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Unread 07-15-2023, 10:17 PM   #1
Grey
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Default 1917 dwm

Howdy folks!
Picked up this 1917 recently. No Weimar markings or later on it from what i can tell. Came in a 1940 holster with two magazines. One has aluminum baseplate with matching serial, the other has a replacement? Frenzite baseplate. Any thoughts on its history?
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Unread 07-15-2023, 11:03 PM   #2
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I'd say it went into police service, but never received a police sear safety, as it was just the police that used the numbers as telling whether it was the primary or secondary magazine.
Since its an aluminum base, it was a replacement after 1926 and it has a starburst marking, which I attribute to police
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Unread 07-16-2023, 12:08 PM   #3
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I agree with Edward that the sunburst and S on the magazine base with matching serial number would seem to indicate police service at some point in time. Otherwise it's a typical 1917 military issue DWM Luger.

That mag base marked "Franzite" is something you don't see every day. A company in Chicago made grips and other items of plastic beginning in the 1930's through the 1960's and the plastic was termed "Franzite". I once owned a 1916 DWM Luger with a set of Franzite pearl grips, the most God awful looking Luger grips I've ever seen. I'm sure there are still older pistols and revolvers around with Franzite grips.
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Unread 07-17-2023, 02:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doubs View Post

That mag base marked "Franzite" is something you don't see every day. A company in Chicago made grips and other items of plastic beginning in the 1930's through the 1960's and the plastic was termed "Franzite". I once owned a 1916 DWM Luger with a set of Franzite pearl grips, the most God awful looking Luger grips I've ever seen. I'm sure there are still older pistols and revolvers around with Franzite grips.
Some Franzite grips don't look all that bad. But the big problem with them is that they shrink over time. I made the mistake of buying a set from some auction, and they didn't come close to fitting, were waaay too short.

I did luck out, however, with a set for one of my Llama IIAs. This particular gun was an 80s Stoeger import, with plastic target grips, which I find gawd-awful to grip. The Franzite ones just barely squeaked on--a millimeter less and the screws, tapped holes, and brass bushings in the grips wouldn't have lined up at all.

Since the GCA of 1968, guns have to score enough "points" in a rating system to be imported. The rules were established to chill/quash the market for the dreaded "Saturday Night Specials." Anyway, characteristics of a pistol's configuration include overall size, and weight. Another feature that helps qualify a gun for import is whether points can be added for "target grips" with a thumb shelf. Smaller guns like Erma's KGP series (scaled-down blowback guns that look like Lugers) and the small frame Llamas (mini 1911s in .22lr, .32 auto, and .380) were all imported with target grips.
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