1908 Bolivian Contract SOLD

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Bolivian Luger

This is a 1908 Commercial Model, 9mm Bolivian Army Contract Parabellum with the "new model" transitional frame and a Type III thumb safety plus Bolivian chamber stamp.  There is an "Ejercito De Bolivia" over the Chamber and the DWM (Deutsche Waffen-und Munitionsfabriken AG) on the first toggle link. This is a very rare contract gun that comes up from South America through a very well known collector.  (1797)

One of the things "known" about Lugers is that international law required guns made for commercial sales must show the country of origin.  Usually this was done on the early Lugers by placing "Germany" on the front of the frame under the serial number.  This gun does not exhibit this 'export' designation. This is one of the classic Lugers exported by DWM to the United States as a commercial version.


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 of the sale.


The frame is the short "new" model with the Ejercito De Bolivia over the chamber. The thumb safety is  marked with the SEGURO  which is "Safe" in English. This Luger has all matching numbers and is proofed with the commercial Crown N. The barrel is numbered and proofed and matches the frame.

This Parabellum is all matching;  the magazine  is correct and does not exhibit any serial number. Not too often do you find a 1908 Luger with such clean lines and bevels, let along the distinctive fire-blued toggle connecting pins.  This gun came from a world famous Luger Collector and was preserved for over thirty years in his collection.


Pre-WWI commercially serial numbered  Army/Navy/Police  P'08's for Switzerland, Holland, Bulgaria & Portugal were filled within the 60,xxx-74,xxx range. Documentation exists that a 200 gun contract for Bolivia was delivered in 1913 with the 64400-64600 block designated for the Bolivian officer corp.


The first toggle link is marked with the DWM monogram. The Serial Number is 5 digits with no small letter suffix characteristic of the commercial models which were numbered consecutively until 1923. No Stock Lug present and the gun is sans hold-open indicating the buyer was trying to save money, just like the initial German contracts.

One can see the close up of the roll stamped Ejercito De Bolivia which DWM applied these 1913 models as a sales tool for the Bolivian military.  Initially (1900) the Swiss were so impressed by the early Swiss Cross that DWM had the American Eagle initially engraved and then roll stamped into the chamber and so began a long series of contract guns stamped with nationality symbols, Bulgaria, Serbia, Portugal, Holland, Chili.

A clean commercial magazine bottom, absolutely correct for the 7.65mm 1906 American Eagle. These commercial Luger's were five digit serial numbered and the small parts were marked in a concealed location at the bottom of the locking lever and side plate. Noted below the serial number on the underside of the barrel is the Crown N commercial proof. The extractor is marked "Cargado" in Spanish [LOADED]; illustrated.

Serial numbers displayed from several angles with the illustration of the typical "hidden" commercial style of numbering is exhibited on the Parabellum with the full five digit commercial number under the barrel and on the high front part of the frame. The locking lever and side plate are under the part and the trigger is concealed by the side plate.  A beautiful example of the commercial contract gun of the early 1908 production model.
From the last two digits of the serial number under the barrel we can see the "26" on the locking lever and "26" stamped on the trigger. The Crown "N" commercial proof is clearly marked on the gun.

The extractor is marked "Cargado" in Spanish [LOADED] to tell you when there is a round in the chamber. Note the bevel in the 1st toggle link which is characteristic of the DWM produced guns.  While every Luger was interchangeable each manufacturer has some small distinctions in their process that set them apart.


In the years that followed the Swiss Cross and American Eagle on the chamber, DWM installed cross rifles on the Russian, crests on the Serbian, Bulgarian, Prussian, Mexican, Dutch, Portuguese, Brazilian, Venezuelan, Bolivian, Tokyo Electric Co., and  the Spanish Guard just to name a few. Remember DWM was a independent stockholder owned gun maker whose success as was achieved selling their product.


Very clean and minty both inside and out.  Most of these early guns were purchase and saved by the early owners and not used as "working" guns. This is a well preserved "contract" gun and rarely possessed by collectors, remaining in South America in the possession of Bolivian Officers and collectors.

The grips are inspector marked and are serialed "26" to match the gun. The thumb safety is the Type III type and is marked "SEGURO" (Safe).  Old catalogs list these guns originally from $18-$35 depending on the year they were offered.   All that craftsmanship could be yours for $30.00; unbelievable.

The bottom of the gun has the "26" on the stop lug. This is the classic 1906 commercial Luger, the basic collectors must have in any serious collection.  While these models are not 'rare' they are difficult to obtain in excellent condition as this one represents.  See Görtz & Sturgess  "The Borchardt & Luger" Page II-698,699.

The serial number, consistent with the practiced civilian "hidden" system of number has the "26" serial number under the first toggle link.   The second toggle link is marked on the rear of the toggle.

Below:  The frame is the early 1908 variation without a hold-open, similar to the early military '08 version where both armies tried to save a few dollars (marks) and then learned of their error in combat.

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.


South America was very fertile ground for the salesmen of DWM with the introduction of the 1900, the progression to the 1906 and then many military trials in Germany for the 1908 model. There was a strong German influence in South American Countries due to German immigration and military emissaries who sought to assist the various countries modernize their armed forces.  The Luger was the most innovative pistol at that time and DWM sent its salesman around the world to find clients; including the order for 200 Bolivian Army contract Parabellums.


Holding an early Luger, a timeless representation of a personal level of quality and pride of craftsmanship, brings you back a hundred years to another century of weapons development. This Luger represents a piece of history and a turning point in our nations weapons procurement. 

This is a beautify example of the 1906 American Eagle DWM Parabellum. A 9mm  barrel this is the classic 1908 Luger model with the Ejercito de Bolivia roll stamped over the chamber, thus a "true contract 1/200 Luger". 

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LAYAWAYS:  Sometimes our "significant other" doesn't understand the beauty, craftsmanship and investment potential of one of these investor grade weapons.  In these circumstances where discretion becomes the better part of valor we will accept layaways of up to one year with at least 20% down and some activity occurring monthly to insure that after one year the sale is completed.  Cancellations of layaways forfeit 33% if done within two months, otherwise 100%. You can transfer a layaway to a consignment sale at any time. See "Legal" for exact terms.


See Credits, Bibliography, Notices and Disclaimers.

3 Day Return Policy

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.


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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