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MAUSER 1914, SERIAL NUMBER 168278, IMPERIAL MILITARY ACCEPTED, BEARING: PRUSSIAN EAGLE ON FRONT TRIGGER GUARD

Mauser started production of the Model 1914 in early 1914. Some of those produced during World War I bear a C/ script letter Army acceptance stamp on top of the slide forward of the rear sight. These are interspersed with commercial Mauser 1914s. Some of the later War production bear a “Prussian Eagle” (really a German test proof style eagle) on the front of the trigger guard. Forty four bearing the C/ script letter Army acceptance stamp are reported in the 14227 to 179249 serial range. Of these, 12 found in the 163570 to 179249 serial range, bear the Prussian Eagle on the front of the trigger guard. Procurement is estimated at about 100,000. In August 1917 the Prussian Army Arsenal offered the Mauser 1914 for sale to officers (Volume I, page 127).


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Figure 1. Left side, Mauser 1914, serial number 168278.


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Figure 2. Right side, Mauser 1914, serial number 168278.


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Figure 3. Mauser 1914, serial number 168278. Left side details. The slide bears the serial
number and manufacturing logo: WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER A.-G. OBERNDORF A.N. MAUSER PATENT. The Mauser banner is on the side plate.


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Figure 4. Right side, Mauser 1914, serial number 168278. It bears “Mauser-7,65"


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Figure 5. Mauser 1914, serial number 168278, top. The commercial C/C/U proof is stamped behind the sight and the C/ script letter Army acceptance stamp is located in front of the sight.


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Figure 6. Front, Mauser 1914, serial number 168278, showing the “Prussian Eagle” on the front of the trigger guard.


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14.17KBFigure 7. Mauser 1914, serial number 168278, showing details of the Prussian Eagle.


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Figure 8. World War I battle scene showing German infantry attacking a French trench line. Note: the soldier at the upper right is Mauser 1914 armed.

TRIGGER GUARD EAGLES

According to orders dated 23 July 1918, auxiliary Army pistols in use by troops are to have an Imperial Eagle (called Prussian Eagle by collectors) added by military armorers to the front of the trigger guard (Gortz, German Small Arms Markings, page 129).

If applied (as indicated by the orders) by regimental armorers scattered across the Eastern and Western Fronts, the styles of eagles* would be mixed according to pistol manufacturer or model**; some specimens of the earlier manufactured pistols would bear the stamp; and it would be certain that regimental armorers would be careless in the application (upside down, sideways, off center, and canted eagles would not be unheard of***)

This trigger guard eagle stamp is found on Mauser M1914 and Red 9, Beholla, Sauer 1913, Bavarian Steyr Hahn, 07 Dreyse, FL Selbstlader, P08, LP08 and commercial Lugers. In general the trigger guard eagle is scarce to rare.

The surviving examples of Mauser 1914's and Mauser M1896/16 Red 9's with the trigger guard eagle usually bear the same style of “Prussian eagle”; the eagles are neatly applied (as if applied at the Factory); and are mostly applied to late War pistols. This information from surviving examples suggests that a significant part of the eagle stamps on these models may have been applied at the Factory.

However, the data is sparse. Photographs of the “Prussian eagles” on the trigger guards of auxiliary pistols would help establish if this suggestion is supported by the facts of the surviving pistols. Please post photographs of the pistols with trigger guard eagles and detailed photographs of the eagle.

*There are at least five styles of eagles observed on the front trigger guard of auxiliary pistols.
**Also, some auxiliary pistols, Walther no.4, Jager and Frommer Stop, are not reported with the “Prussian eagle”.
***Late War unit markings (applied by regimental armorers) are sometimes carelessly applied; read the wrong way, and are often not applied according to orders.

Additional references-information:

Gortz, German Small Arms Markings, page 129

Volume I, Still, page 37, 41, 42, 46

1913 DWM, SN 5776, PRUSSIAN EAGLE Jan C Still
------------------------- http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1120
Information in this article suggests that the “Prussian eagle” applied to some Lugers was accomplished at the factory.

Imperial Lugers, page 54

Mauser Pocket Pistols, Pender, page 117

The Broomhandle Pistol, Erickson and Pate, page 97

1914 Mauser marking W/PICs mauserdad http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1062
Note: this 1914 Mauser has a different appearing eagle and is out of sequence with other 1914 Mausers bearing the “Prussian Eagle”.

Mauser 1914 Imperial Army garfield http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=358
 

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Jan:
Your excellent pictures raise a question. My M1914 SN 145,772 has an ordnance stamp in front of the rear sight. It's difficult to read because of the dot of paint - perhaps C/D. Unfortunately, the gun has no imperial eagle stamp.
What's strange is that the right side of the slide is blank - no caliber stamp.
Also, the first 7 in the SN is an overstamp. The number beneath appears to be a 9.
Any comments are appreciated.
JT
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
jacobtowne
Your M1914 SN 145772 should have the caliber designation on the right slide.* However, earlier pocket pistols (up to sn 66651 according to Pender)were unmarked on the right side (see the link below). Photographs of the left and right sides would be helpful.
Jan

BAVARIAN MAUSER 1914, SN 25150, B.5.A.2.13. Jan C Still http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3129

*Update. The above statement proved incorrect according to information provided by Bob and is corrected in a post below. According to John LeCroix's article (AUTO MAG, Vol. XXXII Issue 3, 6/1999, page 55) your gun, sn 145772, (without a caliber designation on the right side and with a military acceptance stamp in front of the sight) is a Second Variation Type 1 military with a serial range of 13500-162500.
Jan
 

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Jan,
* Seven years ago, I owned a M1914 bearing S/N 116621. It was Imperial Army accepted with a C/script letter in front of the rear sight. No trigger guard eagle was present. This example had the heavy one line address and the large Mauser Banner on the left slide and frame side plate respectively. No importer's mak was evident after a thorough review.
* Like Jacobtowne's example, it had no "Mauser-7.65" marking on the right slide. At the time, my research led me to Pg. 112 of Pender's Mauser Pocket Pistols. I concluded this was a Wartime "Commercial" which had been withdrawn from inventory to fulfill an Imperial Army Contract per Pender's comments on Pg. 116. Extrapolating this S/N within NAPCA Member John LaCroix's 1917 High S/N of 140,000 and Low S/N of 94,000, I concluded this example was completed approx. April, 1917.
* Rescued at a "Storage unit" auction of a deceased WWII vet's belongings. Had a Mauser 1910, a 1940-42 Code P.08, and numerous medals/daggers/war memorabilia in the auction. All war items were said to be contained in a single trunk abandoned at the storage unit. All pistols were "Rigs" and each came w/ at least one matching numbered or period correct mag. Came in a WaA286 accepted, G. Genschow '40 marked holster w/ "Mauser 7.65" inked inside the PT. Always had fun contemplating the undocumented series of events leading to that combo.
* Anyway, cleaner & with provenance recorded, my caretaker's status was reluctantly relinquished a few years ago when plied with a siren's tale of a fellow pocket pistol collector's need and CASH.
* A well built, tightly machined, finely rust/temper blue finished example befitting Mauser products of that time. I still marvel at the creativity displayed in its finely executed construction details.
 

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Gentlemen:
Thank you for the informative comments.

Jan:
I have no digital images of the pistol yet, but it is identical to the one in the link you supplied except that the paint in the stamps appears to be gold, rather than white.

Bob:
Based on your reckoning of a high SN of 140,000 for 1917 and a low of 94,000, that computes to about 3,750 pistols a month. Would February, 1918 be a reasonable estimate for 145,000?
JT
 

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Hi JT & Jan,
JT
* Mr. LaCroix's S/N breaks were published in AutoMag Vol. XXX, Issue 1 (4/97), Pg. 5. John states M1914's were produced in 1918 in the range 140k-185k for a Qty=45k. Recall WW1 ended in Nov., 1918, so 10 months of full production would be reasonable @ approx. 4.5k/mo. Recognizing all the caveats associated with a linear extrapolation of S/N's over time, you are correct to assume this would place your S/N 145,772 in early Feb., 1918.

Jan,
* Thanks for your kind response.
* As you likely know, Mr. LaCroix's S/N by year data is accompanied by an extensive Var/SubVar breakback published in AutoMag Issue XXXII, Vol.3 (6/99), Pgs. 54-56. Therein, John states the right side slide "Mauser-7.65" inscription commenced @ approx. S/N 162,500. The trigger guard eagle is said to appear in the S/N range from 163k-178k. I see this range can be extended by your reported 179k example above.

* Trust this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bob
Thanks for the info on Mr. LaCroix's article. I had lost track of it long ago and now will hunt for it again.

Mr. LaCroix was going to do a book on Mauser pocket pistols, when he disappeased off the map. His research was outstanding and I was looking forward to his book. Does anyone know how to contact him?
Jan
 

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Jan,
* See your PM's
* To round out the file, while you are looking, include Vol. XXXII, Issue #8 (11/99), Pgs. 173-176 wherein John delineates the proper mag variation for 1910 & 1914 pattern pistols by S/N range. It was this AM input where John expressed his intention to publish a book on Mauser Pockets.
* I too had hoped John would succeed in publishing his copyrighted research. The collecting fraternity would be far better off with a more recent & extensive update to Mr. Pender's landmark; but now dated tome.
* Less we get sidetracked, that is one mighty fine example of a rarely seen trigger guard Imperial Eagle marked Mauser. Your presentation & companion references are, as always, illustrative and first rate.
* Trust this encourages an outpouring of similar reports from our viewers. Lurkers are especially invited too. Crack the ice. An example need not be 98% to be significant; only, authentic to the theme.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bob
Thanks again for your help. Both phone numbers were a dead end. Tom Knox was contacted some time ago and has no information. Unfortunately John LaCroix has fallen off the map. (Not sure if my E-mails got through)

jacobtowne
I finally did find the AUTO MAGS with Johns extremely detailed articles. According to John’s article (AUTO MAG, Vol. XXXII Issue 3, 6/1999, page 55) your gun, sn 145772, (without a caliber designation on the right side and with a military acceptance stamp in front of the sight) is a Second Variation Type 1 military with a serial range of 13500(corrected from 135000 on 05-13-05)-162500. As Bob pointed out, my gun, sn 168278, (with military acceptance stamp in front of sight, Prussian eagle on front trigger guard and caliber designation on right) is a 3rd Variation Type 2 Military with a serial range of 163000 to 172000.

The numbers on the right frame appear to be hand stamped and I would not be concerned with the over stamp of one digit. You have a proper Mauser 1914 in beautiful shape.
Jan
 
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Jan,

Go to whitepages.com and plug John LaCroix's name into their people finder (no cost)... there are only 55 of them in the USA... with some prudent deduction (or process of elimination) it couldn't take too long to track him down.
 

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Hello All, Attached are pics of two Prussian eagles that are on my Red 9. The one on the magazine well is larger than the one on the trigger guard. The pistol is also a nazi re-work the the E/mg10 stamp.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ryan
The magazine housing front eagle is the typical Red 9 eagle and the bottom of the mag housing eagle is in the Erfurt style. Photographs would be nice. What is the serial number of your Red 9 and how many grooves are in the grips.
Thanks
Jan
 

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Jan, I've made an observation about your pistol that might mean something or may not. Your Mauser 1914 has a c/scriptic w above the rear site that you call the Army's acceptance stamp. I have observed this same stamp on the underside of the barrels of many wartime commercial and imperial contract broomhandles. This stamp is roughly half the size of the Army acceptance stamps found on the left chamber flat of wartime commercial/imperial contract brooms. The stamp on your 1914 appears to be nearly identical in size and style as those found on the underside of these broomhandle barrels. I've heard collectors refer to this stamp as the Kaiser’s property mark, signifying the gun belonged to the Kaiser Wilhelm. I have observed this stamp on broomhandles that are not Army accepted on the left chamber flat. Would this stamp on the underside of the broomhandle barrel signify Army acceptance? If not, then should a Mauser 1914 pistol with this stamp, but without the Prussian Eagle stamp, be considered only a German Government weapon? Ryan

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ryan
The Crown over Gothic letter Army acceptance stamp is found on exposed locations on a number of different pistols. However, the more or less hidden location on the broom may suggest a different inspection use.
Jan
 

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Mr. Still,
I have had recient contact with John P LaCroix. I do not know if you saw my post on the NAPCA forum under members found. If you would like further information please e-mail me.
 

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From the SCACA show this past weekend, added this Army accepted Mauser 1914 to the collection.

Acceptance stamp in front of rear sight, C/C/U proof, serial 133169. Mauser logo, Mauser Banner, no 7.65 caliber designation, no Prussian Eagle, early(?) split tail square floor plate.



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Square front magazine floor plate, split type:
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Acceptance/Proof stamps:
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