1917/20 Erfurt Imperial Artillery SOLD

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This is a 1917/20 dated Imperial Luger manufactured by most probably by DWM in 1919 using the parts manufactured by the Royal Arsenal at Erfurt. Erfurt only made Artillery models one year, 1914, making these rare guns. This rework is proofed just like an Erfurt, is a 9mm Parabellum with a 100mm barrel on a frame dated 1917. Really a cool Parabellum    (1832)

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 visit Legal (tabbed) for Conditions of Sale.

At the outbreak of WWI the German Army seemed reasonably equipped with the Luger Pistol. The DWM factory in Berlin moved to peak production by 1915 and were producing 700 Parabellums per day; however this didn't meet the requirements for the massive mobilization.

The Erfurt factory was originally located in Saarn and then moved to Erfurt under private ownership. It was then purchased by the Prussian government and produced huge quantities of weapons, estimated to exceed 800,000 before being dismantled by the Allies at the end of the WWI and the machinery then sold to Simson in Suhl.


This 1917 Luger is characterized by the 9mm  4" (100mm) barrel and was built with a hold open and utilized the short sear. The rear sight is the 800 meter leaf and front dovetailed sight; the frame has the stock lug and hold open device.  This model of the Luger was produced from 1911 for the German Military when the model was changed to include the hold open and add the stock lug. In 1916 the front mortise was milled in the frame so they were interchangeable with the 4" and 8" models.  The extractor is marked "Geladen" (loaded) and the thumb safety is marked "Gesichert" (safe).

Serial number placement is in the military ("exposed") style; displayed on the left side of the receiver, the bottom of the side plate and the locking bolt; the forward toggle link, the front of the frame, under the barrel, and on the side of the trigger. This example has all matching numbers.

1917 Erfurt

Under the leaf sight is the 1920 date that was the result of the requirement of the Weimar Republic to disarm all the soldiers who returned from WWI armed. There was an armistice and not a surrender. The Germans had six hours to sign the  cessation of warfare and 14 days to evacuate the lands outside Germany plus Alsace-Lorraine or be taken prisoner. There was no formal military stand down or demobilization; everyone just went home any way they could, armed.


The German Navy, which was mostly "in port" since the battle of Jutland began to revolt on 29-30 October 1918 and unrest followed the armistice. Small armies began to battle the communists and with civil unrest and everyone armed or in military groups the Weimar Republic had to do something to gain control.

Then on August 7th, 1920 the Disarming-of-the-People Law set forth a reward of 100 Marks, (then about $23.50), were given for small arms until October 10th at which time the award was reduced to 50 Marks. This began the disarming of the German people, paving the way for seizing all the private weapons.  This is a lesson for all of us.

After the war, poverty was rampant and the Germans quickly learned to steal the confiscated gun and turn them in again for the Marks. The order was then given to stamp "1920" on all the guns bough in by the Disarming Law and so became the Double-Date Parabellums we seek today.


The right side of the receiver displays all the Imperial Army acceptance stamps.  Erfurts were always very heavily proofed; a delight to study. In 1914 the Erfurt factory stopped production of the 4" barrel and focused on the artillery model (8") and the DWM factory concentrated on the 4" production.

On the left is the frame and barrel matching serial numbers. Military Lugers were numbered 1-10000 and then 1a-10000a, 1b-1000b, and so on. To properly identify your Luger always use the full serial number with the alphabet identifier. Erfurt magazine matching the serial number but not proofed as was customary during wartime production. This leads us to conclude that this Parabellum was produced after the war and before the adoption of the Treaty of Versailles limitations.

(A) Crown R/C indicates it has been back to the factory for a re-work (believe barrel); (B) "32" from the serial number on the sear; (C) Erfurt acceptance proof. (D) Geladen "Loaded"; (E) small mortise applied to all Erfurt frames after November 1916; (F) The 1920 acceptance proof after the gun was re-worked.

The Erfurt's are the most proofed models of Parabellums. There are inspector marks all over the weapon in a variety of crowed stamps.  Proof marks are well struck and clearly visible. We know that Erfurt only manufactured the Lange Pistole in 1914 and any other dates were produced after the war from the Erfurt manufactured parts.

On the 1sat toggle link is the Crown N with the Erfurt Logo on the top; the breach block has a Crown Proof from Erfurt and Crown proofs on the receiver along with the acceptance proof by Erfurt. On the side rail of the receiver is a Crown RC again indicating this Erfurt was assembled by the factory after the war.  Above Right: We find the Circle N in the locking well which was a commercial proof found in the '20s guns built by DWM.

Who assembled this Parabellum? Erfurt or DWM?  Only DWM continued to produced guns after the armistice while Erfurt immediately shut down.  Were the Erfurt parts moved to DWM for assembly? The circle N might be the indicator.


The 1910 Erfurt Imperial Acceptance stamp was the Imperial Eagle with  the cross of peace and the bar of justice, still heraldic in nature as an Imperial proof. The war destroyed vast quantities of these Parabellums and the few of these 90 yr. old guns that have survived today are treasured in  collections throughout the world.


Clean and well kept by its owner this Luger has the short sear and a Crown RC by the trigger indicating it was brought back to the arsenal for either repair or replacement of a part.  The barrel is strong with clear lands and grooves, no gauge marking, making a 1917 Erfurt Artillery justifies the factory rebuild  proof show below on the trigger guard.
Above Left: (A) Crown J Erfurt proof on side plate (usually the serial number is adjacent this proof but here it is underneath (F); (B) a Crown proof on the sear stop; (C) the serial number , gauge marking along with a Crown N & Crown RC on the barrel. (D) the last two digits of the serial under the locking lever and (E) the Crown RC on the frame. Above Right: Original grips are finely cut diamond shaped checkering made from walnut or in some cases beech wood. Original grips are serial numbered to the gun and when installed by the Erfurt factory also proofed.
Above Left: The grips are matching with the last two digits of the serial number.  The sight is an 800 meter marked sight with the last two digits of the serial number. Above Right: This is really an all matching Parabellum.

Everyone needs one Erfurt in their collection just to study proof marks. This is a basic collectors gun that has all the study proofs you could ask for. This weapon is designated as a Curios and Relic (C&R) and be sent to those licensed persons. See Kenyon, Lugers At Random Page 168


Every Parabellum tells a story and this one is no exception.  1914 was the only year that the Royal Arsenal manufactured the Long Pistol or artillery model.  With this gun dated 1917 and the front mortised to receive a leaf sight when Erfurt shut down all the parts were there to rebuild this 1917 in an 800mm pistol before the imposition of the Treaty of Versailles barrel length limitation.  We know that only DWM was the weapons firm to do this into 1919 and 1920 and this Luger, without any export marks, final acceptance proofs for both Erfurt and commercial marks makes it a very unusual and collectible gun.


This is a excellent example of the hard to find War I, 1917 dated Erfurt Imperial Artillery Parabellum  and built by the Royal Erfurt Arsenal for the Imperial Army. Then re-worked in 1920 with a new barrel. We reserve the right to withdraw any firearm from an auction site that is sold over the counter.   Questions to: josef@phoenixinvestmentarms.com.This all-matching Parabellum is offered for $3,850.00 over-the-counter.

We reserve the right to sell any internet offering to a direct sale and no not warrant the availability of any firearm that does not have a physical deposit.
This gun may be withdrawn without notice for in-store sale.  Call for availability.


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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.


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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.


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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