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Nice looking 1011 Luger.

The engraved name was inscribed professionally and as mentioned above, not done in the field. I had a gentleman offer to sell me a 1917 DWM, in near excellent condition that had his name professionally inscribed in the same place as was done for Mr. Doerr. This fellow who name now escapes me, was of German extraction and served in the USAF during the early Cold War. He acquired the pistol as a young man in a pawn shop while in the service and later had the inscribing done in a jewelry shop. The writing was more of a scrip style, different from yours. Another person had suggested, in order to make this pistol more attractive, that he might consider making up a story that it belonged to a German officer who died of wounds from WW I and it was handed down thru his family No idea what he finally did with it.

There is no way of knowing, but a passable explanation is this pistol was most likely "acquired" during combat by a doughboy and that soldier (or another one that he later sold, traded, lost in a card game), brought it home to the US. Subsequently was inscribed as a service memento. If the weapon served in the German military during the Weimar or TR periods and was later captured, it would have been retrofitted with a hold open. If brought home by a German solider after the Great War and hidden, not logical that he would he have gone to the effort to engrave it. It was still government property and now his name is permanently on it, hard to explain that he just happened to "find it".

Like the old explanation of chrome plated Lugers & P-38s that were always captured from SS officers, but they were really dipped in the 40s & 50s by former GIs to make them look better. You can lose yourself in the "tall grass" chasing a fable.
 

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The name could have been added 80, or 50, or 5 years ago; by a then current owner; no reason to assign it as a "capture" or "bringback"- but it could be. JMHO.
 

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If the weapon served in the German military during the Weimar or TR periods and was later captured, it would have been retrofitted with a hold open.
The Prussian War Ministry directive for all P.08 Lugers to henceforth be manufactured with a hold-open device and all existing Lugers without the hold-open be retrofitted was issued on 6 May, 1913. For existing Lugers, the retrofit work was to be done by the Erfurt Rifle Factory. Each batch received would require about one month to complete. In addition, the sights would be changed to achieve a zero at 50 meters. Obviously collection and delivery to Erfurt of the Lugers to be retrofit didn't happen overnight. Equally obvious is the fact that not all Lugers without the hold-open made it back to Erfurt for modification. According to Gortz & Sturgess, almost without exception Prussian Army Lugers produced between 1909 and 1913 without the hold-open were retrofitted with the device and new front sights. Documentation for the two Saxon Corps doesn't exist and the XIIIth Corps (Wurttemberg) Lugers were at Erfurt when war broke out. The Barvarian Lugers were never sent to Erfurt and only those sent for other repairs were converted. Lugers in service with Colonial forces were not converted. If a Luger without the hold-open was used by the military of the Weirmar Republic, would it have been converted solely for the sake of conversion? I have doubts that it would have. With so many available with the device, why bother to use one without it?
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Thanks for the additional thoughts and information. I know that if I were a soldier in the Weimar or TR military, and I had the option of carrying a Luger with a hold-open or one without, I would DEFINATELY want the Luger with the hold-open. It makes reloads and even cleaning so much easier. It is just speculation, but if I were a quartermaster in the German Army, I would make sure that all my sidearms had hold-opens. That said, when the Weimar army was so small, I bet they had plenty of Lugers with hold-opens for use (which is your point, Doubs). So maybe this one just sat in the locker for 25 years until it was captured during WWII, or perhaps it was captured during WWI by a Doughboy and brought home, or maybe (as 03Man says) it was engraved 5 years ago. My feeling is also that I would never carve my name in something if I did not feel strongly about my connection to it, so I have been traveling under the assumption that whoever Mr. Doerr is/was, he had a very strong connection to his Luger, which is why he wanted to make sure that everyone for the rest of time knew that it was his. That makes me think that he got it during one of the World Wars, even if he just got it from a buddy peddling one in the rear. If I had served through WWI or WWII, I think I would want a souvenir of my experiences during that time, a Luger would make a GREAT one, and I would probably feel strongly enough about it to have my name engraved on it by the local jeweler. So I am continuing to look for a N.F. Doerr in the US military who actually served in the AEF or the European Theater. I haven't found him yet (at least, not conclusively), but I am still looking. I am also hoping that someone who knew/loved an N.F. Doerr and knows his history might come forward. Doubtful, but one can still hope! Thanks again.
 

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I've seen many firearms with owners names emblazoned on them; some folks just like to mark their possessions, and see their own name! JMO.
 

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Back in the Seventies Jimmy Carter encouraged all American gun owners to mark their weapons with either their name or social security number. As a responsible young man I ground my SSN into my P38.
 
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