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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I've done a bit of hunting, and learned somewhat since last I posted, but I'm rather clearly not over the 'hump' yet.

The Christmas season has brought with it a new luger that I believe is a DWM Commercial. It has the DWM banner on the top at the usual place. However, right in front of the ejection port there is no date marked. (I *think* this indicates it's a commercial DWM.)

Where it gets a bit odd is the left side markings, right in front of the little takedown panel. I have attached a picture below, because I cannot make heads or tails of this engraving.

Otherwise, it's serial no. 9563 with a cursive "a" beneath the barrel, and part no. 63 on all parts except the little steel safety latch, which must have been replaced at some point: it's no. 78.

The picture I'm attaching doesn't do the gun any justice at all: it gives the thought that it's not in good condition. The only pitting on the thing is right around the takedown release, on the leftside panel (a bit only) and on one small spot on the right side of the gun. Otherwise, it's pretty pristine.

Oh, if it helps, it has black plastic (or bakelite? sp) grips.

Thanks for any thoughts y'all might come up with about this little beastie!

-Albeh


Download Attachment: dwm-leftside.jpg
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Albeh,
* Not a DWM Commercial; although, many were marked in the commercial manner.
* This is a 1908 DWM, Army 1st Issue.
* The markings, from L to R, are the Imperial Power Proof Eagle & the two Army Inspector Acceptance Stamps (C/T & C/Z). The C/Z seems to have the double struck crown which is a characteristic of this Acceptance sequence on at least this variation.
* Do a search on "1908" or go to the "1900-1918 P.08-Army" under the Imperial Lugers Forum to learn more. There are 4-5 threads on this DWM variation.
* OBTW: What is you mag number/style? My '08 - 1st Issue example is 9976a. My mag# is 2346 (no suffix) in the 1st Issue style.
* Thanks for sharing this example with us.
 

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Albeh,

The left-receiver markings are Military acceptance and proof marks. These marks in this position, and the lack of a date above the chamber, identify this pistol as a 1908 First Issue Military. The right-chamber proofs and chamber dates were instituted in 1910, so your Luger was manufactured in 1908 or 1909. Reports indicate that approximately 25,000 of this pattern pistols were manufactured, serial number reports range from #34 to #4828b, so your Luger was manufactured roughly in the last third of the production run.

Lugers were exclusively manufactured with wood grips until late 1936 when they began to appear on Krieghoff Lugers. DWM Lugers will always be found originally with wood grips.

A characteristic which you will want to note on your Luger, is that Military First Issue pistols were manufactured without a holdopen, and most were retrofitted with a holdopen after May 6, 1913. Lugers which missed retrofit are uncommon.

First Issue Military Lugers are among the less commonly encountered versions, and very desirable colection pieces. Congratulations on yours.

--Dwight
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
RockinWR and Dwight,

Thank you for your replies! I appreciate the info very much. I think I have to start making little flashcards with info about my guns... too much detail and I will start to bleed from the ears :)

RockinWR, I am not sure precisely the 'styles' for the magazines, but I can say this much:

The mag with this pistol has a wooden bottom piece, serial no. 4912, numbered from round-end to round-end along the bottom ridge of the mag. (Now that I know what it is, I can say additionaly that...) there is an Imperial Power Proof Eagle to the front and to the rear edge of the mag, above and below the serial no.

As for the grips, they're dark, almost but not quite black, and sound to the tap slightly hollow (though they're tightly affixed to the gun). They very well *could* be wood: I don't have the heart to scuff the thing to prove it either way, and my fingers aren't that sensitive to tell the difference between them sometimes. Oh well.

Dwight:

If by 'holdopen' you mean that when you cock it with the mag in, the top lever stays open, this firearm does that similar to my other lugers. You have to remove the mag to release it.

My damn digital camera isn't really efficient enough to take a good pic of the details, so I scanned the gun in on a flatbed for the part pic above. I'll try to post a full pic of it once I've reduced that to a vaguely manageable sized jpeg.

Thanks again,
-Albeh
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Please pardon the funky background, but as promised, here's a cropped version of the pic of the leftside of this pistol.

I had to scan the damn thing into a flatbed to get any good detail on that leftside impression (above). The background is a white t-shirt I used to block light off the rest of the scanning surface. What can you do eh? Necessity is the mother of all inventions!

Have at 'er!

-Albeh

Download Attachment: dwm_first_issue_1908.jpg
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Those grips are really just very old darkened wood. You have a nice proper 1908 First Issue, you lucky fellow. Congratulations. The proofs on the left side of the receiver are quite original. I have found that every 1908 First Issue I have looked at has weakly struck proofs, particularly the power proof eagle.
 

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quote:Originally posted by albeh

If by 'holdopen' you mean that when you cock it with the mag in, the top lever stays open, this firearm does that similar to my other lugers. You have to remove the mag to release it.
Thats exactly what I mean. The holdopen is added by drilling a small hole into the frame, just above and behind the trigger, to insert the holdopen pin. This is finished to follow the contour of the frame, and a proof mark is stamped to certify the work. The closeup photo below illustrates this work (the photo has been enhanced slightly to show up the work better).

Download Attachment: HoldoopenAdded.jpg
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If you remove the magazine and shine a light up into the magazine well, you should be able to determine much easier whether the grips are wood. Is there a small sliver of wood missing in back of the safety lever, or does the grip actually fit like that?

I'm sure that at some point you will want to remove the grips to see if they are serial# matched to the gun. If you do so, remove the right-side grip screw and magazine, then insert you finger into the mag well and push the grip away from the frame from the inside. With luck you should be able to see any number on the left grip through the frame and nothave to dismount it.

Ron is right, your 1908 Military First Issue is a really terrific example.

--Dwight
 
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