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Post-WW1 Commercials

1927 Views 7 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  joepo
Hello, I'm new..my first posting. As I understand it, DWM commercial Lugers with serial #s 75000 and over were 1923 Commercials as opposed to 1920 Commercials. Was there any other significance? Did BKIW make them both? Was one any better fabricated than the other? Weren't both types made from parts left -over by DWM at the end of WW1? Jim
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Jim, it is thought that Commercial Lugers between 75,000 (approximately) and roughly 92,000 were made following WW1 until about 1923 when the "Alphabet" Commercial Lugers began with a four digit number and the letter "i". The suffix letter "i" would make the beginning of the Alphabet Lugers start at approximately 90,000 although it's thought that production actually reached 92,000 before the suffix letter was introduced. It's interesting that the five digit Commercial Lugers became known as the 1923 model while the later-production "Alphabet" Lugers are commonly called the 1920 model. While some post-war Lugers undoubtedly used surplus parts, the Alphabet Lugers almost certainly were new manufacture. The Alphabet Lugers are very nicely made of quality materials.
Doubs: Thank you! I've heard,perhaps, that the 1923 Commercials MIGHT be better because of the influence of the Mauser..or pending buy-out of Mauser..at that time. From what I know, Mauser didn't really take-over until 1933! Jim
Jim, perhaps I wasn't clear in my reply but the so-called 1923 Lugers were made before the so-called 1920 (Alphabet) models. Early collectors were under the impression that the "Alphabet" Lugers came first and the mis-identification of the models resulted. They thought that Commercial production, which had ended at approximately 75,000 when WW1 broke out, didn't resume until 1923. It actually picked back up at some point following the war and thus all 1923 Lugers are, in fact, DWM's. In my experience, the pre-WW1 DWM Lugers have the smoothest actions of all.... they work like silk sliding over glass. The Mauser Lugers are considered superior by many because they use improved steel and hardening methods. I'd also add that the Mauser "bump" on the frame may be considered an improvement and the extruded magazines - especially those with the staggered follower springs - are undoubtedly better than the earlier folded steel mags. Otherwise, the guns made by DWM, Erfurt, Mauser and others are essentially the same and parts will interchange. However, a mismatch Luger will often have more malfunctions than a matched Luger. FWIW, the 1923 Lugers often command a higher price than the Alphabet Lugers which are the most commonly encountered Luger model of all.
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Doubs: Guess I didn't absorb your first reply correctly..sorry. Going on what you say then, the 1920 Commercials have smoother actions? ....perhaps better finished? Jim
Jim asked "Weren't both types made from parts left -over by DWM at the end of WW1?
It is suspected that parts may have been left over from the end of World War I production at DWM and Erfurt. However, this has never been documented. It has been claimed that all Weimar Era DWM Luger production was from left over Imperial parts. Estimated DWM production from 1920 to 1930 is 187,000 Lugers(5 digit, alphabet, and 29DWM, Weimar Lugers page 13-14). That is a lot of left over parts. If unmarked surplus Imperial parts were used post World War I, it would be difficult if not impossible to tell. So, until documentation is found one can only speculate.

Jim stated "From what I know, Mauser didn't really take-over until 1933!"
The move of Luger manufacturing machinery from BKIW(DWM) in Berlin to Mauser at Oberndorf is documentated to have taken place in the late spring of 1930. Some Dutch lugers were produced by Mauser in late 1930.
Jan: Thanx! I suppose I need a 1920 commercial for my collection. The 1923 commercial that I have has tool marks on the frame and toggle. They're not that bad, but they are evident. Jim
new collector..question onprice;
1920 comm.luger
all matching incl. clip
4"barrel,no hoster,95% minty.maked 1920,dwm,crown over mn?any help
please,,ad in paper
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