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TWO 1914 DWM COMMERCIAL, R.G. LUGERS, SN 74200 AND 74596.
1914 Commercial Lugers are found in the approximate serial range 70300 to 75000. These bear a 4 inch 9mm barrel, short frame, hold open, and stock lug. Within this serial range are found Commercial Army, Commercial Navy, and Commercial R.G. Lugers. (See page 11 and 12 of Imperial Lugers for more details)

Commercial Lugers are interspersed with the R.G. marked Lugers. Based on the serial number data in the below table, it appears that the 1908 and 1914 Commercial Army Lugers were produced after the 1908 R.G.Lugers and before the 1914 R.G. Lugers.

SUMMARY SERIAL RANGE, 1908 AND 1914 DWM COMMERCIAL ARMY AND RG LUGERS (Imperial Lugers, 1991, page 25 and 26)
1908 Commercial RG: 5 reported in the serial range 60539 to 61649
1908 Commercial Army: 14 reported in the serial range 69163 to 70840.
1914 Commercial Army: 5 reported in the serial range 70319 to 71182.
1914 Commercial RG: 8 reported in the serial range 74186 to 74707. (updated 9/10/03)
Note: the following three 1914 Commercial RG, serial number 74186(RG 160), 74200(RG 214), and 74213(RG 220) are in a very tight serial number range.


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Figure 1. Two Elsass-Lothringen Reichs-Gendarmerie marked 1914 DWM Commercial Lugers. The markings details and history are covered in the 1900-1918 Luger Unit Markings section. The top Luger, is serial number 74200. The bottom Luger is serial number 74596..

Jan C Still
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Figure 2. The right side of R.G. marked Lugers, serial number74200(top) and 74596 (bottom).





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Figure 3. 1914 DWM Commercial Luger, serial number 74596, detail of right side frame above the trigger guard.. A metal pin has been added during manufacture to facilitate installation of the hold open. This metal pin was finished and blued with the Luger during manufacturing. Other Commercial Army and RG Lugers have been observed with a similar blued metal pin added during manufacturing to facilitate installation of the hold open (Serial number 70149, 74200 and 74596).

Army Lugers manufactured during 1908 to 1913 (originally manufactured without a hold open) were sent to the Erfurt plant during late 1913 and early 1914 to have a hold open added. Pins similar to the above were added by the Erfurt Plant to facilitate the addition of the hold open. However, these pins are in the white and are accompanied by a crown/scriptic letter.



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Figure 4. The tops of serial number 74200 (top), and serial number 74596 (bottom) Lugers. The serial number 74596 Luger bears exposed style serial numbers on its extractor and middle toggle link.



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Figure 5. 1914 Commercial R.G. Luger, serial number 74596, showing the serial number on the front of frame and bottom of the barrel. Note: the haloes around the digits on the barrel serial number. The 9 and the 6 on the frame are not from the same die as the 9and 6 on the barrel.



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Figure 6. 1914 Commercial R.G. Luger, serial number 74200, showing the serial number on the front of frame and bottom of the barrel. Note: the haloes around the digits on the barrel serial number are barley visible in this photo. The digit 2 on the frame is not from the same die as the 2 on the barrel. The length of the serial number 74596 is substantially shorter than 74200. In some cases, the same dies were not used to stamp the frame and barrel serial number.


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Figure 7. 1914 Commercial R.G. Luger, serial number 74596, showing the serial number, barrel-frame witness mark, and last two digits of the serial number on the barrel Lug. Like 1908 Commercial, serial number 60530 (R.G. 14b), this Luger does not have the middle two digits of the serial number forward of its receiver lug.


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Figure 8. 1914 Commercial Luger, serial number 74200, showing the serial number, barrel-frame witness mark, and last two digits of the serial number on the barrel Lug. Unlike serial number 74596 above, this Luger bears the middle two digits of its serial number forward of its receiver lug. Also, 1908 Commercial Army Luger, serial number 70149, has the middle two serial number digits in front of its receiver lug.



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Jan C Still
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Figure 9. 1914 Commercial R.G. Luger, serial number 74200, showing its matching magazine.



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Jan C Still
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Figure 10. Forward frame well of Luger, serial number 74596. The various letters stamped in the frame well are an interesting area for study. These are called “workers stamps” according to 1910 dated instructions and are to consist of the Latin letters B to Z. Note: the A contrary to instructions. (Gortz & Bryans 1997 page 114) Is progress being made on this study? Any comments?


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Figure 11. Forward frame well of Luger, serial number 74200. The various letters and digits stamped in the frame well are an interesting area for study. Is progress being made? Any comments?



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Jan C Still
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Figure 12 Forward frame well of 1908 Commercial Army Luger, serial number 70149. The various letters and digits stamped in the frame well are an interesting area for study. Is progress being made? Any comments?



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Jan C Still
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PRODUCTION VARIATIONS
The following differences were noted above between 1914 Commercial Lugers RG 136b serial number 74596 and R.G. 214 serial number 74200: (Note: apparently commercial (police) Lugers were not subject to the same rigorous inspection as military Lugers.)
1. The serial number lengths are different, 74200 is longer than 74596.(Fig. 5, 6),
2. Serial number 74200 has the middle two serial number digits stamped forward of the receiver lug and serial number 74596 does not (Fig. 6, 8 ).
3. Serial number 74596 bears exposed serial number placement on the extractor and middle toggle link(original). Serial number 74200 bears hidden serial number placement.(Figure 2)

4. Both Lugers bear differences in the frame and the barrel serial number digits (Fig. 5, 6).

Both Lugers show normal signs of aging, are matched, and bear original finish (they are clearly righteous). Serial number 74596 has been in my collection for over 20 years and serial number 74200 is in a tight serial range with other R.G. marked Lugers (74186, 74200, 74208, and 74213). (updated 9/10/03)

It is my experience that small differences in Luger production, such as those listed above, are not extraordinary. They appear to be within the normal variance of Luger production.




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quote:Originally posted by Jan C Still

Figure 12 Forward frame well of 1908 Commercial Army Luger, serial number 70149. The various letters and digits stamped in the frame well are an interesting area for study. Is progress being made? Any comments?
In the April 1977 issue of "Automag" one Charlie Sorrentino proposed a study of these workers' stamps, and solicited NAPCA members for examples from their own collections. I have not run into any published results, but at least there is a name to start with.

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Dwight,
* Pg. 12 & 14 of April, 1997 AutoMag issue is what I believe you meant.
* Mr. Sorrentino provided a progress report in the Feb., 1998 AutoMag issue on Pgs. 253-254. I've not seen an update since.
* The interim conclusion, as I understood it, was a near linear increase in the number of Worker stamps could be found in the forward DWM well as time progressed thru the teens. A noticable "jump" in the number could be attributed to the start of WWI in 1914.
* Having participated, I had hoped Mr. Sorrentino would have been able to relate specific Worker stamps/symbols to DWM (uniquely) and possibly show a progression of stamps related to specific years of DWM Production. Apparently the data/examples were not all that clear cut or too sparse to draw these specific conclusions.
* Thanks Jan for the rapid refresh of this venue.
Respectfully,
Bob (RockinWR)
 

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Jan, this is interesting, I enjoyed that you could provide serial numbered guns so close, yet show the differences. I hope every collector takes the time to read this posting.

As Bob was referring to this Mr. Sorrentino, I am interested in pursuing worker stamps. Anyone have his address?

Ed
 

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After all the good data provided by Jan, and the comments by Tom Armstrong and Garfield, it was clear that DWM military Lugers which had not been reblued would have the "halo" around the barrel markings. The pictures here indicate that the same is true of the DWM commercials.

Question: Does the absence of a "halo" on the barrel markings on a Mauser also indicate that the gun has been reblued?

Luke



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Luke
Have observed the halo on strawed Mauser military Lugers but not on blued Mauser military Lugers. The transition from straw to blued small parts took place in 1937 on military code Mauser Lugers. A straw Vatiation 1937 S/42 and a 42 byf are shown in the Mauser section. The barrel serial number is shown in both cases. There is a halo on the 1937 barrel that the 42 byf lacks.
Jan

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Thank you, Jan.

That is consistent with my very limited sample. I have two Mausers, a 1936 and a 1941. The 1936 barrel has the halo around the markings, and the 1941 byf does not.

Luke

Peace if possible; truth at any price . . . Martin Luther
 
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