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Imperial Jager

11152 Views 46 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  Ron Wood
Updated Jan.17,2005. Updated August 31, 2004 (corrected 09-02-04)
Note: this was what I had left of a long series of posts that about 10 members contributed to. Please repost your information and photographs.
The Jager was the first production pistol made mostly from metal stampings. About 13,000 were manufactured at Jager and Company, Suhl between 1914 and 1917. A small number are Imperial marked.
There are 60 Jager’s reported in the 01 to 12605 serial range. Of these 60, only 12 Jager’s are reported to bear the Imperial acceptance stamp: 5167, 5522, 6680, 7129, 7442, 8156, 8603, 8749, 9005, 9023, 9201, and 9268. (Imperial Jagers are interspersed with commercial Jagers in the 5167 to 9268 serial range.)

Incomplete data may indicate that a few Two Pin Variations are interspersed with the One Pin Variation below serial number 5167 and that there are all Two pin Variations above serial number 5167.
(Recording errors may also account for serial numbers 785 and 1274 being reported as two pin.)

785 Two Pin Variation?
1274 Two Pin Variation?
1944 One Pin Variation
2165 One Pin Variation, Commercial
2864 One Pin Variation, Commercial
3254 Commercial and British proofs.
3788 One Pin Variation
4109 Commercial
4500 Franz Jager pistol
5167 Two Pin, Imperial accepted
5522 Two Pin, Imperial accepted
5530 Two Pin Variation
6680 Imperial accepted
7129 Imperial Accepted, Two Pin Variation, matching mag
7442 Two pin, Imperial accepted
8156 Imperial Accepted
8603 Imperial Accepted
8749 two pin, Imperial Accepted
9005 Imperial Accepted
9023 Imperial Accepted, matching mag
9078 two pin, Imperial accepted
9201 Imperial Accepted, matching mag
9268 Imperial Accepted
10019 Two Pin Variation
10482 Two Pin Variation
10495 two matching mags
10629 two pin, Austrian commercial proofs (NPv, AH eagle and 1917)
11299 C/N
12374 Two Pin Variation

Figure 1. Right side, two pin variation Jager, serial number 9005.

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Jan C Still
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Figure 2. Markings details, left side, two pin variation Jager, serial number 9005.

Jan C Still
Site Owner - Operator

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Figure 3. Markings details left side, two pin variation Jager, serial number 9005.

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Jan C Still
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Here is #3254 again, which has British proofs in addition to the standard commercial proofs. I no longer own this pistol; however, my recollection is that the magazine was a slight mismatch.


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Craig Brown had also reported two additional Jagers: 7443 Two Pin Imperial Accepted; 9078 Two Pin no Imperial acceptance marks.

If it is made after 1918...it is a reproduction.
John James
Details of magazine on Jager, serial number 9005, shown above.

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Jan C Still
Site Owner - Operator
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My commercial proofed SN 2165

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Jan "Hoba" Balcar
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Just saw s/n 10629 at a local gun show last Saturday. Two pin and in well-worn condition, about 50% finish and ugly. Asking price about $700.
Hello Again Folks!

I am the owner of Jager S/N 7129 .
It is Imperial acceptance stamped in the same locations as Jan's example, but mine is marked with a Crown over M stamp.
Both stamps are the same size, likely from the same punch.
It is of two pin construction, with maker markings on the left side of the gun. The magazine has a matching serial number to the pistol, and has the takedown "thorn" on it.
The slide ends are attached by means of riveted crosspins.
( If I recall correctly, there was an earlier attachment method used also. )

I was wondering if pistol number 7443 also reported here is marked with my (early?) Crown/M stamping or the (later?) Crown/G markings. If the owner would please post, that info would be most appreciated! Even though it is of all stamped construction, almost every part is factory numbered, and the fit of the gun is quite tight. The only major gripe I see is that the safety lever is quite thin, and is very
much exposed to damage when in the engaged position. (It sticks out about 3/8" beyond the frame when on 'safe'.)

Thanks for letting me put in my two cents worth about this unusual gun, my favorite of the German military oddities.

r. t. Darc
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Here are a couple (rather poor) photos from Jager #7129.
I'm afraid that this is the best I can do with the web
cam that I have hooked up to my desktop.

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Here is a closeup of the Crown-M acceptance stamps:
(As you can see the upper one is quite lightly struck.
The lower is deeper, but struck at an angle & incomplete)

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I hope they shed at least a little more light on the subject!
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I also came across Serial Number 10629 at a local (PA) show this past weekend. While the condition is nothing to brag about, the unusual markings caught my attention.
(On the subject of finish wear- The blueing applied to these guns doesn't seem all that durable, does it ?)
In any case, after negotiating a healthy price reduction the pistol came along home to join my collection.
Incidentally, this new gun is exactly 3500 numbers above my first Jager described directly above- Funny, Huh ?

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I haven't seen any reports here yet of one marked as this:
Austrian commercial sales proofing on the slide just ahead of the serrations; with NPv, AH eagle, and 1917 stampings.

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Here is a closer look at the proofmark details:

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You may be able to notice that there is a punch mark on each of the four barrel lug-pins. Perhaps this was part of a hardness test during the proofing process in Austria ?

In addition to these commercial markings, there are also a set of property or rack numbers stamped into the frontstrap:

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My thought is that this combination of markings would likely indicate WW1 useage by some local Austrian police forces.
Does anyone have a more informed opinion on the subject ?

While comparing my two Jagers side by side, I noticed some differences between the middle and late production versions.
Most obvious was the change from the earlier set of nine slide serration indentations, to a later set of eight which were slightly wider but also a bit shallower. Also the slide construction was reinforced in the later version. While the earlier gun had only one crosspin holding the front end of the slide to the top piece, this was doubled later. A second pin was also added at the very rear end of the slide assembly.
(Both had only one pin in the center section of the slide.)

Close inspection also revealed minor changes in the shape of the front sight, dismounting "thorn" on the magazine base, and the "finger grip" section of the front strap next to the take-down plunger. Both had the F.H. inspectors initials on the magazine well cutout, though location was a bit different.
The picture I get is that these latter were just a case of hand fitting tolerances. (I doubt that fully interchangeable parts were the norm in this factory!) Clearly though, this line of pistols continued to evolve throughout its production.
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Just received today a third Jager pistol for my collection. This one is serial number 8749, rather close to Jan's example. The slide's ends are both fastened with double transverse pins. The pistol has been refinished, but has two matching magazines.

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This particular pistol was also Imperial Army accepted. However the acceptance letter marking differs both from Jan's gun, as well as my previously reported example. To my eye, the stamp looks much like a Gothic version of a lower case " a ". {I believe that this is actually a version of capital letter "L" ... }
It also has a straight underline beneath each letter stamping.

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Both letter stamps appear to be of identical size and style. Here is a closer look at the barrel lug-pin letter stamp:

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Does anyone else find it unusual that three different inspectors were involved in the acceptance of such a small number of weapons?
At 3,000 guns a year(maybe a dozen a day), they were hardly turned out at a blistering pace! Of course, they were a small workshop, & Germany could use every gun available in their wartime situation.

Incidentally, the Jager factory must have gotten away with using the same set of name marking dies for most of the production run.
Comparing all 3 of my guns, I noticed that the "A" in Angem got increasingly incomplete as time went by. When they'd gotten to the mid ten thousand range, the "T" stamp had broken as well.
Strangely the period at the end of Angem is a different size on each of the guns, and must have been stamped separately for some reason... Well, that's all there is to share for this time. I'll be sure to report back if I come up with another example.
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quote:Originally posted by r_t_darc

Does anyone else find it unusual that three different inspectors
were involved in the acceptance of such a small number of weapons?
At 3,000 guns a year(maybe a dozen a day), they were hardly turned
out at a blistering pace!
Mayhap I misunderstand the purport of your question. I would suspect that given the limited production of the Jager pistol, that inspection was performed as an ancillary duty rather than a permanent assignment.
This certainly sounds plausible to me. Given the very limited military procurement of these pistols, the Franz Jager factory couldn't have been too high on their list of wartime priorities.
My other thought was that due to the slow pace of production, it probably took a year or so to turn out the military contract guns. By that time, new inspectors would have come, and others gone on to new assignments. I don't suppose a list has ever been found of which inspectors or offices corresponds to each of the individual crown/letter stampmarks?
THE 2 GERMAN ACCEPTED JAEGAR PISTOLS ARE LISTED ON JAN'S LIST. THE one you discribe as Austrian commercial is the first Jaeger I've ever seen with them on it. The NPv 20 is the "list" issued (sold) through steyr of all the people who bought these pistols--civilian or military. Unfortunately they have been lost over time. It would certainly be nice if they survived. I think that there is a 98% chance that a military officer bought your pistol for use in 1917. I wonder what happened to him. Both my pistols were marked with a crown/g.
Thanks, dg13-

I'm relieved to hear that your two Jagers are marked similarly to Jan's originally posted example. This means that I'll (probably, anyway) need only a "G" marked gun yet to complete a set of martial Jagers.
It was starting to look as if each military version that came to light here was different from the rest!
Jäger 7442 (not 7443) is accepted crown/M.
I'm sorry about the typo. I had it correct on my list but posted it wrong here. Thank you for correcting my goof.
Thanks Ron and CBrown!

I know our sample size is still very small, but the trend is appearing to evolve as follows for the Army accepted Jager pistols:

Earliest issued examples with Crown/M
Middle issue? (only one so far) Crown/L
and the Last issues with the Crown/G

Hopefully a few more serial numbers will be reported in the future to make the picture a bit clearer.
I did a posting on Gunboards pistol forum about my recent find of a Jager for $60. Mine is serial number 2864, single barrel pin construction, commercial proofs of crown over N. Mine is missing an original magazine, and after firing mine, I discovered that the main screw needed a sleeve which the original must have been missing for a long time, which the sleeve acts as a recoil lug for the concave portion of the barrel to prevent barrel rise, otherwise it moves slightly up and bangs against the main screw, causeing misfeeds from a magazine I converted to use as a shooter. Anyway, I made a new sleeve from a hardened gun part(an ak 47 trigger group sleeve I cut down the right width), and it appears to feed just fine now, and I was lucky it was the same thickness that I needed.
Finish on mine is like 50% to 70%, with minor pitting mostly centered on one side of the pistol. Oh well, it is lucky it was saved from destruction from the local gun dealer who was thinking about parting it out for screws, springs, anything else, even though it was a consignment gun(guess he figured he would give the consignee a few bucks and the screws and such were worth more).
I got a minor crack on the top of the grips, but hey, these grips they used must sure have been durable, only a few minor corner chips on the rear cornerers of the grips.
Bore condition on mine is shiny, minor darkeness in some portions of the grooves, sharp rifling.
I like the way these are constructed, though I would have preferred it to be a more later one, cause I feel this early one, and early ones in general have much much more milling of the slide than later models.

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