Model: This pistol is basically a 1906 Military Model Luger made for the Dutch Royal Air Force
Serial Number: 10253
Year of Manufacture: 1925
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Action Type: Toggle Action Single Action Semi-Auto, Removable Magazine.
Markings: The sear bar, left sideplate, takedown lever, the back of the rear toggle link, the left side of the trigger and grip safety, and the top of the front toggle link are marked “53”. The underside of the left sideplate is marked “X” and the frame under the sideplate is marked “B”. The left side of the receiver is marked with a “Crown / N” German nitro proof and “53”. The front of the frame under the barrel is marked “10253” and the underside of the barrel is marked with a “Crown / N” and “10253”. The top of the barrel is marked “1925” and both sides of the extractor are marked “GELADEN”. The right side of the receiver is marked with a circled “KL”. Many references indicate this stood for Koninklijke Luchtmacht, the mark of the Royal Dutch Air Force, but Gortz and Sturgess in “Pistole Parabellum” indicate this is a “KOL” mark for Kolonien (Colonies) to distinguish them from Dutch Naval Lugers being made at the same time (Although the Dutch Navy Lugers weren’t made until 1928, and this pistol is dated 1925). The left side of the frame at the safety is marked “RUST” and with an arrow pointing up and forwards. The top of the front toggle is marked with a scripted “DWM”. There is a brass plate on the left side of the frame marked “Pla. 4 / 37” (We know that this plate was added by the Netherlands Government and was found on many of the pistols used by the Royal Netherlands East indies Army Military Air Service, but we don’t know to which battalion the Pla mark refers, other than to pistol number 37 of battalion 4.). The insides of the grip panels are marked with what appears to be an “A”.
Barrel Length: 4”
Sights / Optics: This pistol is mounted with a “V” notch in the back of the toggle and a serrated ramped blade front sight in a dovetail on the base on the front barrel band. The rear face of the base is also ramped and serrated.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut. The grips show very light oil staining. The checkering shows light wear without mars. The grips are tight on the frame. The grips rate in about Fine to Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: The finish is blued. The trigger, ejector, safety, takedown lever and the right side of the magazine release have a straw colored finish that is either developing a dark patina or else the surfaces have been touched-up with cold bluing.
Finish Originality: The finish is not original.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 88% of its current metal finish. There is thinning on the front edge of the barrel band, the edges of the frame rails, the left sideplate, grip safety and backstrap. There are isolated spots of pitting under the finish of the barrel, left side plate, frame rails, the right side of the receiver, front strap and the edges of the trigger guard. There are a few tiny dings under the finish on the underside of the barrel, a tiny ding under the finish on the back of the frame and marks both under and through the finish on the back of the rear toggle. The brass plate shows a mustard colored patina and several tiny dings. The serrations in the toggle knobs are sharp while the knurling shows light wear. The knurling in the magazine release and locking bolt, and the serrations in the safety, are sharp. . The top of the left toggle knob shows light wear in its serrations, while the checkering and serrations on the rest of the knob and the right knob are sharp. There is a tiny mark in the safety serrations and the magazine release checkering is sharp. The crowned inspection marks are all sharp except for on the front toggle. The left grip screw is disfigured. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol rates in about Fine condition as refinished.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. This model pistol has a short sear bar which allows the action to be opened and a round chambered with the safety in the “ON” position. This pistol has both a manual safety and a grip safety. We did not fire this pistol.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with a total of one Dutch type magazine. The body has a tin or zinc plated finish with a very dark wooden bottom piece that is pinned at the front of the magazine instead of at the sides as on other Luger magazines, and is unique to Dutch Lugers. The body of the magazine shows spots of surface loss with dark patina’d metal showing through scattered over its surface. The bottom piece shows a few small dings in its bottom surface and a few tiny marks in its side edges. The magazine is in about Very Good condition.
Our Assessment: The Dutch liked the Luger pistols and were among the first countries to order them in 1911 for use by the Dutch East indies Army. These pistols, known as the Pistole M11 were basically M1906 pistols with “RUST” used as a safety marking instead of “Gesichert” and both sides of the extractor were marked “GELADEN”. Various other contracts were issued before WWI, but after the war the Versailles Treaty limited pistol manufacture, and the Dutch turned to Vickers of London for their Lugers. There was another batch of nearly 4000 produced by DWM in the 1920’s. Most sources indicate they were made all made in 1928, with serial numbers starting at 10,182 and continuing to 14,001, and marked with a circled “KL” on the right side of the receiver. And yet, here is this pistol, made with a serial number in the correct sequence and correctly marked in every respect, but with a date of 1925. We suggest that with its early serial number, this pistol was one of a batch that was obtained from DWM immediately following the Vickers pistol production, possibly as a trial run. Another bit of controversy is the circled “KL” mark on the receiver: some indicate it stands for Koninklijke Luchtmacht, the mark of the Royal Dutch Air Force, while other experts indicate is stands for “KOL” (Kolonien or Colonies) to distinguish them from the Naval pistols built starting in 1928. However, this last supposition would only work if the Dutch East Indies pistols were made at or near the same time, not 3 years earlier, as this one was. (See remarks in markings section.) This pistol has been refinished and has about 88% of its current finish remaining. It shows isolated spots of pitting under the finish in several locations. There is also thinning on the front edge of the barrel, the edges of the frame rails, and on the backstrap, grip safety and sideplate. There are also several tiny tings under the finish scattered around the surfaces and marks through the finish on the back of the rear toggle. The grips are replacement grips that show only very light oil staining and light wear in the checkering. The bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion. This is a very rare pistol. Only 4000 of this model were made, and there couldn’t have been all that many that survived WWII and the jungles in which they were used. The pistol has been refinished and the grips replaced, but it is still a nice looking example of a very collectible pistol.