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· Gold Bullet Member
1,844 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About the Dutch - contract Lugers Martens & and de Vries have written a very informative book; 'The Dutch Luger'. Presenting a fine Dutch Rig from 1913, I refer to this book with 'TDL'.

The Dutch army, wanting to replace the outdated service revolver from 1876, invited factories to send offers and a few samples of a self loading pistol. Between 1900 and 1905 the Army tested 6 different models. After that, the Parabellum of DWM was clearly the best choice. A 187 were ordered at DWM, for severe tests by several units in the Army, amongst them .30 and 9mm calibres and the socalled 'Dutch model' with the new coil main spring. These tests again were positive, so the Ministry of Warfare proposed a budget to the parliament. It was rejected; 'too expensive, too dangerous for the user...'. In stead, 3.000 more revolvers were ordered.

The Dutch Colonial Army, also looking to replace there lighter revolver, got a copy of the tests - results, and ordered 10 pistols from DWM to do some testing 'in the field' in the Dutch Indies of that time. Everything came out positively, with a solitary remark that the magazines were very difficult to clean, and that a more easy way of opening the base of them was necessary.

Between 1911 (hence the name 'M11') and 1914 4.181 Luger pistols were ordered and delivered, devided in four contracts:
1.391 early 1912 - # 1 - 1391
750 November 1912 - # 1392 - 2141
1.290 December 1913 - # 2142 - 3431
750 May 1914 - # 3432 - 4181
400 June 1914 were never delivered, due to the outbreak of WWI.

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This Luger is one of the first out of the third contract.It has the serial # 2156, and was send to the Indies in 1913. It has no brass identification plate, so it must be destinated for sale to an officer.

Brass plates
According to 'TDL' all pistols of the first contracts were marked on the backside of the frame with the unit and a number. These were later filed away and a small brass plate was soldered on the front of the trigger guard.
All weapons received a brass plate except officer’s Lugers.This rig must have been an officers – pistol, there is no sign of any marking or removal of such. The brass plates were later (1938) repositioned on the left side of the receiver.
All pistols were send directly to the Indies, only 6 of them were send to the Netherlands, for training purposes in the infantry - school of the Indies-Army.

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Only one Crown above ‘W’ on left side receiver. This 'W' is the initial of three kings and one queen of the kingdom of the Netherlands since 1815 (Willem I, II, III and Wilhelmina).
This is the first issue of this proof, a crown with a small cross on top, normally found on the right side of the receiver of the first two contracts. As this is the 15th pistol of the third contract the old proof mark is still used. The second style proofmark has a crown with a globe on top of it. ('TDL', page 162, see also picture on page 129, # 2994 has the old proof also).
This proofmark was applied under supervision of Dutch inspectors. There were no marks applied upon other parts, such as the barrel or the breechblock.

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Only marked with # 2156. This would mean, that the barrel never has been renewed. Renewal was common practice in the Indies, due to the moist and hot climate about every 7 years barrels had to be renewed. The year of renewal was stamped in four digits on top of the barrel. This barrel is clean, had also an alomst mint inside, as if it has been shot through only a very few times. Whatever officer had this rig as his personal weapon, he was not very active outside of his office, and he must have been cleaning the pistol regulary.

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Grip plates
Both marked with # 2156.

Two digit #'s
#56 is found on trigger, cover plate, receiver, sear bar, hold-open latch, firing pin, firing pin holder, breechblock, toggle assembly, grip safety and rear toggle pin.

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Rust (= safe rest in Dutch) with an arrow pointing upwards. Safe is in upper position, in the style of the early Lugers.

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“Geladen” on both sides of the extractor. This is only the case for all Dutch - contract Lugers.

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Manufactured by the army – ‘construction shop’ (Constructie Winkel) October 1935 in Batavia (now Djakarta). It is a Sam Brown – belt style holster, issued only to officers. Regular soldiers and NCO’s had only the pouch for the cleaning rod stitched to the right side, punch and tool were carried upon an extra holster for two magazines.
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The buttons
They have a decoration of four lobs, painted black, the original buttons issued, and often replaced by plain unmarked ones.

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Meaning of marks
‘Z’ in circle: Inspection stamp of the period 1940 – 1942.
‘CW’ ‘Constructie Winkel’
‘N’ New construction. (H = hersteld, repaired)
‘10 35’ Date of manufacture. October 1935
‘A L’ Inspection stamp. Started in 1915 with ‘A A’
every new team of inspectors took the next character
after the initial ‘A’.
End of 1935 we are at the ‘L’.

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The cleaning rod
has a small grease container on top, it was used as a hammer when using the pin punch to open the magazine for cleaning. On the grease container it is marked with 'GS' (Geweer School = Rifle School = Dutch Indies Arsenal).
The pin punch has been made in the Indies, it was the regular tool. Close examination shows remaining spots of red paint on the upper part.

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The magazine
is from the very early type, specially made on order for the Dutch. They wanted a quick and easy way to open the bottom for cleaning. A spring holds the bottom, when pushed back it could indeed be opened for inspection. After a few years this showed out to be a dangerous 'improvement'. During shooting, caused by the recoil, the base of the magazine jumped out, together with the long spring and the cartridges… Most of these old magazines have got a reinforcement – pin, as in the case of this magazine.

Well, I am very happy with this newly conquered rig, specially because I am born in The Netherlands. Hope you enjoy it too, and thank you for your attention.

· Super Moderator
5,791 Posts
Hi Joop,

Goed gedaan!
Always nice to find another Dutch luger collector.

Did you find this rig in Europe? Especially the holsters are very, very difficult to find.
I actually own it's sister, another one from the 1913 delivery.


· Gold Bullet Member
1,844 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Heinz and Dwight,

Thank you for your kind comments.


Well, I got this rig from a Belgian collector, who decided to sell his collection after 30 years of hard work and lots of time he has invested in it. A pity for him, and luck for me, as I got the best pieces...

He claims to have bought this pistol 15 years ago from a Belgian Gentleman, who could not sell it before his father deceased - because it was this father who bought this weapon during his stay as a Belgian refugee in 1917...

If we look to the pistol alone, this could be the case, as the weapon does not show any sign of normal use in the Indies. But the holster is undoubtely much younger (1935) so I think this is again 'one of those stories', also because of the fact that an officer's pistol would not be available for sale to any civilian at that time.

Nevertheless, it is a fine set. Is yours in a similar condition?

Best regards / vriendelijke groet,

· Super Moderator
5,791 Posts
Hi Joop,

I agree that it is not very likely that this gun came on the market like that. I know that a number of returning KNIL soldiers brougth their side-arms with them and never turned them in.

My gun was purchased in Den Haag a few years ago for 400EUR. A real steal! It's condition can be compared to yours, although my sideplate has been worked on and shows a brownish finish, rather than the original black one. Gun is not completely matched, the upper barrel/receiver combo is a 1928 KOL set (original numbered barrel with german crown/N sign), with 1938-version sideplate. I'm quite confident that this was an arsenal-rebuild/repair job, to get the gun in service after 1945.

Download Attachment: M11-2.jpg

I think your gun was bought somewhere in the 1960's after they appeared on the commercial market, alternatively it could be bought from a returning, retired KNIL officer.

These guns didn't see much action, as there were ammo shortages from day one and as a result most of them spent their lives in KNIL arsenals.

· Gold Bullet Member
1,844 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello Gerben,

Nice 1913! Must have been back in a holster during the 'Politionele acties' 1946 - 1947 in the Indies then. Thank you for showing it.

· Gold Bullet Member
1,844 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·

We missed you indeed, however the forum's secret service member seem to have followed you even in Reno, and reported about your presence there...
Thanks for your kind words.
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