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Unread 02-27-2019, 09:55 PM   #1
DonVoigt
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Red face 1917 DWM luger with unit markings and London proofing

I noticed this luger all by itself in a case with some "soft" goods, like canvas gear, at SOS. Turns out it was a "bring back" and for sale, painted so priced like a shooter. I was going to pick it up for a shooter for a buddy.

When I gave it a closer look at the table; it is an all matching 1917 DWM, except the magazine and no numbers on the beech grips. It is late for a unit marking, but it is marked
"1. M.G.K. : 8. " on the front strap. It also has London proof house reproving marks from before WWII, according to what I've found on British proofs. Update: may be from 1955, post war.

The finish is typical British black paint or "Suncorite" which a baked on low gloss enamel, applied over a phosphated base. The moving and close fitting parts, like the toggle, sear bar, trigger, takedown lever, and mag release are still strawed.

I believe it may be a WWI "bringback" by a Tommy to the UK, and then refinished and perhaps issued to the Home Guard in the lead up to WWII. The London proofs are stamped through the Suncorite, and may have been added at that time.

So, with all that history and since I didn't have a British proofed luger, nor a Suncorite finished one, and it was unit marked, and matching- I had to keep it. Sorry Bill.

Have a look at what the pictures may show. Ideas and comments welcome.
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03man(Don Voigt); Luger student and collector.
Looking for DWM side plate: 69 ; Dreyse 1907 pistol K.S. Gendarmerie
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Unread 02-27-2019, 10:41 PM   #2
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very nice - good example to have
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Unread 02-27-2019, 10:56 PM   #3
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Reivers gotta reive, as they say. Nice find; did you get that after I left?
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Unread 02-28-2019, 02:28 AM   #4
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Don,
It's a nice looking Luger and as you say there is some interesting history behind it.
The proof marks are the London Proof House and the .752" cartridge length plus the 13 tons (psi) date the marks from 1955.
Perhaps the owner got it back after Home Guard service and had to submit it for civilian proofing in order to keep it ?
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Unread 02-28-2019, 08:13 AM   #5
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Thanks for looking! I'll post a WTB. What unit marks are they?
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Unread 02-28-2019, 08:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasta2 View Post
Thanks for looking! I'll post a WTB. What unit marks are they?
Bill,
I'm still looking, but a WTB is always a good idea.

The "1.M.G.K. : 8." would be to the:
First Machine Gun Kompany, weapon number 8.
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Unread 02-28-2019, 08:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill_in_VA View Post
Reivers gotta reive, as they say. Nice find; did you get that after I left?
Bill,
I got it the first day, I showed it to several guys- you must been out
prospecting at the time- besides it wasn't an Erfurt.
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Looking for DWM side plate: 69 ; Dreyse 1907 pistol K.S. Gendarmerie
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Unread 02-28-2019, 09:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark1 View Post
Don,
It's a nice looking Luger and as you say there is some interesting history behind it.
The proof marks are the London Proof House and the .752" cartridge length plus the 13 tons (psi) date the marks from 1955.
Perhaps the owner got it back after Home Guard service and had to submit it for civilian proofing in order to keep it ?
Mark
Mark,
thanks for the input.
I found one reference that said the "tons" designation was used up to to WWII, I'd like to find a reference with more info. Can you point me at a reference or book? I'm no expert on Brit proving.

I do wish its "travels" were better known, a bit of a mystery for sure, how it came to be finished in Suncorite and re-proved.
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Unread 02-28-2019, 05:48 PM   #9
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Don,
My usual go-to is "The Standard Directory of Proof Marks" by Gerhard Wirnsberger, published by Jolex. It covers all of the European Proof Houses with a very good German section and a very good summary of the British proofs.
My comment is slightly in error. The marking of the cartridge length became a requirement from 1925 and the marking of the service pressure was a requirement from 1955.
Interestingly, the German proof marks were accepted with no additional marking by the British proof authorities until that recognition was cancelled in 1946.
With the standardizing of proof testing by the CIP in the 1970's both Germany and Britain have mutually recognised proof standards now.
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Unread 02-28-2019, 07:42 PM   #10
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Thanks Mark,
I just ordered a copy.
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