1906 Navy 1st Issue Unaltered

Genuine German Luger - Largest Variety of Lugers Offered
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This is a 1906 DWM (Deutsche Waffen und Munitions Fabriken) 1st Issue Imperial Navy (Unaltered).  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 up) means safe. This Luger is also unit marked to 2nd Marine Training Division. (1598)

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.


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.


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 such a pristine condition. The German Navy was a salt-water service and the survivability of the German Imperial fleet was not enviable.  The Parabellums were initially issued with the safety down but then with the 1908 conversion to safety down the Navy recalled all the Luger's and had the thumb safety modified. This is one of the very rare and seldom seen unaltered Lugers that was not sent back for modification. See Kenyon Lugers at Random Page 152.

This Navy is the classic; complete with matching magazine. 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 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 up safe. This Luger is identified as a curio and relic and can be send directly to C&R licensees and above.  Questions to:  


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 Modell 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.


The inside of the Luger has been well cared for and there is no signs of rust under the grips from salt water exposure. As a training division the Matrosendivision did not go out to sea and this in fact may have contributed to the excellent condition the gun remains in.  The Luger is shown in full recoil and one can the large flange rear main axel pin the Imperial Navy required.

This Luger has all matching numbers. The magazine is the original with the Marinen Crown Proof 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.

II. Matrosendivision (Wilhelmshaven)

"Upper Deck" Navy Personnel, those that manned the big guns in combat and would as as infantrymen in an boarding or landing party were given their basic training in either I Matrosendivision in Kiel (I MD) or in the II Matrosendivision in Wilhelmshaven (IIMD) while they were waiting transfer to a ship.  This is a very rare unit marking to find do to the limited number of training units.


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.

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 Navy is the classic; complete with matching magazine. 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.

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.

Here is the right and left side of the gun showing the proofs on the barrel, the side of the receiver and the breach block with the serial number on the underside of the barrel.



Here is the thumb safety side-by-side so you can see that the GESICHERT that is shown is the first type used and makes this a first issue, Unaltered, very rare as these were all called back to be altered. Undoubtedly this weapons was tucked away and missed the order of being shipped back.


Of all the Navy Lugers coveted by the collectors besides the nearly impossible to find 1904 is the 1906 Unaltered especially one in this minty condition with all the proofs and completely matching.   Any questions to internet so call before ordering on line.