddy of all 6 mm type of cartridges. Popular caliber even today.

In NRA Vintage Bolt Matches, you see quite a few and they do very well!
 

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The Swedish Mauser Armorers usually stamped the serial number on their new parts if they had them. Or, if they had good parts from scrapped rifles, they would refit and headspace bolts. Then stamp over with the correct rifle number. They were super serious about rifles at all times. hoot incredible groups even today. And are 6.5 X 55 caliber. Pleasant to shoot for an old guy like me. Never a sore shoulder if I shoot some of mine all day long.
The 6.5 X 55 is pretty much the Granddaddy of all 6 mm type of cartridges. Popular caliber even today.

In NRA Vintage Bolt Matches, you see quite a few and they do very well!
Easy to be super serious about this when you wisely avoid fighting any wars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My reason for this question...my newest play thing:

73316


Picked this up on Gun Broker a couple of weeks ago. This has been my Holy Grail, to get a German Luger, wanted one ever since I was a kid and the plastic one I had melted in the rear windshield of my dad's Buick.

Nothing special about it, I wanted a shooter, not an expensive pistol to be put up and never seen. Got it for 1/2 what a typical luger goes for.

It's a police luger, the tell is the sear safety visible just above the flat, square side plate. Apparently the police had a habit of taking the things apart while loaded, then pressing on the sear, go figure. I guess the regular soldiers knew better LOL!

Here's the GB writeup:

Fine condition WWII German Luger in 9mm that was made by Mauser and is coded "42" on the toggle with a "42" date on the chamber for 1942. Pistol is a renumbered matching import that shows likely police use with a sear safety. Gun is import marked under the barrel but does not seem to be a Russian Capture. Action is smooth and functions fine. Bore is bright with strong rifling and gun will make a fine shooter or for use by a reenactor. Metal finish is a full reblue with some handling wear. Checkered walnut grips have a good fit and no cracks or chips. Magazine is modern production and fits and functions fine. Tough to find a reasonable priced Luger these days that will work as an entry level collectable, for use at the range or for a carry and display gun for a reenactor.

The folks on the Luger forum have all said good things about it so I'm comfortable I got my $$$ worth. Picked up 2 Mec-Gar mags so now I have 3.

Easy to take down for cleaning. I was going to take it to a gunsmith but what would a gunsmith do other than a visual inspection? I feel confident I can do a thorough inspection myself. I've run snap caps thru it and it functioned like it should. It was suggested to put an empty mag in, pull the toggle back, drop the mag and insert another with 1 round in it and fire. If it works then repeat but loading 3 rnds. If they fire without problems then load the 8rnds in the mag and have a go.

Can't wait to shoot it. Not going to shoot it a lot but it will definitely be shot.

Now I want another one...IF the price is right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Shot it today, 80rnds total (me 56, SIL 24) without a hitch. Very happy with my 80 yr old Luger!!! Sorry for the blurry photo of the right target, must have been excited!!! This was from approx 10-15yds, even shot a few left handed.

73317


73318
 

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Good for you Dubar. A very nice pistol that shoots well for you. Enjoy my friend!
 
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