Model: American Eagle Luger Model of 1900
Serial Number: 15132
Year of Manufacture: 1902-1903 (Page 862 of “Pistole Parabellum” by Gortz and Sturgess)
Caliber: 7.65mm Luger (7.65x31mm 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, the bottom of the left side plate, and the left side of the grip safety are marked “1321”. The left side of the trigger and the underside of the locking bolt are marked “32”. The underside of the front toggle and the flat on the underside of the receiver’s lug are also marked “132”. The bottom of the receiver just in front of the lug and the frame well under the lug are marked with a flaming bomb (this is not a proof mark but an inspection mark or an assemblers mark of approval, but on at the factory. The bottom of the receiver at the chamber is also marked “6”, “8” and “a”. The front of the frame under the barrel and the underside of the barrel are marked “15132” and the front of the frame is also marked “GERMANY “.
Barrel Length: The barrel is 4 ¾” in length.
Sights / Optics: The pistol is mounted with a “V” notch in the back of the toggle and Patridge style blade dovetailed into a rectangular base on the front barrel band.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are smooth walnut that are screwed to a metal plate, which is secured with the standard screws at the bottom of the grip. These grips are not factory, but were bought with the holster/telescoping stock: the backing plates have cutouts to engage a set of hooks on the front end of the telescoping stock. The grips show light oil staining. There are a few light handling marks in the grips with about four small dings in the left grip and a small surface chip and the bottom of the lower grip screw. The grips rate in about Fine condition.
Type of Finish: The finish is blued. The safety, trigger, locking bolt, 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 grey with light wear in the rifling. There is light erosion the length of the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 97% of its metal finish. There is thinning on the front edges of the barrel band and frame, on the edges of the sideplate and at the bottoms of the front strap and backstrap. There are several tiny spots of solid erosion sprinkled over the sides of the barrel and three tiny dings in its underside. There are also a few tiny marks at the bottom of the front strap and a scratch in the left side of the receiver at the front of the sideplate. The serrations on the safety and toggles are sharp and the knurling on the magazine release and locking bolt shows light wear. The large grip screws are sharp and the small grip screws are disfigured. 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 M1900 American Eagle. We have not fired this pistol.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with a single magazine and a telescoping stock holster. The magazine has what appears to be a nickel plated finish and a wooden bottom piece. The body of the magazine shows light wear and the bottom piece is unmarked. The magazine is in about Excellent condition. The holster was invented by Ross M. G. Phillips in 1901 and made by the Ideal Holster Company, who also made telescoping stocks for the Colt Army Special Revolver and Colt 1911 pistols. These holsters were made for the American Eagle Lugers and required changing the grips from the stock checkered walnut grips to metal backed grips. The spacing between the grips and their metal backing provided slots for securing the twin hooked tangs on the front of the stock. The holster itself is made of black leather with a spring loaded belt hook attached to its back side. The leather around the opening for the pistol is reinforced by metal that becomes the butt part of the frame for the shoulder stock. The outside surface of the butt is marked “PATENT PENDING”. The frame consists of telescoping tubes with a thumb release in the upper tube for use in extending the length, and a thumb release in both the upper and lower tube for collapsing or shortening the stock. Please see our pictures for a better description than we can put in words. The leather shows surface crazing and a small spot of surface loss on the back side of the holster just below the spring loaded belt hook, and surface loss along the bottom edges of the holster. The metal frame shows surface loss in its blued finish with a dark plum colored patina formed over its surfaces. Overall, the holster is in about Very Good 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 with a 4 ¾” barrel. Another 5000-7000 American Eagles were made for commercial sales in the United States. The M1902 American Eagle model was THE first Luger made in 9mm Parabellum with only about 700 manufactured. The introduction of the American Eagle Luger to the American public immediately caused development of a telescoping shoulder stock holster to fit it. The holster was designed by Ross Phillips and build by the Ideal Holster Company. The American Eagle 1900 and 1902 Luger pistols with Ideal telescoping shoulder stock holster are listed in Section III page 36 of the U. S. Dept. of Justice “Firearms Curios and Relics List” as of 2007. Per http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=82693, California statute 12001.5 basically states that short barreled rifles and shotguns (SBR/SBS) are illegal unless allowed per 12020. 12020a reiterates that SBR/SBS are illegal with the exceptions noted in Subdivision b). Paragraph 7 of 12020b states that any firearm or ammunition that is a curio or relic as defined in Section 478.11 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations is exempt if in the possession of someone legally permitted to possess it. All of this means that this pistol, with its shoulder stock, is legal to possess in California. This pistol is one of the last batch of Model 1900 American Eagles made, in 1902-1903. It is chambered in 7.65 Luger with a 4 ¾” barrel, and has all the correct markings for a Model 1900 American Eagle. All of the serial numbers on the pistol match. The magazine is un-marked. The pistol is in about Excellent condition with 97% of its finish remaining. It shows tiny spots of solid erosion sprinkled over the barrel, with a few tiny marks in the barrel and the front strap and a scratch in the receiver at the front of the sideplate. There is also thinning on the front edge of the barrel band, the front edges of the frame, the edges of the sideplate, and the bottoms of the front strap and backstrap. The smooth walnut grips show a few handling marks with a small surface chip in the left grip at the bottom of the lower grip screw. The bore is gray with light wear in the rifling and light erosion the length of the bore. This is a fantastic collection for the collector of Luger Pistols. The Ideal holster is a collectable item in its own right – this is the first one this writer has seen in four years. With its outstanding original finish and matching serial numbers we expect the Luger collectors to be fighting over this one.