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Unread 05-18-2024, 06:38 PM   #1
BadWolf
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Default Erfurt Magazine Mystery

New to the forum, and just picked up a super-clean 1914 Erfurt LP-08 Artillery. I'm not a "condition collector", but all the parts do happen to match, except...

I'm a bit suspicious of the magazine. As you can see in the photos, the wood mag bottom is stamped with the matching serial number, as well as the two imperial proof marks. However, the mag tube has the "D" shaped crimp near the top, which several sources indicate is characteristic of DWM magazines, not Erfurt. So what are your thoughts on what I have here?

Erfurt ran out of tubes and sourced some from DWM?

Someone damaged the feed lips and swapped out the tube with a good DWM one, but keeping the original wood bottom? (seems unlikely)

Or did some turkey actually go to the trouble of getting an old unmarked DWM mag and FAKE the serial numbers and the proof marks? (this also seems pretty unlikely but greed can be a powerful motivator).

Something I haven't thought of?

My reason for asking is not to go after the seller, as I love the pistol and the price was fair, but I would not clean and load an ORIGINAL MATCHING wood mag for actual firing, but would have no problem doing that with a repro/fake.

Your thoughts, kind experts.
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Unread 05-18-2024, 07:53 PM   #2
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Looks ok to me, except its fairly nice. Show us a left and right so we can see if the pin has been in and out.

Over the years I've swapped bases that were broken onto a nice body, and not worth a hoot on telling if erfurt or dwm unless i really try hard.
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Unread 05-18-2024, 08:38 PM   #3
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Side photos of mag
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Unread 05-19-2024, 10:01 AM   #4
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I have a similar early Erfurt magazine with the “D” shaped crimp, so I’m also curious to hear.
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Unread 05-19-2024, 08:32 PM   #5
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The mag bottom displays rather crusty looking "dishes," while the bottom is smooth and clean, and appears recently finished. The parts of the knobs' circumferences that become flatter when the serial number is removed look pretty danged flattened to me. The pins don't seem to have been disturbed, so my sense is that it's a DWM mag that was force-matched to this pistol.

The digits of the font used to number the mag should be compared to others known to have been marked at that time, which may yield further clues.

It would be a shame to blow out the bottom of an original mag, whether it's been doctored or not. Grab a couple Mec-Gar mags next chance you get, and use those for shooting.
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Unread 05-20-2024, 07:07 PM   #6
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Thank you Ithaca Artist - a reworked mag SN does seem the most probable.

But as you suggested, I looked at the font of the SN stamp on the mag in question, and though I have no other period mags to compare it to, I DO have the gun. And here it is...

The font on the mag IS a close match to the SN font on the gun itself. And then we have the two inspection marks on the mag bottom, AND it even appears that the script "f" as the alphabet part of the SN was put on there as well (unless that's a dent). Is it a dent? Anyway, seems like the extra markings beyond the SN itself are a lot of effort to go through to fake up a mag.

So I had a thought. It appears the gun has rework/repair marks on it - could the mag have been reworked at the factory?

And one final general comment - I noticed there are inspection marks on the GRIP SCREWS! I love it! As a person of German/Swedish descent myself, this kind of anal retentiveness really resonates with me.
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Unread 05-21-2024, 01:47 AM   #7
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Yep, that's part of the charm of an Erfurt!

The font on the mag looks reasonable, but I'm pretty sure my knowledge would demonstrate the Peter Principle beyond this.
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Unread 05-21-2024, 02:22 AM   #8
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The last year that Erfurt put inspection stamps on the grip screws was 1914. For someone who has a 1914 or earlier Erfurt, those screws can be hard to find... and expensive.
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Unread 05-21-2024, 10:20 AM   #9
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Well how that mag and gun came together is still a cool story, even if it's not the one I would have preferred. My vision: A dark smoky room, somewhere in an industrial area of France, where they labor over their illicit stamps and mismatched Lugers and cackle "HaHa, we will fix those stupid Americans!" Sadly I'm that guy.
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Unread 05-21-2024, 01:47 PM   #10
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This is why I love Erfurt's !
Thanks for sharing yours
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Unread 05-21-2024, 03:36 PM   #11
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You're welcome, and thank you all for the responses!
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Unread 05-22-2024, 04:05 AM   #12
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Sorry, but I see a DWM magazine with faked acceptance marks on the wood.
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Unread 05-22-2024, 08:37 AM   #13
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Those rc’d grip screws are a new one on me!
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reive (riːv) vb (Military) (intr) dialect Scot and Northern English to go on a plundering raid
[variant of reave]
ˈreiver n e.g., " Some view the Border Reivers as loveable rogues."
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Unread 05-22-2024, 04:59 PM   #14
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The lazy buggers could have at least faked the right magazine! I'm a bit disappointed now.

I collect antique Griswold cast iron cookware - and there are jerks out there reproducing THAT! Seriously. A fake frypan.
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Unread 05-24-2024, 02:09 PM   #15
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Hi Bad Wolf, (I'm old-fashioned, I start every message with a salutation),
The grain lines on the magazine base are consistent with beech wood, which was a late war (1917-1918) expedient. I would not expect to see it on a 1914 magazine.
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Unread 05-24-2024, 04:29 PM   #16
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Thank you Norme. Interesting observation, and the wood species never even crossed my mind. The consensus seems to be I have late-war DWM mag with BS Erfurt markings. Not as collectable, but perhaps the better campfire story.

I think I'll carefully de-gunk the interior of the mag, lube it, and give it a try. I have a repro stainless wood bottom mag from a website somewhere in the UK I know functions well in my 1920s commercial, as well as a blued mag from Holland I found at a flea market I want to try. One of them will shoot for sure.

The finish isn't perfect on this 1914 Erfurt LP-08, but the wearing parts basically show no wear. I don't think this was ever fired much.

Much appreciate all the insights you've all given me! Cheers!
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