1906 Altered Imperial Navy - 1st Issue Altered

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1906 Navy Parabellum

This is a very early pistol in the Luger contract series with the Imperial Navy.  Originally designated the Selbstladepistole Model 1904 by the Navy for the first contract; this is a 1906 DWM (Deutsche Waffen und Munitions Fabriken) 2nds Issue.  This piece is a 6 inch (150mm) barreled 9mm Parabellum with the Navy adjustable rear sight and matching Navy magazine. The DWM monogram markings appear on the 1st toggle link and the extractor is marked 'Geladen' (Loaded).   This example has all matching serial numbers. The thumb safety is marked "Gesichert" and when exposed (safety down) means safe. This Luger is also unit marked to Werft Wilhelmshaven.    (1311)

NOTE: Photographs taken today with the high mega-pixel camera show more than we sometimes can see with the human eye. Magnified close-ups show us tool marks and natural surface conditions that one normally doesn't see in the ordinary handling of the weapon.  Photographs are copyrighted, all rights reserved, any extraction, reproduction or display of gun pictures without the express consent of the Phoenix Investment Arms is strictly prohibited. Thank you for your cooperation.  Please read "Legal" for all the terms and conditions of the sale.


In August 1904 the German Navy underwent testing of 5, 9mm Selbstladepistole Model 1904 from DWM. The trial was successful and in September 1904 the Navy asked the Kriegsministerium to order 2,000 Model 1904 navy pistols as soon as possible.  Thus began to first acceptance of the P-04 'Luger' by the German military.  The 1904 Navy incorporated the new coil mainspring, the new extractor with the loaded-chamber markings.  These "improvements" were underway during the testing an acceptance of the navy model.


1906 Navy Luger

Serial number placement is in the civilian ("hidden") style.   The serial number appears on the front of the frame, on the bottom of the locking bolt, on the trigger, on the bottom of the barrel, the side plate, and under the first toggle. The safeties include both the grip safety and the thumb safety.

This is a very difficult gun to find in any condition. The German Navy was a salt-water service and the survivability of the German Imperial fleet was not enviable. Penned into the North and Baltic sea for duty the Navy spent a lot of time in port. 

The Parabellums were initially issued with the safety up but then with the 1908 conversion to safety down the Navy recalled all the Luger's and had the thumb safety modified.  See Kenyon Lugers at Random Page 152.

 

The first toggle link is marked with the DWM logo.  There is the two-position (100-200m) sight on the rear toggle link and the last two digits of the serial number appear on the rear toggle.

The Marinen Proof and the 3 digit serial number appearing on the bottom of the barrel and the last two digits of the serial number on the stop lug. (We have lightened the number for your convenience.).

The bottom of the gun displays the serial number and the Marinen proof under the barrel, the last two digits of the serial number under the locking lever and side plate and the Marinen proof and serial number on the bottom of the magazine.

During the summer of 1904, while the German Imperial Army's procurement department was waiting for the submission of another Mauser pistol and had, as a consequence, postponed adoption of the Parabellum (aka "Luger" and eventually the Pistole 1908--P.08) in caliber 9x19mm, the Kaiserliche Marine commenced a series of trials. On August 1, the Marinestation der Ostsee was given five 9mm Selbstladepistolen Model 1904 (essentially the Parabellum pistol already extensively tested by the army, with changes as noted below) from the dockyard at Kiel.

SMS Bayern

This biggest battle between battleships ever was a tactical German victory, but it did not change the strategic situation for the Hochseeflotte: Locked up in the North Sea by a British blockade, the German ships were limited to operate in North and Baltic Sea only and could not support the few ships operating outside of Europe.


This Parabellum has all matching numbers. The 4 digit number is very low in the 1906 production range. The magazine has the distinctive Marinen rings and the matching serial number.
Here you can see the matching serial number of the barrel, the front of the frame, the locking lever and the bottom of the side plate plus the grips are numbered to the gun. The magazine is matching with the Marinen Crown Proof & the matching serial number.
On the breach block is the last two digits of the serial number and the crown navy acceptance proof. Under the first toggle line (below) is the last two digits of the serial number.
Above Left: With the sideplate removed you can see the last two digits of the serial number on the trigger. Above Right: The two step rear sight on the "Navy" model is one of the distinctive parts that identify this model.
The difference between the 1st issue Unaltered and Altered 1906 Luger is very hard to determine at times.  One of the keys is the type of lettering used was distinctive for the thumb safety.  The "Gesichert" used a sans-serif Gothic type lettering with upper and lower case letters. This Luger demonstrates the original type used and shows the thumb down safe. This Luger is identified as a curio and relic and can be send directly to C&R licensees and above.

This is a pre-1916 long sear model that prevents the Luger from being cocked when the thumb safety (Gesichert - Above) is in the safe model   This problem was solved by one of Georg Luger's last patents shortening the sear on later models.

 

Beginning in the Spring of 1906 delivery was begun for the true 'Pistole 1904'. By that time all the changes had been made to the toggle lock (eliminating) and changing the 60° dicing on the toggle-grip. There was the retention of the grip safety but the controversy over the direction of the thumb safety had begun. 

SMS Bayern

This biggest battle between battleships ever was a tactical German victory, but it did not change the strategic situation for the Hochseeflotte: Locked up in the North Sea by a British blockade, the German ships were limited to operate in North and Baltic Sea only and could not support the few ships operating outside of Europe.

 
This Navy is the classic; complete with matching magazines. The first toggle link is marked with the DWM logo.  There is the two-position (100-200m) sight on the rear toggle link and the last two digits of the serial number appear on the rear toggle.

The front and back of the gun showing the serial number on the front of the frame and back of rear toggle link.  The grip safety is the wide version which was the dictate of the Imperial Navy.  There is also the stock lug which was designed for the Navy Stock and Holster ensemble.

Above: The Navy Crown is proofed on the barrel, the receiver and the breach block.  Note above the GELADEN showing the gun is loaded both visually and by feel by the shooter. This Navy is the classic; complete with matching magazine.
The interior of the Luger is in excellent condition with all the parts matching.  The Luger is shown in full recoil and one can the rear main axel pin and the Imperial Navy proofs. Also visible is the last two digits of the serial number on the grip safety. By pushing the thumb safety up we can see where the grip safety connected to the sear stop can be engaged and move down to permit the sear to function. The Altered and Second Issue 1906 Navy Model show a clean space under the thumb safety meaning it was ready to fire.
Above Left: The Navy serial numbers appear "hidden" as in commercial Lugers with the serial number at the bottom of the side plate and locking lever. Above Right: The W.W. represents an original issue to Werft Wilhelmshaven or Dock of Wilhelmshaven on the Baltic. When the gun was recalled for the change in the position of the thumb safety apparently the Parabellum was refinished and from all appearances never issued in the fleet.

 

SMS Rheinland show in port. Below the crew of the Rheinland practice small arms training. Below right: Firing the Guns!

 

Navy Lugers were always marked in an non-exposed manner as opposed to the Army guns which marked on the face of the side plate and locking lug.   Right: The Navy squeeze-type 200 meter rear sight.

Above Left: In the "fire"  position one can see the remains of the original Gesichert that was partially buffed when the "safe" position was moved.   Above Right: Thumbs down (Safe).

The Grips are walnut with the fine checkering and cut for the grip safety.  The last two digits of the serial number are stamped into the back of the grips [Above Right].

There is only very minor wear on this Parabellum since it was returned for the alteration of the thumb safety. Other then perhaps test firing it is not our believe that the gun entered active service based on the observations of other Imperil Navy specimens we have observed over the past forty years.   This is truly a magnificent Luger for anyone's collection.
It is entirely subjective to give any Luger a rating of excellent or fine, just as it is to declare it xx% blued or strawed. Few Lugers are out of the box new and these are premium priced. Bluing percentages is like Beauty, in the eye of the beholder.  We strive to provide pictures so you can judge for yourself if the gun meets your criteria.

 

  

To understand the three variations of the 1906 Model we have to begin with the acceptance of the 1904 Navy. While the Navy was testing the Parabellum so was DWM, the Swiss, the Dutch and Bulgarians plus other countries which were testing the Luger. The requirements and request for changes we being sent to DWM and the majority felt the thumb safety was awkward in an up position. (The thumb safety began "UP" exposing the in-the-white polishing under the thumb safety when it was SAFE).

Then came the stamping of the "Gesichert" (Safe) instead of the polished strip which was down on the early 1904 and 1906 models.  To fire the gun you had to push the thumb safety down to cover the Gesichert.

The 1908 German Military accepted the Parabellum with the safety down, exposing an "up" Gesichert (Safe). The Navy didn't want to differ from the army in training so they ordered the the remaining part of their 1906 order with the safety down (up to fire) and recalled all the earlier guns to be modified similarly.  Thus the 1906 "Altered" the thumb safety is marked "Gesichert" and when exposed (safety down) means safe. 

 

The original 1904 Model (with the toggle lock) were issued with the 'up-safe' thumb safety configurations.  So too were the original 1906 Models.

The German Navy then wanted the safety moved to the upward position to match the '08 models that had been issued. This resulted in the recalling of all the weapons issued and the thumb safety was reversed and the Gesichert was milled out (in some instances crudely filled).  So now we have the down-safe model. 

1906 Navy Imperial Luger Thumb Safety Unaltered

The picture at left is a 1906 1st Issue (Unaltered) and is a very rare specimen of this series. (This represents the gun for sale.)

Some of the originally issued guns were not sent back to the factory for the conversion of the safety and as such became are rarity.

 

This gun is known as a 1st Issue Altered. (This is not gun for sale.) This is an early altered example where the Gesichert is simply milled out.

 

Collectors refer to these as the 1st Issue Altered.  Then came the 2nd Issue (collector name) where the safety was filled, buffed and stamped in the down-safe configuration like the 1908 model.

 

The picture at left:  is a 1906 1st Issued Altered meaning that that gun was factory modified with the safety in the Upward Position. The Upper/Lower case is representative of the latter 1st issue altered. Note the different font used for the "Gesichert". A tell-tale for the Altered Lugers.

As with the other Imperial DWM the thumb safety was 'straw' blued.

 

Here is a 2nd Issue, 1906 Imperial Navy.  Note how the block type has been reset to the upper location making this gun a true 2nd Issue.

So within the German WWI official designation of the Pistolen 1904 (Navy) collectors have established four categories briefly distinguished as Old Model (with the right rear toggle lock, - extremely rare); the 1906 1st Issue Unaltered (thumb up-safe, no toggle lock, very rare), the 1906 1st Issue Altered (thumb down-safe, milled/filled and re-stamped Gesichert and finally the 2nd Issue with the manufactured down-safe configuration (only 2000 reportedly made).

 

 

This excellent example of  the German Imperial 1906 Navy Luger 1st Issue Altered that was brought back from the Wilhelmshaven docks modified and apparently never re-issued. This very rare minty Navy Parabellum is offered for $6,895.00 over the counter.  This Luger is identified as a curio and can be send directly to C&R licensees and above.

We reserve the right to sell any internet offering to a direct sale and no not warrant the availability of any firearm. Call for availability as the gun may be sold before being posted as such on the internet. This gun may be withdrawn without notice for in-store sale.  Any questions to
josef@phoenixinvestmentarms.com.


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We honor a three day return policy. We will answer any questions, send you any pictures, as detailed as you want, to insure that what we are showing you is what you want to see, before you buy it.  See Legal.

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WARNING: We do not represent these guns as safe to fire. They are not test fired before sale; they are sold as collectibles only. Prior to firing you should have it inspected by a qualified individual and abide by all safety requirements.

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