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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.
 

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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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