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Discussion Starter #1
I am reposting the pics of a DWM 1900 Prototype Luger of the 10000 series that belongs to Terri of Treasure Hunt Arms, http://209.150.146.175/.
It is a shame that the thread concerning this pistol has been lost. This pistol is the mating of the dished toggle of the long frame first model with the short frame of the second model.

Description:

DWM 1900 prototype luger. 30 cal. Ser# 100xx B. Pristine condition with only a small amount of holster wear, about 90%. This pistol is only a few numbers lower than Georg Luger's personal gun.

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This Luger keeps me awake nights. I would really like to know its story.

At 10 A.M on 21 May 1903, Georg Luger personally presented 5 Lugers to the Ordnance Board at Springfield Armory. Two of these Lugers were in 7.65mm and three were 9mm. The 9mm Lugers were in three different barrel lengths 3 7/8” (10cm), 4 11/16 (12cm) and 5 13/16” (15cm).

From the account of the test review, “The pistols submitted differed only in a few minor details from those previously tested. The form of the extractor had been slightly changed, the ejector, firing spring and recoil spring had been strengthened, the safety grip made wider, the lug on the safety lever made higher and the front sight slightly changed in form. The two calibers differed only in the barrels, all the remaining parts including the magazine being identical.”

This test preceded the purchase of the 50 “Cartridge Counter” pieces. One wonders what the changes were to the extractor, firing spring and recoil spring. There is some conjecture that this may have marked the introduction of the coil mainspring, but this is highly unlikely since the Cartridge Counter examples that followed did not incorporate this feature. What is interesting about these weapons is that according to Walter (“The Luger Story”), “Two of these have been identified as 10030B and 10060B, with a special 12cm barrel and a standard 15cm barrel respectively.”

This could possibly indicate that the beautiful “DWM 1900 prototype luger” with the serial number 10060B in the possession of Ms Terri might have indeed been one of the pieces presented by Georg to the Board that has subsequently been modified. Consider these points:

1. By the records and accounts, 10060B was in 9mm. That would explain the short frame/short receiver of this piece. The Test Trial Cartridge Counters (and 1902 “Fat Barrel” commercial models) that followed subsequently were of this configuration.

2. The Luger at Treasure Hunt Arms wears a 7.65mm barrel. It bears the same serial number as the frame, and would seem to be a factory installation as it has been marked with the shield-shaped DWM barrel inspection proof. It could be assumed that the piece returned to Germany with Georg after the test, and was subsequently re-barreled to the then more readily abundant 7.65mm cartridge. This would account for the caliber and the seemingly anomalous “mating of the dished toggle of the long frame first model with the short frame of the second model”

All of this is of course pure conjecture, but I sure wish I was rich...I would love to own this Luger. Then I could spend my sleepless nights pondering its mysteries up close and personal.


If it is made after 1918...it is a reproduction.
 

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Wes,

I am not sure what you mean by “filed away”? I have enlarged the witness mark area a little, and it appears that the mark is intact. If you are referring to the two small light areas, I believe that they are the result of the metal being upset on this narrow edge when the mark was struck. Since they are on a thin edge, this higher upset area is much more vulnerable to wear than the surrounding metal, so these two tiny points have been polished bright, but I don’t think they have been deliberately filed.

MarkHighlight.jpg

If it is made after 1918...it is a reproduction.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ron,
The area that I am looking at is where the radius meets the flange of the barrel. The junction of these two features looks a little weird as it comes around the horizon to the near view point. Nothing to do with the witness mark itself.
It may be just lighting that would cause an optical illusion.

On second consideration, that is exactly what it is: the distortion of lighting.



Regards,
wes
 

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Wes, are you convinced it is just the lighting? Lookin at the area out side of Ron's excerpt it looks to me like the thickness of the rim is slightly increasing as would happen if the radius was filed off. But, why file the barrel witness mark? It should have been a new without a witness mark if it was a factory replacement.

And Ron, is the Uppercase B not unusual even in a test piece?

reat photos. Really interesting piece.

regards, heinz
 

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Heinz,

The uppercase B is unusual, but not in a 10,000 serial number Luger. This 10000 series uppercase B designation was primarily reserved for special production or prototype pieces. Most 10000B Lugers will exhibit some special feature that is unique. Also many of them will have the GL proof on the rear of the toggle indicating personal specification/supervision/inspection by Georg Luger.

After Wes pointed out more specifically that the radius appeared flattened at the witness mark, I had to agree. It may well be an illusion caused by the lighting, or maybe not. Look at this other view of the area (this is a thumbnail image - click to enlarge). The radius seems constant from this angle.

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If it is made after 1918...it is a reproduction.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Heinz,
20-30 years ago, I attempted to develop the skill of the art of engraving. The masters who create illusions in metal, such as the busts on a coin, have my admiration. However, I have created nothing that I would care to display.

If I owned a very rare pistol that had suffered major damage to the barrel (for who knows what reason), and wanted (because of lack of integrity) -(certainly not the case of the present owner)- to 'restore' it with a similar barrel at hand, I would approach it in the following manner:
1. Obtain a 'circa' barrel with similar number. This would not be easy! 100x would be about as close as a person could possibly do, and consider himself very fortunate indeed! Forget the 15cm, much less the 9mm. Then overstamp the x and add a 0. This would take several years of searching.
2. Hand fit the barrel to the receiver. No small task, that. The witness mark would have to be of secondary consideration.
3. Then, restrike the witness mark to appear original. This would necessitate the removal of the original witness marks on the receiver and the barrel flange. And must be done by hand to get a good blend, but the skill of the engraver would have to be employed to bring the radius to appear untouched and not be distinguished from the co-joining radius and flange.

If this is not the original barrel for this pistol, the last touch of the engraver was overlooked. You know, a man cannot work on a pistol forever! There has to be a point that you say, "Enough, it is finished".

Now, mind you, I cannot say that this pistol has been touched, for I am not looking at it with a loop at the moment. And if it has been rebarreled, it may have been done at the factory, as has been suggested. Does the 6 on the barrel serial look stamped over to you?

Ron,
From the view that you posted, I have puzzled at this and must state that a gradual deepening of the area of removal will be un-noticeable from that view. It would have to be measured with calipers or an indicator.

I like your suggestion that this is a factory barrel replacement.



Regards,
wes
 

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Horning in on this topic for a moment, some observations occur to me.

Survey samples tend to indicate that common factory practice when installing a fresh replacement barrel was to stamp a witness mark to match the receiver mark.

The overstamp is troubling.

the pictures are not -nearly- clear enough to make a determination with any confidence. The apparent "flattening" of the barrel flange is striking enough to make me want to take a closer look. I'd think this might be easy to determine if one could see the barrel and receiver bottom together.

--Dwight
 
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I remember this post from a few months ago before the forum was attacked. In my opinion, this pistol is not a prototype in its current configuration because prototype Lugers (even those in the 10000B serial range) did not have any proofs marks which this Luger contains, namely a Crown N proof. As a result of its interesting upper/lower receiver combination, this pistol was probably modified at the DWM factory and sold on the commercial market. Who knows what it was before the modification?

Albert
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Horn-in, my butt! I have been trying to lure you into this conversation since the thread started.

Yep, a good pic of the receiver and barrel would go a long way in furthering this discussion.

Albert,
If this were a 'presentation' Luger, would it not have to be proofed to be brought into the US? If this question is totally ignorant, please consider the source.
 
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Hello Wes,

I did not want to enter the discussion too quickly because I realized that my friend Ron would have preferred to make the first comments! He just loves talking about this stuff!

If this pistol was to be considered a 'Presentation Luger', it would have probably had a 'GL' hallmark. I cannot state with any degree of certainity that a presentation piece would require a proof mark to be imported into the US in the early 1900's. I have examined a couple of 'GL' Lugers which have a 'Crown N' proof mark, but the existence of this proof mark on a 'GL' pistol can 'open a can of worms'. It is an acceptable conclusion that test guns such as the 1900 US Test Trail Lugers and the 1902 Cartridge Counter Lugers will not have proof marks, except for the factory applied 'flaming bomb' proof mark which appears on some of these Lugers.

Albert

[image]http://imperialarms.home.att.net/Images/Thumbnails/Lugers/1900Swiss.jpg[/image]

"If it does not show any patina, it is not original"

Imperial Arms Web Site: http://imperialarms.home.att.net
 

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In any case, this is a truly grand early luger. The theory that this pistol was rebarreld at the factory seems probable. Ron cites records that indicate 10060 B should be a 9 mm and this is not, The barrel stamping looks a bit off on the 6, and maybe the witness mark has been retouched. Nothing is sure but the totality seems to fit Professor Wood's hypothesis. As always, thanks for the education.

PS Wes, my engraving looks like it was done with a plow.

regards, heinz
 

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Professor Wood!!! Now how in the world am I going to live up (or down) to that appellation!

If it is made after 1918...it is a reproduction.
 

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Wes,

Regarding proofs on early guns, I seem to recall that many 1900 Lugers were not proofed (the citation is lost in the mists of memory). I can tell you that my own 1900AE is export stamped Germany, but has no proofs of any kind.

A "presentation piece" might be brought into the US privately, that is by the person making the presentation, and not be officially an "export". Thus, it might very well not be stamped Germany.

--Dwight
 
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I've just joined this group and thought you may be interested in a little provenance on this piece. My cusotmer (who actually owns this pistol) received it from his Grandfather who won it on a $5 bet in a card game at a hunting camp near Leesville LA in the mid 1930's. It has been in his family's possesion since then. My customer had no idea that this was an unusual luger when he brought it to me. I am planning on attending the next Louisville show (hopefully nothing will come up) and if any of you are also attending and would like to see this piece, please email me before the show and we can make arrangements to meet. I would love to find out more about this pistol. miss.t
 
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I've just joined this group and thought you may be interested in a little provenance on this piece. My cusotmer (who actually owns this pistol) received it from his Grandfather who won it on a $5 bet in a card game at a hunting camp near Leesville LA in the mid 1930's. It has been in his family's possesion since then. My customer had no idea that this was an unusual luger when he brought it to me. I am planning on attending the next Louisville show (hopefully nothing will come up) and if any of you are also attending and would like to see this piece, please email me before the show and we can make arrangements to meet. I would love to find out more about this pistol. miss.t
 

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miss t....... WELCOME to the board and providing a neat piece of histoy. Can you tell me about the mag? Does it have a wood bottom and does it have any markings on it? Thanks.........
 

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miss t....... WELCOME to the board and providing a neat piece of histoy. Can you tell me about the mag? Does it have a wood bottom and does it have any markings on it? Thanks.........
 

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miss t; very interesting to hear more of the story!

Thanks,

Ed
 
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