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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The 1913 Erfurt Luger (~23,000 total production) is interesting from the standpoint that it was produced in a transition period for both the magazine hold open and stock lug features, both of which were made "standard equipment" from the factory during 1913. The hold open had been standard on earlier Lugers but dropped several years earlier to cut cost. Some (apparently most) guns that started off without a hold open were upgraded afterward by the factory with a small external proof on the right side of the frame next the end of the pin, above and behind the trigger.

This resulted in four valid configurations during the year:
  • No stock lug, without hold open
  • No stock lug, added hold open with external proof
  • No stock lug, hold open installed when new
  • With stock lug and hold open when new
Gortz and Sturgess don't seem to discuss much about these transition points in production. Jan C. Still, in Central Powers Pistols (p.78), mentions that the stock lug started around serial number 6000a (between 3980a and 7825a) but does not discuss the serial number timing of the hold open, which was initiated by a May 6, 1913 directive. John Walter indicates that the stock lug was made standard on guns delivered after August 4, 1913, but does not discuss serial numbers.

I have scanned as many 1913 Erfurts as I can readily find in the books I own or which have been offered for sale recently or otherwise pictured online, and have constructed the table below to try and pin down a little more precisely when the transitions occurred serial number-wise. Hopefully this will be useful to future collectors, as there are from time to time guns offered that are not "right", such as the 1912 Erfurt with stock lug discussed in another thread.

No stock lug or hold openNo stock lug, hold open added laterNo stock lug, hold open from factoryBoth stock lug and hold open from factory
17541229373a5609a
71611699842a 895a6622a 6640a
2056976a6912a
31961009a 1379a7038a
32971873a7381a 7387a
44662309a7527a
54602533a 2539a7822a
77833526a 3540a8413a
7834 78603980a9327a
82834215a9502a 9707a
8835 89384857a364b
94544918a1232b 1642b
96452447b 2456b

So far, there are only two guns (#1754 and #7161) that are lacking both the hold open and stock lug. The hold open transition (May 1913) can be pinned down to a range of about 728 guns as of 7/28/15 between 9645 and 373a. The addition of the stock lug appears to have occurred somewhere between 4918a and 5609a (a range of 691 guns), assuming it was a clean transition.

I would love to be able to narrow down these ranges even further. Please feel free to contribute information and/or pictures that I can use to update these lists.

Current population range of distinct variations (assuming 23,000 guns total):

> No stock lug, none or added hold open - 9,645 to 10,372 guns
> No stock lug, hold open from factory - 4,545 to 5,964 guns
> Stock lug and hold open from factory - 7,392 to 8,082 guns
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Added a few more guns to each list (except the first), but no luck yet further narrowing down the gaps in transition points between lists 2, 3 and 4. Also added links to most of the guns.

I would appreciate responses from those of you with 1913 Erfurts, even if the guns are in not "in the gaps".
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks!... added to the list.

I also corrected the gap calculation... still fairly substantial gaps of 1,538 and 691 guns.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Found another gun tonight (9454) with no stock lug and added hold open that narrowed the transition range from "no factory hold open" to "factory hold open" by over 600 guns. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Philip, I have added it to the list. Early guns that escaped the hold open order appear to be a rarity.
 

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Klaus,
As I recall, the hold open and new front sight were introduced at the same time. Also on 6 May 1913 army orders called for earlier model P08's to be turned in order that they be retrofitted with a hold-open device and the newer front sight.
 

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My 1009a 1913 Erfurt has no lug, and factory hold open.

I'd like to find a military P 08 without the added hold open, sometime.:)
A 1913 Erfurt would be really cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Bill - since this would be an unexpected find, can you verify that your hold open is factory installed and not retrofit, i.e. that there is no proof on the right side to the upper left of the trigger? A picture showing that area would be ideal. Also, that there is no "a" suffix on the serial? Thanks much.

Don - thanks very much, I have added your gun to the table.
 

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1913 Erfurt 7783, no stock lug, hold open added.
1913 Erfurt 6640a, factory stock lug and hold open.
 

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Awhile back I posted an Army 1st issue PO8 with Bavarian Ulan unit marks it also has the original front sight with no hold open device. I have fired this Luger and it shoots way to high even beyond 100 meters.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Eric -

That's a beautiful set of 1913 Erfurts you have there, I have added them to the list in post #1.

Adrian -

Thanks as well for the info, your guns have been added to the list.
 

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My 1913 Erfurt has both the stock lug and the factory hold open. Serial is 1642 b, noticed that there is a consecutive numbered Erfurt on the list to mine. Regards Dave Gill
 

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Discussion Starter #19
David -

Thanks, it looks as if I goofed on the serial #, that "1643b" was your gun on another post. I have corrected the error.
 

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Klaus,
As I recall, the hold open and new front sight were introduced at the same time. Also on 6 May 1913 army orders called for earlier model P08's to be turned in order that they be retrofitted with a hold-open device and the newer front sight.
Fakt is that some Lugers came from the DWM with factory hold open but with the "old" front sight... Görtz reported this in his book "Die Pistole 08".
 
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