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Hi. I was wondering about the hold open change and when how it was implemented on the Commercial 1908 pistols. I have two, separated by a few hundred serials, one with the hold open the other not. Might it have been that the one was sold and the owner didn't bother to get it changed while the other still had not been sold so was rounded up and reworked.
Thoughts?
 

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I'm no expert on which pistols were subject to the hold open retrofit, although it appears to have been sometime in 1913, but I would doubt it commercial pistols were "rounded up" to have it added. Perhaps your pistols just bracket the date of the hold open being made standard once again?
 

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The holdopen was part of the original design an not an afterthought.

So commercial Parabellum pistols would have had the holdopen, even when the military P08 had not.

The german army initially had the hold open deleted to save money.
 

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The holdopen was part of the original design an not an afterthought.

So commercial Parabellum pistols would have had the holdopen, even when the military P08 had not.

The german army initially had the hold open deleted to save money.
commercial lugers before 1913 also were produced without the hold open.
 

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The original patent by Georg Luger for the hold open is dated 6 May, 1900. The design was later improved and patented on 7 November, 1907. According to Gortz & Sturgess, page 1088, all Lugers fitted with the hold open after 7 November, 1907, had the new design. However, their wording suggests that not all commercial Lugers were made with the hold open.
 

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In all of the commercial Database reports of the commercial 08C (no stock lug P08) there are:

146 entries which report the absence of original holdopen. These include:
46 direct reports;
95 serial numbers from the Landau List;
5 which have the armory addition.

7 reports of original holdopens.

5 reports of holdopens being "present," at least one is a non-standard modification.

There are 470 reports of 08C (no stock lug P08) in the database.
The earliest 08C reported is sn 39047.
The first P08 (with stock lug, 1913 production) report is sn 70185, and the two variations are intermixed until the last 08C report at sn 71156.
The first 08C report with an original holdopen is sn 51197.
The last 08C without holdopen report is sn 64426; the last two holdopen reports (with original holdopens) are sn 65093 and sn 69171.

It seems a reasonable conclusion is that any example of the original commercial P08 variation was probably made without a holdopen. Always examine the pistol to make sure.

--Dwight
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It seems a reasonable conclusion is that any example of the original commercial P08 variation was probably made without a holdopen
Sooooooo .... then the holdopen on mine is a later modification? Did they stamp an inspection mark after such an addition?
Luger Holdopen.jpg
 

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Commercial pistols are NOT military contract P08s. So the regulations for acceptance and modifications required by the German army are not required for commercial pistols.

With commercial pistols, DWM could do whatever they wanted, when they wanted, how they wanted because the army was not involved.

Commercial pistols are technically speaking not even P08s. They are Parabellum Pistols. Only those ordered and accepted by the German army are P08s.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Got it. I am still trying to understand the why and when of the hold open on my pistol.
 

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It's like ordering at McDonalds.
Would you like fries with that? Yes please.

At DWM:
Do you want a holdopen? Yes please.

Although I think DWM had no drivethrough.

Sometimes there just isn't any logic in commercial sales, mostly because they tend to sell stuff with the least amount of trouble and work. So you get what's on the shelve in storage unless you specifically ask for a different configuration (like asking to skip the tomatoes on your burger).
 

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Sooooooo .... then the holdopen on mine is a later modification? Did they stamp an inspection mark after such an addition?
View attachment 641046
Your pistol falls within the reported range of 08C with original holdopen, intermixed with no holdopen. If the pistol was an officer private purchase without holdopen, and if it subsequently underwent the wartime retrofit, then yes, it would have an armory certification stamp. Officers could voluntarily have this done for the payment of (see Doubs's comment below)..

--Dwight
 

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A minor point but on page 1102 of G&S, they state that in the Prussian Army Official Gazette dated 27 September, 1913, the cost of the hold open retrofit for privately owned officer Lugers was "about 3 marks".

That's in line with the estimated 2.80 marks given by the Erfurt Rifle factory for the work plus the test ammunition. The way it's stated suggests that the cost of the test cartridges was in addition to the 2.80 marks.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So since there is no stamp, it was factory at the time of manufacture. That follow?
 

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Mmmm yes, I think you could say that as a general rule. It must be said that there is a very slim possibility that a private gunsmith could have added a holdopen. I am certain that such an alteration would leave plain evidence.

--Dwight
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You can see from the photo that the work is flawless. BTW, very nice essay on the Commercials. Thanks. I'm a great believer in monographs, it would be nice to see it fleshed out a bit with illustration's for sale at a reasonable price.

Would you say that holdopens and relieved sears were both present 1916 and onwards?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Holdopen inspection 1.jpg

Inspection mark on a 1910 DWM with added hold open

Hmmmmm ... the Commercial that we were talking about does not have any sign of machining on the outside. Ergo the hold open was made at the time of original manufacture????
 

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Would you say that holdopens and relieved sears were both present 1916 and onwards?
Relieved sear bars, yes. Holdopens, yes BUT...the P08 with stock lug was introduced in 1913. All military P08s--in fact, all Parabellums of every description--made after that date will have a holdopen. As far as wartime commercial pistols are concerned, the 08C--commercial P08 without stock lug as we have been discussing--ceased being manufactured that year. Between 1913 and 1916 only around 5,000 commercial P08s were manufactured, and after 1916 less than 1,000. Commercial Lugers appear to not have been manufactured between 1916 and the end of the war. So yes, but it is not really pertinent to the discussion at hand.

--Dwight
 
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