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Unread 10-25-2016, 05:49 PM   #1
longbarrel
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Question 1902 American Eagle

I am looking for help to ascertain exactly what I own. My difficulty stems from fact that most believe the 7.65 AE did not come with long barrels and as you can see from the photos the barrel carries no markings. Also, I have only found one other reference to a AE with a long barrel and it did not have the artillery sight.
I have done some research & read some of the AE imports through New York could have barrels of different lengths installed at customers request by the Luger import center located there.

So my questions are:
1- if the barrel at Luger import center is factual would the barrel carry markings;
2- has someone perhaps had a barrel made & installed.
Opinions & any info would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Bruce
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Last edited by Edward Tinker; 10-25-2016 at 07:43 PM. Reason: add photos
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Unread 10-25-2016, 07:34 PM   #2
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Definitely door number 2.

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Unread 10-25-2016, 07:41 PM   #3
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Is the barrel marked with any numbers?

Carefully raise the rear sight and see if there are any numbers on the inside.

My gut feeling is that it is a 1920's made up for sales in the USA.

The barrel is 7.65mm ? Artillerys were made in 9mm only - now a post WW1 one could have been made up by anyone, DWM, Pacific Arms, someone after the war?
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Unread 10-25-2016, 08:35 PM   #4
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Unfortunately someone has added an artillery barrel to a rather scarce 1902 American Eagle Fat Barrel. The gun appears to be in beautiful original condition and with the original barrel would be worth in the $10,000+ range. In its current configuration I would place the value at around one tenth that amount.
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Unread 10-26-2016, 10:16 AM   #5
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The 23K serial number range on the front of your frame would indicate that this pistol WAS a M1902 with the toggle lock frame and other M1900 features. But I believe that the long 7.65mm barrel is a later addition, perhaps from the 1920s, since this is not your typical 9mm LPO8 Artillery barrel and the rear sight is not the LPO8 type. Rather the type used on some "long barrelled commericals" (see Kenyon page 187) with elevator slider not hooked to the rear sight base and the release button on the opposite side than on the LPO8. TH
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Unread 10-26-2016, 02:01 PM   #6
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A close look at the front sight, and front sight base show that this was not a factory barrel. This was a custom barrel that appears to have had an artillery-"type" rear sight installed. What a shame to have desecrated such a rare pistol with this monstrosity of a modification.
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Unread 10-26-2016, 02:52 PM   #7
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OK, I gotta ask, on the original mod'ed gun, what features are you seeing that distinguish this 1902 from a 1900 AE?
dju
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Unread 10-26-2016, 04:58 PM   #8
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Early Frame Tutorial
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Unread 10-26-2016, 06:22 PM   #9
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Thanks to All for your replies - although she's apparently a "mutt" rather than royalty she's still fun to take to the range and I'd probably be hesitant to do that if she was worth big bucks!
I'll have to advertise that I'm looking for Luger barrel 23018!
Bruce
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Unread 10-27-2016, 10:38 AM   #10
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I would at least restore a correct fat profile barrel to this pistol. With markings making it obvious it is a replacement. She is 90% there.
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Unread 10-27-2016, 12:46 PM   #11
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I would leave it like it is. It's a modification done in the 1920's, it looks well done to me and its part of the history of this pistol.

Purists may have another approach...

Alexander
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Unread 10-27-2016, 01:06 PM   #12
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Thanks Alexander - I'll probably do just that as she is a tight shooting sweetheart and although a "mutt" she is unique and a great conversation piece and research project. I plan to contact the previous owner and see what history he might have on the pistol and also with the unrealistic hope that perhaps the "old" barrel might still be around. Right now her head spacing seems a bit off as she won't always lockup but that may be the old leaf main spring is tired - I have a new spring coming and hopefully that will correct things.
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Unread 10-27-2016, 01:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Thanks Alexander - I'll probably do just that as she is a tight shooting sweetheart and although a "mutt" she is unique and a great conversation piece and research project. I plan to contact the previous owner and see what history he might have on the pistol and also with the unrealistic hope that perhaps the "old" barrel might still be around. Right now her head spacing seems a bit off as she won't always lockup but that may be the old leaf main spring is tired - I have a new spring coming and hopefully that will correct things.
It's possible that the 7.65mm ammo might not have enough recoil to reliably operate the toggle and return to battery since the gun was originally 9mm. Obviously it's your gun, but it would be a shame to break something numbered and irreplaceable on that rare frame or receiver by shooting it. I'd love to have an Old Model Shooter, but if I had a Fat Barrel (even minus the correct barrel) it would not be my shooter.

By the way, if you do change out the barrel I would be interested in buying your 7.65mm artillery barrel.
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Unread 10-27-2016, 02:23 PM   #14
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Thanks for your comments - all good points! I reload so I've worked up different loads sufficient to action pistol reliably but it still lacks the snap-back to lock up reliably. I agree it would be a shame to break any numbered parts and plan to find another firing pin & cut the relief into it to safeguard the breech block. Extractor & ejector are not numbered and I have spares. As far as the 7.65 "arty-barrel"I think it's a rarity in its own right & just has too much "neat" factor to give it up. I am definitely a shooter more than a collector and if it was too valuable to shoot I'd probably sell it off to a true collector.
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Unread 10-27-2016, 03:53 PM   #15
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well, to actually say it out loud. It is a rarity, it is a 1900 in the fat barrel serial number range.

I can get you a nice shooter if that is what you want. But you're shooting something that you probably shouldn't. Its yours, so you can do as you want, but the 1900 parts you'd swap out are expensive in themselves. As an example, it shouldn't take a 1908 (newer) firing pin, so you have to buy a 1900 type or one modified and then cut it like a newer FP.

It has a spring or coil for the frame - recoil? Those springs are easy to break too...
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Unread 10-27-2016, 04:09 PM   #16
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My favorite~
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Unread 10-27-2016, 04:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longbarrel View Post
...it still lacks the snap-back to lock up reliably...
If 7,65 ammunition ejects adequately and chambers a round, the recoil spring is not the first place I would look, although it is certainly weakened over time.

It is more likely that the additional mass of the long barrel with the artillery sight is too much to permit final lockup--it is certainly more than the pistol was originally "tuned" for. No amount of load manipulation will compensate for this.

--Dwight
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Unread 10-27-2016, 05:32 PM   #18
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Thanks for your observations Dwight, I certainly appreciate all the input I'm receiving from everyone so far. To be honest I never thought about the mass of the barrel, sight etc being a factor and that's why I love this type of "think-tanking". To give you a bit more info to evaluate I have been leaning toward the conclusion that the head-spacing may be slightly off on this barrel as it took heavy pressure to lock up the toggle. I then adjusted the overall length of the casing and tried some rounds with casings I trimmed back .0002" and found this almost got me to a steady lock-up without overly powered ammo about 60% of the time. At this point it only takes a little pressure to complete lock-up and that's why I thought the original double leaf spring might be tired. Unfortunately I lack the capability to accurately confirm chamber dimensions and use these McGyvered tests instead. My new spring should be here by the end of the week and I'll post my results in thanks to all who have assisted me.
My apologies to anyone I'm giving heart attacks to and I'll definitely treat the old girl with more respect but she'll still go dancing!
Also thanks to everyone for the pics of your own guns; however, it does raise one question as I notice the markings on many are white and stand out more than mine and I was wondering why this was?
Sincere thanks -- Bruce
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Unread 10-27-2016, 05:40 PM   #19
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the whiting is put there by collectors
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Unread 10-27-2016, 05:42 PM   #20
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The head space won't have any significant effect on your problem, JMHO.

It IS the barrel.

I just finished building a 12" carbine clone in .30 and a 16" bbld. 9mm.
The 12" bbl is significantly heavier than the original barrel as is the 16" , both require a lightened mainspring in a P08 to work. I seriously doubt you can make that one work by itself.

The 1900 based carbines had an auxillary spring in the forearm to help close the toggle after firing.


As to the white markings, the white is added for visibility by the owners. The only filled in markings on an original luger is the "Gesichert" or safe marking; yours does not have it, it has the polished area under the safety lever.
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