Jan C. Still Lugerforums banner


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In the 19th Century, Bulgaria was a vassal state to the Ottoman Empire. During the First Balkan War (1912) Bulgaria defeated the Turkish Army in a series of vicious battles and won independence and territory. During the Second Balkan War (1913) Serbia, Romania, Greece and Turkey defeated Bulgaria and forced it to give up all its territorial gains. In 1915 Bulgaria joined the Central Powers and invaded Serbia and Romania. Both were defeated and occupied. Bulgaria defeated a joint British, French, Serbian, and Greek attack in 1916 and 1917. In 1918 these same joint forces broke through Bulgarian lines forcing her to sue for peace.

Bulgaria purchased Lugers (models 1900, 1906, and 1908) from Deutsche Waffen-und Munitions Fabriken (DWM), located in Berlin, Germany for its military. The 1906 Model is found in the serial range 1-1500 and estimated procurement is about 1500. These Lugers saw action in both Balkan Wars and in two World Wars and show much hard use. Most were reworked and rebarreled to 9mm. All should be considered rare and those in excellent or better original condition should be considered very rare.

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Figure 1. Left slant view of 1906 Bulgarian Luger, serial number 257. These Lugers bear: DWM on the toggle, 4 3/4 inch 7.65 mm barrel, short frame without stock lug, grip safety, and no proof marks. The serial numbers are placed in the commercial (hidden) style. .

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Figure 2. Top of 1906 Bulgarian Luger, serial number 257. The intricate Bulgarian crest is stamped over the chamber.

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Figure 3. Right side of 1906 Bulgarian Luger, serial number 257.

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Figure 4. Front of 1906 Bulgarian Luger, serial number 257.

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Figure 5. Bottom of barrel and front of frame, 1906 Bulgarian Luger, serial number 257. The barrel serial number is on the curve of the barrel and properly has no halo. The take down lever has its serial number located in the commercial (hidden)style.

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Figure 6. Spectacular Bulgarian crest stamped over chamber of 1906 Bulgarian Luger, serial number 257.

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Figure 7. Cyrillic safety marking on 1906 Bulgarian Luger, serial number 257 (The extractor also bears Cyrillic markings.). The strawed safety lever bears age spots.

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Figure 8. Right side of 1906 Bulgarian Luger showing strawed parts. This Luger is 95+ years old. Generally, military Lugers show harder use than commercial Lugers. Chemicals from the hand (salt) tend to attack the strawed safety lever, trigger and take down lever. Over time, the strawed parts on most military Lugers tend to develop small black and brown spots and areas such as seen here.

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Figure 9. Left side of 1906 Bulgarian Luger showing aged strawed parts.

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Figure 10. Bulgarian soldiers. Two are wearing Bulgarian style Luger holsters. The Bulgarian military continued to use the Luger during World War II. (Is it possible to put a year or era on this photograph?) (Photographs courtesy of Jerry Burney)
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Jan, nice write up. I would like to see more photos of bulgarians in action with holsters and other weapons.

perhaps i,m what you need?! about the picture thise are bulgarian soljers wearing transitional uniform from era betwin WWI and WWII but more likly the scene is about 1935 year acording to uniform, belts and the fact thet soljers are whithout bulgarian M36 helmets tipical for pictures from WWII, but thera are also posibylity thise soljers to be from so cold "trudovatci" which means "working troups' and they served as hard workers more than soldiers, but like 2 clas units they wear "old fashioned" uniforms even in WWII, but I thing that the first date is more realistik!!! Do you need autentic pictures from batlefield presentink Bg holsters, helmets or uniforms? on wich adress to send them?
Oh, and thanks for your kind note about mu post on Bulgarian sn187C!!!

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Thanks very much for the identification of the Bulgarian soldiers in the photograph. I am very interested in photographs of Bulgarian soldiers with Lugers.

My address is:
Jan C. Still
Box 240188
Douglas, Alaska, 99824
I,m sorry I was not corect in mu past latter I mean E-net adres, becouse I have pictures in mu computer and just some very small part in real black and white pictures on paper!sorry for confusion! I can ask some friends of mine to send me more pictures of bulgarian soldiers with lugers wich are not copyright protectet and you can be free to use them in your researches (like the first which I send you - it is from mu personel album taken on the battle fields of Yugoslavia, wheare in the late WWII period bulgarians were forsed to fight against germans troups you can see the flag troun apart by the enemy fire).
I can send you some pictures wich are copyright protectet, just for information(like thise two-
1. major of bulgarian parashute brigade from WWII about 1943,
2. shows a bulgarian oficers in winter combat uniform from WWII. if I can halp with some other info about history or equpment of bulgarian army - be free to write, if only I can help!

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Jan -

Sorry to revive a 10+ year old thread, but could you repost the pictures of your 1906 Bulgarian? I am building a collection of pictures of both 06 and 08 Bulgarians.

Thanks much.

In Jan's old book (Imperial Lugers) on page 206; are a couple of B&W photos of SN-257.

And in his latest book (Central Powers Pistols) on page 401, some nice colored photos of SN-257.

If you do not have the books, let me know and I can get a photo-scans over to you.
I don't have those books (yet), so I would appreciate that.
How do the pictures links work. Every time I click on one of the links, I get a 404 Error: file not found. :confused:
It would be better to put the pictures as inline show that the picture shows in the post.
Richard -

Those pictures were posted back in 2004. I believe there was some sort of web site incident back between 2004 and 2008 and images were lost, and the links no longer work. I can forward the pictures in both books to you if you PM me with your email address.
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