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  1. #1
    Legacy Member BVZ24's Avatar
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    Dwm Luger serial number range

    Slightly time sensitive.
    I have a DWM Military luger serial numbered in the 11xx range. The barrel, upper, and toggle are matching. The toggle has the Dwm engraving. I have a chamber date of 1915. I am in discussion with a collector that claims that the 1915 serial range starts around 1300-1400, and would not have the Dwm engraving.
    Every picture of a 1915 Dwm that I can find has the Dwm engraving.
    Who is right?

    ---------- Post added at 03:48 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:47 PM ----------

    And is my serial within the established 1915 range, and source?

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Hope this helps in your enquiry.
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    Legacy Member BVZ24's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    This is a page from the collector's source. My impression is that all luger serial numbers are observed, as there are no records. A date range is determined by the pistols the author of the book looked at.


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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Well he must have looked at allot of Lugers then to come up with those figures...........as Datig states about the records not being complete in relation to serial numbers in his book, I thought this may have helped or interested you with your enquiry.
    I think Datig has about 20 odd pages throughout this book discussing the serial numbers, so I'll let you buy the book and read it for your own information.

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    Legacy Member Bruce McAskill's Avatar
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    For the year 1915. DWM Military serial numbers were observed as 1398 and ended as 3850d. From the Blue book of Gun Values.

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    Legacy Member BVZ24's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Either I have the earliest 1915 luger never before observed, or someone messed with that serial number or chamber date. They must have done a good job because we can't see evidence of any overstamps. The font of the '1915' is the same as another 1915 example of the collector. Only other guess is that it's not a DWM at all, and someone found a last two matching toggle to part it together.
    Unfortunately it is refinished. If real, it might have been quite desirable. I had no knowledge of the serial numbers, and thought "that should make a great shooter", which it is.
    Last edited by BVZ24; 09-10-2022 at 08:34 AM.

  10. #7
    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    "Collector" is a description,not a qualification. And the "collector" who advised you does not appear to be an expert, but is in fact disqualified as such by the statement that a 1915 DWM would not have the monogram. DWM was already using the well-known monogram in 1909, i.e. right from the start of P08 mass-production.
    (Source: Joachim Görtz, "Die Pistole 08", 2nd Edition 1988, P.99)

    The expert books on Lugers are those by Jan C. Still. These seem to command solid 3-figure prices, and I am reluctant to spend as much on a couple of books as my LP08 cost. I have to make do with Görtz, who has an interesting discussion starting on P.131 about the problem of estimating how many P08s (and LP08s) were actually produced up to 1918.

    The vital point has already been made - all quoted number ranges are observed ranges, not factory records.

    It seems (Görtz, P.136) - from recorded serial numbers - that DWM manufactured about 130,000 P08s in 1915 alone. Now the standard Germanicon military numbering system at that time was 4-figures from 1 to 9999. Then 1-9999 with an "a" (lower case) suffix, then "b" etc round the alphabet (but not, I think, using all letters). The observed range previously quoted - from 1398 to 3850d would thus only cover some 44,000 pistols and is totally inadequate to cover 130,000 units.

    If the factory serial numbers also included LP08 and P04 (marine) Lugers, then the ---- d number could be from the 2nd time round the alphabet! As could, of course, your 11xx number.

    In short, the numbering system became ambiguous under wartime mass-production! That is the second reason to be unimpressed by the claims of that "collector".

    But these are just the comments of a shooter, not a "collector". Others who are better informed (Still?) can surely add more. I suggest that you search in Jan Still's Luger forum

    Jan C. Still Lugerforums

    for the "state of the art" in this matter.
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 09-14-2022 at 01:41 PM.

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