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I recently purchased this gun from a relative who was helping a late friends widow, close out her late husband‘s estate. A Swiss 1900 Purchased by this individual back in 1999 from Simpsons Ltd. For a respectable $5000.00.

I purchased a gun and had it shipped to my local dealer, one of the largest dealers in the city, and while I was there I had them take a look at it and give me an appraisal.

At first he appeared stumped, and said he had to jump on the computer and do some research. When he came back he told me that in his opinion it was a reproduction from 1940 to 1945. When I asked him what the value would be if it was not a reproduction he said “priceless”. Not sure what that meant. I then asked him, what makes him think this is a reproduction?

His response was “It’s too nice, Very minimal holster wear on the end of the barrel and the grip is in fantastic condition which is not typical.

Needless to say I left the store I’m not feeling fantastic about my purchase, but I do love the gun. Sorry for making this so long and I apologize if this question is already been asked another post.

So how can one determine if a swiss 1900 Parabellum is original or a reproduction?

here’s the piece.
Air gun Trigger Everyday carry Gun barrel Wood

Green Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Revolver

Automotive tire Office equipment Material property Gas Rim

Automotive tire Bumper Gas Automotive exterior Auto part

Wood Gesture Bumper Automotive lighting Automotive exterior

Cloud Sky Eyewear Microphone Wood

Sleeve Finger Sportswear Font Window

Revolver Air gun Trigger Wood Gun barrel
 

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Astra610p,

Don't be upset, the pistol is correct and in beautiful condition. A few tips that it is original are the dished toggle, toggle lock, DWM marking with the Swiss cross on chamber. Only 3000 military Swiss 1900s were ordered by the Swiss government starting at serial number 2001. You should be very happy with your purchase.

Geo.
 

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This is no offense to the guy who looked at it, but like everything, knowledge is everything. What reproduction would have been made during WW2 - I imagine he was confusing it with the 1970's Mausers that came out, in the Swiss style (Americans weren't too happy with a Swiss version and they made it more 1908 like).

Specialty items like this can be expensive, a bit surprised it cost 5k back in 1999. I would also say that a lot more swiss lugers have been brought in the last 20 yrs, and many by Simpsons.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

You have a superb and original Swiss Luger.

The Swiss were the first to adopt the Luger as a military sidearm. Your Luger is among those (I believe in the second or third shipment from DWM Berlin, but I would have to check the reference books to be exact). Your Luger was made in 1904. My own M1900 Swiss luger is just 100 or so later than yours...

The officers that were issued sidearms were offered their pistols when they retired from service. At the time, they could acquire them as is, or have the Bern arsenal refresh them to new condition for a small fee. In either case, they are considered to be in original arsenal condition and often very difficult to differentiate.

With respect to the dealer that analyzed your pistol, they probably have no experience with these Lugers. Simpson is one of the few dealers in the US that does.

If you have any questions about your new Luger, this is the place to ask them. There is a good reference on Swiss Lugers published by Bobba (out of print) and a master reference on Lugers published by Simpson.

This photo shows all 4 variations of Swiss Luger. The M1900 is on the far left.

Trigger Wind instrument Air gun Bullet Shotgun
 

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To all,

I am an old Luger collector and consequently I have old Luger reference books. Lugers at Random by Charles Kenyon states on page 54; 1900 Swiss Lugers assigned to their military had separate serial number range starting at 2001 and ending at 5000. If newer information exists, please school me. Thanks.

The Swiss military contract was the first order of Lugers for DWM. Production started with serial number 01.
Geo.
 

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Kenyon was wrong.
Numbering started with 1 - 2000 for the first military delivery in 1901-1902. The second delivery started at 2001.

A test series numbered 01 - 010 was delivered in 1900 before official delivery begun.
 
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Kenyon was wrong.
Numbering started with 1 - 2000 for the first military delivery in 1901-1902. The second delivery started at 2001.

A test series numbered 01 - 010 was delivered in 1900 before official delivery begun.
The production and delivery of the Swiss Pistols 1900 from SN 2001 can be well documented. There are some gaps for the earlier SN. However, the following can be documented for the beginning of production:
  • The W+F received the pistols from SN 201 onwards from 19 January 1901.
  • On June 28 1901, the W+F confirmed the receipt of the first 600 pistols.
Vlim, I assume that the numbering of the serial pistols started with SN 01 (not SN 1) and that there was no test series SN 01 to SN 010 (known are the pistols with SN 01 and SN 09) - at least I have no credible sources for this. Did you have any hard facts about the test series you mentioned?

Alexander
 

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Alexander, is there something that states 01 instead of 1? I ask because any single digits I have seen were just the number, although I have seen several 00 umbered parts. (these are non swiss, as I don't collect them)
 

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Alexander, is there something that states 01 instead of 1? I ask because any single digits I have seen were just the number, although I have seen several 00 umbered parts. (these are non swiss, as I don't collect them)
There is discussion as to whether the numbering of the Swiss Pistol 1900 runs from 1 to 5000 or from 01 to 5000.

As Doubs mentioned above, Sturgess and Görtz are of the opinion that the numbering runs from 01 to 5000. I am also of this opinion, but I am willing to change it if convincing arguments appear...;)

By the way, the SN 01 used to be part of the Sturgess collection.

Alexander
 

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yes, thank you - Since we are talking ten numbers here, in many regards it doesn't matter.
But, Sturgess sometimes takes liberty on some things...
 

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The problem is that many authors, Sturgess included, just repeated each other.

John Walter mentioned the 1-2000 first contract in his book from 1977, which was based on good sources. I have a good deal of correspondence from the mid-70s when he was working on the book, including a letter from a source from the Bern factory. He lists, from archives, the number of pistols that passed through the acceptance departement. By 1901, those of the first order of 2000 had been processed.

Unless proven otherwise, I think the first DWM batch was numbered 1-2000 and that a seperate batch of pistols in the 01-010 range was delivered before that.

Do we have examples of single digit Swiss 1900 pistols?

The 1970s letter mentions:
Through the Eidgn. Weapons control went:
1901 - 2000 pistols.
1902 - 1150 pistols.
1903 - 750 pistols.
1904 - 100 pistols.
1905 - 700 pistols.
1906 - 900 (of which at least 200 were 1906 models).

Unfortunately this page is only one of a longer letter. The address and signature are missing. But I'm relatively certain it came from correspondance with Reinhard Kornmayer.
 

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Walter as well as Sturgess evaluated some files and documents from the Swiss Federal Archives - but only the most obvious ones. By the way, in the edition of Walter's Luger book available to me, the author also assumes a number range from 01 to 5000.

I think I have by now a pretty good overview of the files and documents in the Federal Archives as well as in what was left of the archive of the former W+F (as far as I know, meanwhile on the way to the Federal Archives). Nowhere is there a reference to a pre-series of 10 pistols. From the available information about the ordinary pistol series it is not clear whether the first 9 pistols were numbered 01 to 09 or 1 to 9. The information in the correspondence of the W+F with collectors was often not very accurate - the W+F had very few records from the first half of the 20th century. An exception were the delivery books, where the weapons are listed with SN and delivery dates. Unfortunately, there is no information in these books about Pistols 1900 with SN under 201.

Alexander
 

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It's always a challenge to work with snippets of information and usually dangerous to state something is a fact or not.

But where would the fun be if we had all the answers :)

Perhaps one day a Swiss 00 number 1-10 will show up and perhaps never.
 
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