Quantcast

Luger nickel plated while assembled....Trash?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by silicosys4, Nov 21, 2020.

  1. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,730
    I've been interested in a shooter grade luger for a long time now. I'm not interested in collectors value at all, and so mismatched parts and a rough appearance is not a concern as much as a good bore and proper function.
    Browsing an auction site, I found a luger that is within the price range i'm willing to spend.
    The catch is, besides it being rough, that the gun was nickeled while fully assembled, which rendered the gun non-functional.
    Obviously I would have to strip the gun of its finish to restore it to a working condition, but I have no experience stripping a nickel finish. From the reading I'm doing online it appears to be a noxious and toxic proposition.

    How feasible is it to restore a gun that has been nickeled while assembled, how much damage would that do to the bore and internals, and how much work is involved?

    20201118091922-9773.jpg
    The gun in question
    Thanks to all for your help
     
    JT-AR-MG42 and MosinT53Hunter like this.
  2. caribou

    caribou Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    2,227
    Location:
    North West Alaska
    You might be able to use some simple household chemicals and some electricity and remove the plating with electrolysis.

    Then it would be bare steel and in need of a finish of sorts, so theres another aspect, when you get the nickle off.

    The springs are what I would think about being changed after all the refinish stripping, etc, and spring kits are available and good for 'shooters'.
     
    hq and Demi-human like this.
  3. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Messages:
    1,246
    No, please do NOT strip the finish yourself. The byproducts are extremely toxic and should not be dumped in the backyard or down sink or the storm drain..

    There are three ways to remove this finish: sanding, sandblasting, and electro-chemical stripping. In all cases the waste products are messy and toxic. You’ll want to take the gun to a chrome shop and ask them to strip it. They are licensed and have equipment and disposal methods for the waste. It would be a good idea for you to disassemble the gun first.

    I had a Luger stripped once, as the chrome finish was flaking, cloudy, and downright awful. I believe the cost (around 10-12 years ago) was somewhere around $85-$100. I was glad to pay it.

    Do consider that nickel and chrome plating does tend to cover up some kinds of imperfections in the metal. In my case, mine had severe rust pitting that was hidden by the chrome job. You won’t know what’s behind that finish until it’s gone.

    you’ll need to apply a new blued finish when done, which will require prep and polishing.

    If the gun is apart I would definitely install a new set of springs and inspect the magazine base and follower for wear or damage.

    friendly advice? Take a hard pass on this one and keep looking. Or consider piecing one together over time. You’ll likely need to do some amount of fitting with files n stuff, but it’s way better than the dumpster fire you’re looking at now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
  4. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,326
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, Pa
    Check with Mahovsky Metalized. See if they can strip it. While there you can have it hard chromed.
     
    gotboostvr and NIGHTLORD40K like this.
  5. JT-AR-MG42

    JT-AR-MG42 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Messages:
    599
    From the photo showing 4 differing partial numbers, the piecing together part has already been done on this one.

    I would actually like to see that one in person.
    Never have seen a gun plated while assembled.
    Or one could pick it up as a project and challenge to restore function while leaving the plating intact.

    JT
     
    Jimbo80 likes this.
  6. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Messages:
    1,246
    agreed on the piecing together part, for sure.
    I suspect this isn’t nickel at all, but a very poor flash chrome job without all the proper steps taken. There’s supposed to be a layer of copper, then a layer of nickel, and then the chrome on top. But if you take a look at the safety lever and the area behind the lever, you can tell none of that was done. You can also tell the safety lever was in the other position when it went into the tank. The chrome layer is ghostly thin and milky there because the safety lever was in the way. The electrical current applying the chrome wouldn’t have been able to lay down the chrome very well behind the lever (that stuff works on “line of sight”, sorta).

    I’d likely be a buyer if I already knew a chrome shop locally that would be willing to remove the chrome.
     
    5-SHOTS likes this.
  7. Ohen Cepel
    • Contributing Member

    Ohen Cepel Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Messages:
    3,526
    Location:
    Where they tell me to go
    Very price dependent. If it was silly cheap and I wanted a project I would maybe do it. Or, if I could inspect it first to determine scope of effort I would maybe do it. Given how it was done I would worry about the bore and many mechanical issues. I can see it becoming an $$ project and may well cost you as much, or more, than a functional shooter you could buy and enjoy the next day.

    I can see it needing a new barrel if you want a shooter. Add that cost in, finish removal by good people, refinish, springs, possible surprises found (always fun :), months of shipping it around (may cost $100 or so to ship it to the removal and finish people each time depending on how you ship).

    So, I would pass.
     
    5-SHOTS and NIGHTLORD40K like this.
  8. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    3,152
    Location:
    Tampa Bay area
    That is a pistol that is nothing more than scrap metal.
    I would not put a dime into that mess.
    Pass and keep hunting a P'08 will come up that is worth the time and cash.
    That mess sure isn't.
     
    DoubleMag, Patocazador, czhen and 2 others like this.
  9. rust collector
    • Contributing Member

    rust collector Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    2,035
    Location:
    Pierre, SD USA
    We don't know what the previous owner was trying to cover up with a skinflint refinish. I suspect that it wasn't a properly functioning specimen before it was chromed. An owner who would do this would not have the parts properly fitted and would not properly maintain a gun. Add my vote to the hard pass column.
     
    DoubleMag, 5-SHOTS and NIGHTLORD40K like this.
  10. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    22,416
    Many years ago I stripped the bright chrome off an old parade rifle (U.S. Model 1898 Krag Jorgensen), using Hoppe's No. 9 Copper Solvent. It removed the layer of copper plating that was under the layer of chrome plating, after which I sent the rifle and parts out to be blued once again. I disposed of the Hoppe's by sealing it up in glass bottles and taking them over to a designated site when the county had a paint, gasoline, oil, and chemical waste disposal round-up.

    Just from the look of things with this Luger I would say it would probably end up costing you more money to restore it than it would be to find a halfway decent shooter. That is if it even could be restored.

    A hard pass on this one my friend.
     
    mjsdwash, Jimbo80 and 5-SHOTS like this.
  11. edwardware

    edwardware Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,924
    I would be extremely suspicious along with @Sovblocgunfan. . .
    The equipment required to nickel plate puts it out of reach of most idiots garage workshops. I think there's an excellent chance that gun was ruined before it was plated.
     
    bannockburn, 5-SHOTS and 22250Rem like this.
  12. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,184
    Location:
    Western NY State
    That was my thought, too. It could have been pretty much junk before plating. Can't picture somebody doing that type of thing to a decent, functioning Luger. That's the best guess I can come up with.
     
    5-SHOTS likes this.
  13. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Messages:
    1,246
    in my particular case, the plating was done by the vet that brought the gun home, and the pitting was already there before plating.

    the subject gun is a mess. My bet is somebody tried to dunk this in a caswell’s plating solution and not even in an actual shop.

    my first inclination would still be to steer clear.
     
    bannockburn and 5-SHOTS like this.
  14. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    344
    Location:
    Missouri
    When it comes to Lugers, you want matching parts even on a shooter. All the parts on the gun were originally hand fitted, that’s why they were serialized — so they’d stay together. Mismatched parts can give you a really lousy trigger.
     
    5-SHOTS likes this.
  15. MosinT53Hunter

    MosinT53Hunter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2016
    Messages:
    745
    One other thing to consider is contacting Lugerman.com company. They sell, and offer other services such as restoration of old Lugers.
     
    5-SHOTS likes this.
  16. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2015
    Messages:
    6,103
    Location:
    Nostramo (in absentia), Segmentum Ultima
    Maybe for a couple hundred bucks, it would be worth rolling the dice, otherwise pass.

    Keep lookin, though, they are fun guns!
     
  17. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    16,283
    Location:
    DFW Area
    It is trash. As others have mentioned, my main concern was that it was plated while assembled because it was already non-functional and there was no point in going to the extra trouble to properly plate what was just going to be a display piece anyway.

    It might be possible to get it working again, but I certainly wouldn't pay a price for it that was anywhere near what a working gun would bring.
     
    Riomouse911 likes this.
  18. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    27,991
    Location:
    Florence, Alabama
    If it turned up on my porch, I would invest in some Caswell or Brownells nickel stripper and see if it would take it off.
    Unfortunately, Brownells no longer sells the powerful mix that will remove about any plating electrolytically.
    Caswell has something called Chrome and Anodizing stripper but it seems optimized for aluminum; maybe it would work on steel.

    But pay real money for that gun? No.
     
    NIGHTLORD40K and bannockburn like this.
  19. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,730
    Yea, kind of what I figured. It's at $350 right now with a couple days left to go at auction and After fees and shipping would be over $400...a functional shooter isn't a whole lot more than that so at that price I'm gonna pass. Thanks to all for your replies
     
  20. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    4,784
    Location:
    Central Florida
    From what I understand chrome is reversible, nickel is not. Check to see what yours actually is.

    If you buy a "mixmaster" like that one that hasn't been ruined, you can still get them for ~ $1000. Go that route instead of wasting money and time on junk like this one.
     
  21. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    3,152
    Location:
    Tampa Bay area
  22. Jimbo80

    Jimbo80 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    64
    They're a tons of shooter Lugers out there so it's worth the wait to get a good one. I got lucky and found a "mismatched" bring back shooter for $600 a couple of years back. The only mismatched part is the side plate. Rumor has it that side plates were often removed before surrender of the pistols. Whatever you get you're going to love it.
     
  23. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Messages:
    1,246
    smart move. $400+ is an absolutely insane amount of money to set fire to over this pistol.
     
  24. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    8,552
    Location:
    DFW (formerly Brazos County), Texas
    That's easily $150 more than my price ceiling for something looking like that.

    If this beastie were, oh, $150 or $200, then the couple of hundred in cleaning & parts to get you to "working" only puts you $400-500 out of pocket, or about the bottom floor for working shooters (if beaters).
     
  25. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,378
    It might have choked Arti, but it ain't gonna choke Styme.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice