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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently inherited a Luger. I was hoping to gather some information on this board as to the origin or at least verify my findings.

Here is what I have gleaned:
1. Appears to the 1914 Military.
2. Mark on toggle is DWM (Duetsche Waffen Munitionsfabrik) made by Loewe's in Germany.
3.Mark on receiver in front of toggle is a 2-date stamp: 1917 and 1920.
4. Mark on barrel shows a crown with "RC" below it. Appears that this means it has been refurbished, probably in 1920 due to the second stamp. I don't know why it was refurbished.
5. All matching numbers appears on all parts, 9878.
6. German receiver proof marking, the Praktar G, a crown with the cursive letter G underneath.
7. German receiver proof marking, the eagle or something else with its wings pointing upward.
8. The lower case cursive letter L is stamped on the front of the trigger assembly just below the barrel.

Can someone verify what I have is a P08 Luger, variant made for German military, 1914?

Any other history I should know?

How much is it worth? It looks like it is in very good condition. All blueing, rifling and grips look good. (~$750-$1000?)

Thanks in advance for any help.

Joe
 

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Joe -

It would be very useful if you could post photographs of the Luger. Lots of experts here (Not I) who could be helpful with your questions.

Luke
 

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Joe, I can answer a few questions, but not the expert either:

It is a 1917 DWM (the 1914 is from ??)

**Mark on receiver in front of toggle is a 2-date stamp: 1917 and 1920.

The 1917 marking shows it was made in 1917 and then in 1920 there was a requirement to have pistols, rifles, bayonets, etc., stamped with the Reichswehr property marking, to try and prevent theivery. Since yours is marked 1920, it was in the inventory during the Weimar era.


**4. Mark on barrel shows a crown with "RC" below it.

Lots of conflicting advice on the RC, we'll let Jan or someone answer this one.

**5. All matching numbers appears on all parts, 9878.
Good to see matching numbers, does this include some internal parts also, i.e. firing pin?

**How much is it worth? It looks like it is in very good condition. All blueing, rifling and grips look good. (~$750-$1000?)

This amount is probably right, depends on the buyer, depends on if a guns has been reblued, pitting, barrel changed, holster or tool associated with it, etc., so the value is probably the $750, but like Luke said, pictures help very much, as many factors all play on value.

Not all, but a lot of the "double dates" were issued to police, and if it was still in service during the nazi era, there would probably be a sear safety or magazine safety, if you search the Weimar section, you will see several examples.

Ed
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info. All parts, including firing pin are matched. I have included a picture. Hopefully, it came out ok. I'll try to post another picture. There is a thumb safety on my model.

Any more info would be appreciated.

Download Attachment: Luger2.JPG
296.74KB
 

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"1. Appears to the 1914 Military."
Properly called the P-08. The 1914 designation comes from the 1914 regulations requiring the pistol to be manufactured with a holdopen and stock lug.

"2. Mark on toggle is DWM (Duetsche Waffen Munitionsfabrik) made by Loewe's in Germany."
Manufacturer is actually Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken. In 1898 the Ludwig Loewe firm, owners of Mauser and Deutsche Metallpatronenfabrik (an amunition manufacturer) combined its gunmaking activities with DM's ammunition activities and reorganized itself as DWM.

"3.Mark on receiver in front of toggle is a 2-date stamp: 1917 and 1920."
What Ed said. the 1920 is called the Reichswehr Property Stamp, and is properly not a date. Lugers manufactured after 1920 sometimes bear this mark.

"4. Mark on barrel shows a crown with "RC" below it. Appears that this means it has been refurbished, probably in 1920 due to the second stamp. I don't know why it was refurbished."
Crown/RC is the stamp of the Revisions-Commission. Lugers were examined constantly during production to assure meeting specifications. Occasionally a part would be out-of-spec, but still suitable for use. The Revisions-Commission existed to certify a part's usefulness even though being out-of-spec, their mark certifies this and relieves the pistol's inspector from responsibility in case of the part's failure.

C/RC marks are seen commonly on Erfurt-manufactured Lugers, but are rare on DWMs. The C/RC and 1920 stamps do not, by themselves, indicate that the gun has been refurbished.

"5. All matching numbers appears on all parts, 9878."
Because of the extensive hand-fitting involved in the Luger's manufacture, it was deemed necessary to number each part to the particular gun so that properly functioning weapons would be assembled. Check the inside surfaces of the grips to make sure that the numbers appear there as well.

"6. German receiver proof marking, the Praktar G, a crown with the cursive letter G underneath."
The Crown/letter combination on the right receiver (there should be three of them) are properly inspector certification stamps rather than proofs. The leftmost stamp certifies that the receiver has been hardened, the center stamp certifies the pistol's assembly, and the third stamp certifies acceptance after shooting-in.

"7. German receiver proof marking, the eagle or something else with its wings pointing upward."
This stamp, called a "Heraldic Eagle", is properly the firing proof mark, it certifies that the receiver/barrel/breechblock combination has successfully passed the test of firing two overpressure rounds. The mark will also be found on the right side of the barrel near the breech, and the top left of the breechblock. The Heraldic Eagle proof stamp on a DWM is charcteristically different from the stamp found on Erfurts, although the Erfurt-style stamp can sometimes be found on DWM-manufactured breechblocks (this is a topic of some controversy).

"8. The lower case cursive letter L is stamped on the front of the trigger assembly just below the barrel."
This letter is properly part of the serial number. During the Imperial Era, Lugers started each year of production with number 1. When 9,999 units were reached, serial numbering started again at 1, but with a letter suffix added, starting with 1a through 9999a, then 1b, and so on. Your Luger's serial number is properly 9878l. This is very important, as the suffix letter is necessary to properly identify your Luger for insurance or registration purposes. For that matter, you should always report your Luger's identity as to manufacturer (toggle stamp), date stamp, barrel length, and caliber, as it is possible to have several Lugers with the same serial numbers under their numbering scheme.

It is not possible from your photos to assess your Luger's value. The existence of the internet has separated the concept of a Luger's value from its price. If its finish is original your ballpark range may be proper, although I personally would extend the lower part of the range to $600.

The magazine in your Luger is not proper for a 1917 DWM. It should have a nickeled-steel body with wood base, serial numbered to the gun. The aluminum-bottom mag in your gun dates from the mid-1930s.

--Dwight
 

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I was re-reading of Jone's (Luger Variations), even tho it is dated, with new and discoverd information, it still has some really good information, and I was reminded of the 1914 designation that many collectors still use.

Good information for you John from Dwight and as I try to remember, we all learn old and new information every day.

Ed
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ed and Dwight,

That is really some great information. I have been doing some additional reading and find it very interesting.

Dwight, you have good eyes, you are correct, the magazine has the aluminum knob at the end. The markings are different. From top to bottom:
977
cursive "L"
"+" assuming Swiss
the three armed "bird" not surewhat you call it, maybe a Mauser designation.
and the number 63 below that.

I assumed all the magazines would be different. Do many Lugers have matching magazines? You would think each soldier would carry at least 2 magazines on his person.

Thanks for your help.
 

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Joe, the subject of two matching magazines brings good men to blows, ;>) as it is difficult for a luger to have two matching magazines (I have one Weimar Police that has two matching). One matching magazine is very possible, no matching is even more likely, as I imagine soldiers would not care if a magazine matched, simply that it worked. I would venture to guess that magazines were lost due to accidents, switching at the firing range, GI's not caring and time.

I have heard stories that a few dealers over the years, simply tossed the 2nd magazine into a pile, selling it as a luger magazine, at the time making more profit. I don't now how true that story is, but it is another way that magazines lost the 2nd or both matching magazines.

Guns left the factory with two matching magazines, with army mags, you would have a serial numbered mag and a magazine that had a serial number a +, the + signifies the "extra" or "spare" magazine.

On police magazines you had the first and the second magazine, the first would be serial number and a number 1 (sometimes a I), and the "extra" magazine was a 2 (sometimes a II), the police at one time were told to carry three magazines, I beleive for rural police, but the normal was two magazines with the gun at all times.

The bird is usually called an eagle and so you would say the magazine was an E/63 (eagle/63) marked magazine.

Ed
 

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Joe,

The eagle is an acceptance stamp. It comes in two forms, one called a 'droop' eagle (the lines of the wings point downward); the other called a 'stick' eagle (the lines of the wings point straight to the sides). Noting what kind of eagle it is, and whether the magazine body is nickel-plated or blued, can reveal what year the magazine was issued.

The magazine in your Luger was the spare mag issued with Mauser-manufactured Luger #977l, year so far undetermined.

What reference material are you reading?

--Dwight
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dwight, I pulled some info off of www.lugerforum.com as well as some info off of a book called Luger Tips. Not sure how reliable the website is, but it looked OK.

My magazine is blued and the eagle is the stick kind with the wings pointing straight out to the side.

Ed, not sure what the Eagle/63 means.

Joe
 

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Joe,

Your magazine was most likely issued with an S/42 (Mauser) manufactured in 1938. The Eagle/63 "means" that the magazine was inspected and accepted by an inspector owning that stamp.

The Lugerforum is a very good general-interest discussion forum. Reese's "Luger Tips" is a rather hit-and-miss affair, fairly superficial in its brevity. You seem to be interested in the topic, I recommend (I know you didn't ask!) John Walters's "The Luger Story" as currently the best version of the general history of the Luger pistol, and Charles Kenyon, Jr.'s "Lugers At Random" as the most comprehensive and detailed general cyclopedia of Luger variants.

If you want to delve into the details concerning and surrounding your own Luger you can do no better than to study Jan Still's "Imperial Lugers", for its WWI story, and "Weimar Lugers" for its Reichswehr connections.

--Dwight
 

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I'm surprised that no one has commented on the receiver cut for an Artillery rear sight. While Erfurt followed directives to cut most of their receivers after late 1916, I don't believe that DWM did unless the pistol was to be an Artillery model. I'd like to see better pictures to determine if we have a re-barreled DWM Artillery or perhaps a reworked Erfurt with a DWM toggle train. At this point I can't see sufficient detail to say exactly WHAT that puppy is.
 

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Doubs,

Good catch. I was going with the written description, as the photos are don't tell much. I'm also struck by the stamp on the top of the rear toggle piece as being more Erfurt-like than DWM-like, and my identification of the Proof Eagle as a DWM eagle was prompted by the DWM toggle, and so could be premature.

Joe, I hope you can post more, and more detailed, pictures of your Luger, it seems to have caught some interest. Useful photos will be the front of the frame, the underside of the barrel and receiver (with recoil lug, i.e. dismounted from the frame)), the right receiver marks, the right side of the barrel near the breech, the left front of the pistol including the takedown lever and side plate, the top of the receiver and breechblock, and any other markings which are convenient to photograph.

--Dwight

--Dwight
 

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Joe,

Dwight's comments about the stamps on the rear toggle link being more like an Erfurt than DWM is correct. You describe the eagle on the left receiver wall as having it's wings in the air but the tell-tale detail will be the eagle's claws. If they appear to be holding a cross in one claw and a wine glass in the other, it's an Erfurt receiver. If the feet are more like a "claw & ball" piece of furniture, it's a DWM receiver.

If you can take the pictures at the places Dwight has indicated, we'll be able to give you a much better evaluation.
 

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Doubs & Dwight hopefully this isn't off topic or apples vs oranges. Aren't there DWM stamps / proofs that are very alike Erfurt stamps/proofs?


Ed
 

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Weimar_Police, a quick look through Jan's book "Imperial Lugers" will show the difference between DWM & Erfurt Lugers as far as the stamp placement is concerned. While the stamps are similar, DWM's placement doesn't include the rear toggle link while Erfurt stamped every part. The Luger in question has either had a DWM forward toggle link placed in an Erfurt toggle train or the rear link of a DWM train has been replaced by an Erfurt part. Considering the receiver cut for the Artillery rear sight, I'd say the DWM toggle link is the replacement part but without seeing more of the pistol, that's only an educated guess.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My camera is not very good or it is human error, probably the latter. I tried my best. Here is the top of the receiver. I'll send some more.

Download Attachment: receiver top.JPG
288.84Ke
 
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