1939 Mauser Banner Forestry Officer Luger   History

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This is a 1939 Chamber dated Mauser Banner built for commercial sale in Germany. This Parabellum is 9mm with a 4" (100mm) barrel that is proofed and serial numbered to the gun.  Serial number placement is in the military ("exposed") style. The thumb safety is marked "Gesichert" and extractor "Geladen."  This is a "v" series gun and has all matching numbers and two matching magazines.  This is the only rig we have ever seen with an "officer" Forestry Service rig in thirty five years of collecting.  (904)

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.

 

Adolph Hitler: " Im neuen Reich darf es keine Tierquälerei mehr geben" (in the new Reich cruelty toward animals should no longer exist), whose monumental words inspired the November 1933 laws providing for the protection of animals. In July 1934 the Das Reichjagdgesertz (hunting law) and then in July 1935 the Reichsnaturschutzgesert for the protection of nature which were pet projects of Hitler and formed the basis of  ecology and preservation movement in the early Third Reich.

 

The Belt and Buckle are the "parade" variety.  The buckle is the same type as the high party officials indicating this individual was senior in the hierarchy of the Forestry Department which had it's own police force to enforce the hunting regulations. The "A" is the F W Assmann & Sohn early proof.  (We will not sell the belt or buckle separately)

1936 was the last year that Mauser used the traditional straw bluing on the small parts.  Wartime production was starting up and demand required that the trigger, thumb safety, locking lever and magazine release were converted to salt blue in early 1937. This 1939 Banner has the all blued parts a hold open a "V" notched rear sight and stock lug.

The "v" series DWM/Mauser is most studied variation of the Parabellum.  In 1930 BKIW a successor to DWM decided to terminate production of the Luger in Berlin and move that operation to Mauser Werke in Oberndorf of which BKIW was a shareholder. Machinery, samples and thousands of parts including approximately 4,000 finished Lugers were involved in the move.  The suffix block involved was the "v" and probably some "u" series guns. Commercial contract guns made from these DWM parts were fulfilled far into the 1930's with some of the most known and unknown variations coming from these old DWM stocks and assembled by Mauser.

 

German Hunting Laws required extensive examination before issuing a hunting license (Jagdschein) with both written and oral examinations.  The issuance of the certificate also requires a permit the hunt (harvest) any individual animal on a given private Reviere.

The private Revieres are all managed by a forstmeister (forest master) who counts the animals and maintains the status of their condition reporting the conditions to his district leader. 

Also it was required that every person possessing a private firearm in Germany have a permit for that gun.

Left: In 1933 Dr. Walter von Keudell (1884-1973) was appointed as Generalforstmeister for all of Germany.  Not much is written about the size of the force that was required to enforce the German Hunting laws.

Right: The Deutsche Jägerschaft was led by a Reichsjägermeister (Reich hunting master), a position held by Hermann Göring. Reichsbund Deutsche Jägerschaft was a civilian hunting organization that supported the hunting rights of the German people.  They conducted the annual displays and grading of trophies and presented the hunting awards for that year or harvest. They were instrumental in the conservation efforts to protect the forests, forage and animal health. This organization was disbanded after the war to be replaced by the the Deutsche Jagdschutzverband (DJV) which also uses the red deer head but now has removed the swastika.

http://www.jagd-online.de/

 

Hermann Göring saluting members of the Forestry Service at Karinhalle in East Prussia

The top displays the date, the last two numbers of the serial number on the extractor, the 1st toggle link and the rear toggle. The receiver has a slight brown tinge to the blue. Mauser at this point was salt bluing  new parts and still using finished parts from old DWM stocks. 

Men of the uniformed Forestry Service at Karinhalle (Göring's East Prussian home and hunting lodge) playing the salute to the animals taken in the harvest.

 

Göring in Karinhalle

The German Hunting Laws and the Forestry Service to provide for them were introduced by Hermann Göring,  a passionate hunter who appointed himself Hunting Master of the Reich (Reichsjaegermeister) 1933. Göring kept bison and stag at his Carinhall ranch - named after his wife - 50 miles north of Berlin.

The Nazi laws gave animals more protection than any other country in the world.  The Germans wanted a clean kill and felt that it was wrong to cause unnecessary suffering to the animal being hunted. The official Nazi biography, which was written by Erich Gritzbach, says: "Göring is a fanatical friend of animals. He says: 'Whoever tortures animals violates the instincts of the German people.'

The same love of animals which he demonstrates in all he has to do with the animal world also imbues the Reich hunting law of 1934. Indeed it gives this law its deep ethical meaning. In Germany hunting on horseback, chasing animals with a pack of hounds, is banned."

 

The Crown U proof was begun for the commercial guns as early as the 1930's prototype for the Oberndorf factory.  Found on the left receiver and the breechblock.  The gun demonstrates honest holster wear and undoubtedly was worn with a work uniform and a lesser prestigious belt for duty.

The inside of the gun is clean and reflects the effort for cleaning the past 70 years. Lugers that are stored for any period of time should have the wooden grips at least waxed on the inside to protect contact with the metal. The barrel is strong and shiny.  Questions to Josef@phoenixinvestmentarms.com 

The rear axel pin has been numbered in accordance with the 1933 order to prevent the armorers from interchanging the pins.  Some times in full recoil with the hot loads the Luger fired the pin would extend beyond the frame and be chipped.  Mauser later solved this by putting a hump on the "ears" at the rear of the frame now referred to as the Mauser "hump". This was actually an extension of the frame from 128mm to 130mm and began in 1936.

 

A lot is written about the "v" series Banner's as both contract guns, (Portuguese, Dutch, Latvian, Siamese, and Swiss in addition to police guns.  This serial number places squarely in the 1939 block for commercial and the Swiss contract guns. Two matching magazines makes it a rather spectacular find. The magazines numbered 1 & 2 much as the police guns were numbered is again curious.

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 would rather answer your questions and provide you with photographs than ship guns back and forth.

 

The is a very rare rig with a 1939 Mauser Banner, 2 matching magazines,  and a Officer Parade Belt from the German Forestry Office. 

 

 

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