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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
* My good friend & fellow collector Mike Morris happened upon this fine, original finish and matching numbered example in the Sept.,'04 Dallas Market Hall Show. Somewhat later we were reviewing Mike's latest "rig acquisition" and agreed it would make a wonderful example to illustrate an unaltered '08 DWM 1st Issue with the Forum members. My thanks to Mike for his digitals pics (which I have enhanced) & for sharing this example with us.

* After numerous pistol trials, what has become a historic initial contract between the German Imperial Army and DWM was finalized on 2 Dec., 1908. This 50,000 pistol commitment confirmed the Army's acceptance of the P.08's 4" barrel configuration & launched the 1908 1st Issue P.08. An estimated production of 25,000 First Issues is reported in the S/N range 34ns to 4828b per Jan Still's, Imperial Lugers, Pg. 20. The 1st Issue Luger characteristically has no chamber date, no stock lug, S/N's marked in the commercial (hidden) style, and final Inspection/Proof marks uniquely on the L/H side of the receiver. Note, also, this pistol has not had the sear relieved as was the original issue configuration.

Download Attachment: MM_08_1st_Issue_lhs_SN_ 2988ns.jpg
104.28 KB

* The low S/N of 2988ns suggests this pistol could have been one of the 3,000 pistols schedule for the first delivery increment in late March, 1909. While the initial contract was signed on behalf of the Prussian government, intuitively leading me to expected the Prussian Army Units were to be first equiped, this example either lagged the first increment's shipment or it suggests an interesting deviation from intuitive expectations.

Download Attachment: MM_08_1st_Issue_SN_2988ns.jpg
55.33 KB

* Unusual after 95 years, this example came with an original matching mag. As expected, the S/N is marked along the longitudinal axis of the base, will not have an accompanying suffix letter (until 1911), and is in a larger numeric font from later DWM Army magazine examples.

Download Attachment: MM_08_1st_Issue_matmag_SN_2988ns.jpg
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* Many guns serving officers in 1913-1914 were returned to the Erfurt arsenal for hold-opens to be added. However, this examples shows no modification having been done to add a hold open as was ordered by a May 13, 1913 directive. The right hand side reveals no evidence of a cross pin to hold the hold open as is seen on many Prussian issued examples known to date.

Download Attachment: MM_08_1st_Issue_rhs_SN_2988ns.jpg
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* Unit markings on the grip strap denote issue to the Bavarian Army. I interpret this "B.11.R.M.G.24." marking to mean the 24th pistol issued to the Machine Gun Company of the Bavarian's 11th Infantry Regiment. Confirmation of this interpretation would be welcomed.

Download Attachment: MM_08_1st_Issue_gripmark_SN_2988ns.jpg
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* John Walter goes into some depth on the Bavarian Army's attempt to comply with the May, 1913 directive on pgs. 32 & 214 of The Luger Book. After a unacceptable solicitation to the Amberg arsenal, John writes the Bavarians approached Erfurt and DWM. Quoting Mr. Walter, "On 2/9/14, the Bavarians finally placed an order with Erfurt and made plans to collect their guns. Eventually 20,204 were gathered together of which 20,068 required conversion. On 7/31/14, however, the Landau commandant informed the Feldzeugmeisterei that pistol gathering would be suspended. Owing to the unsettled political situation, the local Units were unwilling to return their service pistols. On 8/2/1914, German mobilization for WWI commenced. So, Bavarian guns were not shipped after all. It is debatable whether they were collected subsequently, though Erfurt began conversion of the Prussian guns in mid 1913. It is interesting to speculate those without hold-opens may be Bavarian. Unit markings may help to prove this point."

* This, then, might be one of those possible point maker.

* As an aside for those recording details, <s>IIRC the "C/Z" acceptance does not seem to be double crown marked</s> the right most Inspector's Acceptance stamp is a doublet overstamp as has been previously observed on other 1st Issue examples. (corrected per the 10/10/04 post below). The barrel S/N does not exhibit a "halo".

* Trust you all have enjoyed.

** (5/28/07 - Pictures reloaded to applicable RockinWR posts)**

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4,384 Posts
Excellent presentation of a 1908 DWM Bavarian marked. As per your request I can confirm that you are exactly correct on the unit stamp.
"B.11.R.M.G.24." marking to mean the 24th pistol issued to the Machine Gun Company of the Bavian's 11th Infantry Regiment."

I have never examined a Bavarian unit marked Luger that has the hold open added nor has such been reported.
See Figure 3 in the below post:

Figure 3. 1912 Erfurt, serial number 5435, right side. This Luger is Bavarian unit stamped. A hold open has not been added. According to a May 6,1913 directive all P08's in service without a hold open were to have the hold open retrofitted by Erfurt. I have examined numerous Bavarian unit marked Lugers. All those that lacked the hold open at manufacture did not have it added. Apparently World War I started before the Bavarian’s had time to have the hold open added to their Lugers. Once the war started the troops and Lugers were scattered in battles on two fronts in a dozen countries and the hold opens were never added.

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552 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
* After the recent 9/6/04 Forum server outage requiring security upgrades, I'll re-post the essence of my earlier response at this point. Feels like the movie "Groundhog Day"; but, here we go:
Jan, Dwight, & Frank,
* Thanks for your kind and encouraging comments.

* Jan,
Would it be possible for you to provide some of the organizational/battle history for the 11th Bavarian Infantry Regiment? I'm continually dazzled how life is brought to these stoic examples when a historic framework is added to their presentation. Your time is sincerely appreciated.

* Frank,
I'd never admit to a weakness these trusty, rusty blued reproductions might expose in my Mauser madness. However, a few have been known to visit their younger siblings at Hotel WR. Those with tatoo'd straps and their own leather sure can tell some interesting stories to the salty ones.

· Premium Member
4,384 Posts
Reposted (Lost when the site was down)
Battle History of the Bavarian 13th Infantry Regiment. (from the Histories of 251 German Divisions that participated in the war 1914-1918)

From 1914 to January 1917 the history of the 11th Bavarian Infantry Regiment is the same as the Bavarian 13th Infantry Regiment. Both were part of the 6th Bavarian Division. In 1917 At the End of January, the 11th Infantry Regiment became part of the 16th Bayr. Div.

During 1914 the 6th Bavarian Infantry Division battled in Lorraine as part of the 6th Bavarian Army. In October 1914 the 6th Bavarian Division attacked and forced the surrender of the French Fort Camp des Romains. In 1916 the Division battled at in the titanic battles at Verdun (Thiaumont and Fleury) and at the Somme.

6th ARMY., 6th BAYR DIV.
1914 August Prevecourt & Delme,Luneville,
1914 Sept. 8, Champenoux,Nancy
Cotes De Meuse
1914 Climbed the Cotes De Meuse Sept 21 and attacked the Fort Camp des Romains and St Mihiel the 27th. Captured the fort and St. Mihel in October
1914-1915-June 1916 Division established itself Chauvoncourt -Spada-Lamorville
1916 Opposed French attack of June 23 (with the Alpine Corps) on Thiaumont and suffered heavy losses
August 2 & 3 in line before Fleury and lost heavily
1916 Somme Sept. between Flers & Gueudecourt Heavy losses
1916 Artois sector of Neuve,
1917, At the End of January, the 11th Infantry Regiment became part of the 16th Bayr. Div.
1917 Artos, Flanders-Messines, Cambresis
1918 Picardy, Ypres, Battle of the Scarpe-Somme, Battle of Dixmude.
Division rated as second class.

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552 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
* Welcome to the Forum. Pleased you enjoyed the post.
* Prior to the server having a memory lapse, Ron Wood requested I check the single crown right acceptance stamp report given above. So much for my recall, Ron's query was well directed.
* Mike Morris confirms the right most Inspector's acceptance stamp is indeed overstamped upon a second crown stamp. Mike also confirms the barrel S/N has no halo.
* The digitals are not definitive; but, possible, this image can be sharpened for further insight.

Download Attachment: MM_08_1st_Issue_ rcvr proofs_SN_2988ns.jpg

* Please note, the right most stamp can not be confirmed to be a Crown/Z as reported based on what I now see. I'm unable to decipher this letter from the digital pic provided; but, J.Walther, The Luger Book, Pg. 287 offers the following acceptance crown combinations: CQ, CZ, DU, EE, EG, TS, TT, & TZ.
* Finally, FWIW: Mike reports the barrel bears an open shield with a single line stroke from left upper corner to lower right side of the shield. I'm guessing this is a DWM barrel Inspector's Acceptance stamp found on 1906 and Contract commercial Lugers of the day; but, having not observed this mark, I'll simple report its existance.
* Trust this sets the record straight. I have corrected my initial report to reflect Mike's confirmation. My apologies if my initial errored report has caused confusion/concern.

To all....RW has done a terrific job reporting on my '08. much better than my digital shot. I will get a better shot of the overstamped crown and the barrel shield and send it to him to massage for the forum. Thanks for all the input and suggestions
Mike Morris

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
* Thank you for your Unit History research & Post above. This ole' gal is talking now!

* Yo & welcome to the Forum. First post makes you a veteran now; so, don't be bashful. See you at the Great Western, pardner.

* Mike supplied me with the following clarified pictures of this post's open subject items above.
(1) Proof/Acceptance - Doublet acceptance mark: From the choices J. Walters provides, I think the acceptance marks are C/E & C/E. The sketch could suggest a C/T. Regardless, the right hand acceptance stamp does appear more involved & coupled with Mike's report seems to confirm this mark is indeed a C/letter overstamp of another single crown.

Download Attachment: MM_08_1st_Issue_clear_ rcvr_proofs_SN2988ns.jpg

Download Attachment: MM_08_1st_Issue_Rt_Rcvr_mark_Sketch_SN2988ns.jpg

(2) The "barrel shield" appears on the underside near the S/N.

Download Attachment: MM_08_1st_Issue_bbl_accept_SN_2988ns.jpg

* As WAG'd above, this appears to be the same as mark #106 of Sam Costanzo's, WOLI, Pg. 189. Sam suggests this is an "Early and late DWM inspector's proof noted on 1908 Commercial & Contract models"; although, what substantiation (other than observation & collaboration) Sam based this upon is unknown. It does, however, seem to reinforce Sam's assertion and provides, by metallic example, proof of Gortz/Bryan's, German Small Arms Markings, Pg. 108 statement of 1st Issue "barrel material exception for the first 10,000 pieces (lest delivery might be delayed)". Appears DWM did use on-hand, commercial barrel inventory available to assure the Army's First Issue delivery schedule could be met.

* Trust this example adds a rung to the knowledge ladder and your enjoyment too. Comments, additions, and just general grousings on the subject are welcomed.
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