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Old March 25, 2012, 04:43 PM   #1
DTW2012
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P08 Luger serial # has three digits..not four

Hi,

From what I've read, I should expect my P08 luger to have a serial # with four digits or four digits and a letter.

However, it has only three digits.

Do I have a problem here or just need additional resources to place this?

(s/42 with a good deal of its "strawing" and a unit inscription placing it with a Bavarian machine gun squad)

thank you
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Old March 25, 2012, 05:00 PM   #2
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German military numbering always began at 1 (no leading zeros), then to 9999, then to 1a to 9999a, 1b to 9999b and so on for each manufacturer in each year.

So there would be a fair number of three digit numbers, even if those with letter suffixes are not included.

But there may be a problem with that gun. S/42 is a WWII era code for Mauser, starting in 1934, but the Germans did not use unit markings in WWII, and by 1934 there was no separate Bavarian army. Maybe I am missing something but could the gun be mismatched?

Pictures would help.

Jim
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Old April 14, 2012, 07:17 PM   #3
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Sorry, I was away on business for a few weeks.
I will take and post pics ASAP.
Thanks.

Note.. The 3 digit serial do match on all points and the last two on the toggle.
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Old April 27, 2012, 12:07 AM   #4
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here are a few pics
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pix683002091.jpg (46.4 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg pix650902698.jpg (36.1 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg pix079271053.jpg (42.5 KB, 68 views)
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Old April 27, 2012, 12:10 AM   #5
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and two more..

my error on the statement of S/42..that is not present.
I must have been reading about so many others that do have that..and it stuck.
and the Bavarian may actually be Belgium..the owner of the shop where I purchased it mis - states names or details (like Parker/LC Smith/AH Fox) all the time. He kept saying bavarian..until I found that he wrote belgium.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 3.jpg (82.5 KB, 63 views)
File Type: jpg 4.jpg (98.8 KB, 62 views)

Last edited by DTW2012; April 27, 2012 at 12:15 AM.
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Old April 27, 2012, 12:20 AM   #6
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That is an old one, a P08 with no stock lug looks like pre-1914 maybe late 1913 at the latest.
Show more markings.
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Old April 27, 2012, 01:33 AM   #7
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really..that's very interesting

here are a few markings

(not sure if the one on the barrell is a marking or something else)

I may have to try again..I couldn't keep the phone steady enough for a sharp close pic.
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File Type: jpg 11.jpg (12.7 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg 13.jpg (9.2 KB, 55 views)
File Type: jpg 15.jpg (2.3 KB, 50 views)
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Old April 28, 2012, 05:37 PM   #8
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OK, that S/42 really had me going as the gun is clearly marked as DWM. Is there a date on the top of the front receiver ring?

The B in the unit mark is for Bavaria, which at that start of WWI was a separate Kingdom, though in a mililtary alliance with Prussia, the leading German state. "Germany" technically did not yet exist as a unified nation; it was still made up of several smaller states.

B. 4 R. M.G. 75 indicates the pistol number 75 of the machinegun company of the 4th Bavarian Regiment or, in the order on the gun, Bavarian 4 Regiment, Machinegun [company] # 75.

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Old April 28, 2012, 08:06 PM   #9
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What's the chamber date????
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Old April 29, 2012, 07:52 AM   #10
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James, the German Reich of 1871 was a unified nation, with a head of state and a constitution, a two-chamber congress and a single foreign policy. The interior of each state was managed more by the individual states, more CSA like than USA, but compared to the predecessor northern confederation it was a unified nation and not just a lose group of states.
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Old April 29, 2012, 06:57 PM   #11
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Technically true, but there were some 27 of those "states" in the German Empire, including Bavaria, which was a Kingdom headed by Ludwig III (the "mad" Ludwig II was his cousin), so it is a bit hard to see it as a "unified nation", or even as a federal system. The Bavarian Army was at least nominally a separate entity, headed by its crown prince, Rupprecht, who had the misfortune to have his throne removed before he had a chance to sit down.

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Old April 30, 2012, 10:42 PM   #12
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Well, can't have an empire unless you have subordinate kingdoms
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Old May 1, 2012, 12:39 AM   #13
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Again: What's the chamber date?
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Old May 1, 2012, 06:40 AM   #14
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Chamber date: I don't know...recent purchase and I'm just getting to know it. How do you determine the chamber date ?
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Old May 1, 2012, 07:44 AM   #15
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The chamber date is the date over the chamber, on top of the gun in plain view.
If it has one, not all do. A military model should, a commercial model not.
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Old May 1, 2012, 11:38 AM   #16
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This would be an example picture of 1915 DWM
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Old May 2, 2012, 06:48 AM   #17
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Ah, thanks. That would be obvious...
Mine does not have that date.
Were the dates stamped on pistols regardless of which military ...
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Old May 2, 2012, 07:40 AM   #18
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Something isn't adding up here. It has Imperial proofs on it, and a regimental assignment, but no chamber date. It's definitely a military gun.
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Old May 2, 2012, 12:36 PM   #19
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German officers could purchase their own handguns, so it's not surprising that commercial guns made it to the front in large numbers. Once there, I'm sure more than one officer gun landed in the hands of a NCO who had to have their guns inventoried.
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Old May 2, 2012, 01:58 PM   #20
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I know of two P-08 s with the same serial number ! War time confusion causes many irregular situations.
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Old May 3, 2012, 01:04 PM   #21
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Some interesting theories, but a much simpler explanation. The Luger (Parabellum) pistol was adopted in 1908 (hence, Pistole 1908 or P.08) but uniform marking standards were still being worked up and the earliest date marked was 1910. That pistol is one of about 20,000 made in that period. The three digit serial is legitimate, it is the 592nd Parabellum pistol made for the German military, and IMHO, a very valuable piece, especially in that condition.

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Old May 4, 2012, 10:10 PM   #22
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Thank you. Well, I feel a lot better about it now.
I took it to a smith near my new job for a careful go-over.
He has a few Lugers and a regular who is in deep with them.
They really got a kick out of it. although it checked out and is terrific shape...they advised me not to use it..they hadn't seen one like it.
Hadn't planned on a safe queen but nice to know it's special.
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