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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. I’ve searched this forum and have learned a few things but I’m still a novice to these Lugers. My father has asked that I try to find out what this is and what it’s worth. Dad bought this 1914 Luger from the widow of a WWII vet. She had the certificate where he brought it home from Germany and gave it to dad. She also provided dad with a letter stating that her husband was a fighter pilot stationed in Germany after the war and one day while out with other pilots, they came across an abandoned warehouse and found a case of Lugers. The pistols all looked new and each pilot helped themselves to one. I’ve tried to take pictures of all markings. Besides the serial number I found only one letter which was an “a” on the frame below the barrel. Another unusual marking are the letters “V. P. S.” on the grip strap below the trigger guard. I haven’t been able to find anything on the forum about The V.P.S. So what do you guys think it is ? What’s it worth? Thanks for your help,
Kevin
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It's a 1914 Luger made by DWM. 7411a is the serial number. They used letters after each 10000 guns. 1-9999, 1a-9999a, and so on.

Sometime after WWI, this one was handed over to the police who added the sear safety (the bar pinned a over the side plate). The magazine was matched up by the police also.

VPS is a unit mark, probably for the Verstärkter Polizeischutz. The VPS was setup in 1937 and consisted of older men who could be called up for police duty in an emergency (like war for example). In 1940, it was renamed the Polizei-Reserve.

Does your barrel have any Eagle N or Eagle J markings? Your picture isn't very clear.
 

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. . . They used letters after each 10000 guns. 1-10000, 1a-10000a, and so on. . . .
The barrel is probably a replacement when the pistol was reworked for the police.
 

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What I see is a 1914 DWM Luger that was modified with a sear safety for police service at some point in time. The unnumbered barrel indicates that the original barrel was replaced, likely by a police armorer although there's no marking to show the repair. The letters on the grip strap are police markings and the magazine base with the serial number and a "2" indicate that the magazine was also marked by police who used 1 & 2 to mark magazines as primary and spare. There is no evidence of a magazine safety ever having been installed.

Looking at the barrel again, I see marks from the tool used to install it. I also note that the front sight is not a normal military/police type but more like the Swiss used or those used on early commercial Lugers. The barrel MAY have been replaced by someone other than the police.

The finish on everything except the replacement barrel matches and appears to be in excellent condition. A very nice example of an Imperial military Luger from the first war that was later modified for police service.
 

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…..
VPS is a unit mark, probably for the Verstärkter Polizeischutz. The VPS was setup in 1937 and consisted of older men who could be called up for police duty in an emergency (like war for example). In 1940, it was renamed the Polizei-Reserve.
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While that interpretation would make sense from the letters, the late date of that organization (1937) speaks against that. Per decree by Himmler‘s office, all marking of police guns was to cease by mid-1936 (although exceptions are known).

Another option offered is „Verwaltungspolizei“ (administrative police) plus a city with S.

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While that interpretation would make sense from the letters, the late date of that organization (1937) speaks against that. Per decree by Himmler‘s office, all marking of police guns was to cease by mid-1936 (although exceptions are known).

Another option offered is „Verwaltungspolizei“ (administrative police) plus a city with S.
True, but the 1936 memo hardly meant there was a hard cutoff date for the practice. I don't find the Verwaltungspolizei explanation very persuasive either. Where are the other "V.P.X" markings? VPH? VPB? I have never seen one. They are all VPS, and that was definitely the abbreviation used for police reservists (VPS-Mann).

Most of these (well, most of the maybe 3 or 4 I have seen) show later Nazi era commercial proofing, which would probably suggest a connection of the marking to later Nazi issue also. Nothing definite of course, but the reserves is the best explanation that fits well with the currently known examples. I am always open to a better explanation though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK, I suspected it might be a police officers pistol because of the VPS on the grip strap. That’s Usually where some sort of unit marking is located. But I‘m not knowledgeable to have known which one. The only thing I can tell is that it seems to be in great shape to be as old as it is.
Anyone dare to guess an approximate value ?
 

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True, but the 1936 memo hardly meant there was a hard cutoff date for the practice. I don't find the Verwaltungspolizei explanation very persuasive either. Where are the other "V.P.X" markings? VPH? VPB? I have never seen one. They are all VPS, and that was definitely the abbreviation used for police reservists (VPS-Mann).
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If you could show an actual post-1936 produced police Luger with the V.P.S. marking, that would certainly bolster your case. If, on the other hand, it should be an early-1920s non-standard local stamping, the existence of other variations wouldn‘t be a compelling requirement.

In the meantime, I found some old discussions involving Don Maus and Klaus Schad’s opinion that it could mean “Verkehrs-Polizei Sachsen”, as well as “Verkehrs-Polizei-Schar Württemberg“, although on the latter one would expect the locality to be represented by a letter too. No indication where they got Württemberg.
 

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If you could show an actual post-1936 produced police Luger with the V.P.S. marking, that would certainly bolster your case. If, on the other hand, it should be an early-1920s non-standard local stamping, the existence of other variations wouldn‘t be a compelling requirement.

In the meantime, I found some old discussions involving Don Maus and Klaus Schad’s opinion that it could mean “Verkehrs-Polizei Sachsen”, as well as “Verkehrs-Polizei-Schar Württemberg“, although on the latter one would expect the locality to be represented by a letter too. No indication where they got Württemberg.
45 year old reservists are not getting brand new guns. It's going to be the old stuff.

The Verkehrspolizei suggestion has the same problem as the Verwaltungspolizei: where are the other municipalities? Verkehrspolizei were in most larger cities. I also think it likely that the unit mark would probably be tied to the city (e.g., Verkehrpolizei Dresden), not the larger German state. Not saying it's wrong, but it has problems.
 

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You make good points, but your favored interpretation has a similar issue. Verstärkter Polizeischutz was a Reichs-wide organization which by 1939 was able to form bataillon-size units, so the V.P.S. marking should be the most commonly encountered stamping on Nazi-era police Lugers, since most city- and state-specific marking had ceased. But it is in fact not that common.

Since the VPS was initially organized within the Schutzpolizei-Kommandos, you‘d also expect canceled, overstamped older markings. But the examples I can find (all so far pre-1918) have only the V.P.S.
 

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VPS-Männer, being reservists, had regular jobs and were only training on the weekends or on their own free time. They were not on normal duty. So there may have not been many VPS marked weapons. My guess is these pistols were probably used for training or perhaps stored away in case VPS men were called up when Schupo were drafted or deployed in foreign countries. An educated guess, but still just a guess.

Unit marking the pistols likely ended in late 1936 or 1937 in accordance with Himmler's order. The earliest apparent mention of the VPS I can find is a circular (Rundschreiben) from the Ministry of the Interior dated 13 October 1936 on instructions for the VPS in case of war or tensions, so it seems the VPS may have been stood up sooner than 1937. There isn't much detailed info on the VPS, at least in English.
 

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It is a nice police luger - worth $1400-$1700

The VPS - it has been discussed here before - and does not fit any standard for the police markings - why would it not be a weapon number what? How many weapons numbers have you seen, not marked?
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Edward, thanks for your help, but make sure I have this right for my father. It is a police Luger, but we’re not sure what city, possibly a reserve police unit. The barrel may have been replaced because there are no markings on it?
Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Beachbaker, I didn’t know the barrel was supposed to have a serial number, and I don’t doubt your expertise that the barrel was replaced. I saw the same marks on the barrel after someone pointed it out. Do you have an idea as to why the barrel would have been replaced when the rest of the pistol looks to be in very good shape?
Kevin
 

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Beachbaker, I didn’t know the barrel was supposed to have a serial number, and I don’t doubt your expertise that the barrel was replaced. I saw the same marks on the barrel after someone pointed it out. Do you have an idea as to why the barrel would have been replaced when the rest of the pistol looks to be in very good shape?
Kevin
While to condition of the pistol is excellent, if the original barrel was shot with corrosive cartridges - they all were in those days - and not properly cleaned, the bore would be ruined. That, IMO, is the most likely reason for the barrel change.
 
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