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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
P08 #69467 is a 1908 Navy Commercial, one of the few Commercial P08 that were diverted to navy service in 1913, 1914. Eight of these commercial navies have been reported in the 59953,69158-71420 serial range with an estimated production of 300 (Still,Imperial Luger,p181, and recent update by Still, on this site under Imperial Lugers,1900-18 Army, title�1908 DWM comm.Army�1/1/04).
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Figures 1,2. P08 69467 1908 Navy commercial. This variation bears commercial proofs/serial numbers and a single C/M proof left receiver.


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Figure 3. During the Weimar era, 69467 was stamped on the chamber with a small 1920 number that is similar to the small 1920 on another Navy P08 (shown on p22, Weimar Lugers) . Were these small 1920 numbers characteristic for Navys?


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Figure 4. P08 69467 also received a new barrel (no witness mark), with full serial number and stamped E/SU25, (WOL eagle 36): a 1920 Simson/Ulbricht proof for substandard reworked parts.


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Figure 5 Also the left barrel and receiver of 69467 were stamped with E/O, ( WOL Eagle 38): a Simson proof for DWM rework of a Weimar navy and a characteristic mark for navy reworks. Probably at this time, the sear was shortened, and military serial numbers were added.


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Figure 6. Still in Navy service, 69467 was given a Ostsee (Baltic sea) property mark, “0.1005� on front grip strap perhaps during the late 1920s very early 1930s. For example, a property mark of 0.1155 was probably applied between 1929( in Weimar Lugers,p205) and 1933(in Axis Pistols, p105).


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Figure 7. Finally, sometime after 1932 the rear toggle connecting pin was numbered with the last two digits. According to Gortz and Bryans p134, this practice was initiated in March,1932, and for some reason 69467 was included in this reworking process.

#69467 is an example of a P08 providing long service to the navy, with many visits to the shop where it accumulated an interesting number of modifications/markings . In contrast, its littermate, (only 10 guns away), #69457 (triple C/X “real army commercial� previously reported), was virtually untouched, not even a sear shortening. Of course, this could be explained by ww1 capture and early retirement of 69457.
John
 

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John,

You note that: "This variation bears commercial proofs/serial numbers."</u> The side plate, however, is numbered in the military manner, a transition which occurred in late 1911 on standard Army Lugers. Was this manner of side plate numbering standard on this version?

Luke
 

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Luke,

It would be very interesting to see a comparison of the numbering styles of the serial numbered parts, particularly noting similarities--or differences--with the sideplate face number and the toggle pin number, Simson's number stamps were distinctly different from both DWM and Erfurt.

There is a strong possibility that these numbers were applied by Simson when the gun was reworked, although the sideplate could also have been numbered during some post-1911 trip to the dockyard for maintenance. There are examples of pistols which have both commercial and military numbering (my P-08 Commercial is numbered in this fashion) and this is generally proposed as the reason.

Note that although the sideplate is renumbered on its face the takedown lever is not.

--Dwight
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Luke,
Yes military serialization was added to previous commercial serials, perhaps during the Weimar rework. Sideplate, rear toggle, extractor and probably later the rear toggle pin received military serials.

Dwight,
Interesting approach to look for some unique configuration associated with Simson numbers . The added military numbers on side plate and forward toggle link are of similar configuration/size suggesting they were added at same time. When the added numbers are compared to original numbers, only the added number 7 appears different, as the added number 6 looks similar to original number 6.See fig below, with original rear toggle number ( top) compared to added sideplate number (below).


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On the other hand, from my limited observations, the simson number 6, is unusual and different from this 6, as the Simson 6 has kindofa dewdrop or curlicue on the top/end of the 6.(see fig below, simson on left ).

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Note Costanzo’s identification of the Weimar Navy E/O (eagle #38) as a “1920 SIMSON proof reworked by DWM” with a different Weimar Navy E/O (eagle #39) as a “1929 SIMSON proof reworked by ERFURT”. Is it established that DWM and ERFURT were involved in reworking Weimar Navy P08s? If so, this might explain the absence of Simson numbers (and the ubiquitous Simson e/6) on this rework.
 

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John
In my opinion, Costanzo is so unreliable when it comes to dating and designating Weimar Era markings that his dating and designations are most often better ignored.

To my knowledge, there is no evidence that either DWM or Erfurt were involved in reworking Lugers during the Weimar Era. DWM continued to manufacture new Lugers during the Weimar Era. I believe that Erfurt Luger production was shut down by the Allied Control Commission.

An Oct. 19, 1922 decree by the Prussian Ministry of the Interior ordered the major repair of the K 98, MG 08, MP, and P.08 to be undertaken at the Simson and Co. Suhl Factory (Weimar Lugers page 36 and 306).
Jan
 

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John,

I just love these puzzle guns!

"Figure 3. During the Weimar era, 69467 was stamped on the chamber with a small 1920 number that is similar to the small 1920 on another Navy P08 (shown on p22, Weimar Lugers) . Were these small 1920 numbers characteristic for Navys?"

The 1920 property stamp was applied ad hoc by whatever dies an armorer had available at the time. Nothing, therefore, can be concluded from a comparison of these stamps, other than the possibility that this Luger and the one pictured in "Weimar Lugers" were stamped in the same armory at roughly the same time--an interesting possibility on its own.

"Figure 4. P08 69467 also received a new barrel (no witness mark), with full serial number and stamped E/SU25, (WOL eagle 36): a 1920 Simson/Ulbricht proof for substandard reworked parts."

"Figure 5 Also the left barrel and receiver of 69467 were stamped with E/O, ( WOL Eagle 38): a Simson proof for DWM rework of a Weimar navy and a characteristic mark for navy reworks. Probably at this time, the sear was shortened, and military serial numbers were added."

Although comparison of numbering styles is an interesting (and perhaps sometimes fruitful) exercise, I'm not sure how useful it is in this case. I think the barrel serial number stamps can be seen as example of the number dies Simson was using at this time; they are not too dissimilar from the DWM dies. The Simson comparison piece you show, and my own Simson rework, suggest that the characteristic Simson number dies are from a later period than this rework. A survey of the evolution of the distinctive Simson numbers would prove interesting.

On reflection Simson stamping the Military numbers makes more sense than my supposition that it happened in the Imperial Navy as their Lugers were stamped in the Commercial style anyway, and the numbers on this piece would likely have been acceptable.

"Figure 7. Finally, sometime after 1932 the rear toggle connecting pin was numbered with the last two digits. According to Gortz and Bryans p134, this practice was initiated in March, 1932, and for some reason 69467 was included in this reworking process."

It could be that this rework was done after 1932, although I personally don't think the numbering dies on the rest of the gun support this, or it could be that the pin was stamped during some normal post-1932 trip to an armory for maintenance or repair.

"Note Costanzo’s identification of the Weimar Navy E/O (eagle #38) as a “1920 SIMSON proof reworked by DWM” with a different Weimar Navy E/O (eagle #39) as a “1929 SIMSON proof reworked by ERFURT”. Is it established that DWM and ERFURT were involved in reworking Weimar Navy P08s? If so, this might explain the absence of Simson numbers (and the ubiquitous Simson e/6) on this rework."

Costanzo's descriptions here are confusing, and must be anachronistically ambiguous. Erfurt was out of business after the end of the war, and their Luger manufacturing equipment was transferred to Simson in 1920. By agreements stemming from the Treaty of Versailles, only Simson was permitted to supply arms to the Reichswehr; DWM was limited to the manufacture of commercial pistols.

Costanzo may have observed one style of eagle on reworked Erfurts and another style on reworked DWM, and categorized them separately. Still has suggested several times that detail differences in similar stamps which otherwise signify the same thing--the Heraldic Eagle comes to mind, this Eagle/O may be another good example, consider all the other various Eagle styles--are not necessarily categorical differences. Absent documentation or instructions detailing design specifications, they are just as likely to be the die-makers interpretation of the general requirement.

--Dwight
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dwight,
This business of comparing number style is definitely spooky, because the angle and force of the strike can have such a major influence on the configuration of the stamped number. I presume that others have compared sequentially produced lugers ad nauseam, but I compared some of the numbers on 69457 and 69467, two littermates so to speak, 10 guns apart, that could have been numbered on same day perhaps by the sameDWM worker. Both guns do share the same inspectors marks in the front well of frame.


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Figure 1, Compares front frame serials and there is a slight difference of the 7, (? strike difference) otherwise the numbers look similar.

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Figure 2,Shows a comparison of the commercial serial numbers applied by DWM to the side plate and take down levers of 69457 and 69467. Within the same P08, the serial numbers are similar on these two parts. However the numbers on 69467 are larger than those on 69457. When measured by microcomparitor, the number 7 on the two 67 parts measures 2.0mm and whereas on the 57 parts it measures 1.9mm (vertical distance).


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Figure 3. Shows the numbers on the take down levers of 69457 and 68467. When the number 7 of 57 and 67 are compared directly to each other, one can appreciate a different configuration in addition to different size. That is, the top of number 7 on the 67 is longer with a concavity upward.

It would appear that in this time period (i.e. 1914) that DWM had more than one set of 2.0mm number stamps and these sets differed slightly from each other. Not a very astounding revelation in of itself, but it indicates that a certain heterogeneity of number style/size may be expected from a given manufacturer.
John
 

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Mention was made of the Su proof. I believe this represents that the pistol went through the Spandau arsenal for some reason. I have a binocular case that was reworked at the Spandau Optical Shop and is marked Su45 as shown in the attached picture.

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Thanks John. A fine example of a rare pistol.
 
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