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Unread 07-01-2011, 04:26 PM   #2
Douglas Jr.
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II – HISTORICAL CONTEXT
In 1908 a military commission was sent to Germany by the Brazilian Army in order to purchase 400,000 Mauser Rifles (the so called Brazilian Model 1908). At the same occasion it was also dealt with DWM the acquisition of 5,000 “Neuer Art” pistols in caliber 7,65mm Luger.

Those pistols were featured with the following characteristics:

- Chambered to 7,65mm Luger (.30 Luger)
- 120mm (4.75 inches) barrels
- Inspector proof stamped on the left side of the receiver (a “circled B”)
- Extractor marked “CARREGADA”
- Grip safety
- Polished safety lever area

On the contrary to the Mauser rifles, the pistol lacked any national coat of arms. The guns were delivered in several batches between 1908-1911 (WALTER, John in “The Luger Book”).

Official news about its issuing in the Brazilian Army and its technical and shooting information was published in the Army Bulletin nr. 214", dated from July 5th, 1912. On this bulletin, it was presented the "Instructions to the Parabellum Pistol's Shooting" (Instruções para o Tiro com a Pistola Parabellum). According to such official document:

"As it was issued to our Army the automatic pistol Borchardt Lueger [sic], far superior to its counterparts and known commonly as Parabellum, we will present this military handgun that, because of its importance, was choose in many countries to replace the service revolver and sometimes the carbine.
(…)
“Our pistol is the 7,65mm version but we will replicate the mechanical and ballistic data of both versions [i.e. the .30 Luger and 9mm Luger] because they are the only features that put one model apart from the other.”


At that time, the Luger pistol was named according to the “old” rule of nomenclature, which remained in until late 1940s. According to this system, they follow the commercial name of the gun and, so, the Luger of the Brazilian contract was called “Pistola Parabellum” upon its adoption by the Brazilian Army.

Sometime during the 1920s, the name Parabellum became Parabelum (with a single “L”), and was written this way in the documents of some State Law Enforcements where the Luger pistol also saw service. This version of the name was found in documents from the State of Alagoas Police Department (1925) and from the Federal District of Guanabara (which comprised the city of Rio de Janeiro, by then the Brazilian Federal Government District) in 1923 and 1924.

The Luger pistols in the Brazilian Army inventory began to be transferred to several Law Enforcement Agencies, beginning in mid-1920s, but it was only fully replaced in 1937 upon the official adoption of the Colt M1911A1 pistols and Smith & Wesson Model 1917 revolvers. Notwithstanding, the Lugers still remained in active service with several State Police Departments, mostly on the Northeast part of the country for another 20 years.

It's interesting to note that, contrary to the common belief, these pistols saw plenty of action. There is a common (but incorrect) belief that Brazilians Lugers should not look so weary as the country was not involved in a war for a century or so, but truth is these Lugers time of service coincided with a period of social and military unrest in Brazil's history.

Most of the guns that survived this long tenure as a Military and Law Enforcement sidearm, were sold to foreign gun surplus dealers and not many were left in Brazil. In addition, several were refurbished during its lifespan and are extremely difficult to be found in collectable condition.

Thanks for reading.

Douglas.
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