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1902 GERMAN ARMY TEST LUGERS, SERIAL NUMBERS 22235, 22236, AND 22362
BY JAN C. STILL, JAN BALCAR, AND RON WOOD

Starting in April 1902, the German (Prussian) Army conducted tests of 55 Mauser C-96's, 15 Mannlicher’s, and 55 Lugers (Forty of these Lugers were supplied without the grip safety). Lugers with indications of German Military issue are found in the 22235 -22385 serial range). These Lugers are the 1902 Model, most bear a Crown / gothic D German Army stamp, have a 7.65 mm 4 inch barrel, old model extractor and breechblock, blank toggle, and a short 1902 frame. All have commercial style serial number placement. Some are reported with 9mm caliber 4 inch barrels of the dimensions adopted by DWM in 1906 and again by the German Army in 1908. Some do not bear proofs. These 1902 German Army Test Lugers are of great historical importance and represent an association between the Luger and the German Military that was to last until 1944.


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Figure 1. Left side1902 German Army Test Luger, serial number 22235. It bears a C/D gothic German Army acceptance stamp. Its 7.65 mm barrel is of a distinctive fat configuration and its serial number placement is in the commercial style.. (Photograph Jan Balcar)


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Figure 2. Right side, 1902 German Test, serial number 22235. (Photograph Jan Balcar)



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Figure 3. Top, 1902 German Test, serial number 22235. The middle toggle link is unmarked. These Lugers are of the highest quality fit and finish.(Photograph Jan Balcar)



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Figure 4. 1902 German Test, serial number 22235, showing the barrel and frame serial number. There is not a halo around the barrel serial number, which seems typical of these 1902 Model Lugers. (Photograph Jan Balcar)



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Figure 5. 1902 German Test, serial number 22235. Details of the C/gothic D German Army acceptance stamp on the left receiver. (Photograph Jan Balcar)
Kenyon (1991, page 84) calls this the 1902/1903 Danzig test and mentions “increased pressure from higher level military officers to those assigned to test duties at the Danzig Arsenal. .....scriptic “D” ...indicates receipt and acceptance by the Danzig Arsenal. Gortz has stated that he could find no evidence of such Danzig tests in the German archives. Gortz has established that the gothic D signified the government official that inspected the gun (not the arsenal)(Gun Collectors Digest Vol. 5 page 111-119). Are the Kenyon/Danzig documents available? Is there any update to the above information? Any opinions or insight on this controversy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
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Figure 6. Left side,1902 German Army Test Luger, serial number 22236. This Luger does not bear proofs or acceptance stamps, has a 9mm 4 inch 1906 style barrel, and is serial numbered in the commercial style. It is the Luger manufactured immediately after serial number 22235, shown above. (Richard Counts collection and photograph)


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Figure 7. Right side1902 German Army Test Luger, serial number 22236. (Richard Counts collection and photograph)



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Figure 8. Top, 1902 German Army Test Luger, serial number 22236. Like the other 1902 German Test Lugers it has a blank middle toggle link. (Richard Counts collection and photograph)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Figure 9. Left slant view of 1902 German Test, serial number 22362. It is much like the Luger shown above (Figure 6-8). This Luger does not bear proofs or acceptance stamps, has a 9mm-4inch-1906 configuration barrel, and no DWM. It falls in the serial range for the German Army test and Dutch test Lugers. It’s serial number is bracketed by serial number 22361 that is a Dutch test Luger in 9mm and serial number 22364 that is a German Test Luger, The Weimar/Nazi police likely added the exposed style serial numbers on the receiver, side plate, and middle toggle link. This luger is shown on page 354-355 Kenyon,1969 and Page ii Imperial Lugers.



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Figure 10. Right side, 1902 German Test, serial number 22362.


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Figure 11. Top, 1902 German Test, serial number 22362.


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Figure 12. 1902 German Test, serial number 22362, showing the barrel and frame serial number. The barrel serial number appears to be a factory stamping. It is unknown if the barrel was installed at manufacture or changed at some later date. There is not a halo around the barrel serial number, which is typical of these 1902 Model Lugers.


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Figure 13. 1902 German Test, serial number 22362, showing the bottom of the barrel and receiver assembly. Note the full serial number on the barrel and partial serial number on the receiver and middle toggle link. The barrel-receiver witness marks are aligned.



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Figure 14. 1902 German Test, serial number 22362. Partial serial number on the breech block.


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Figure 15. 1902 German Test, serial number 22362. The grips are unnumbered (except for an 8).


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Figure 16. A sear safety is located on the left side of the receiver. It is held by a rivet at one end and on the opposite end bears a small pin that blocks the sear and prevents the discharge of a partly dissembled Luger. The sear safety was a police requirement introduced by Prussian State Police orders dated August 30, 1933. It was not a military requirement.


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Figure 17. 1902 German Test, serial number 22362. The bottom of the sear safety rivet. The rivet hole is counter sunk on the bottom to accommodate the smashed lower end of the rivet. The rivet is of steel and in the white.


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Figure 18. 1902 German Test, serial number 22362. Showing the sear safety cut in the top of the side plate. Note that the cut is somewhat crude and in the white. The in the white character and somewhat crude workmanship is typical of sear safety installation and indicates addition by a police arsenal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
SERIAL RANGES, DELIVERY DATES, AND DESCRIPTIONS OF 1902 GERMAN TEST LUGERS, DUTCH TEST LUGERS AND AMERICAN EAGLE TEST LUGERS BY JAN C. STILL, JAN BALCAR, AND RON WOOD
The 232 Lugers in the 22219 to 22450 serial range include the German Army Test Lugers, the Dutch Test Lugers, the American Eagle Test Lugers (cartridge counter) and a few commercial Lugers. If the production of these 232 Lugers is in serial number sequence, then the delivery/test dates are not sequential as one might expect (1902 verses 1905).

The following serial numbers and descriptions are from
Meadows, Scott M., U.S. Military Pistols 1894-1920 page 387
Imperial Lugers ,1991, page 17
Walter, The Luger Book, 1986, page 128,131
Martens, The Dutch Luger, 1994, page 116,117
Ron Wood, files
Jan Balcar, files

22219 Dutch Test, 7.65mm 4 inch barrel
22221 Dutch Test, 7.65mm 4 inch barrel
22225 Dutch Test, 9mm 4 inch barrel
22235 German Army Test, C/D acceptance stamp, 7.65mm 4 inch barrel
22236 German Army Test, no proofs or acceptance stamps, no DWM, and 9mm 4 inch 1906 style barrel
22240 Dutch Test, 7.65mm 4 inch barrel
22244 German Army Test, C/D acceptance stamp, 7.65mm or 9mm 4 inch barrel
22263 Dutch Test, 9mm 4 inch barrel
22286 German Army Test, C/D acceptance stamp, 7.65mm or 9mm 4 inch barrel
22286 is reported by the Dutch Royal Military Academy. It is a duplicate serial number to the above German Test Luger (Martens page 117)
22288 German Army Test, C/D acceptance stamp, 7.65mm 4 inch barrel
22289 Dutch Test, 9mm 4 inch barrel
22289 American Eagle, duplicate to serial number above. This Luger is recorded as Item No. 211 in the Press Collection Sale on 3 August 1993. Listed as "DWM American Eagle Model 1902 Luger Automatic Pistol, Serial no. 22289, 9x19mm, 4 inch barrel, No proof marks evident. 95% older refinish, replacement grips."

22296 Dutch Test, 7.65mm 4 inch barrel
22314 German Army Test, C/D acceptance stamp, 7.65mm or 9mm 4 inch barrel
22323 German Army Test, C/D acceptance stamp, 7.65mm or 9mm 4 inch barrel
22329 German Army Test, C/D acceptance stamp, 7.65mm 4 inch barrel
22330 Commercial, 7.65 mm fat barrel
22335 German Army Test, C/D acceptance stamp, 7.65mm or 9mm 4 inch barrel
22339 Dutch Test, 9mm 4 inch barrel
22343 American Eagle, 9mm 4 inch fat barrel
22345 American Eagle, 9mm 4 inch fat barrel
22348 German Army Test, C/D acceptance stamp, 7.65mm or 9mm 4 inch barrel
22360 Dutch Test, 7.65mm 4 inch barrel
22361 Dutch Test, 9mm 4 inch barrel
22362 German Army Test, no acceptance stamp, 9mm 4 inch barrel
22364 German Army Test, C/D acceptance stamp, 7.65mm or 9mm 4 inch barrel
22365 German Army Test, C/D acceptance stamp, 7.65mm or 9mm 4 inch barrel
22385 German Army Test, C/D acceptance stamp, 7.65mm or 9mm 4 inch barrel
22402 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22404 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22405 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22406 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22407 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22409 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel. Examined by Ron Wood, currently existing in a private collection and in the condition (less than pristine) as originally discovered in 1970.
22409 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel. Appeared on the US market approximately 15 years ago, reportedly in near mint condition.
22411 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22414 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22415 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22416 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22418 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22421 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22422 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22423 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22424 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22425 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22427 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22428 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22430 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22431 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22432 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22433 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22436 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22437 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22439 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22440 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22443 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22446 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22447 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22449 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel
22450 American Eagle Test, Cartridge Counter, fat 4 inch 9mm barrel

THE 1902 GERMAN ARMY TEST LUGERS:
14 reported in the 22235 to 22385 serial range(interspersed with Dutch test)(Imperial Lugers page 17; Walter 1986, page 128,131)
Range of test dates: April 1902 to April 1903 (Imperial Lugers page 17; Walter 1986, page 128,131)
55 lugers reported tested (40 without grip safety).(Imperial Lugers page 17; Walter 1986, page 128,131)

THE DUTCH TEST LUGERS:
10 reported from archive documents in the 22219 to 22361 serial range (interspersed with German Army test) It is possible that none of these Dutch Test Lugers survive today.
Range of delivery date: Ordered December 1904, delivered March 1905 (7.65mm) to August 1905 (9mm)
164 lugers ordered (Martens, The Dutch Luger, 1994, page 16,117)

THE 1902 AMERICAN EAGLE TEST LUGERS (cartridge counter)
31 reported in the 22402 to 22450 serial range (replicas not counted)(Imperial Lugers p. 210, Meadows, Scott M., U.S. Military Pistols 1894-1920 page 387)
50 Ordered/arranged: October 15, 1903;
Note: the following quotes are from various US military documents dated 1903/1904; December 5,1903 delay in delivery “caused by the work of attaching the Powell cartridge indicating device to the pistols.” “Shipped per S.S. Albano from Hamburg, Germany, March 30, 1904, in 5 cases, numbered 299 to 303 marked DW&M., each case containing 5,000 cartridges.”(Meadows, Scott M., U.S. Military Pistols 1894-1920, 1993, page 376-377)

The American Eagle Test Lugers (cartridge counter) were boxed and ready to ship (March 30, 1904) 8 months before the Dutch order was placed and 12 to 16 months before the Dutch Lugers were delivered (April 1905 to August 1905). The German Army tests were conducted (April 1902 to April 1903) from 12 months to 24 months before the American Eagle Test Lugers (cartridge counter) were boxed and ready to ship.

In summary: The Dutch and German test Lugers serial numbers are interspersed, which indicates production at the same time. The German test Lugers were tested in 1902/1903. The Dutch test Lugers were delivered in 1905. The American Eagle CC Test Lugers serial numbers are in a block just after the German and Dutch Lugers. These American Eagle Test Lugers were shipped from Hamburg, March 30, 1904 significantly before the 1905 delivery of the Dutch Lugers. There is a disparity in production and shipping/test dates.

A number of explanations have been suggested for the above production delivery discrepancy. Among them are: the Dutch Lugers sat on the shelf for at DWM for several years, the dates of shipping/delivery/testing are incorrect, the German Test Lugers are not the C/D stamped 1902 Lugers. Perhaps the best explanation is that suggested by Martens (1994, page 27-29, 116-117)

Martens suggests that the above discussed Lugers were not produced in serial number sequence. It is suggested that DWM set aside a part of the commercial serial range for these test Lugers. These Lugers were assembled with 4 inch 7.65mm or 9mm barrels. The German Army Lugers were assembled first, next the American Eagle-Cartridge Counter-Test with a closed sequential serial range, and last the Dutch test. This correlates with the known delivery and shipping dates.

The Dutch Test serial range is 22219-22361. This range of 143 Lugers also contains an unknown number of German test, commercial, and 1902 American Eagle Lugers. Its clear that this range does not contain sufficient Lugers to account for the 163 Lugers ordered by the Dutch. It is probable that the Dutch test Lugers were drawn from a more extensive serial range. It is also possible that the Dutch Test Lugers had their own consecutive (solid) serial range and were not interspersed with other Lugers (Martens 1994, page 116-117) (Note: Dutch test serial number 22286 is a duplicate serial number to a German Army Test Luger and Dutch Test serial number 22289 is a duplicate serial number to an American Eagle with fat- 9mm- 4 inch barrel. Note: such serial numbers are always subject to transcribing errors. ).

Any update in serial number data, descriptions, or related information would be most helpful. Post it here!

Go to: “COMMERCIAL-FOREIGN CONTRACT LUGERS 1900-1918: 1900-1918 DWM” for details and photographs of the 1902 American Eagle Cartridge Counter Test Luger.
 

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Jan,

I have not found all of Harry's records. But some on the Cartridge Counters are interesting to say the least. Heres what I could get from one book.

1902 Test ( I think the Danzig Test designation is a Shattuck/Keynon theory/selling point.Harry also felt it was an inspector.)

22254 7.65 4 "bbl

22348 7.65

22393 9 mm 4 "bbl

Cartridge Counters

22402 When Observed barrel, receiver, grips and mag were on model 1900 frame,sideplate toggle assembly with the serial number 19058 Germany bad reblue

22404 Two with same serial numbers

22416 Badly worn, missing Extractor,ejector had 6"bbl germany leftside phoney mag good grips.

22425 "Black" reblue

22446 Two with same serial numbers one did not have grips

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mike
Is this the information that your dad accumulated at his store between 1960 and 1970?

There are three 1902 AECC test Lugers with a duplicate serial number 1902 AECC test Luger (22404, 22409, and 22446).

Thanks for the very interesting information.
Jan
 

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Jan,

I am not sure as to what period of time this record book dates. I do know Harry quit keeping track of serial numbers shortly after opening the shop in 1972. He was feeling then that Luger Collecting had been damaged beyond repair back then. He continued to buy and sell guns until his death, But lost the drive to collect data.

This is only one of many record books from the early 1950s through 1970s and the info on the 1902 CC is fairly mild compared to some other transformations that have taken place over the years.

Regards,
Mike Jones
 

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Great information and photographs, Jan. Seeing three of only 15 grip safety models used in the tests is a treat. They are extremely valuable and historic guns..... thanks for letting us see them.
 
G

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Jan,
Which of the 1902s listed are 'without grip safety'? The number range of the mentioned 40 would be interesting, as would any evidence that they exist.
Great site!
Richard C.
 

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Jan,

Last week, I examined two 1902 American Eagle Cartridge Counters in Ralph Shattuck's personal collection, both of which he had obtained from Sid Aberman about 40 years ago. The two were in similar condition, but one of them had a serial number (#22413) that is not reflected in the list shown above.

Best regards,
Gene
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Gene
Gene reported "Last week, I examined two 1902 American Eagle Cartridge Counters in Ralph Shattuck's personal collection, both of which he had obtained from Sid Aberman about 40 years ago. The two were in similar condition, but one of them had a serial number (#22413) that is not reflected in the list shown above."

When Harry Jones printed his book “Luger Variations” in 1959 he reported three 1902 AET cartridge counter’s known. Illustrated on page 74 of Jones is serial number 22411 from the “R. Alexander Montgomery Collection. According to Gene's report: about 40 years ago one collector had two of the approximately three known examples in his collection. Now, 43 years later, there are over 31 reported with several duplicates.
Thanks for the informative post.
Jan
 

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This thread can be partially edited thanks to Görtz/Sturgess. The 1902 GPK test included 55 Lugers. 40 were old model; 7.65mm-120 barrels; without grip safety; Gesichert at top position; GPK crown/D on the right receiver; slant on front sight(not notched like standard 7.65mm sights); and numbered on rear grip strap. 15 were the same except they had grip safeties and Gesichert at lower position. The numbers of the 40 were 9901-9940 and the 15 8567-8582. This conclusion was based on serial numbers and rear strap numbers of only two survivors.

Records of the Lugers in the 222xx-223xx range are obviously sketchy, and leads to speculation and wild guesses. The designation 1904 Test Model by G/S seems accurate but not much else is definite.
Some possibilities: (1) They are all Dutch test Lugers of 1904-5. (2) Some or all of which were returned to the GPK. (3) Some are Dutch test guns and some are GPK test guns.
That some are reworked by DWM is obvious, but time frame is unknown. Some have the crown/D(left receiver), but they could have been marked when made, or at a later date.

The 9mm/100 replacement barrels on some of these are definitely made by DWM, numbered with the same dies as the original frame number and have the “Kröplungsliderung”. If members have access to any with the crown/D, check to see if it has a halo.
 

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Hi Richard,

SN-22246 made an appearance with RIA back in May 2013; going hammer down for $ 12.3K. Listed/shown as a grip safety, 4" barrel in 7.65mm.

This was the auction write-up :

" This is a very fine example of a very rare 1902 Danzig Test Luger that was produced by the DWM factory. It is theorized that these pistols were produced for the early Imperial German Army tests at the time the Luger pistol was being considered for acceptance. There were approximately 50 of this model actually produced and they fall into a generally accepted serial number range of approximately 22,240-22,400 with this one being produced in the lower serial number range. These pistol have all the early characteristics of the 1902 design with the dished toggles with toggle lock on the right side, flat recessed breechblock, grip safety, fat barrel with this example being in the 7.65mm Luger caliber. There are no actual factory markings on the toggle link of these Lugers (not even the DWM Logo) except for a small Script letter "D" proof indicating acceptance by the Danzig Arsenal. This proof and the serial number range are the only ways to authenticate these scarce Lugers. On this example the script letter "D" proof is located on the left side of the barrel extension. These pistols were numbered in the commercial manner with the full serial number (22246) on the frame and underside of the barrel with the last 2-3 digits, of the serial number on the various smaller parts. It is fitted with an original, early nickel plated magazine body with a walnut base with a small DWM proof. The pistol is fitted with a set of replacement checkered walnut grips. "

Here are the old auction photos :
.
.
 

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And SN-22240 (on Jan's old listing in his opening posts) showed up in the April 2016 Hermann-Historica auction.

Here is their write-up and the auction photos (sorry photos are not the greatest) :

" A Parabellum Mod. 1902, Commercial Test Series, Dutch Test 1905
Cal. 9 mm Parabellum, no. 22240. Matching numbers. Mirror-like bore. Proof mark crown/D ("Danzig proof mark"). Original V-notch rear sight. Original, flat, yellow extractor. Unmarked safety. Unmarked chamber, front toggle link with DWM logo. Grip safety. Original bluing with wear marks on the left, partially lightly spotted, right side alright, thin on grip. Small and operational parts strawed. Matching-numbered walnut grip panels. Nickel-plated sheet magazine with wooden base, no number. A rarity in good to very good condition. Only three known weapons. The Parabellum tests, originally in calibre 7.65 mm Parabellum, took place in 1905. Around 1935 the Mauser barrel was exchanged for the standard 9 mm Parabellum calibre which is recognisable on the code S/42 with acceptance W/154 on the underside of the barrel. Cf. Martens/de Vries, The Dutch Luger, p. 116, where the above weapon is mentioned with its serial number. Also Hallock/van den Kant, The Mauser Parabellum 1930 - 1946, p. 396, where this weapon is elaborately illustrated and described. Erlaubnispflichti.
"
.
.
 

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Hi Pete,
There is no connection to Danzig, the crown/D is likely a GPK inspector. The 1902 designation is incorrect, these were in a 1904-5 time frame.
Lots of unknowns in this series, could even include a few commercials and originals in 9mm.
Best,
 

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SN 21986 listed as a 1902 Test came thru the RIA auction in May 2019 Lot 1625. Hammer down for $6,500 + 15% BP for a minimum of $7,475 before shipping, etc. Here's a link...https://www.rockislandauction.com/d...l-1902-danzig-test-luger-semiautomatic-pistol

Auction description included "These pistol have all the early characteristics of the 1902 design with the dished toggles with toggle lock on the right side, flat recessed breechblock, and grip safety. This example is chambered in the correct 9 mm Luger caliber. There are no actual factory markings on these Lugers (not even the DWM Logo) except for a small Script letter "D" proof indicating acceptance by the Danzig Arsenal. This proof and the serial number range are the only ways to authenticate these scarce Lugers. On this example the script letter "D" proof is located on the left side of the barrel extension. These pistols were numbered in the commercial manner with the full serial number (21986) on the frame and underside of the barrel with the last 2-3 digits of the serial number on the various smaller parts. The pistol has a rust blued finish overall with the small components have the correct straw colored finish and it is fitted with checkered walnut grips."

Here are auction pics from website.



Greg
 

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Here are pics of my "1902 Test" SN 22265. It has the Type 2 Old Model short frame, 9mm 4 inch barrel, wide grip safety, and a polished safety area in the lower part of the frame, but unmarked. There is NOT a Crown D or other factory proof that I can find. Came with a wooden base mag marked 9 Cal. M/M.

Serial numbers =>
- Full SN in commercial manner on frame and underside of barrel (no halo)
- Last 2 digits "65" on the underside of the takedown lever & trigger
- Last 3 digits "265" on underside of receiver, underside of sideplate, left side of breechblock, underside of middle toggle, rear toggle, grip safety, & left side of the frame web under the grip safety.

Grips are unnumbered.

 
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