SOLD FOR: $2231
Model: 1900 Luger
Serial Number: 7429
Year of Manufacture: 1901
Caliber: 7.65x21mm Parabellum, .30 Luger
Action Type: Toggle Type Striker-Fired Semi-Auto, Removable Magazine
Markings: The top of the barrel extension has an American Eagle on the chamber ring, the bottom is marked “29” on the locking lug. The bottom-rear of the barrel and the front face of the frame are each marked “7429”. The grip safety is marked “29”. The takedown lever (on the left arm), sideplate (bottom edge), trigger, the left of the breech-bolt, the bottom of the front toggle link, the rear of the rear toggle link and the inside of each grip panel are marked “29”. The top of the front toggle has a script “DWM”. There is a flaming bomb marking inside the frame well (DWM inspector’s mark), and another on the inside of the sideplate.
Barrel Length: 4 3/4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a beaded blade dovetailed to a base at the muzzle. The rear sight is a “V”-notch integral to the rear toggle link.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut panels. The grips show moderate handling wear with some areas of worn checkering, in some areas worn smooth. The left panel has notable compressions, one above and slightly forward of the grip screw and one near the front edge about mid-way. The right panel has some scattered compressions with one more notable at the rear edge about mid-way and another at the front below the magazine catch. There are some other scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The right panel has a short crack at the bottom edge by the screw head. The left panel has a small chip-loss at the top-rear by the safety. Overall, the grips are in about Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blued & Strawed Small Parts. The frame is bright under the safety lever.
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with well defined rifling. There is some scattered light erosion and infrequent minor pitting in the bore, mostly in the grooves.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 75% of its metal finish. The grip areas are mostly worn to white with finish on the backstrap where it is protected by the grip safety. There is finish wear along the sides of the barrel and raised features, consistent with holster wear. There are some scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches, including a notable nick on the left frame flat by the sear safety. There is some scattered minor surface oxidation. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads are lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is barely perceptible play between the barrel assembly and frame. We did not fire this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with a single magazine which has a wood floorplate. The floorplate has some nicks and scratches. The magazine shows operational wear and infrequent surface oxidation, intact feed lips and a strong spring.
Our Assessment: The Luger (Pistole Parabellum or P-08) is perhaps the most aesthetically and ergonomically pleasing of all autoloading centerfire pistols. It is also one of the strongest, most accurate and most recognizable service pistols ever made. Georg Luger developed his famous pistol in 1898-1899 (starting with the Borchardt/Luger transitional pistol). The Luger is, essentially, a much-improved Borchardt type pistol, which was itself based on the toggle action concept used by Sir Hiram Maxim in the world’s first practical machine gun.
Soon after the Luger was developed, a small batch (1000) was made for testing by the United States Army as the M1900 American Eagle, chambered in 7.65mm Luger with a 4 ¾” barrel. Another 5000-7000 American Eagles were made for commercial sales in the United States. If you’d ever like to see a room full of Luger collectors fight, ask them exactly what the serial range is for the U.S. test pistols! Perhaps the most liberal range is given by Edward Meadows in his book “U.S. Military Automatic Pistols 1894-1920”, where he lists the range as approximately 6000-7500, and listing serial 7403 specifically among “Recorded surviving examples”. Other authors have ranges 6100-7100 or even 6099-7098. Collectors generally recognize 6100-7100 as the “accepted range”, though it is known that there are several “out of range” examples which have the same features as the Test Eagles. Where commercial export pistols were marked “GERMANY” and may or may not have German commercial proof marks, the Test Eagles, like this pistol, have neither. In fact, apart from the front sight blade and the location of the serial marking on the takedown lever, this pistol has all of the same features as a Test Eagle. Even the serial marking on the takedown lever may be correct, as the transition in the location changed between 7100 and 7200.
Fans of the later P.08 may note that this design differs in a few ways. Perhaps the first thing noticed would be the grip safety, which hangs about half-way over the backstrap. A closer inspection will find the checkered safety arm rather than the later serrations as well as dished grasping knobs on the toggle. The toggle also has a catch-tab, requiring that the toggle train and barrel extension be pulled back before the knobs can be pulled up to unlock the toggles. Rounding out the early features are the flat-top bolt profile, thin trigger and “S”-shaped leaf mainspring.
This Model 1900 American Eagle, whether it participated in the tests or not, is nonetheless a nice example. All of its serialized parts match, the gun retains a decent bore and strong mechanics. Most of th wear on the pistol is consistent with use and holster wear, perhaps another bit of evidence of its participation in the trials. The pistol is in Very Good condition with 75% of its finish remaining. With its original finish and matching serial numbers we expect the Luger collectors to be fighting over this one. Please see our photos and good luck!