1922 Imperial Naval Marinen Parabellum

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This is a 1908 Model DWM (Deutsche Waffen und Munitions Fabriken)  Imperial Navy that was issued in approximately 1922 within the "i" block of new commercial numbered guns.  This piece is a 6 inch (150mm) barreled 9mm Parabellum  that was intended for the Imperial Navy  Kaiserliche Marine and proofed with the Marinen proofs but released after WWI to the civilian market.  This Parabellum has no import marks. (1863)

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. Our terms of sale are at the LEGAL tab. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

The story of this post-WWI is wove through the history of the times. From the time of the Armistice beginning on November 11, 1918 through December  20th, 1918 it is reported that DWM pistols and the ammunition plant in Karlsruhe were working to full capacity. In December 1918 all production ceased due to "final cancellation of military contracts....".1919 saw strikes an upheaval in Germany from Communist agitation with the dispersal of small machining, tools, gauges under concealment to 2nd tier dealers and machine shops. The Treaty of Versailles imposition of the IMKK inspections began in January 1920.  Parabellums produced during this period are estimated between 5-6000 in those 40 days.

Proofing and numbering during the period after the war until the cessation of military production found DWM in the "m" block with a Circle N proof mark due to the absence of civilian and military inspectors and proof houses. A contract for the Reichswehr and Sicherheistpolizei (Security Police) for 40,000 self-loading pistols gave work for the arms factory until May 1921. After running into the "n" block the no-suffix and then -a, -b, suffix blocks were used.

 

In August 1904 the German Navy underwent testing of 5, 9mm Selbstladepistolem 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 '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.

 

This Navy has the thumb safety and a stock lug and all matching numbers. There are many theories as to why the rings on the Navy magazines; 7.65 - vs. - 9mm, to separate the magazines for accountability. In any case it makes it easy to identify a Navy Pistolem 04.

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Highlighted is the GELADEN and the Marinen proofs.  Navy Models were marked on the side plate and locking lever on the bottom as they did we the commercial models.

This Navy is the classic; complete with matching magazine.  The finish shows very minor honest wear and would be rated excellent for an Imperial Navy. This model has a hold open latch and stock lug. It would fully be represented as a 1908 model were it not for the addition of the "i" suffix which places its issue in approximately 1922.

The bluing gives a slightly brownish color that is usually an indication that the bluing salts were warmer than prescribed.  It is probable that when produced the Luger was pulled of the line for inspection and re-treatment and was set aside until 1922 when the warehouses were being cleared of WWI assemblies under the inspection of the IMKK (Treaty of Versailles) Inspectors.

 

     The first post war military contract took the serial numbers into the "b" block and the appearance of the 1920 chamber date.  Commercial proofing takes many turns. Post WWI Commercial production began in 1919 with the Crown N applied vertically.   Commercial serial numbers in the traditional five digit commercial manner began around 76,000 to 92,000 from mid-1921 to early 1922. Some of these numbers are suspected of being applied to military production of the 9mm/100mm barrel as part of the concealment program to hide military production from IMKK Inspectors.

    Commercial 5 digit numbering stopped at about sn. 92,000, most likely in mid-1922 when BKIW (the successor of DWM), in May 1922    began to use the four digit military numbers and an "i" suffix and this began to stabilize the commercial production. 

 

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.

The top of the Navy is clean of any proof or serial numbers with the numbers on the side of the breach block and bottom of the first toggle and back of the 2nd toggle,  Below the barrel has a Marinen Inspection proof on the bottom which is characteristic of the Navy model although the placement is higher on the barrel than normally found, perhaps indicating a replacement barrel that was then fitted on the frame.  A very clean military-commercial style.

The numbering of this Navy had to be done originally as a four digit military and the "i" suffix added in 1922 when the gun was made available for commercial sales.  There is no "export" stamp 'GERMANY' and no Crown N mark for a standard commercial proof. 

The front and rear of this Commercial Navy.  The "i" suffix was issued to commercial guns after the serialization of the five digit commercials exceeded 92000. DWM then began to use a four digit number and the "i" suffix with the bulk of the early "i" suffix Parabellums going to Abercrombie and Finch and H. Krieghoff

 

With the introduction of the "i" block, or what collectors have identified as the 'alphabet' guns DWM was hoping to re-establish itself in the commercial market. One of the first orders identified with the "i" block are those destined for Abercrombie and Fitch of New York. Their order for the 9mm full barrel resulted in DWM building the frames and sending the guns to Switzerland who installed the barrels, marked them for Abercrombie and Fitch and marked the guns Made in Switzerland.  Thus the order, early in the "i" suffix was accomplished under the Treaty of Versailles. This 'Made in Switzerland has caused much confusion among collectors with the absence of the Swiss proofs.  H. Krieghoff also undertook to mark and market the "i" block DWM Parabellums in significant quantities.

 

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. Note below the GELADEN showing the gun is loaded both visually and by feel by the shooter.

The frame and barrel have the traditional Imperial "Navy" acceptance proofs the "Crown" and the Marinen proof (Crown/M) of the WWI genre. This 1908 model must have been 'on the shelf' somewhere and was finished and sold in the post war transition of DWM & BKIW.

 

GROßEN KRUEZERS

Battle cruisers (L - R) Derfflinger, Seydlitz and Von der Tann Enroute to Dogger Bank

The German High Fleet at anchor

 

As with most of the "commercial" Parabellums' not having been exposed to the rigors of war and in the Navy salt water these Lugers are usually found in excellent condition.  Here the inside of the gun is minty with no rust overcoat under the grips or even wear of  internal parts.   An extraordinary representation of the classic Imperial Navy.
The toggle in full recoil with the 9.2mm rear main axel pin.  Above Right is the 100-200 m rear sight in the extended position.

On the barrel it the Imperial Navy acceptance Crown, under the barrel is the Marinen proof.  Above one can see the extractor marked in German GELADEN (Loaded) which is both visually and tactilely at night to tell the shooter the gun is ready to fire. 

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.

 

This best example of a German Imperial 1908 Model Navy Luger released after 1922 within the "i" block serial suffix. There are no export markings on this Luger. This Parabellum is offered for $4,895.00 cash priced over-the-counter. This Luger is identified as a curio and can be send directly to C&R licensees and above.   Questions to: josef@phoenixinvestmentarms.com  We reserve the right to withdraw the gun which may be sold before being posted as such on the internet. This gun may be withdrawn without notice for in-store sale. We reserve the right to sell any internet offering to a direct sale and do not warrant the availability of any firearm that does not have a cash deposit.

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