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1908 DWM Lugers (often referred to as first issues)are reported in the 1 to 4828b serial range and were manufactured without chamber date, hold open, stock lug, relieved sear bar, and with commercial style (hidden)serial placement. These were manufactured during 1908 and1909. About 25,000 were manufactured and about 25 percent are unit marked.

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Figure 1. Left slant view of 1908 DWM, serial number 1173. The serial number placement is hidden (commercial style). Its sear bar has not been relieved and its main toggle pin does not have added numbers.

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Figure 2. Right side of 1908 DWM, serial number 1173. According to a May 6,1913 directive all P08's in service without a hold open were to have the hold open retrofitted. This was accomplished by Erfurt and a small crown/scriptic letter stamped on the right side of the frame indicated this modification. Such modification was not accomplished on this Luger.

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Figure 3. Left receiver, 1908 DWM, serial number 1173. Only the 1908 Variation has the two acceptance stamps and a test proof on the left receiver (an exception is the 1906 model test).

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Figure 4. Left side of barrel, 1908 DWM serial number 1173. This E/135 acceptance stamp indicates a replacement barrel manufactured during 1941 or 1942.

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Figure 5. Front of frame and bottom of barrel, 1908 DWM, serial number 1173. The E/135 replacement barrel was installed and serial numbered by an armorer during the early years of World War II. The S 42 (note: the “/” is absent) on the barrels radius may have been stamped by an armorer at the same time the barrel was installed and serial numbered. The application of the S/42 (note: the “/”) stamp by Mauser is usually considered to span the years 1934-1939.

This Luger retains all its Imperial features(except barrel), original finish and straw, un-relieved sear bar, no hold open and un-numbered main toggle pin. Likely it was put into storage at the end of World War I (Gortz described this storage of large numbers of Lugers at the end of World War I as “black storage”, Weimar Lugers, page 17 ) and put back into service after the start of World War II. In the haste to put this Luger back into service these modifications (relieved sear bar, hold open, and numbered main pin) were not implemented. However, a new barrel was added and this Luger was returned to service.*

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Figure 6. 1908 DWM, serial number 1173. Its E/135 replacement barrel has a mirror mint bore.

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Figure 7. Front, 1908 DWM, serial number 1173, showing its World War I Württemberg infantry regiment unit stamp.

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Figure 8. 1908 DWM, serial number 1173 with its World War II 1939 dated holster.

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Figure 9. Back of 1939 dated holster. Note: the lack of an extra strip of leather to hold the flap to the body of the holster. This is typical of Nazi Era holsters. Imperial Luger holsters have this strip of leather.

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Figure 10. Holster maker mark, date stamp, and acceptance stamp: CARL ACKVA / BAD KREUZNACH / 1939 / E/WaA 286

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Figure 11. Open holster showing details of the tool pouch and extra magazine pouch.

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Figure 12. Details of tool with the 42 Mauser manufacturing code. The tool was likely manufactured during 1939-1941.

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Figure 13. Magazine bottom stamped with the 42 replacement code. This code was used during 1939-1941.

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Figure 14. The magazine body is Imperial Erfurt manufactured based on the flat button and yellow cast to the magazine body. The original wood bottom was replaced with an aluminum bottom bearing a 42 (replacement) code.

*General time frame for the implementation of the above listed changes (all the modifications were not accomplished on every Army Luger that remained in service) :
Hold open added: late 1913 early 1914 or during the Weimar Era.
Relieved sear bar: mentioned in documents dated February and April1916. First applied during the manufactured process to new manufactured Lugers about mid 1916. Likely accomplished on pre-1916 dated Lugers (mostly)during the Weimar Era.
Numbered main toggle pin: orders dated 17 March 1932.

For details of this Lugers battle history click on the link below:
2/2, HISTORY, 127 WURTT. INF. REGIMENT Jan C Still http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3790

1,141 Posts
Jan, Great presentation, thanks. I value the details on such a distinguished veteran, new barrel, WWII barrel, and yet the survival of the original frame details. Also your date table at the end will save much paging through the references for me.

156 Posts
A beautiful presentation of a very interesting gun.The gun had not (probably) the original front sight changed with an higher one (Erfurt proofed)during the late 1913/early 1914.This changing was usually made in the same time they added the hold open.But has it still the original sight or did they change when the new barrel was fitted?

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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Photograph shows the front sight of 1908 DWM, sn1173. It is typical DWM Imperial with the serrations going about half way up the sight blade. It does not bear the Crown/scriptic letter acceptance stamp indicating that a higher sight was installed(1913, 1914). The higher sight was generally installed at the same time the hold open was added and this Luger never had a hold open added, which is consistent with an unmarked Imperial sight. On the other side of the sight the fine original witness mark (alignment line) has been obliterated with a crude witness mark that appears to be made with a cold chisel. I would guess that the sight is the same sight installed on the guns original barrel at the time of manufacture. This original sight was retained and used on this Lugers replacement barrel.
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