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1917 DWM, LP08, SERIAL NUMBER 6237m, 122.R.4.6.: 122. FÜSILIER-REGIMENT (4. WURTTEMBERG), 4. KOMPAGNIE, WAFFEN NR. 6. By David Mills and Jan Still, Luger and photographs are from David Mills collection and the unit history is from Jan Still’s collection.

1917 DWM LP08 Lugers (often called artillery) are reported in the 248 to 4884w serial range. P08 models are interspersed in the same serial range as LP08's during 1917. About 90,000 1917 dated LP08's were manufactured. The front and rear sight were initially fine tuned. Later in production the fine tuned feature was discontinued on the front sight and then on the rear sight (Sometimes the discontinuation of the fine tuned sight features is not consistent with increasing serial number.). Less than 1 percent were unit marked. (Imperial Lugers, page 92-93)

A directive dated August 11, 1917 ordered each infantry company on the Western Front to be armed with 10 Long P08's for attack purposes (Gortz, 1994). A similar directive ordered the arming of the Sturm battilone with Long P08's with 6 extra magazines each (Schad, 1993). This special arming for assault troops would require most of the 1917 Long P08 production (Imperial Lugers, page xxv).

Of 870 reported unit marked Imperial Lugers 102 are LP08's and 75 of these are dated 1917. Of these 75, 52 are marked to infantry regiments, 6 to infantry regiment machine gun companies, 11 to infantry regiment minenwerfer companies and 6 to various other units.


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Figure 1. Left side, 1917 DWM LP08, serial number 6237m. The serial number placement is exposed (military style).


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Figure 2. Right side, 1917 DWM LP08, serial number 6237m. These all have a stock lug and hold open. This one does not have a fine tuned front sight.


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Figure 3. Right receiver and barrel, 1917 DWM LP08, serial number 6237m. The barrel proof is of the style usually seen on Erfurt Lugers and it has often been theorized that the LP 08 barrels were all manufactured at the Erfurt plant. However, the inspectors and their stamps were beholding to a Gewehrfabrik Spandau formed acceptance commission, not the Erfurt plant. Manufacture of artillery barrels by DWM and their acceptance with a stamp similar to the Erfurt stamp or by an inspector assigned from the Erfurt plant is a more probable theory.


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Figure 4. Front of frame and bottom of barrel of 1917 DWM LP08, serial number 6237m. Some of the barrel serial number digits bear a faint halo.


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Figure 5. The magazine in the Luger when David bought it. An unnumbered magazine with double Erfurt proofs, probably an armorer’s replacement magazine.
David stated: “I have learned that the rig was sold in 1980 without a magazine, and I assume the current owner added the current magazine. After I made my deal for the rig, I asked the presentowner who he bought it from, with the hope that I might be able to find out more about the vet that brought it back from Europe. I was given the name of a family jewelers business and after some research, I found the seller from 1980. I learned that the seller's father was not a WW1 vet ( and he doesn't know where his father got the gun,) but he did say that when he sold the gun in 1980, it was sold without a magazine, as it had been misplaced. When I spoke to this fellow recently, he said that he didn't think he would have thrown the magazine away, and said that he would look for it in his father's old gun stuff. To my good fortune, he found the magazine, it is matching to the gun, he gave it to me this week.(24 years later, the correct magazine will be reunited with the gun.)”


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Figure 6. The Lugers original matching magazine, serial number 6237m. Given to David by the son of the Lugers original owner, 24 years after the magazine was lost.


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Figure 7. Details of 1917 DWM LP08, serial number 6237m, unit markings: 122.R.4.6. which signifies: 122. Füsilier-Regiment (4. Wurtt.) 4. Kompagnie, waffen nr. 4.

Note: The 122nd Regiment in the Prussian line is the 4th Regiment in the Wurttemberg line.

Note: the directives require an “R” to indicate Infanterie Regiment or Füsilier Regiment or Grenadier Regiment. Sometimes the regimental armorers took it on themselves to add an indicator such as “Fus” to indicate Füsilier or “G” to indicate Grenadier. Grenadier and Füsilier are tradition names. During World War I, the Grenadier and Füsilier Regiments were infantry Regiments.


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Figure 8. LP08 board stock with attached holster.


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Figure 9. Top of stock iron, marked to a 1917 dated LP08, serial number 5411h. (Not matched to this Luger)


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Figure 10. Bottom of stock iron, matched by unit stamp 122.R.4.6.to the Luger (fig. 7) above. A possible explanation is that the stock and iron were battlefield pick ups that were pressed into service with this Luger during 1917.


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Figure 11. Crown/S military stamp on the board stock.


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Figure 12. 1915 dated holster.


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Figure 13. A bullet went through the holster and grazed the stock.


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Figure 14. Strap and stud that holds the holster closed.
GO TO: 1900-1918: Luger unit markings, for this Lugers history and unit related accessories. 2/2, HISTORY, 122 FÜSILIER REGIMENT (4.WURTT.) Jan C Still http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3441
 

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David Mills supplied some additional photographs of his LP08 and accessories.


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Figure 14a. Left side, with Imperial accepted loading tool.


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Figure 14b. Right side.


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Figure 14c. Complete LP08 rig with drum mag (Type 1, T.M.08, AEG marked, sn 35718, with dust cover), B/N marked drum mag. loader (C/S proofed), cleaning rod, two mags, and Imperial accepted loading tool.
 
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