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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone ever heard of an Imperial Era (or any era for that matter) DWM Luger being equipt with interchangable barrels of two different lengths ?!? And in 9 mm caliber? Read a story in the most recent issue of Military History magazine about a WWI capture of such a weapon. (refered to the caliber as "handloaded 9mm magnum (!)ammunition"). The weapon was supposed to be a special presentation piece given to an officer by the crown prince but the whole thing seemed highly unlikely to me. Thought I'd open the idea up to people with more expertise than myself. Any thoughts, comments or ideas?
 

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Sounds very much like present day German laws governing weapons ownership. I´m allowed only two hand guns, but can own any number of different barrel lengths and different calibre barrels for a registered grip. To make things even more complicated, the grip isn´t counted as a relevent part! Only I´m NOT allowed to fit any of the barrels to a different grip. So maybe this is part of an ongoing tradition and the Luger in question was provided with a number of barrels with differing lengths and calibres (9mm & 7.65). It would be interesting to find out whether they were identically numbered to the wqeapon.
 

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Over the years I have seen a couple of these, the first that I encountered belonged to a girl friend's father back when I was in high school. It was a DWM cased set with a single frame and three different length barrels on barrel extensions (receivers). It included cleaning rods, multiple magazines and tools. I was able to con her into giving it to me but her father discovered it missing and I had to bring it back. Maybe I should have compromised her in some way so that I could get a shot at all her dad's stuff. I think this set was an American Eagle post WWI group.

The last one I saw was for sale by Fred Fiet about five or six years ago. It was like the former but in a leather covered DWM embossed case with a Johannesburg, South Africa dealer's label on the inside of the lid. Fred said that he had imported it through Canada. I think that this set had at least one 9mm barrel but maybe more. His price was $10,000. I kick myself in the *** for not having bought it.
 
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Having read the same article, I concluded that this pistol is a standard issue 1917 dated Artillery. Note the picture of the gun. Nothing unusual here. I am sure that Mr. Henry's account of his grandfather's actions on that day is accurate. However, when it comes to the part of the story dealing with Major Volbrecht, I think he took some poetic license. It can be documented that Volbrecht received the Blue Max. I would need to see the proof of a pistol being presented to him by the Crown Prince in order to buy that part. One would need to see the gun firsthand to be certain as to whether or not it had "interchangable barrels". I just don't pick this up from the photo. Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sets including more than one barrel and reciever are news to me (I guess you really do learn something new everyday)The article's author has the German major deciding to use an 8" barrel but to leave his snail drum magazine behind because he "wanted accuracy" and did not want to "spray the area". Since the kraut was killed in the action, the author must be a mindreader. The "magnum" part really made me laugh. I'm under the impression that "magnum" was a term concieved back in 1935 or so when Elmer Keith and Smith & Wesson lengthened a .38 special to make the .357 "magnum". I also thought 9mm was more of a post WWI caliber.
 

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Shawn, The 9mm Para. was adopted as the standard German Military pistol cartridge in 1908. The term Magnum has been in use for anything larger than standard (Magnum of Champagne) for a long time. If the author was taking license. He may have picked it up as, meaning the cartridge larger than a 9mm Browning(.380 or 9mm Kurtz). I believe I remember hearing that this was the term used by the British with the advent of the 9mm Parabellum. A vague memory back in the dust and cobwebs. But then I could be hallucinating again too.

Ron
 

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Who knows, it was an interesting article, and he said "handloaded" 9mm magnum... Of course an "interchangeable barrel" between 9mm and 7.65 is easy as long as you have the receiver too...

It is possible, but since I have never heard of this, my gut feeling is that the guy had 9mm and a 7.65 so someone called it 9mm magnum. Would like to see some cartridges of this round to say with any certantity.

I know that many presentation guns were given over the years, it was common back then (look at all the SA Colts that Sam Colt gave away). But since there is no way to prove it, I do always wonder how many "chromed" guns might have been presentation guns. But like I said, with no real provinance, it is just a shiney gun.

Ed
 

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The Luger carbine was supplied with specially loaded 9mm ammunition in order to ensure recycling. This could be why the term "magnum" was used. The interesting question must be whether the barrels were numbered to the receiver.
 

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Typical items for presentation by the Hohenzollerns included, silver cigarette boxes, goblets, and trays as well as blades and of course crown orders. I don't know that I have ever heard of royalty awarding someone with a military marked firearm. Special firearm awards were much more common from the manufacturer as a marketing device. The story sounds like it is hogwash.
 
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