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(thread retitled as per request)

In 1908 the German Army accepted DWM's Luger as its service pistol P-08. During its first three years of Military production contract, DWM delivered approximately 42,000 Lugers (Still, "Imperial Lugers"). Reasoning that DWM would not by itself be able to produce the number of pistols required by the military, and probably not wanting to be solely dependent on a commercial manufacturer, in January of 1909 the government appropriated money to start up P-08 production in the Prussian arms factory of Erfurt, in Thuringia.

Save for disputed examples dated 1910 (which may indicate a small pre-production "proof" run), the first Erfurt Lugers were delivered in 1911. It is estimated (Still, ibid) that 10,000 Lugers were delivered that year, all with no serial number suffix. These pistols were the P-08 pattern without holdopen or stock lug.

One noteworthy characteristic of Erfurt-manufactured Lugers is the presence of inspectors' marks on almost all of the small parts. These are small, upper-case Fraktur letters surmounted by a crown. According to the 1910 Instructions for marking the P-08, some 30 parts required stamping. This requirement was adhered to rigorously by the inspectors at the Erfurt plant, as opposed to the DWM factory where these parts were almost never stamped.

Presented here is 1911 Erfurt #7638, some three-quarters of the way through the 1911 production run. (The magazine is not matching and not Erfurt, and is in all ways ordinary, and so is not presented.)
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The barrrel serial number and barrel gage display "halo", properly stamped through the blue. The witness mark appears perfect to my eyes.

Many of the small inspectors' marks can be seen in the following pictures. Not all of them are easily visible, and some of them do not accept whitening well.

A holdopen has been added, as required in May of 1913. A pin has been inserted for it from the outside of the frame, seen here properly unblued, just above and to the back of the trigger pin. The small inspector's stamp certifying its addition is seen just below.
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...but the sear bar has not been relieved (a retrofit required in mid-1916), as can be seen just to the right of the sideplate.
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The grips are numbered to the gun, and have inspector's stamps.
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Much has been made of the inferiority of manufacture of Erfurt Lugers, compared to their DWM contemporaries. Here you can see where the tool used to cut the diamonds of the right toggle-knob end shifted between cuts, double-cutting them and killing their points. The same flaw is noted on the left knob as well, but not as strongly.
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This Luger has a couple of very strange markings. On the trigger plate, just above the serial number, a rather cryptic figure is stamped, accompanied by a double-struck (and incompletely struck) upper-case Roman M . A similar figure, along with the poorly struck M , is also stamped on the right receiver above the holdopen pin. The M on the receiver is very difficult to see in the photograph, but up close and personal it is assuredly the same stamp as on the trigger plate, inverted. Both sets of stamps are under the blue.
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Has anybody seen the like?

This 191 Errfurt is unit marked, 14.A.F.II.8.H.6.
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This unit mark indicates: 14 Fuss-Artillerie-Regiment, Bataillon II, [Munitionskolonne] Haubitzen 8, Waffe Nr. 6. The units formal name is: Badisches Fussartillerie-Regiment Nr. 14. Raised in 1893 with a home port of Strassburg (Still, correspondence). This translates as 14th Foot-Artillery Regiment, Second Battalion, Howitzer Munitions Column 8, weapon #6.

Foot artillery is Fortress and otherwise emplaced artillery. Unlike Field Artillery, German Foot Artillery units had little organic mobility and used heavy howitzers and siege mortars. The German Foot Artillery manned coastal defenses; but they also manned the guns of interior fortifications and were responsible for conducting set-piece sieges in the field if such an operation became necessary. The reduction of the Belgian forts along the Meuse River in 1914 was primarily a Foot Artillery operation. (Zabecki, "Steel Wind").

--Dwight
 

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Dwight
Outstanding photographs and presentation.

* 1911ERFURT, s/n 7638: 14.A.F.II.8.H.6. - (14 Fuss-Artillerie-Regiment, Bataillon II, [Munitionskolonne] Haubitzen 8, Waffe Nr. 6)
The units formal name is: Badisches Fussartillerie-Regiment Nr. 14.

Congratulations on an outstanding and rare find. Only 15 of 846 reported Imperial unit marked Lugers bear the foot artillery munitions column unit markings.
Thanks
Jan
 

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quote:Originally posted by Dwight Gruber

In 1908 the German Army accepted DWM's Luger as its service pistol P-08. During its first three years of Military production contract, DWM delivered approximately 42,000 Lugers (Still, "Imperial Lugers"). Reasoning that DWM would not by itself be able to produce the number of pistols required by the military, and probably not wanting to be solely dependent on a commercial manufacturer, in January of 1909 the government appropriated money to start up P-08 production in the Prussian arms factory of Erfurt, in Thuringia.

Save for disputed examples dated 1910 (which may indicate a small pre-production "proof" run), the first Erfurt Lugers were delivered in 1911. It is estimated (Still, ibid) that 10,000 Lugers were delivered that year, all with no serial number suffix. These pistols were the P-08 pattern without holdopen or stock lug.

One noteworthy characteristic of Erfurt-manufactured Lugers is the presence of inspectors' marks on almost all of the small parts. These are small, upper-case Fraktur letters surmounted by a crown. According to the 1910 Instructions for marking the P-08, some 30 parts required stamping. This requirement was adhered to rigorously by the inspectors at the Erfurt plant, as opposed to the DWM factory where these parts were almost never stamped.

Presented here is 1911 Erfurt #7638, some three-quarters of the way through the 1911 production run. (The magazine is not matching and not Erfurt, and is in all ways ordinary, and so is not presented.)
--Dwight
Dwight Gruber,

Congratulation, nice gun. Please delete "Generalfeldzeugmeister" as this name refers to "Fussartillerie-Regiment General-Feldzeugmeister(Brandenburgisches) Nr.3

Klaus
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jan and Klaus, thanks for the additional info. Original post has been edited to include the proper information. One of these days maybe I'll get the hang of these unit marks...

--Dwight
 

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Dwight, that's quite a nice Erfurt and a great unit marking. Your informative presentation displays alot more perseverance than I am up to.
 

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Todd, welcome to the forum.


Once you get more pictures, title a new thread and put your pictures there, in that way you can receive notifications of replies, etc. :)


Ed
 
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