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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over on the LugerForum, Jim (jvm) posted a thread about a “+” marked magazine, http://forum.lugerforum.com/showthread.php?t=40530 , in which he stated “The mag is from an American Eagle 1900 possibly a trials gun”. He identified the Luger as #6248. This was exciting information for me as it is a heretofore unreported (to me) serial number that falls in the range for the U.S. Test Trial series. Subsequently he was kind enough to send me some photos of his Luger. I am completely comfortable to add his Luger to my Test Trials data base. To my eye, it is an unaltered authentic example and in nice condition.

The litmus test for model 1900 American Eagle Lugers that actually participated in the Test Trials of 1901 are the 780 pieces reported by serial number that were purchased at public auction by Francis Bannerman as surplus in 1905, plus 5 additional examples handwritten in Ord. Dept memo, Dec. 16, 1901 (and also reported by 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Lt. Randall B. Palmer in his test report). Unfortunately, the gun does not fall in either one of those ranges. But since it falls well within the 6100-7100 serial number range generally thought to be the probable range of the Test Lugers, and because number 6282 that was in the Bannerman purchase (and also recorded in an individual test/repair report) is very close to Jim’s gun, the probability is very high that it was indeed involved in the Test Trials.
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dick, my feeble fingers strike again. I have corrected the post from 770 to 780.
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Guys: I have #7189. Any chance that falls in the range, or is it just a later commercial?
Ryche
Mark,

My opinion (for what that is worth :)) is that there is a very real likelihood that your #7189 is a Test Trials piece. The Trials guns were delivered in two lots, the first was 900 guns and the second was 100. There is no known record of any of the serial numbers. I have a theory (probably wild, but please indulge me) that the last batch serial numbers were #7001 to #7200. There are a couple of things that lead me that direction:

1. All of the Test Lugers #7100 and below had the takedown lever marked with the last two digits of the serial number on the right round end. The observed 1900 American Eagle Luger series with Test Trial characteristics above #7100 have the two digits marked on the left side flat of the lever, a marking convention that was not repeated until the German Army adoption of the Luger in 1908.

2. It is obvious that the Test Luger serial numbers went beyond 7100 as two of the guns in the Bannerman purchase were #7104 and #7147, both of which are surviving and reported pieces. Reported to date are 29 examples ranging in serial numbers from #7104 to #7189, yours being the highest reported. Only the two Bannerman guns can be verified as Trial pieces, but the possibility is open that my wild theory might be OK.

So, Mark, I think your Luger is worth hanging on to. I believe it is certainly more than just a later commercial.
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK Dwight, thanks. Had stuff in there 10 years old. Deleted a bunch (will probably regret doing some of them). Should be room for new messages now.
Ron
 

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Ron: Thanks for your opinion. I am of the belief that quite often knowledgeable collectors opinions are most often as good as, or better than other peoples facts. I will take a closer look at mine to see where it fits with the number system you spoke of.
Thanks again
Ryche
 

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Ron Wood,
Here is a post about a new serial number and a possible magazine from a know serial number. I hope you take a look. I would like to pick your brain about who had this firearm for so long without it surfacing.

 

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Hey Guys: I have #7189. Any chance that falls in the range, or is it just a later commercial?
Ryche
Mark,

My opinion (for what that is worth :)) is that there is a very real likelihood that your #7189 is a Test Trials piece. The Trials guns were delivered in two lots, the first was 900 guns and the second was 100. There is no known record of any of the serial numbers. I have a theory (probably wild, but please indulge me) that the last batch serial numbers were #7001 to #7200. There are a couple of things that lead me that direction:

1. All of the Test Lugers #7100 and below had the takedown lever marked with the last two digits of the serial number on the right round end. The observed 1900 American Eagle Luger series with Test Trial characteristics above #7100 have the two digits marked on the left side flat of the lever, a marking convention that was not repeated until the German Army adoption of the Luger in 1908.

2. It is obvious that the Test Luger serial numbers went beyond 7100 as two of the guns in the Bannerman purchase were #7104 and #7147, both of which are surviving and reported pieces. Reported to date are 29 examples ranging in serial numbers from #7104 to #7189, yours being the highest reported. Only the two Bannerman guns can be verified as Trial pieces, but the possibility is open that my wild theory might be OK.

So, Mark, I think your Luger is worth hanging on to. I believe it is certainly more than just a later commercial.
Ron
6100 to 7500 sent in 2 orders should have no export stamp ,no germany ,no stock lug 1000 to US ,, 400 , orders ??
 

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john, its not as easy as that. Ron's list shows over and under the normal so-called 6100-7100 range. However, facts show us that - most were consecutive, but its unknown. Bannerman received the majority in a bid to the gov't. A number of others were bought by another party (# unknown).
These above the range and below share the items you state, no import marks, numbered on right (or not) on take down lever, etc.
 

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The extremes of the Bannerman auction extend over only 980 numbers. Until documentation is uncovered which reveals more than 20 pistols under 6167 and/or over 7147 (in some combination which encompasses more than 1000 numbers) preemenance must be given to the speculation that the Test Eagle numbers are consecutive.

I know that I have knowledgable collector friends here who do not agree.

--Dwight
 

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scott meadows book 1894 to 1920 ,, US military automatic pistols,,, 6009 to 7403 so that mean about 400 were sold ,not to us goverment?? not delivered in one order i have #7324
 

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All of the reported Old Model pistols between approximately sn 5978 and sn 8000 are American Eagles without the GERMANY export mark. The reason for this is an enduring mystery as no satisfactory explanation has been forthcoming.

SPECULATION (because he does not actually make it explicit) Meadows accepts the absence of the GERMANY mark as prima facie evidence of a U.S. Test pistol. Further SPECULATION that his list on p.387 consists of all the reported pistols without the GERMANY stamp available to him in 1993. Meadows is not a Luger specialist, and much more is understood about Lugers now than in 1993 (e.g., the extent and nature of the non-GERMANY pistols, etc.).

The U.S. Test pistols were, in fact, delivered to the New York arsenal in two shipments: 800 pistols on Oct. 26, and 200 pistols on October 29, 1901. Contemporary correspondence concerning the shipments makes it clear that these were dedicated batches in larger shipments which were indeed destined for commercial sale.

--Dwight
 

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A curious fact:
The widely accepted range of 1900 Test Eagles, 6100-7100 is actually 1001 pistols if you count S#6100 as the first.


I tend to believe as Dwight pointed out, using the Bannerman purchase records, if the numbers are consecutive, the range would be closer to 6150-7149... give or take.
 
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