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1908 DWM First Military Issue

3200 Views 19 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Dwight Gruber
Is it true that the barrel SN on the 1908 DWM FMI should not show the frosting or halo effect found on all later DWM Luger barrels which have not been reblued ? ?

I have viewed several (supposedly never-messed-with) 1908s and none of them showed the halo or frosting around the barrel SN.

Thanks for your comments.

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My 08 First Issue is a Simson Commercial rework, but -not- refinished; the barrel serial# has no halo.

No halo on mine either. Good luck on gathering comments. Glad you brought up this topic as I have observed the same thing and would really like to hear what others have noted.
No halo on mine either (73XXa). Looks like a trend.
* I'll have to go check mine again. When I did the pictures of mine, I believe I noted a halo when I was "whiting" in the barrel S/N and so annotated my picture accordingly. From a time dimmed memory, I also have the impression, as I sit here, the "halo" on mine was very faint.
* A review of this Forum's index on 1908's shows 1 with a halo, 2 that Jan reported with a halo which are difficult to discern from the pictures cause of the highlighting, and a number seemingly without a halo.
* The halo post URL, below, reminds us Jan reported 1908 FMI's mixed over 10 observations when it came to a barrel's S/N halo.
* The Gortz/Bryans, German Small Arms Markings marking scheme on page 111 is dated "Berlin, 1910", and may only have been strictly followed by Erfurt. However, it may have been applied by DWM for a small portion of the FMI's completed in 1910 & sub. The "Special Contract Conditions-1908" Section on Pgs. 108-110, implies the "factory number will be on all major parts before Commission Acceptance Inspections of a completed pistol is to begin.
* Interesting observation and post. Luke may have another S/N transition report in its infancy brewing.
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Luke and others
I have not found original 1908 DWM's barrel serial numbers to have a consistent halo. If it's there, its usually faint.
My 1908's do not have halos.
Only own one (SN 6969) and it has no halo, but some interesting history.

Tom A.
Hi all,
* Do I detect a trend here?

* Here is taudelt's example. It does not</u> have a halo.
- https://www.lugerforums.com/d3/uploaded/taudelt/2003129104619_MVC-062S.JPG

* Here is Garfield's example. It seems to have a halo.
- https://www.lugerforums.com/d3/uploaded/Garfield/2003102601642_Mvc-102s.jpg

* First pic is my 9976a example as presented to the Luger Forum Gallery. Second pic is without the highlight. It has</u> a barrel S/N halo. Hope you can see this in the thumbnails. The Crown/P & the cross pin of the added hold open also have halo's. The frame's S/N does not have a halo.

Download Attachment: 08-DWM-9976a-Bbl.SN-CUF_0020.JPG

Download Attachment: 100_0080.jpg

Download Attachment: 100_0077.JPG

* Looks like DWM was doing some process sequence tryouts before the Army settled matters with the 1910 Army Marking Instructions.??
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Forgot that I had that one! Shame on me. Actually, the "halo" on that pistol is more evident in that picture.
All -

Thanks to everyone for the great response to a question which I feared might be of interest only to me.

VERY preliminary . . . but I am beginning to wonder if DWM changed the manufacturing process somewhere late in the 1908-1909 production such that the barrel SN was stamped AFTER the barrel was blued. If this is true, the reason for the change would be interesting. Also, it might be interesting to record data in an attempt to pinpoint the changeover period as we were able to do with the 1911 DWMs commercial to military marking transition.

Based on extensive data provided by Jan Still last year on DWM barrel SN halos and my own observations, it appears that DWMs in the 1910-1918 range will always show the barrel SN halo effect if the gun has not been reblued. If anyone has any contradictory data on the subject I would be interested in hearing from you.

Thanks again,
Luke, Does this mean that DWM lugers before 1910 have no halo, or just military guns. I will have to start searching samples from 1900 to 1910.
drbuster -

No, I cannot conclude that. I only collect 1908-1918 military DWMs, a very limited field, and have no data on earlier models. My only (VERY PRELIMINARY) hypothesis is that DWM might have changed the Army Luger production process at some point in the 1908-1909 timeframe.

If a statistically significant database of 1908 DWM FMI should indicate that all pieces prior to some serial number are WITHOUT halo and all pieces after some other, higher serial number are WITH halo, one might conclude that the practice of stamping barrel serial numbers after the barrel had been blued was initiated somewhere during in the production run, and before the 1910s.

The earlier Lugers, 1900-1906, have the serial number stamped on the rear curved area next to the flange rather than further out on the linear part of the barrel. Lugers marked in this curved area almost invariably DO NOT exhibit a halo. I say "almost" since I have learned long ago that there always seems to be an exception, but I have never observed a halo in this area on the early pieces.
* FWIW: Don't know if this is significant; but, let me mention it as a consideration.
- Gortz/Bryan, GSAM mentioned above, Pg. 108: A bullet paragraph under the Special Contract Conditions, 1908, Subsection 2 - Quality, Method of Inspection states: "With the exception of the first 10,000 pieces (lest delivery might be delayed), the barrel material must correspond with existing requirements for the barrel material of Gewehre 98 in its chemical composition and physical properties".
* Looks like barrel material was a long lead item and the Army accepted what DWM had on hand ("commercial/contract" barrel blank/semi-finished stock) or could procure/divert quickly to facilitate initial delivery. This even though it was not to the Gewehre 98 spec. which the Army was accustomed to accept. No doubt the Army contract turned DWM upside down as pistol production had to escalate by at least a factor of 5.
* If we use the contemporary "24k of the first contact for 50k pistols are FMI's" estimate, then the "AVERAGE" delivery rate spec.'d by the contract (GSAM, Pgs.109-110) suggests about 5k of the FMI's were to have been delivered in the first 3 months of 1910</u>.
* Just some ramblings coming to mind.
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Bob -

Thanks for the follow-up. Not sure what it all means yet, but -given the time- I might try to compile the data and attempt a posting on the subject.


A suggestion, see if you find any correlation between halo or no, and a perfect, single-strike undisturbed witness mark.


I don't know if this topic is still current with you, but I can report 1908 First Issue #9543a, with halo.

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