"W" triggerguard stamp, summary of reported. Added 03-10-05.
May have missed some data. Please post on this string and it will be added. Found other "W" post and added the data. Are there any more trigger guard "W"s? Please post.
1908 DWM sn 6232, “W”, 3.G.I.D.2.
1908 DWM sn 847a, “W”, A.M.XIII.5.22.
1908 DWM sn 9976a, “W”
1908 DWM sn 43b, “W”, 13.I.D.2.
1910 DWM sn5683d, "W", R.D.1
1912 DWM sn 7885, “W”, B.II.109.
1915 DWM sn 7685, “W”
1915 DWM LP08 sn 1113 suffix?, “W”
1915/1920 DWM LP08 receiver, sn 5718, “W”
1915 DWM LP08 sn 6769, “W”
1915 DWM LP08 sn 868a, “W”
1915 DWM LP08 sn 9537a, “W”
1915 DWM LP08 sn ?, “W”
1916 DWM LP08 sn ?, “W”
1918 DWM sn2235, “W”
Johns article on the “THE MYSTERIOUS "W"OR "M" MARKING” (found where the trigger guard meets the front grip strap) caused me to examine the Imperial Lugers in my collection. I had noticed this “W” stamp on a few of these Lugers and recently looked through my Imperial collection to find the ‘W’. I found three Lugers with the stamp. I was very surprised to find that the three “W” stamps were all on Lugers bearing the same type of rare Command/Stab unit mark. The “W”stamps are shown below:
(Here in, the various stamps are all referred to as the “W”)
Download Attachment: 219086233x1.jpg
Figure 1. 1908 DWM, serial number 6233, unit stamp 3.G.I.D.2.
- (3.Garde-Infanerie -Division, Command/Stab, Waffe Nr. 2.). 5 of 870 reported unit marked Imperial Lugers bear command /staff divisional stamps. The ‘W’ stamp looks like a scriptic “N”.
Download Attachment: 190843bx2.jpg
Figure 2. 1908 DWM, serial number 43b, 13.I.D.2.
- (13.Infanerie -Division, Command/Stab, Waffe Nr. 2.). 5 of 870 reported unit marked Imperial Lugers bear command /staff divisional stamps. The ‘W” stamp looks like a scriptic ‘V’ (or a broken ‘W” or ‘N’ die).
Download Attachment: 19127885cx3.jpg
Figure 3. 1912 DWM, serial number 7885 : B.II.109.
- (Bayerisches Armeekorps II,Command/Stab, Waffe Nr. 109). 11 of 870 reported unit marked Imperial Lugers bear command /staff Army Corps stamps. The “W” looks like a scriptic “W” or is some sort of scriptic symbol.
(Note: command /staff divisional marked Lugers bearing the unit stamps 36.I.D.1.
do not bear the ‘W” mark. I would estimate that the “W” stamp appears on less than 2 percent of the prewar Army Lugers.)
The three ‘W” stamps are all sharp and well defined scriptic markings. They all bear a halo and were applied after bluing. I would speculate that the stamps used to apply these markings were thin and delicate and subject to breaking.
My initial thoughts were that the “W” was simply a workers stamp that was applied to the outside of the Luger for some obscure reason. However, 1910 dated instructions for marking the P 08 state that the workers stamps are to be applied to hidden surfaces and the delicate scriptic “W” does not look like the workers stamps observed.(Gortz page 110).
It is interesting that “W” in the 1909 marking regulations signifies “Werkstatt” which translates to work or repair shop(Gortz page 19). Perhaps the “W” signifies some sort of repair. However, repairs accomplished at a factory or major repair facility are usually indicated by the crown/scriptic letter acceptance stamp of a significantly smaller size than the “W”.
There would seem to be some correlation between the “W” stamp and the command/staff units to which the Luger was assigned.. However, data indicates that command/staff unit marked Lugers did not always have the “W”stamp applied. Perhaps the most likely explanation(based on this sparse data) would be an indication of limited repair or inspection (insufficient to require official inspection) at a workshop associated with the command/staff. This would explain its sporadic use and its association with the command/staff unit stamp marked Lugers.
There does not seem to be a really good explanation for the “W” stamp as it is applied to these prewar Army Lugers. More data may point the way to a more plausible explanation or cause the rejection of the Werkstatt-command/staff explanation .
Additional information on Lugers bearing the “W” stamp is needed. Please examine your Imperial Lugers to see if they bear the “W” stamp and report the information on this Forum. Please report any Lugers with command /staff unit markings and if they do or do not bear the “W” stamp.
See the posts below for additional information on the “W” stamps applied to artillery Lugers: THE MYSTERIOUS "W"OR "M" MARKING jcoe http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2431
Dubyah's big day. keoki7 http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3633