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Luger DWM +
The pistol comes with a bottom wood magazine numbered : 9905 (1)
and a takedown tool unmarked
The pistol was originally a part of the assets of successively two Belgian leading collectors of Luger pistols. One of them, G. Machtelinckx, is of international repute and is cited as ressource provider in the main English books on the topic like those of Jan Still's or Eugene Bender.
That pistol was by the past several time featured in various French firearms magazines. It is a rare specimen.The kind of historical piece that makes experienced collectors happy, as it requires them to delve deeply into their knowledge of Lugers, while not allowing them to reach the point where the piece gives up all its secrets.
The serial number is 72261. Frame and receiver have matching serial numbers. This five-digit serial number clearly indicates that the pistol was initally intended for the commercial market.
The entire serial number was struck on the under side of the barrel and on the left side of the receiver. The last four digits (2261) are stamped under the chamber as usual in commercial style.
The whole serial number on the left side of the receiver and the last two digits exposed on secondary parts are military requirements. As such we can state it is a commercial military variation.
Two types of proof markings are present. The crowned "N" (front left of the receiver and under the barrel) and the DWM imperial eagle on the left side of the breech.
Now what about the year of production?
We know that by the end of 1913 the stock lug is of military prescription. Even if commercial production is not subjected to military rules, it usually follows military technical evolutions which remain the reference. Therefore, late 1913 can be set down as the earliest possible production date.
Manifestly, the original sear was modified (the file work is visible) to be upgraded with the new 1916 design which allows the breech to be opened (when the striker is cocked) with the safety on (cf drawings). The modified original sear being formerly of a 1916 design, 1916 becomes the upper limit.
up : sear design before 1916 - down : sear design after 1916
From there on, only comparisons with other commercial Luger pistols with a year of production already known, might allow one to determine the year of production more precisely.
The author, Jan C. Still, had stated the existence of a 1908 commercial Luger (without stock lug) with serial number 71420 and another commercial Luger with the year 1915 struck on the chamber with serial number 74275. As a conclusion, we may rather safely assert that our Luger was produced between late 1913 and early 1914.
Now, what about its long career.
First, it was diverted from its normal commercial fate to become a service weapon. After World War I, it was listed as government assets and struck with a "1920" property marking on the chamber.
A sear safety and a rare magazine safety have been added. These alterations, applied through 1930 - 1932, attest an issue in Weimar Police forces.
It must be emphazised that the magazine safety, which was partially amputated - as it is ALWAYS the case - and as such unable to function, is still in a fairly good condition, which is also very rare to found.
Many details about
those mechanical aspects are explained in the ebook : Luger Mechanical Features.
Very few Lugers are reported with an encircled "S" marking. One is reported to have a number 643. on the back of the frame and a Ma.643. marking on the front grip strap. We can thus logically assume it is the weapon number in the unit. It seems possible, that the same was true for our pistol.
G. Machtelinckx thinks it could be the "demobilization" year of the weapon when it was in service in the French army after WWII.
Regarding the encircled "S" marking, G. Machtelinckx has no doubt about its Simson origin. Another "S" marked Luger (serial 5643 - no suffix), recorded by a NAPCA member (January 1996) was mentioned with a "second" serial number (2322) on the same location. This seems to accredit the unit marking thesis.
Many details about the various Luger producers, as Simson, are given in the ebook : Luger Producers.
By the past I have gathered a host of beautiful photographs, sometime featuring some of the rarest firearms, like the Luger rifle shown below.
One of the rarest Luger firearm - Only two are known to exist
Click on the cover to get more
post WWI long barreled lugers