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1913 DWM, SERIAL NUMBER 5776, PRUSSIAN EAGLE ON FRONT OF TRIGGER GUARD

ACQUISITION OF 1913 DWM, SERIAL NUMBER 5776.
Juneau is a small town of 30,000 people and very few of them know that I collect lugers. Two months ago, I had the opportunity to examine a 98 % 1913 DWM with a mint bore and a “Prussian Eagle” on the front trigger guard. It was reported to be for sale and a local dealer estimated its value at $700, based on Blue Book values. I offered more. I tried as hard as I could to close the deal and had no luck. I was not able to find out who actually owned the Luger. Through no fault of my own the sale through the local dealer seemed to be going no where and I feared that the Luger would be sold to a lower 48 dealer. A few days ago, by accident I found who the Luger owner was.

It was the City Attorney, and I had been acquainted with him for almost 25 years. More recently I was Foreman of the Grand Jury headed by this City Attorney. I had no idea that he had the Luger for sale and he had no idea that I collected Lugers. He invited me to his house(excitement filled the air). His father obtained the Luger during the 1950's when he was a military policeman in Germany. The 1913 DWM was complete with a holster, tool, and extra magazine. Also included was an unusual Nambu holster, with cleaning rod and 40 rounds of military Nambu ammunition. We made a deal that was fair to both of us and I left his home with the Luger, its holster, tool, extra magazine, the Nambu holster, Nambu cleaning rod, and 40 rounds of Nambu ammunition.(This Nambu holster is shown in the Japanese section of this forum.) Sometimes hunting can be very good, even in small isolated towns in Alaska.


1913 DWM Lugers are reported in the 1201 to 315E serial range and were initially manufactured without hold open or stock lug. All have the exposed style of serial number placement. Toward the end of 1913 production they were manufactured with hold open and stock lug. About 35,000 were manufactured.


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Figure 1. Left slant view of 1913 DWM, serial number 5776. The serial number placement is military (exposed).


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Figure 2. Top view of 1913 DWM, serial number 5776.


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Figure 3. Right side of 1913 DWM, serial number 5776..


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Figure 4. Right receiver and barrel of 1913 DWM, serial number 5776. According to a May 6,1913 directive all P08's in service without a hold open were to have the hold open retrofitted. This was accomplished by Erfurt. A small crown/scriptic letter indicates a hold open was retrofitting to this Luger. The end of the pin placed to retain the hold open is properly in the white.


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Figure 5. Front of trigger guard, frame and bottom of barrel of 1913 DWM, serial number 5776. Note: the halo around the digits of the barrel serial number(barley visible) and lack of halo on the frame serial number. The barrel serial number is through the blue. A so called “Prussian Eagle” has been stamped on the front of the trigger guard.


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Figure 6. 1913 DWM, serial number 5776, showing details of the trigger guard eagle. It is identical to an Erfurt style Luger test eagle.

According to orders dated 23, July 1918, auxiliary pistols were to have an Imperial Eagle applied to the front of the trigger guard. (Close reading of the orders indicates that the application was already in process before the orders were published) The purpose of the trigger guard eagle was to identify Imperial property and prevent its theft. “All Army high commanders etc are asked to take the necessary steps that all pistols being currently in use by troops and not verifiably held in private ownership, are additionally marked by military armorers with this same marking”

This trigger guard eagle stamp is found on Mauser M1914 and Red 9, Beholla, Sauer 1913, Bavarian Steyr Hahn, 07 Dreyse, FL Selbstlader, P08, LP08 and commercial Lugers(see page 54 Imperial Lugers, page 46 Volume I, and page 129 Gortz and Bryans). In general the trigger guard eagle is scarce to rare and is mostly confined to the later wartime produced pistols. Four styles of eagles have been identified and more probably exist.

The trigger guard eagles are very rare on Lugers. They have not yet been reported on unit marked Lugers. Two 1913 DWM’s serial numbers 5776 and 6414, have been reported with identical Erfurt style trigger guard eagles. This might suggest that in a few cases the trigger guard eagles were applied to new pistols at the factory during manufacture. This may have been for the same identification purposes indicated in the 23 July 1918 orders (above) or for some other military identification purposes.
I would like to research the style of trigger guard eagles found on Imperial Pistols. Photographs of the trigger guard eagles found on the various pistols listed above and the pistol details would be most helpful.



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Figure 7. 1913 DWM, serial number 5776. Inside of grips stamped with the last two digits of the Lugers serial number.



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Figure 8. 1913 DWM, serial number 5776, with the Imperial holster that it came from Germany with.


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Figure 9. 1913 DWM, serial number 5776, showing open holster with tool(unmarked) and extra magazine.


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Figure 10. Faint ink stamp found on the above holster. B.A.XI signifies: the Bekleidungsamt ( Clothing Procurement Office) of the XI Army Corps. Holsters were issued to troops from this office.
 

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JAN

Congratulations on the beautifull find,nice to find one in the hometown for a change I bet.
If you check my earlier post of a 1913 sauer you will find that it also contained a Imperial eagle stamp on the trigger guard,
The 1913 Luger that I own serial # 9776 military placement has no eagle on trigger guard and lacks the holdopen retrofit if this helps the data base at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
James
1913 DWM, serial number 817a, does not have a hold open and 1913 DWM, serial number 2045b, was mauufactured with a hold open (no stamp and a blued pin). The transition from manufactured with out hold open to manufactured with hold open happens between serial number 817a and 2045b. Any additional serial numbers that can narrow this transition serial range down?

"nice to find one in the hometown for a change I bet." It's really hard to collect pistols in a small isolated town. I was very lucky.

Jan
 

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Jan

Is your research leaning towards the stamping of the trigger guard with the Prussian eagle as a quicker way for identification purposes of Imperial property as opposed to the dwindling of grip strap markings on the old Imperials. And yes you were very lucky to have found that luger but it is nice to have gone to a good home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Updated 02/11/2004
1913 DWM SUMMARY DATA
* 1913 DWM, sn 1658 : B.18.R.3.B.6. ; No hold open at manufacture or added; no C/gothic symbol on sight
* 1913 DWM, sn 2084: B.17.R.3.6.; No hold open at manufacture or added; no C/gothic symbol on sight
* 1913 DWM, sn 2544 : B.16.J.R.MG.75.; No hold open at manufacture or added; no C/gothic symbol on sight
* 1913 DWM, sn 5778 : “Prussian Eagle”; Hold open added (C/gothic) and C/gothic symbol on sight
* 1913 DWM, sn 6414 : “Prussian Eagle”; Hold open added (C/gothic) and C/gothic symbol on sight
* 1913 DWM, sn 9776 : No hold open at manufacture
*1913 DWM, sn 817a : B.5.A.r.3.30. No hold open at manufacture or added; no C/gothic symbol on sight
*1913 DWM, sn 2475a: Hold open added and C/gothic symbol on sight
*1913 DWM, sn 3251a: Hold open added and C/gothic symbol on sight
*1913 DWM, sn 4132a: hold open at manufacture, no C/gothic symbol on sight
*1913 DWM, sn 1596b: "Prussian Eagle"; hold open at manufacture, no C/gothic symbol on sight
* 1913 DWM, sn 2045b : M.G.K.R.25. 75. ; hold open at manufacture(pin blued and no C/gothic), no C/gothic symbol on sight

Thanks to information from Paolo and James, the transition from manufactured with out hold open to manufactured with hold open has been narrowed down to between serial number 3251a and 4132a. Are there any additional serial numbers that can narrow this transition serial range down even more?
The Bavarian unit marked DWM Lugers (above) do not have the sight altered nor the hold open added. This is consistent with 1908, 1910 1911 and 1912 DWM Lugers that bear Bavaria unit marks. Apparently there was not sufficient time before WWI started to have the work accomplished on the Bavarian Lugers.
Costanzo(1977) page 327 shows both the Erfurt style and DWM style proof eagles as being applied to the trigger guard of Imperial Lugers.
His claim on page 79 that the DWM style trigger guard eagle signifies the 7th Hussar regiment is almost certainly incorrect. Such unit marks are applied to the front of the grip strap according to specific orders. Such an example follows: * 1911 DWM, s/n 8758d : 7.R(script).H.1.4. - (7 Reserve-Husaren-Regiment, Eskadron 1, Waffe Nr. 4)
It has been suggested that the trigger guard eagle signifies that the Luger was returned to the factory for reproofing. Such stamps are applied to the critical parts: the barrel, receiver, and breech block. Reproofing stamps would have been applied to the same critical parts, not the front trigger guard.
It is suggested that the trigger guard eagle applied to military Lugers may have been for the same identification purposes indicated in the 23 July 1918 orders (above) or for some other military identification purposes.
Jan
 

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Jan, Great tutorial on this most interesting subject. Excellent find and a beautiful holster as well. I have never seen this eagle on the trigger guard...Thanks for the learning experience! Jerry Burney
 

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I second Jerry Burney's praise for this excellent learning and viewing experience. I'm afraid I won't be able to narrow the serial range any further, but just to add to your data base, Jan, my 1913 DWM rig with two matching magazines is serial #1596 "b". It had the holdopen added at manufacture, has no C/gothic letter on the sight and has no Prussian Eagle. It is not unit marked.
 

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Whoa, wait a minute. Upon closer inspecton of my #1596 "b", there IS a Prussian Eagle on the front trigger guard! What a find! Thanks again to Jan Still for that information. Where else would that have come from if not Jan Still!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dr. Fisher
Thanks for the discovery. Its easy to miss it. Thats three 1913 DWM's with the trigger guard eagle (table updated above). Is it the Erfurt style as shown above?
Jan
 

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Very cool stuff here. After women and quail hunting, my first love was a classic C96 Red Nine with stock; I remember well the Prussian eagle on the front of the trigger guard. My only 1913 Erfurt, serial number 3754, is marked with an Erfurt crown c proof on the front of the trigger guard, no eagle. Hold open added.
 

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Jan, 1913 DWM, sn 1220a: hold open added, no C/gothic symbol on sight

Thanks to information from Paolo and James, the transition from manufactured with out hold open to manufactured with hold open has been narrowed down to between serial number 3251a and 4132a. Are there any additional serial numbers that can narrow this transition serial range down even more?
 
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