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The Navy Pistole 1904 termed the 1906 variation, was originally issued with the safety lever position in the upward direction. This 1906 variation also used a coil mainspring and new style toggle links without toggle lock and retained the long frame of the original 1904 variation. Jan Still in Imperial Lugers, p 159, indicates that approximately 8000 pistols were produced in 1906 and an additional 13,000 were produced between 1908 and 1914. Still indicates that the first 19,000 of this total 21,000 were produced with the thumb safety in the up position. Navy correspondence dated June 1912 indicates the thumb safeties were to be altered to the down position to prevent unintentional release (Imperial Lugers p 162). Some theorize the hazard was snagging the lever on the holster. This does not seem likely, more probable is the existence of the P08 with the downward position safety as the Army standard made the existence of two different safety positions problematic. Still estimates 300 commercial P08s with Navy proofs and well over a 100,000 Army P08s in use by 1912.

The Navy began altering the 1906 First issue unaltered (19,000 P04s) to the safety down position. There are a number of theories on this alteration, some proposing that all alterations were done in a single Navy dockyard. I began a study of available P04 1906 First issue altered to study the different styles of variations. The wide variation in this alteration would seem to make the alterations at a single dockyard unlikely. The sample size I have is still far to small to make any reasonable projections and I am always looking for additional information. Send me the information on your altered and I will send you the entire database plus keep you updated as new information becomes available.

The first area of variation is in the removal of the old Gesichert stamping.
Some models show a simple milling cut.


1080a_1.jpg


Some have had the milling slot filled (welded?)and been scrapped or filed


7738_2.jpg


Some have the milled slot filled and then milled off neatly


Safeoff.jpg


Others have the entire bolster area milled down to remove the marking.


Gesichert Removed.jpg

Continued on the next post:
regards, heinz
 

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The next area of variation is in the restamping of the Gesichert.

Perhaps even more variation is shown here'

Some are in Uppercase letters in all the same font size



Gesichert.jpg


Some have a slightly larger upercase G followed by smaller font uppercase



1080a_2.jpg

Some have an Uppercase G followed by lowercase letters (Gesichert). This latter marking style appears to limited only to the altered P06 variations.



GesichertJP.jpg

A subset the of these appear to have the Gesichert cut in with a pantograph, Unfortunately my three photographs of the "Gesichert" variation are of the pantograph version .



438 gesichert.jpg




7738_1.jpg




Mvc-023s.jpg


There also appear to be some pistols stamped with a single stamp containing the whole GESICHERT’ and others with single stamps used to form the word. Variations in the alignment of the word are also observed as seen in the photographs above.

Special thanks for help with the above photograpks to Ron Wood, John Sabato and Johnny Peppers.

continued in the next post

regards, heinz
 

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The table has been fixed so it is now readable. Thanks Ed.

regards, heinz
 

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Great work by the way heinz, this is the kind of thing we need to gather good information for the collecting world.

Ed
 

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Dear Mr Heinz,

My 1904 Navel, #6905, Navel Marked W.D. 249, has had the original Gesichert removed by grinding with a small diameter grinder say 3/16" ~ 4mm wide. The old markings are not completely removed.

The new Gesichert is a Large capital G followed by ESICHERT, also in capitals, but a smaller font. The word lookes like it was done by a single die.

Good luck with your study.

Bob
 
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Very nicely illustrated alterations! May I add a small contribution?
First Issue 1906/Altered Safety #6707 unit marked WK 1870: the bolster area is neatly milled; the new uppercase G is followed by lowercase letters (pantograph?) with the S slightly higher than the other letters.
Roger S.
 
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Very nicely illustrated alterations! May I add a small contribution?
First Issue 1906/Altered Safety #6707 unit marked WK 1870: the bolster area is neatly milled; the new uppercase G is followed by lowercase letters (pantograph?) with the S slightly higher than the other letters.
Roger S.
 
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