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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will attempt this posting once again and if I fail for the second time then no one will see this....ever !!! After two hours of work posting the first attempt and on the very last sentence to be written I lost the entire thread. It did not make for a "Happy Day ". So, on to a more successful effort. The Ortgies pistol has long been misunderstood, under appreciated and unknown in the collecting field and German History for that matter. Its uses are varied as all major services of the Third Reich used this pistol along with the Imperial Army of earlier period and as well as the Weimer police. A small number of marked pistols are a statement to this fact but the holsters are more of a calling card of historical facts rather than the weapons themselves. But lets us begin at the beginning; Heinrich Ortgies of Liege, Belgium applied for a self-loading pistol patent 666204 on 5 July 1916, 18 June 1918 and 20 September 1918 which was handled by an Berlin German Patent attorney named R.H Korn, BUT THE PATENT WAS APPLIED FOR IN LONDON, ENGLAND!!!! Why this procedure was followed is not known but suspect political reason were at the basis of their actions. It is assumed that production was started and continued for the duration of the war at the Leige, Belgium armament factories [FN] under the control of the German authories who had captured these installations and was known to have various items manufactured here during its occupation. Recorded Ortgies so identified are with the following charteristics; all have 7.65mm caliber, all have the following slide legend of " Ortgies Patent, Deutsche Werk Aktiengesellschaft, Berlin ", all have a gripscrew, all have an extra safety button, all are without "Germany" stamped on barrel, and all have what I call a Crown over Gothic letter D [?] over the number 6 on the rear end of the frame above the grip safety with the following serial numbers noted; 27026, 27752, 28483, 28936, 29209, and 30028. It was only at war's end that Heinrich Ortgies applied for a German Patent on 28 January 1920 for his self-loading pistol with the slide legend changing from Berlin to Erfurt. I am of the opinion that if we understood just what this " Aktiengesellschaft" was all about we might have a better picture of what was being done here at this time. One such example is being presented here for your examination and comments;

Download Attachment: ortgies holster front.JPG
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Download Attachment: ortgies holster rear.JPG
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Download Attachment: ortgies holster exposed.JPG
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Download Attachment: 1938 W. Lange holster marks.JPG
216.9 KB The hallmarked manufacturer is not well known and in fact, is not listed in the German Code Book of Karl R. Pawlas but is listed in the 1941 Berlin Telephone Directory as Wilhelm Lange, Geschirre u. Sattlewaren at 14-15 Prenzlauer Str. This then proves that the manufacturer was a real entity but the stick winged eagle police proof was not used till mid 1942 with holsters so what has happened ? Scanning the entire contents of code book for such a person's name but whose occupation was not listed failed to produce any entries. Looking under all Berlin addresses failed to produce any results again. Looking under all Berlin street address did discover that apparently the Sattlewaren shop was closed and a cardboard box manufacturer was installed and is listed under the code of "nyl". What then took place was that Herr Lange obtained a police contract for holsters in 1938 but either had some left over that were not completely finished or contract was canceled for some reason and partial holsters were discovered in the closed shop. They were then completed post mid-1942 and sent to police depot for acceptance which at that time was using the stick-winged eagle as a proof. Rather unique are rare holster !!

Download Attachment: ortgies left side.JPG
228.53 KB Notice the added safety button and the application of a gripscrew.

Download Attachment: ortgies grip strap marks.JPG
119.14 KB This shows the Weimer police marks of Schutlzpolizie Berlin [ S. B. ] stamp of issue

Download Attachment: Ortgies serial number.JPG
176.97 KB Without the "Germany".

Download Attachment: ortgies right side.JPG
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Download Attachment: Ortgies Imperial mark.JPG
144.2 KB This shows a partial stamping due to the curved surface or tilted strike of the stamp itself with a following second example with completed stamp being provided for comparsion.

Download Attachment: ortgies magazines.JPG
211.35 KB Two matching numbered magazines with one of these magazines possessing three separate different numbers of issue indicated.

Download Attachment: DSC02411.JPG
106.99 KB The number 6 underneath the Crown D is indictive of a subordinate or otherwise detached inspector from the main Gothic D inspector and his location.

Download Attachment: DSC02412.JPG
71.15 KB One further comment of interest; I had said that all were of 7.65mm caliber but one example, serial 28936 is of 9mmk. This pistol was issued to a German soldier of the 127th Wurttemberg Infantry Regiment in 1917 and was carried by him till wars end in 1918. This individual then immigrated to the United States in 1923 and bought this weapon with him. He has since passed away in 1981 but his grandson still possesss this weapon here in the US.
 

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Hi John,

Sometimes is might be easier to create your text posting in your favorite word-processor application. In that environment you can turn on an "auto save" feature at time increments (in minutes) of your choosing. I usally set up my auto-save at every 3 minutes.

Spell checking is easier in a WP application as well.

When your document is done, you can just "cut & paste" you text into this forum and then create spaces at which to insert your photo images...
 

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Huggiegear

Very nice display of pictures of your Ortgies. Never saw one with an Imperial proof mark, now we have one to show, it indicates that they were actually made during the Great War. Nice info. Also love that Berlin Police unit mark.

I have a .32 Ortgies that doesn't have any grip screws, but has the same side legened saying "Berlin".

You gun has the left side grip and the slide cut out for the safety button, whereas mine has the button set futher back and a lttle lower, just behind the grip. No cut into the grip or the slide necessary due to this location.

Both of our guns have the same intertwined initials of the manufacturer in the grips.

You mention above that recorded serial numbers in the 270xx to 300xx range apparently having the Imperial Crown D on the rear above the grip safety. Mine has a standing "lion" [?] with the unit mark of H 24 [?]. No Imperial proofs and no Germany on this weapon.

The serial number of my gun is 208xx. This number is apparently eariler then the ones mentioned above.

Interesting historical question, how did a Berlin Patent Attorney representing H. Ortgies, get a gun patent in London, England in 1916, while both of these countries were at war? There must have been some spirited conversations going on during that approval process.
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Joe ; you have an interesting Ortgies which I hope that your story will follow with some pictures of same. The complete accurate story of the Ortgies pistol is yet to be written and is long a sleeper in the collecting world. More will surface if we persist in our efforts to uncover what , I think, is a very unique pistol coupled with its actual history. This is especially so when the Third Reich evidence has been surfaced.
 

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One interesting name: R.H Korn, Berlin. He was the patent attorney of Mauser (at least till 1930), and he was the author of the famous (?) book about Mauser patents. Interesting because: a (patent) attorney acting for two competitors on the very same technical field would have infringe the criminal code ( § 356 StGB, to be exact), as well as the professional code of German Patent Attorneys - a mortal sin......


Well, I don't believe in this....
 

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....and meanwhile I found British Patent Specification 146,422. It claimed CONVENTION DATE of July 03, 1916, but actually, it was filed in British Patent Office on July 03, 1920 and was granted on January 20, 1921.

Interesting: Ortigies' address is mentioned with "formerly of Liège, Belgium, and now of 30, Cyriakstrasse, Erfurt, Germany".

Well, Heinrich's patent activities ARE confusing, no doubt. He had had more than half a dozen patents, and for most of them the corresponding patents outside Germany, namely in France, Belgium, US, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and Great Britain. Estimating all the costs (patent agents/attorneys, cost for translations, official fees).... no wonder, that he sold his business to Deutsche Werke!

Sorry for the poor quality of the British Patent - but it came as is from the database of European Patent Office.

sauerfan



Download Attachment: OrtgiesGB146422a.jpg
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have attempted to gain further information on this 9mmk Ortgies from its current owner but unfortunately have run into some major problems that leads me to believe that this very important artifact of history has been lost to us collectors, at least for the immediate future. I did manage to contact the owner and he has indicated that some of my posted information was in error. His grandfather was initially in the U boat services till no more diesel fuel was available for such uses who then was transferred into the 126th Wurttemberg Infantry Regiment rather than the 127th and that occurred in 1918 rather than 1917. This is the time in which he received his Ortgies pistol. Now to the sad part, while on vacation this past summer , he and his family took an extended vacation which he had his brother move into his home to provide some sort of security during which all of the surviving papers, pistol, medals, etc were later discovered missing/stolen upon arrival back home. His brother denies all of this but he knows that the brother wanted the Grandfather's articles for some time and had asked for them repeatedly. Sadly, I do not expect to witiness these artifacts ever again. Only a family member would be involved in such an tragedy.
 

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huggiebear,

I'm researching Weimar police unit marks and just noticed something on the photo of the grip strap mark of your Ortgies 27026 that has me curious. It appears that there are more periods stamped than would be appropriate for the mark "S.B.1015." I have found several examples of pistols originally marked according to the 1922 marking orders which have these marks canceled and a new mark of the form "S.B.xxxx." applied. It appears that your Ortgies may have had an earlier mark that was ground off, except for the periods which may have been deeper. Does your grip strap appear to have been ground?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Don ; good observation as indeed the front grip strap has been ground off as witinessed by the remaining grind marks found at either edge of frame. Unable to determine what was once underneath other than we see the out-of-sequence periods.
 

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One more question. Does the ground area extend under the "S.B." part of the mark? I'm developing a theory based on several other marks that many Berlin police pistols had three successive marks: one prior to the 1922 orders that had the precinct or district mark such as "W.II.1234."; a second that brought the mark into conformance with the 1922 orders, often by simply prefixing the first mark with "S.B."; and a third that conformed to the 1932 orders with the format "S.B.xxxx." There is a variety of ways in which this sequence was accomplished. If yours was, in fact, triple-marked and the "S.B." is on virgin metal, I would guess that the first and second marks were applied as mentioned and that the original part of the mark was then ground off to create space for the new weapon number. Of course, the armorer may also have decided to grind the entire mark and start with a clean slate. Admittedly, this is highly speculative for your pistol but somewhat supportable based on other evidence!

Here's an example on a Luger: http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2673
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
well, if I understand your question correctly, then the answer to your question is Yes. The area grounded extends entirely across the surface area on the grip strap and is most prominent at the widest edges of the ground surface by having the most visiable grind marks at the edge of each side of grip strap. The inner surface between the edges is more polished but still is not what it would have been when left the factory. Your theory might help explain why one of the numbered magazine has three different sets of numbers applied with none of the two remaining numbers canceled out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here are the three serial numbers found on the one of the two matching magazines of the Ortgies pistol shown above. The three different serial numbers and their placement and/or their fonts tells me that three different era's or governoring organizations were at one time involved with this pistol. The sidewall and its use of serial numbers with Roman numerals , the rear spline and its use of serial numbers with Arabic numbers, and the base which uses issue numbers rather than serial numbers of its property marking. Interesting is the fact that we see a later serial numbered magazine being renumbered and then being reissued on a earlier pistol. Do not recall seeing this particular practice witinessed before , but then again this entire pistol is an enigma. It also provides another serial number of police marked Ortgies in addition to the recorded ones mentioned previously.

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Download Attachment: mag rear spline.JPG
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Download Attachment: mag base.JPG
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John,
I'm afraid I can't add much worthwhile to what you have said. From the photos, it looks like the spline of the mag was ground, as well. The armorer must have been very thorough! Just from the magnitude of the number, I'm inclined to think that the lined-out number 826 on the base of the mag may have corresponded to the unit weapon number in a posited mark corresponding to the 1922 orders. The weapon numbers corresponding to the 1932 orders extended to rather high values since the entire Berlin police inventory seems to have been consolidated.

Thanks very much for chasing this thread with me. I'm finding these Berlin marks fascinating!
 

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John,

to be honest: I always had my problems to believe that the shown Ortgies # 28,936 or the others with Crown/D 6 was/were used during WW1. All sources I was aware off until today did say: Ortgies started production of his pistols short after the end of WW1. Today I found another source on www.ortgies.net , what is an article by Donald W. Koelliker published in the Gun Collector's Digest. A nice article…… I also found additional and interesting info about the history of Deutsche Werke on :

http://www.vestpockets.bauli.at/archiv/dwerkee.htm

and some interesting info about the Ortgies history:

http://www.vestpockets.bauli.at/archiv/ort1e.htm


The two sources are controversial, in so far, as KOELLIKER states, that Ortgies died in 1919, while BAULI states, that Ortgies sold his patents to Deutsche Werke in 1921. I do believe in the latter, as one Ortgies patent was filed in 1921…. and a dead man can't file a patent.

Anyway: there are some reasons not to believe, that this pistol was made during WW1:

1/ the slide legend

Ortgies-Patent
Deutsche Werke Aktiengesellschaft

is the second style slide legend, used after Ortgies transferred his rights to Deutsche Werke.

2/ the additional button, referred to as the "button safety model": the few known are of Prussian police or Czech contract. All in the 27,xxx to 30,xxx range.. one is shown having Czech acceptance of 1922 – SN 28,902

3/ the SN and the legend . It seems to be very unlikely, that this second legend with Deutsche Werke (established in 1919) was used in WW1. IF (!!) some Ortgies would have been used in WW1, the first legend and low serial numbers would be logical.

and finally,

4/ all Ortgies pistols do have the word PATENT on them. Yes, the first patent application was filed in German Patent Office in 1916. But the first patent application which made the metamorphosis from an ugly application to a beautiful patent was German Patent # 303,878 which was granted late in December 1919. The use of the word PATENT indicating patent protection is (and was) only allowed, when a patent has been granted. In the stage of a patent application, only an abbreviation like D.R.P.a. (DR Patent angemeldet = patent pending) was legal. So, the presence of the word PATENT on all Ortgies pistols is another indicator for production not before the end of 1919.

Regards

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Martin : I appreciate your efforts in the arena, but I wished that the only published article on Ortgies by Donald W. Koelliker that was published in the Gun Collector's Digest in 1981 was just a little more current. After 25 years much has/is being learnt.
 
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