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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I – THE SURVEY PURPOSE

Dear Forum Members,

After several months postponing this task, I decided to start a serious database about the surviving Lugers made by DWM for the Brazilian Army and delivered between 1908-1911.

Besides a natural interest as a Brazilian collector, I feel this is one of the less researched variants among the several Luger tips. I had noticed that most of the well-known books about the Parabellum pistols provide only the same limited information, which has been repeated over and over for decades. Some authors (i.e. John Walter) even dedicated more lines about countries that never adopted the Luger pistol (such as Argentina and Mexico), than about the Brazilian contract - which was one of the Parabellum’s biggest foreign sales for DWM at that time.

It is my understanding that this situation is not fault of any authors. On the contrary, it is much more a consequence of limited access to the Brazilian sources (still an issue faced by local researchers when dealing with military files) than anything else. Besides that, it is clear to me that, for some reason, this variation was misunderstood and overlooked when it first appeared in the surplus international market.

On the other hand, the Internet has proved itself as a wonderful tool to collect data and exchange information. During the years that I’ve been a member of both Luger-oriented forums (Jan Still Central Powers Pistols and the Luger forum), I managed to collect, here and there, some basic information that, when put together, helped me to shed light over this contract – and, in addition, to dismiss, some incorrect information previously disseminated.

By realizing this, I was pushed to take one step further in this research, as I have a feeling that I have a great puzzle in front of me, but most pieces needed are available and just have to be collected to tell us a nice story.

Thus, is my intention to collect as much as additional information as I can gather in order to have a better idea about these guns, its survival rate and, in a long term, if it proves successful, to publish it.

As said above, simple data is enough to debunk some incorrect information that has been floating around for decades, so, I am planning to be focused only on the following features:

- serial number
- caliber
- receiver proof (“circled-B”) (yes / no)
- barrel proof (“circled-B”)(yes / no)
- finish (original, reblued, nickled, etc...)
- notes (for additional information v.g., mismatching, parts only, etc.).
- source (v.g. private collection, dealer, museum, etc.).

I can guarantee that any personal data will be kept in safe and no personal information will be disclosed to third parties without previous contact and written consent.

At last, but not the least, another aspect important aspect of this study is related to documents. Although this is a situation where the “home front” may prove to be more fruitful, advertising from old surplus dealers from the 50s and 60s is also welcome.

So, I invite you all to help me with this task. Please, report any “Brazilian Lugers” that you have in your collections, or that you had seen on gun dealers, gun showns, pawn shops, etc., informing the characteristics listed above. I will be very greatful for all your help.

Please, find below the file that allows you to download the updated (up to May 11th, 2020) chart with the limited information that I managed to gather up to now, for your review.

Thanks to all for your kind help and heads up.

Douglas
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
II – HISTORICAL CONTEXT
In 1908 a military commission was sent to Germany by the Brazilian Army in order to purchase 400,000 Mauser Rifles (the so called Brazilian Model 1908). At the same occasion it was also dealt with DWM the acquisition of 5,000 “Neuer Art” pistols in caliber 7,65mm Luger.

Those pistols were featured with the following characteristics:

- Chambered to 7,65mm Luger (.30 Luger)
- 120mm (4.75 inches) barrels
- Inspector proof stamped on the left side of the receiver (a “circled B”)
- Extractor marked “CARREGADA”
- Grip safety
- Polished safety lever area

On the contrary to the Mauser rifles, the pistol lacked any national coat of arms. The guns were delivered in several batches between 1908-1911 (WALTER, John in “The Luger Book”).

Official news about its issuing in the Brazilian Army and its technical and shooting information was published in the Army Bulletin nr. 214", dated from July 5th, 1912. On this bulletin, it was presented the "Instructions to the Parabellum Pistol's Shooting" (Instruções para o Tiro com a Pistola Parabellum). According to such official document:

"As it was issued to our Army the automatic pistol Borchardt Lueger [sic], far superior to its counterparts and known commonly as Parabellum, we will present this military handgun that, because of its importance, was choose in many countries to replace the service revolver and sometimes the carbine.
(…)
“Our pistol is the 7,65mm version but we will replicate the mechanical and ballistic data of both versions [i.e. the .30 Luger and 9mm Luger] because they are the only features that put one model apart from the other.”


At that time, the Luger pistol was named according to the “old” rule of nomenclature, which remained in until late 1940s. According to this system, they follow the commercial name of the gun and, so, the Luger of the Brazilian contract was called “Pistola Parabellum” upon its adoption by the Brazilian Army.

Sometime during the 1920s, the name Parabellum became Parabelum (with a single “L”), and was written this way in the documents of some State Law Enforcements where the Luger pistol also saw service. This version of the name was found in documents from the State of Alagoas Police Department (1925) and from the Federal District of Guanabara (which comprised the city of Rio de Janeiro, by then the Brazilian Federal Government District) in 1923 and 1924.

The Luger pistols in the Brazilian Army inventory began to be transferred to several Law Enforcement Agencies, beginning in mid-1920s, but it was only fully replaced in 1937 upon the official adoption of the Colt M1911A1 pistols and Smith & Wesson Model 1917 revolvers. Notwithstanding, the Lugers still remained in active service with several State Police Departments, mostly on the Northeast part of the country for another 20 years.

It's interesting to note that, contrary to the common belief, these pistols saw plenty of action. There is a common (but incorrect) belief that Brazilians Lugers should not look so weary as the country was not involved in a war for a century or so, but truth is these Lugers time of service coincided with a period of social and military unrest in Brazil's history.

Most of the guns that survived this long tenure as a Military and Law Enforcement sidearm, were sold to foreign gun surplus dealers and not many were left in Brazil. In addition, several were refurbished during its lifespan and are extremely difficult to be found in collectable condition. Some links:

About the pistol:
http://luger.gunboards.com/showthre...razilian-Luger-Model-1906&highlight=brazilian

About the 2nd Model Holster:
http://luger.gunboards.com/showthre...Luger-%96-%932nd-Model%94&highlight=brazilian

Thanks for reading.

Douglas.
 

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Dear Douglas, History is my passion, especially the little known.
That tell you is really rare to hear !
I live in Italy and I have never seen a Brazilian Luger, even if they knew the existence. For this reason I can not be useful .... and I'm sorry.
Saluti cordialissimi
Giuliano
 

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Hi Douglas, As someone who has recently undertaken a project similar to yours (The Navy List), a word of advice. Be sure to ask, at the very outset, for any information that might prove useful. It's very aggravating, a year or two down the road, to find that it would be interesting to know if grips, hold-opens and firing pins were numbered, for example. Good luck and all the best, Norm
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Norme,

I should confess that those are features that I didn't had think of.
I will think about it. Thanks for the very good advice!

Giuliano,

Personally I can not think about old handguns out of a historical context.
In fact this is main reason behind my decision to collect firearms, much more than shooting. To me, everything is history.

Grazi per tua parola di appoggio.

Douglas
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Douglas,
Have you other photos holster for Lugers Brazilian than the # 2087?
Thank you.
Joël
Mon ami Joël,

I have only seen one holster for the Brazilian Contract other than #2087.
It is not mine, and it does not have any pistol with it.
I heard from Brazilian Army officers that all that was left was destroyed during the 1970s and 1980s.

I will send pictures of this holster to your e-mail.

Douglas
 

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Douglas, Glad to see that you have my Brazilian luger listed (sn 812). I varify that all of the data you have listed is correct. Bill Hughes
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bill,
Good to see that you like it.
I just upload an updated list (few numbers added).
If anyone is aware of any number not listed, let me know.

Douglas
 

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Brazilian Luger

Douglas

I have serial number 3159, Calibre is 7.65mm ,the receiver is circled B, there is no barrel proof athough the barrel is numbered 3159. The finish I believe is original, the area under the safety lever is bright. The extractor is marked "carregada" on the left side.
It is all matching numbers 59 on the sideplate under side and rear of the toggle.

I purchased it at a gun show at Phoenix quite a few years ago.
It also has a holster but in poor condition.
Regards
Murray
 

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+1! I would love to see a photo of the holster...regardless of condition:)
 

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My holster

Herewith photos of the holster. I did not state that it is a Brazilian holster, I posted that my gun had a holster, notwithstanding,
1.the holster came with the Brazilian Luger,
2. Athough it looks very much like an early Portuguese holster, it is different. Firstly there is no pin punch pouch,
3. The belt loop is much narrower than my M-2 holster.(note: the copper loop is one of my display mounts) and is nothing like my GNR holster. The belt loop is exacly 37mm wide. There is a row of stiching holes under the bottom end of the belt loop. You can just see them in the second photo. It looks like the loop has beed modified at some time to take a "wider" belt. The stich holes are exactly the same width as the set below them.
4.There are no marks/stamps on the holster inside or out.
5. The front leather is much softer and a little thinner than the Portuguese holsters I have.

As the Portuguese contracts occured at a similar time to the Brazilian contract and give the long ties between Brazil and Portugal could this be a Brazilian holster?

I don't have a photo of one nor have I ever seen a photo of one, hence I assumed rightly or wrongly that the holster matched the Brazilian Luger it held.
Alternativly, this holster could be a very early luger holster such as the one shown on page 1242 in book 3 of "Pistol Parabellum".


Kind wishes

Murray
 

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The holster is definitely not Portuguese at first I thought it might be an early PO4 holster for the 4 inch Navy but it’s not.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Murray,

Thanks a lot for your report.
I also enjoyed your holster.

Douglas
 

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I picked up the following at Tulsa this last weekend;

- serial number -- 3038
- caliber -- 7.65mm
- receiver proof (“circled-B”) YES (looks more like a circle with a triangle)
- barrel proof (“circled-B”) YES
- finish (original, reblued, nickled, etc...) -- very poor condition
- notes (for additional information v.g., mismatching, parts only, etc.). -- missing some small parts, mostly matching
- source (v.g. private collection, dealer, museum, etc.). -- private purchase
 

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Have #33 with circled B on receiver but no barrel proof. Finish is original, but magazine is not. Caliber is 7.62. In private hands but is for sale.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ed,

Thanks for your report! If it is a circle with a triangle inside, then it is for a Portuguese. The serial numbers for Portuguese Army Luger also goes from 1 to 5000 just like the Brazilian Lugers and were made in the same timeframe.

Maybe a parts gun?

Douglas.
 
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