SOLD FOR: $1825
Make: Deutsche Waffen-und Munitionsfabriken (DWM)
Model: “American Eagle”, Model 1900 Parabellum-Pistole Luger
Serial Number: 6135
Year of Manufacture: Circa 1901, C&R
Caliber: 7.65mm Parabellum (.30 Luger)
Action Type: Dished Toggle-Action Semi-Automatic Striker-Fired Pistol fed by a Detachable Magazine with a Grip-Safety
Markings: The top of the front toggle link is marked with the Deutsche Waffen-und Munitionsfabriken logo: “DWM”. The rear toggle link is marked “10”. The bottom of the front toggle-link, visible when the handgun is taken down, is marked “10” (it appears there is a faded character after the “0” in “10”). The left side of the breech-block is marked “10”. The firing pin is not marked. The receiver axle is unmarked. The bottom of the barrel is marked with the serial number “6135”. The left side of the slide has two faded Imperial German proofs (crowned gothic letters). The top of the chamber ring is marked with a faded Great Seal of the United States (an eagle). The left side of the trigger, concealed by the trigger side-plate, is marked “52”. The trigger side-plate is marked “87”. The locking bolt is not marked. The grip safety is marked “35”, the marking is visible when the left grip panel is removed. The left grip-panel is marked “67” on the concealed end. The front of the frame is marked “6135”. The left side of the takedown bolt is marked “35”.
Barrel Length: Approximately 4.75”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is serrated blade fixed to a banded base fixed to the muzzle. The rear sight is a “V”-notch integral to the rear toggle link.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip panels are two-piece checkered wood. The grips have light-moderate handling marks, nicks and scuffs. Notably, there are several light compressions on the left panel and some light scuffs scattered on the right panel. There are several patches of the checkering which are worn on the right panel, but the checkering is still mostly sharp. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grip panels are in Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue and Straw
FinIsh Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with mostly sharp rifling. There is light erosion concentrated in the grooves.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 65% of its metal finish. There are some light-moderate handling marks, nicks and scuffs. Notably, there is scattered finish loss on the barrel, finish loss along the leading edges and scattered light surface oxidation visible where the finish has worn off. There are some poorly stamped and faded marks but most remain clear. The screwheads have light tool-marks, but they remain serviceable. Overall, the pistol is in Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action works correctly. The slide to frame fit is snug. We have not fired this pistol. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: The pistol comes with a single magazine that has a wood base. The magazine has some light handling marks and is coated in light surface oxidation. Overall, the magazine is in Very Good condition.
Our Assessment: The Parabellum-Pistole, commonly referred to as the Luger, was designed by Georg Johann Luger. Luger was an unlikely gun designer, born in 1849 he was the son of a surgeon, Bartholomaeus von Luger, and while attending university he served as a One-Year Volunteer with the 78th Infantry Regiment (Infanterieregiment 78 ein) of the Austro-Hungarian Army. While in the military Luger proved a skilled marksman and he began to develop an interest in the small arms technology. Following four years of service Luger worked a number of jobs in Vienna. Finally, in the 1870s Luger met Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher who recruited him as a sales representative for Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabrik AG (DWM). One of the company’s weapons that Luger marketed was the semi-automatic Borchardt C93 (named after its designer Hugo Borchardt) which was criticized for being too heavy and poorly balanced. Luger decided to rework the design and eventually secured a contract for his new pistol with the Swiss Army which dubbed it the Model 1900 which was chambered for 7.65mm Parabellum cartridges. After some minor reworking Luger introduced the Pistole 1904, chambered for 9mm cartridges, which was adopted by the Imperial German Navy, the pistol was henceforth referred to as the Luger. A slightly altered version of the pistol with a smaller barrel was adopted for service by the Prussian Army in 1908, hence the designation P08. The Luger P08 would become one of the most iconic weapons of the 20th century. Following the end of WWI Luger was bankrupted, he had invested in War Bonds which had become worthless following Imperial Germany’s defeat and worse yet he was forced out of his job by his employer DWM which sought to appropriate his patents. The ensuing legal dispute between Luger and DWM would be decided in his favor in 1922, but he was financially ruined by that time and passed away the following year at the age of 74. His pistol would continue to serve the German military during WWII (although the P38 was the Wehrmacht’s standard issue sidearm) and saw service in a number military and police forces long afterwards.
This pistol is a Luger Model 1900 made for export to the United States. The story of this pistol is tied to Hans Tauscher who served as a sales representative for DWM in the United States prior to WWI. Tauscher helped market the parabellum-pistol on the American Commercial market and also submitted it to the U.S. Army, which was seeking a new handgun at the time. He is credited with naming the pistol the “Luger”, and distributed the gun across the United States. Tauscher would shuttle between Germany and the United States, and returned to the US when WWI broke out. He was tried for espionage during WWI, in 1916 he was accused of assisting a plot to blow up a target in Canada and put on trial, but he was acquitted by a Federal Jury and remained in the U.S. until his death in 1941.
The US Army trials were initially promising and 1,000 Lugers chambered for 7.65mm Parabellum cartridges were ordered. There is no consensus on the exact serial range that was sold to the U.S. Army with two ranges cited by Jan C. Still, 6100-7100 and 6099-7098, this gun falls safely within the ranges. The gun received a lukewarm reception from the units it was issued to and the bulk, reportedly 770 of them, were sold to Francis Bannerman’s firm (per Still’s citation the ranges were 6167-96, 6282, 6361-7108 and 7147), this specimen does not fall into this range. The gun has several hallmarks of a firearm which was originally given to the Army; a dished toggle, a grip safety, an unnumbered magazine in addition to a serial matched frame, grip safety, locking bolt and barrel. On the other hand, several elements do not match; the safety lever is blued (the Army guns safety lever was polished bright) and most of the parts are not serial matched (the breechblock, front and rear toggles, the trigger and trigger side-plate). Despite this, the gun has several hallmarks typical of a gun sold by a merchant like Bannerman, the lack of serial matched parts which have been reassembled into a working gun (the original parts were likely damaged and interchanged prior to commercial sales). Ultimately, despite the serialization, the gun has the hallmarks typical of a gun sold by a merchant like Bannerman, the lack of serial matched parts which have been reassembled into a working gun (the original parts were likely damaged and interchanged prior to commercial sales). This is a fascinating old Luger which will surely appeal to historical firearms collectors. Good luck on your bid!