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BAVARIAN ISSUED1912 DWM, SERIAL NUMBER 7885, B.II.109., DETAILS AND HOLSTER

1912 DWM Lugers are reported in the 599 to 9974 serial range and were manufactured without hold open or stock lug. Most had the hold open added in 1913 and early 1914. They all have military style (exposed) serial number placement. Estimated production: 10,000.


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Figure 1. Left side, Bavarian issued 1912 DWM, serial number 7885. The serial number placement is military (exposed style).


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Figure 2. Top view of 1912 DWM, serial number 7885.


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Figure 3. Right side of 1912 DWM, serial number 7885. 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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Figure 4. Right receiver of 1912 DWM, serial number 7885, showing acceptance stamps and proof.


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Figure 5. Front of frame and bottom of barrel of 1912 DWM, serial number 7885. Note: the halo around the digits of the barrel serial number and the digits of the 8,84 bore gauge and the lack of halo on the frame serial number. The barrel serial number is through the blue.


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Figure 6. 1912 DWM, serial number 7885. A stylized script “W” has been placed where the trigger guard meets the front strap. It displays a halo and was added after bluing. Its meaning is unknown. See John Coe’s post concerning this marking
THE MYSTERIOUS "W"OR "M" MARKING jcoe http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2431


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Figure 7. Backside of matching grips showing the last two digits of the serial number (85).


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Figure 8. Front, 1912 DWM, serial number 7885. It is unit stamped B.II.109: which signifies Bayerisches Armeekorps II, Command/Stab, Waffe Nr. 109.


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Figure 9. 1912 DWM, serial number 7885, with 1911 dated Bavarian manufactured holster.


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Figure 10. Holster back.


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Figure 11. The holster is stamped AWM/3/11 which signifies: Artillery Workshop Munchen 1911(Bavarian Army Workshop that specialized in artillery equipment, holsters and other leather goods)
GO TO: 1900-1918: Luger unit markings, for this Lugers history and unit related accessories.
PART 1/2, HISTORY, BAV.5. F.A.R., 17.J.R., 18.J.R. Jan C Still http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3127
 

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Ron
Here are a few more serial numbers in the vicinity of your Luger.
* 1912 DWM, s/n 7327 : B.II.67. - (Bayerisches Armeekorps II,Command/Stab, Waffe Nr. 67)(Germany stamped)
* 1912 DWM, s/n 7560: B.E.K.7.1. - (Bayerisches, Etappen-Kraftwagen-Kolonne Nr. 7, Waffe Nr. 1)
* 1912 DWM, s/n 7775 : B.II.138. - (Bayerisches Armeekorps II, Command/Stab, Waffe Nr. 138)
* 1912 DWM, s/n 7832 : B.4.I.D.47. - (Bayerisches Infanterie-Division 4, Command/Stab, Waffe Nr. 47)
#10016; 1912 DWM, s/n 7885 : B.II.109. - (Bayerisches Armeekorps II,Command/Stab, Waffe Nr. 109)
* 1912 DWM, s/n 7974 : 50.R.M.G.51. - (50 Infanterie-Regiment, Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, Waffe Nr. 51)
* 1912 DWM, s/n 8050 : B.2.T.K.6. - (Bayerisches, 2 Train-Bataillon, Kolonne 6)
There is a real concentration of Bavarian Lugers in the 1912 DWM 7327 to 8050 serial range. Does your luger have the "W" at the grip strap trigger guard intersection?
Jan
 
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Martin Gilbert's "The First World War" mentions that the first American troop actions in WWI took place on November 2, 1917 at Barthelemont on the Western front. A raiding party of 213 soldiers from a Bavarian Regiment attacked some isolated outposts of the American battalion containing about 50 troops. They killed three and captured 12. The Bavarians lost two of their own killed.
 

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Jan,
No "W" on mine. I was impressed by the close numerical proximity of our two Lugers, both Bavarian, both command/staff and both in very nice condition. I have a fairly nice second corps holster. Do you know with which corps the 4th division was associated?

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Ron
Your B.4.I.D.47 is a very rare and interesting stamp. Thanks for posting it.

The Third and Fourth Bavarian Infantry Divisions constituted the 2nd Bavarian Army Corps(page 81, Histories of 251 Divisions of the German Army that participated in the War 1914-1918).

Years ago, Gortz in an AUTO MAG article established that holsters for a specific Army Corps District were almost always purchased from within that Army Corps District. The principal cities in the Bavarian II Corps District are Wurzburg, Bamberg, Zweibrucken, and Landau. As most holsters are not Army Corps District marked, a holster manufactured within the Army Corps District will also suffice for a proper holster.

Collectors generally agree that the Crown I, II, or III signifies the corresponding Bavarian Army Corps(these holsters are almost all dated 1918 or undated). However, I have examined a few that had the mark sewn under a belt loop(all original, not a rework). These were clearly marked prior to holster manufacture. This might suggests that the stamp may signify some sort of leather inspection. Also, Costanzo(page 188) states that these signify a “Weimar Military Police holster proof” with the numbers signifying the area of police authority. Several years a holster was sold on E-Bay that had both a BA stamp and Crown stamp. It appeared in the E-Bay photographs that the BA stamp number did not match the Crown stamp number. After all that, I am still of the opinion that the Crown stamp may signify the Bavarian Army Corps but this identification is not certain.
Jan
 

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Thank you Jan. The information is much appreciated. A couple more questions. I have never seen any markings other than Crown I, II or III. How many Bavarian corps were there? During the Weimar period were the number of police areas of authority limited to 3? Just trying to think of a way to approach a possible resolution of the identification.
 

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Ron
There were three Bavarian Army Corps Districts(I, II, III). Bavaria contributed 11 percent to the national contingents. The range of numbers (under the crown)found on the holsters, I-III reflects the range of Bavarian Army Corps Districts(I-III) and lends credibility to the theory that the Crown/number indicates the Bavarian Army Corps District.
Jan
 
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