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Unread 07-01-2011, 03:25 PM   #1
Douglas Jr.
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Default Brazilian Lugers: collecting data

I – THE SURVEY PURPOSE

Dear Forum Members,

A couple of months ago, I decided to start a serious database about the surviving Lugers made by DWM for the Brazilian Army and delivered between 1908-1911.

Besides a natural interest as a Brazilian collector, I feel this is one of the less researched variants among the several Luger tips. I had noticed that most of the well-known books about the Parabellum pistols provide only the same limited information, which has been repeated over and over for decades. Some authors (i.e. John Walter) even dedicated more lines about countries that never adopted the Luger pistol (such as Argentina and Mexico), than about the Brazilian contract - which was one of the Parabellum’s biggest foreign sales for DWM at that time.

It is my understanding that this situation is not fault of any authors. On the contrary, it is much more a consequence of limited access to the Brazilian sources (still an issue faced by local researchers when dealing with military files) than anything else. Besides that, it is clear to me that, for some reason, this variation was misunderstood and overlooked when it first appeared in the surplus international market.

On the other hand, the Internet has proved itself as a wonderful tool to collect data and exchange information. During the years that I’ve been a member of both Luger-oriented forums (Jan Still Central Powers Pistols and the Luger forum), I managed to collect, here and there, some basic information that, when put together, helped me to shed light over this contract – and, in addition, to dismiss, some incorrect information previously disseminated.

By realizing this, I was pushed to take one step further in this research, as I have a feeling that I have a great puzzle in front of me, but most pieces needed are available and just have to be collected to tell us a nice story.

Thus, is my intention to collect as much as additional information as I can gather in order to have a better idea about these guns, its survival rate and, in a long term, if it proves successful, to publish it.

As said above, simple data is enough to debunk some incorrect information that has been floating around for decades, so, I am planning to be focused only on the following features:

- serial number
- caliber
- receiver proof (“circled-B”) (yes / no)
- barrel proof (“circled-B”)(yes / no)
- finish (original, reblued, nickled, etc...)
- notes (for additional information v.g., mismatching, parts only, etc.).
- source (v.g. private collection, dealer, museum, etc.).

I can guarantee that any personal data will be kept in safe and no personal information will be disclosed to third parties without previous contact and written consent.

At last, but not the least, another aspect important aspect of this study is related to documents. Although this is a situation where the “home front” may prove to be more fruitful, advertising from old surplus dealers from the 50s and 60s is also welcome.

So, I invite you all to help me with this task. Please, report any “Brazilian Lugers” that you have in your collections, or that you had seen on gun dealers, gun showns, pawn shops, etc., informing the characteristics listed above. I will be very greatful for all your help. My e-mail is douglas.aguiar@uol.com.br .

Please, find below a link that allows you to download the updated (up to April 28th, 2019) chart with the limited information that I managed to gather up to now, for your review.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gjaj9ewuxw...um%29.pdf?dl=0


All the best,
Douglas.

Last edited by Douglas Jr.; 04-28-2019 at 07:34 PM. Reason: Updated as of April 28th, 2019
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Unread 07-01-2011, 03:26 PM   #2
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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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Unread 07-01-2011, 05:02 PM   #3
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Douglas,

I wish you well in your quest for information on this fascinating and little documented variant. I have had a corresponding interest in acquiring data and serial numbers of surviving US Test Trial Lugers that has spanned nearly 30 years, so you have a long and challenging road ahead of you!

The data you have collected virtually drives a stake through the heart of the notion that the circle B marks on the barrels of some 1906 American Eagle Lugers in the 4xxxx serial number range are the result of the use of over production of barrels for Brazilian Lugers. Although DWM certainly did not waste anything, the marking of these barrels would appear that it is just the use of that die by a DWM inspector when these AE Lugers were assembled.

I am extremely proud of my Brazilian Luger example and feel very fortunate to have owned two of this elusive variation. Thank you for your efforts to solidify its history.

Ron
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Unread 07-01-2011, 05:28 PM   #4
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Douglas,
I had a Brazilian Luger serial number 2835. It does have the circle "B" 7.65mm 4 3/4"barrel. The extractor is properly marked. There is also a circle "B" receiver proof. This Luger has had a poor refinish job with after market grips.

Mike
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Unread 07-01-2011, 09:39 PM   #5
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mine is serial number 2304 7.65 cal 4 3/4 barrel extractor is properly marked . Receiver circle b marked. Finish orginal in private collection.
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Unread 07-04-2011, 10:13 AM   #6
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Ron,

Many thanks for your kind words.
It is a real morale booster coming from a person with your expertise.

Also, thanks to Mike and Erik, for providing new information to my data base.

Douglas
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Unread 07-04-2011, 04:34 PM   #7
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Douglas, great efforts, thanks. My info via PM
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Unread 07-12-2011, 06:01 PM   #8
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Douglas, when I try to send you the info via PM the I get this:

"Douglas Jr. has chosen not to receive private messages or may not be allowed to receive private messages. Therefore you may not send your message to him/her."

regards,
vince
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Unread 07-13-2011, 07:51 AM   #9
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Vince,
I just checked my profile is everything is set up to receive PMs. However, if you prefer, you can send the data directly to e-mail: douglas.aguiar@uol.com.br

Thanks once again!

Douglas
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Unread 08-09-2013, 06:07 PM   #10
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Douglas,
If you are still asking for Brazilian Luger serial numbers, I just received one. The serial number is 3945. That is the frame serial number; the other parts are varying numbers, however it does have the properly marked extractor.

Mike
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Unread 08-12-2013, 03:36 PM   #11
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Thanks Mike!
It's a new number for my database.


Douglas

Last edited by Douglas Jr.; 08-12-2013 at 04:39 PM.
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Unread 08-12-2013, 06:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B View Post
The serial number is 3945.
This delivery speed is lighting speed. I saw that gun sold on 8/3 auction. Auction has a trap -- hard to return if not happy. I got a misrepresented Astra from RIAC at loss (loss of a few hundred) due to not-mentioned mismatching numbers, but at least I shoot it, it shoots well, at a collectible's cost.
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Unread 11-28-2015, 01:37 AM   #13
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Observed today at a local gunshow, 1906 grip safety model, Circle B, serial # 1002, 100% refinished with a pitted bore. Can share contact info of the seller, if desired.

G2
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Unread 11-28-2015, 07:21 AM   #14
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I also have a matching Brazilian contract with the original "frosty finish" for anyone interested. TH
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Unread 11-29-2015, 09:31 PM   #15
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Default Brazilian Contract Luger

Douglas,
I thought I had sent you an earlier message about my Brazilian contract luger, but perhaps I just meant to.
Anyway, mine is s.n. 4919, and has the B in a circle on the left forward side of the receiver.
The gun is in good condition, good bore, grips are good and numbered to the pistol, good bluing, straw parts have darkened. The extractor is correctly marked 'carregada'. It is all matching except for the side plate which is numbered 98. The magazine is wood bottom but numbered 3281b with a +. I haven't shot the pistol, but don't doubt that it would function correctly.
Hope this is useful.
barr44
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Unread 11-29-2015, 09:38 PM   #16
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Default Brazilian Contract

Douglas,
Sorry, I forgot to tell you that my Brazilian is in 30 luger and I can't determine if there is a proof on the bottom of the barrel. There is a slight dimpled spot, but I can't tell what it is. It is about midway along the barrel and seems to be centered from side to side.
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Unread 11-30-2015, 02:24 PM   #17
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My Md 1906 Brazilian Pistole Parabellum (Luger) has these following typical details.

Serial Number 714
Caliber 7.65mm Parabellum
Barrel 120mm
Inspector Mark Circled B
Extractor Mark CARREGADA
Safety Mark Polished Bright Lever Area
Safety Wide Grip
Finish Excellent Restoration
Bore Good

This is a excellent shooting Luger.

Enjoy your quest and give us periodic updates.

Dick
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Unread 01-09-2016, 07:28 AM   #18
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I've been away for a while and it was pure joy to have new additions to the list.
Thank you very very much!
Happy New year to everybody!
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Unread 01-12-2016, 09:25 AM   #19
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List updated!
You can access it by clicking on the link provided in my first message.
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Unread 10-03-2016, 09:57 AM   #20
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Doug, i forgot to give you my serial #636 all matching, with proper B in circle on receiver, extrator, vg bore 7.65x120mm barrel, polished under safety, but lots if patin on the original finish. TH PS: there is a lower case "b" or a "5" stamped on the right side of the unnumbered, replacement wood mag bottom. This pistol is For Sale @$1500 including S&H. Tom
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