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1904 Transitional Navy Lugers

 

1904 Transitional Navy Lugers

 
 

Around the same time that the 1904 Navy Luger was identified as a limited manufacture transitional Navy Luger, rumors began to surface that this variation was a fake or didnít even exist. These rumors took on a life of their own until all subsequently identified 1904 transitional Navy Lugers became automatically suspect as fakes until proven real - sort of like guilty until proven innocent. One prominent annual publication of gun values now includes the caveat "Beware of Fakes" when discussing the 1904 Navy Luger.

Several world-renowned Luger collectors have one of these 1904 Navy Lugers in their collection. However due to the ongoing hysteria surrounding the pedigree of these Lugers, none of the known owners, save one well known international dealer/collector, is willing expose their guns to public scrutiny. Even well known American dealers that have had these particular Navy Lugers for sale are not at ease in what they are selling.

In the past few years, some Luger collectors have speculated that there are probably more fake 04's than real ones. Even some noted Luger authors and collectors have mentioned that they have seen fake 1904 Navy Lugers. None of these claims has ever been supported by any specific factual data or serial numbers, and it is highly unlikely that anyone has ever seen more than one, maybe two of the M1904 transitional Navy Lugers. Less than a handful of collectors and or dealers have ever had the opportunity to strip and examine one of these special Lugers, and even a smaller number of these individuals have the knowledge to know what they are looking at.

The rumor now has spread to the Internet, where one individual recently said he has "ABSOLUTE PROOF of 3 SNs that are fake" but will not reveal the serial numbers, instead telling readers to: "Send me your contemplated purchase SN and I will let you know if it is on the 'SH*T LIST'".

This then leads to the next point. Why would any owner or potential owner of a 1904 Navy want to email the serial number to someone who purports to have a list of fakes? One cannot rely on anything said in anonymous email chatter since the Internet abounds in hoaxes and misinformation. Also, one must be cautious on the net, since people can assume false identities and make up stories or spread erroneous information just for fun.

Opinions of finish and condition can vary widely from individual to individual. For very valuable and rare pistols such as the 1904 transitional navy Luger, knowledgeable, impartial, accredited professional appraisers should best perform these evaluations. The opinions of someone who claims to have a list of fakes, but possesses little more than an elementary knowledge of the specific characteristics that make a 1904 Navy Luger genuine, should be regarded as worthless.

Having a 1904 Navy Luger declared a fake by one of these individuals would place a cloud of suspicion over the gun. Whether the individual is a neophyte Luger collector, or a well-known, supposedly "reputable" collector, the suspicions created around the gun could never be resolved, because these individuals won't reveal the source of their information or knowledge.

Regrettably this climate of paranoia, rumors, and unsubstantiated claims hinders the free exchange of information. It also diminishes the possibility of gaining knowledge or ever knowing the exact and correct configuration of these very rare and historically significant guns.

 
 

 

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