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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 · #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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