First cleaning of my Luger

xseler

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After perusing YouTube for a good tutorial, I felt ready to tackle the disassembly, cleaning, and lubing of my newest to the stable ---- a 1940 Mauser Luger. While it wasn't difficult at all to do, it was certainly different than anything I've done. It's amazing how close the tolerances are for this firearm! Accomplished without any hiccups. It certainly racks much easier and smoother than before!

This particular model isn't one of the ultra rare collector's models --- just a nice actual shooter. I am looking for suggestions of what I should do with the walnut grips. I'm not worried about doing something that would hurt the value, just want to 'clean' 'em up a bit. The grips are in very good shape with the exception of a partial/slight discoloration where the index finger and thumb grip. The color is slightly lighter in this section. Any tips or recommendations would be appreciated!

Luger disassembled.jpg
 

coolhandluke

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Nice job...I'd love to have one of those pistols myself. I'm not sure if anything feels better in the hand than a Luger.

As for the grips, I'd just use pure tung oil or raw linseed oil along with a toothbrush to apply it. The oil should easily make the discolored areas more uniform. Be sure to avoid tung oil finish or anything else that would be considered a viping varnish. I would avoid using boiled linseed oil as well as it tends to sometimes blacken wood after it ages. If the grips were mine, I'd just use a 50/50 mix of Real Milk Paint PTO and their natural citrus solvent.
 

mr ed

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scrub well with a tooth brush and a light soapy water mix (dawn), rinse well and air dry.
this will remove junk out of checkering and oils soaked into wood.
rub with birchwood casey tru-oil, let soak a few minutes, then wipe excess with clean dry rag.
this will remove excess build up in checkering. I always use large gun cleaning patches or tshirt material for this.
less fuzz.
 

Fyrtwuck

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Just me, but I’d leave the grips alone if they are original to the gun. There are gun shows and internet sites where you can get another set of grips if customizing is your goal.

I have a 42 BYF living in my safe. All but three parts are matching. You can also find information on Luger Forums.
 

coolhandluke

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scrub well with a tooth brush and a light soapy water mix (dawn), rinse well and air dry.
this will remove junk out of checkering and oils soaked into wood.
rub with birchwood casey tru-oil, let soak a few minutes, then wipe excess with clean dry rag.
this will remove excess build up in checkering. I always use large gun cleaning patches or tshirt material for this.
less fuzz.

This is not the first time that I have saw this exact recommendation for Luger grips (on Gunboards). Honestly, I'm a little shocked that purist collectors would use an oil with plasticizers added. It's pretty much the furthest thing from a correct or original finish. I've used Tru-Oil once and will never do so again. It's easy to apply, but is far too glossy and plastic feeling. Both would concern me if I was working on a checkered grip with a matte appearance. I would also be a little hesitant to expose a checkered wood grip to water in the event that the raised grain will cause further definition loss to the checkering.

Oil acts as a great cleaner by itself as long as the surface contaminants are wiped off and it won't change the existing patina that the grips have acquired over the years.
 

coolhandluke

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...and here's a set of rough diamond magnas that were cleaned with a 50/50 mix of Real Milk Paint dark PTO and orange solvent. Scrubbed with a oil soaked toothbrush and wiped clean with a cotton cloth afterwards. No additional coats of oil were applied.

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xseler

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Below are a set of Ahrends full checkered combat grips that I am currently refinishing. This after photo below shows how a 50/50 mix of PTO and citrus solvent will appear. I used dark PTO, but would recommend using standard PTO so as to not darken the grips any further.

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Wow!! Those 1911 grips are amazing! That is exactly how I would like for mine to look when finished!

I may try to find a replacement set that I can 'experiment' with and just keep the originals as such. Kind of excited about this gun --- been on the bucket list for a long time!


.
 

coolhandluke

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Wow!! Those 1911 grips are amazing! That is exactly how I would like for mine to look when finished!

I may try to find a replacement set that I can 'experiment' with and just keep the originals as such. Kind of excited about this gun --- been on the bucket list for a long time!


.

You can find nice checkered walnut repro grips anywhere from $30-$60. There are several sets on eBay currently. If it's going to primarily be a shooter, there's absolutely nothing wrong with setting aside the original stocks and using a new set with much better checkering for the range.

If you need help lightly cleaning the original grips, feel free to drop them off with me for a few days. I already have the materials out since I'm working on the 1911 grips.
 

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