I have some good news and I have some bad news. The good news is that the outline appears to resemble a 'GL', but it is slightly 'blurry'; the bad news is that magazines of 'GL' pistols and carbines were not hallmarked in my opinion. In addition to the two 'GL' Lugers which I own in my personal collection (you may visit my web site hereunder to preview those two pistols), I have examined a few other genuine pistols and presentation carbines which have the same pattern - no 'GL' hallmark on the magazine. My 1900 Swiss Acceptance Luger which has an unrelieved grip/frame and a flat button magazine (this was the the original magazine which was issued with the pistol), has no 'GL'. Furthermore, the magazine which is inserted in the 1898 Borchardt-Luger serial #5, is actually serial serial #10, has no 'GL'. Therefore, using a rule of consistency, I doubt magazines of 'GL' pistols were hallmarked. It is very possible that somebody will add a 'GL' to the wood base of an early magazine to inflate the price, or simply boost that they own a 'GL' pistol with a 'GL' magazine - to me it makes no difference as long as the magazine is correct in a 'GL' Luger.
Otherwise, you have a fine condition early magzine.
On page 133 of John Walter's book, "The Luger Book", is shown a photograph of a "GL" marked wooden magazine bottom.
The photo credit is given to Dr. Rolf Gminder. Have you had a chance to have a discussion with Dr. Gminder in your travels in Europe about this topic ? Is he of the same opinion ? Do you know what gun Dr. Gminder owned that is shown with the GL-marked magazine in that photo ?
(Please do not misunderstand...I am not "discounting" your observations about cottage industry folks making these up to boost dollars and sales...just wondering if some might be legit...?)
I never had an opportunity to have a discussion with Dr. Gminder regarding this subject and, therefore, I would not know his opinion. Even though he might have been a managing director of Mauser at one time, I doubt he had information available which would justify that magazines with the 'GL' hallmark are legitimate.
Considering that only a limited number of pistols/carbines were hallmarked with 'GL' between 1899-1905/06, it is interesting to observe that 95% of those Lugers with 'GL' do not have a magazine with a 'GL' hallmark. What could have been the purpose/reason of stamping a standard magazine with a 'GL'? A magazine is a magazine which requires no special treatment or attention. If the attaching iron of a presentation carbine was not stamped with a 'GL', why should a disposable magazine be stamped with a 'GL'? Think about it...
I noticed that in Mauro Baudino's book "Luger Artiglieria" he shows Luger prototype serial number 6 in Paul Regnier's collection, and lists it as having the GL hallmark on both the rear toggle and the magazine. Since #6 was extensively modified after the Swiss trials, I wonder if the frame was relieved or if it still employs the early flat button magazine?
Thanks for the comments so far. This mag came in a 1911 Erfurt that I have posted elsewhere and was part of an estate that came from nowhere in Ohio......... Came into a small gun show. There was also a great drilling with it that back then I knew nothing about and passed on. I understand about believing the item and not the story but in this case there was no story.
B/L serial #6 still employs the flat-botton magazine, and I did notice the 'GL' on the pistol and the magazine when I examined the pistol in 1996. I do not mean to question so many 'GL' Lugers in existence, but if B/L serial #5 does not have a 'GL' hallmark nor the magazine which is serial #10, why should B/L serial #6 be an exception? I would like to comment that the rear toggle block was replaced on B/L serial #5 (maybe by the Swiss Arsenal because it has no serial number) when it probably cracked at the square joint. There could be a very slim possibility that it was originally delivered to Bern with a 'GL', but I do not think so. Unfortunately, we may never know the truth.
It would be of some interest to ascertain when GL´s stamp was last used by either DWM or Mauser for presentation items. Was it ever used AFTER he left the company? Did he personally authorise the use of his monogram - or was the stamp at the disposal of the company?
Georg Luger left the DWM factory in 1919 and died in 1923, however, the 'GL' hallmark does not appear anymore after 1907/08. The short life span (1899-1907) of using the 'GL' hallmark and the disappearance of the same hallmark can make you wonder!
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