Model: American Eagle Luger Model of 1902
Serial Number: 23011
Year of Manufacture: 1902-1903 (http://www.germandaggers.com/Gallery/GL1.php)
Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Action Type: Toggle Action Semi-Auto, Removable Magazine.
Markings: The front toggle is marked with a script “DWM” and the top of the chamber is marked with an American Eagle. The back of the rear toggle, underside of the front toggle, the bottom of the lug on the underside of the receiver at the chamber, the bottom of the left side plate, and the left side of the grip safety are marked “011”. The left side of the trigger and the underside of the locking bolt are marked “11”. The inside surfaces of the grip panels are marked “11”, “8” and “6”. The “8” on both grips is double stamped, one over the top of the other. The front of the frame under the barrel and the underside of the barrel are marked “23011” and the front of the frame is also marked “GERMANY “. The firing pin and the outside surfaces of the sear bar and sear bar safety are unmarked (we have never seen an American Eagle luger with markings on the outside of the sear bar and sear bar safety).
Barrel Length: The “fat” barrel is 4” in length. It tapers slightly from 0.660” at its rear before it starts to flair out to 0.610” at the front of the barrel band.
Sights / Optics: The pistol is mounted with a “U” notch in the back of the toggle and serrated ramped blade dovetailed into a serrated ramped base fixed to the front barrel band.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut with moderate oil staining. The checkering shows light to moderate wear. There is a mar in the right grip just behind and below the cutout for the magazine release and a few tiny mars in the left grip. The grips rate in about Fine condition.
Type of Finish: The finish is blued. The safety, trigger, takedown lever, magazine release, toggle lock, ejector and extractor are straw colored. The pin holding the breechblock to the front toggle, the pin holding the rear toggle to the receiver and the sear bar spring are fire blued.
Finish Originality: The finish is original.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 97% of its metal finish. There is thinning on the front edges of the barrel band, frame and left sideplate, as well as on the back of the rear toggle. There are several very light marks along the right frame rail, a small ding and a tiny mark at the bottom of the front strap and a tiny mark in the left sideplate. There is a scratch through the finish in the left side of the frame from the safety and spots of surface loss on the back of the frame from the rear toggle. The serrations on the safety are sharp, the serrations on the toggle knobs show light wear and the knurling on the magazine release and locking bolt are sharp, with very light wear around the outside edges. The grip screws are sharp and the markings are clear. Overall, this pistol rates in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action works correctly. This pistol has dished toggle knobs with locks, manual and grip safeties, a wide trigger guard and a narrow trigger, all characteristics of the M1902 American Eagle. We have not fired this pistol.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with a single magazine. The magazine has what appears to be a nickel plated finish and a wooden bottom piece. The underside of the bottom piece is marked “Cal 9m/m” in script. The body shows spots of thinning with a few light handling marks and four tiny spots of erosion in the spine. The bottom piece shows a few tiny m arks. The magazine is in about Excellent condition.
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. The Maxim shot its way to bloody fame in World War 1, which also became the combat proving ground for the Luger Pistol. 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. Another 5000-7000 were made for commercial sales. The M1902 American Eagle was THE first Luger made in 9mm Parabellum and only about 700 were manufactured, making it among the rarest of the Lugers. Another 10,000 or so were made as the M1906 American Eagle in both 7.65 and 9mm Luger. This is a Model 1902 American Eagle Luger chambered in 9mm Parabellum. It is in about Excellent condition with 97% of its original finish remaining. There is thinning on the front edges of the barrel, frame and sideplate, and at the back of the rear toggle. There are light handling marks on the right frame rail, a small ding and a tiny mark at the bottom of the front strap and a tiny mark in the left sideplate. There is a scratch through the finish in the left side of the frame from the safety and spots of surface loss on the back of the frame from the rear toggle. The grips are checkered walnut with light to moderate wear in the checkering. There is a mar in the right grip and a few tiny mars in the left grip. The bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion. All of the numbers on this pistol are matching, including those on the grip panels. It doesn’t have proof marks, but according to Kenyon in “Lugers At Random”, this model was made with and without proof marks. The magazine is the correct type for this vintage, and the straw coloring on the small parts is so bright in places that it almost looks like gold plating. With only about 700 having been made, this is a “Must Have” for the serious collector. We expect the collectors are all going to be fighting over this pistol – this is the first 1902 Eagle we have seen in quite a while and finding one in this condition is a very rare opportunity.