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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bought a 1917/1020 Navy that was shortened and reworked after WWI (fairly typical Navy Weimar rework). Has unusal markings. The front grip strap is marked with one crossed out unit and one that is not.

Crossed unit marking is B.3.IV.1.29.

Other unit marking is S.D.IV.4.4.R. The D is larger than the other letters.

Any idea what units these represents? WWI combat or Weimar unit?
 

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Macpuma
S.D.IV.4.4.R. signifies Schutzpolizei Dusseldorf, weapon no. 4 of the 4th Centuria within Command IV. (page 92, Gortz)

B.3.IV.1.29. It appears from the photograph that the S also applied to this unit stamp giving S.B.3.IV.1.29. This would signify Schutzpolizei Berlin. The remainder I cannot find the orders for(page 93, Gortz).

Perhaps one of the real experts would complete or correct my descriptions.
Jan
 

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I'm inclined to agree with Jan that the "S" is doing double duty in both marks. Note the position of the "." between the S and the x'd out B. It is at the same height as the others in the x'd out mark relative to the letter bottoms. It also is the same height and font (with serifs) as the B. Very probably, the armorer was limited in space to re-mark the gun, turned the gun over and used the old S.

The lack of a sear safety (noted on the LugerForum) simply indicates the Luger was removed from police service before implementation of the 1933 orders. Another argument for the second mark being a police mark is the final "R." This typically signifies "Revierhauptmannshaft" (precinct main force), militarized police units formed in 1921 and disbanded in 1924 (see Weimar Lugers, p.196). This would indicate that the second mark was stamped before 1924 and the first even earlier. These marks may have been made before the stamping orders of 1922 brought more uniformity to the marking process.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I looked at the Luger again in light of Jan's remarks. I agree that the S is doing double duty. I still have doubts about the S.D. though, because the markings are not consistent with other police marked guns I have seen pictures of. The "D" is larger than the other letters/numbers. The two "4"s are also different sizes. That is four different size letters/numbers in the marking. That appears to me to be very inconsistent with police unit markings. Anybody else have the same or different thoughts?
 

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Klaus, et al.,

My reference for the formation and dissolution of the "Revierhauptmannschaft" is Weimar Lugers, p.196 and this is attributed to Joe Wotka. He cites Prussian Interior Ministry orders dated January 1921 establishing these groups and orders dated 31 March 1924 disbanding them.

See also: http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2841


Pure speculation but both of these marks may have been made prior to 1922 when regulations may have been less consistent. The fact that the R was not canceled makes me think this gun may have been removed from police service before 1924.
 

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To complicate matters further, I question the interpretation of the presumed original mark (S.B.3.IV.1.29.) as signifying Schutzpolizei Berlin. I have been researching Berlin municipal police marks and none of them conform to this series of marks. The 1922 marking orders specify "S.B." followed by an abbreviation for the Group (Nord, West, etc.), a Roman numeral for the Command, in some cases an "R" for Revierhauptmannschaft, and a weapon number. My research indicates that marks made prior to the 1922 orders omitted the "S.B." The 1932 orders call for only "S.B." and the weapon number. None of these forms matches the original mark on this pistol.

I do believe that the surviving mark represents Schutzpolizei Düsseldorf. If the first mark is a Weimar police mark, it is most likely Prussian, as well, but I really don't have a clue as to what it means.
 

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I think you guys might be "pissing up a rope" and that you ought to read again what Mr Schad has offered you. The research has been done.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
But Klaus seems to be saying that it is not a police marking. Or am I missing something?
Is the general consensus that the marks are Berlin and Dusseldorf Schutzpolizei marks?
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
klaus,

I should add that there is no mag or sear safety as is typical of police Lugers. Everyone seems to be agreeing that the markings are not standard but most likely represent Berlin and Dusseldorf Schutzpolizei units. However, not everyone is certain and you stated the following above:

Jan,
A #3, especially of that size, wouldn't make any sense. An "O" would stand for "Schutzpolizei Berlin Ost" as per regulation.

Klaus

Just to clarify, it is a "3" or maybe a "5" and not an "o". Donmaus agrees that the marks are confusing. These markings are not standard according to my research, hence the original post. So am I to blame when I am confused after you even state that the S.B.3 markings do not make any sense?
 

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Malcom, I believe that Klaus as well as everyone else agrees that the 3 makes no sense. This happens once in awhile with unit marks. Maybe the armorer was confused by the orders. Maybe he picked up the wrong die. Maybe he had been in the Schnapps. No one knows why. It just is, and no one may ever know.
I once saw a brand new Anschutz rifle in the box, with the test target, numbered to the rifle. The rifle had no chamber. The barrel was rifled, but a chamber had never been bored. We could have beat our heads against the wall for days over that one. However, we just agreed that it was a mistake. And maybe an inspector just decided to blow it off.
Nothing is absolute with unit marks. If Klaus does'nt know, I would seriously doubt that anyone ever will.
Ron
 

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I'm beginning to think that Geo was right in the first part of his reply -- the rope's getting pretty slippery! For what it's worth, there are several other "S.D." marks in my database with an "R." at the end. The second "4." should be the weapon number, meaning this was only the fourth Luger marked by the Düsseldorf armory.

Another oddity about the x'd out "S.B." mark is that it is reversed relative to the marking instructions in the 1922 orders ("on the center of the front area of the grip strap, beginning from bottom"). I'd bet that it was made before the orders were issued but it looks like I wouldn't win or lose.
 

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Ron Smith has pointed out to me that there is a q-block Alphabet DWM (1927 production) on p. 138 of Weimar Lugers with the grip strap mark "S.D.III.R.43" with the R x'd out. This mark could not have been made before 1927, which is after the Revierhauptmannschaft units were supposedly disbanded. This clearly undermines my arguments above that are based on earlier timing of "R" marks.
 

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I keep running across the entry for these marks in my database while researching Berlin and other Schupo unit marks. While the surviving mark S.D.IV.4.4.R. is not exactly according to the rules, I'm convinced that it represents the precinct police (Revierpolizei) in the city coded IV within the Düsseldorf administrative district (probably not Düsseldorf, itself). The first 4. may designate a precinct within city IV.

I have come to doubt the theory that the S also belongs to the crossed-out B.3.IV.1.29. In recent months I have seen a number of postings by Jan Still of P.08s with Imperial Bavarian Army marks somewhat similar to the crossed-out mark. Would Jan or someone familiar with these marks please take another look at this thread and let us know what you think?
 

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Hi,

The style of the older, crossed out marking (upside down according to the later Weimar marking instructions) is similar to that on my 1915/1920 marked shortened DWM artillery rework.

This pistol, with inscription P.W.2 also shows no sign of ever having a sear safety or a magazine safety. As this particular pistol spent over 60 years in the German ground, I can safely say it wasn't messed with or boosted <grin>

All in all I tend to agree with the pre-1922 marking (of at least the first marking). The fact that the S has a dot on both sides is for me evidence enough that it also was part of the first marking, or the new S was placed over the old S. But I must say I like Ron's reasoning. Schnapps and discontent can produce weird results.
 

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Hi Gerben,

My main problem with believing that the S is associated with the crossed-out mark is that it would make it a Berlin Schupo mark. I have been studying the Berlin marks very carefully and can find nothing to support the validity of a mark S.B.3.IV.4.4.29. If there were some way to make the 3 turn into an N, W, S, So, O or M, I would. The only possibility I can imagine would be that the armorer used the number 3 instead of the letter S. In the 1922 marking orders, the Gruppen were numbered and Gruppe Süd was 3. But I don't know why he would have done this. If he stamped the S.B., he obviously had an S die.

Then comes the question if it was originally a Berlin weapon, why did it get transferred to Düsseldorf?

Before I speculate further, I wanted to test the experts in military unit marks to make sure it doesn't match something known.
 

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Gerben and Don, If you subtract the "S". B.3.IV.1.29. Would or could translate to Bavarian 3rd Regiment,IV(4th)Army Corps, 1st Company, Weapon #29. This would leave the police unit as S.D.IV(4th Centuria).4th Precinct.Waffe#4 Revier(?) Just a best guess on my part.

Ron
 

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Ron,
This is what I'm looking for! Is the "S-less" mark legitimate? If so, this pistol probably was never near Berlin. I find it much easier to believe that a reworked former Imperial Bavarian Army pistol ended up with the Weimar Düsseldorf Schupo than a Weimar Berlin Schupo pistol being transferred to Düsseldorf.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Don,

Although I and the collectors I was with thought it was very wierd, our first impression of the marked through markings is that it was a Bavarian unit. Which begged the obvious question of how a Navy Luger ended up with a Bavarian unit marked. But it is also problematic how a Berlin marked gun ended up in Dusseldorf with such early police markings for Dusseldorf.

I would like to see the experts weigh in on this again.

Malcolm Pipes
 
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