1900 American Eagle Test Luger PENDING

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This is a 1900 Model, 7.65mm (.30 Cal Luger), the "old model" Parabellum with the transitional frame, a Type II thumb safety that is not marked but is polished with the extractor an old style leaf type. The Luger has all matching  serial numbers and a  grip squeeze safety.  There is an "American Eagle" from the US Great Seal over the Chamber and the DWM (Deutsche Waffen-und Munitionsfabriken AG) on the first toggle link.  This  Luger has all the characteristics of the American Eagle Test Luger of the US Military Test Guns from the trials conducted in 1901 and fall with in the accepted serial number range with a Serial 6960. (1888)

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.


On March 9, 1901 the United States Board of Ordinance and Fortifications , through the commanding officer, LTC Frank H. Phipps ordered a meeting of the board with Mr. Hans Tauscher, the DWM factory representative at which the Mr. Tauscher procured to Parabellums for preliminary test and evaluation of the Board.  On March 18th, 1901 with Mr. Tauscher present the tests began and after several days of testing the expended 2000 rounds and recommended the U.S. Army purchase sufficient Lugers (1000) to hold field testing trials and evaluation.  Actual cost was $15,630 or $14.75 per Luger and $.88 per extra magazine (Wow).


The frame is the long "old" model with the American Eagle seal over the chamber. The thumb safety is not stamped "Gesichert" but is polished and when exposed means "safe". The thumb safety is the 2nd design in the evolution of the Parabellum, rounded with dicing and represents a very early edition. This is designated as Type II thumb safety and very rarely shows up on the early guns, somewhat of a transitional thumb safety.

This early American Eagle seal over the chamber and no import markings immediately sets it apart. The  extractor the old straw blued leaf model.   This Luger has all matching numbers.  The barrel is flared round in the old style, numbered, proofed and the witness mark matches it to the frame.

This Parabellum is all matching;  the magazine  is correct and does not exhibit any serial number; however the early DWM proof is on the base. Not too often do you find a 1900 with such minimal exterior wear, let along the distinctive fire-blued toggle connecting pins.  The barrel shows signs of the early frosting of the corrosive primers in the throat (characteristic of all but the unfired early Parabellums) but this should not affect ballistics if anyone is inclined to shoot a 115 yr old gun.

The "Official" serial number of the range of the 1000 gun Test Series is believed to be  6100-7100. These numbers are enhanced by the knowledge of the 'Bannerman' purchases which place serial numbers above the 7100 number but maintain the characteristics of the Test Series Parabellums.

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 'commercial' designation. It also does not have the "German" import mark required by customs for any weapon entering the US. This is one of the classic Lugers exported by DWM to the United States as a very early commercial model for testing by the US Military.


One thousand test Lugers (7.65 Cal) were delivered to the U. S. Springfield Armory in late 1901. Most were distributed to U.S. Cavalry troops involved in police actions in the Philippines and Cuba. As the American Cavalry troops had used revolvers (Colt .45 and .38) for over 30 years, the small caliber, complex Luger, was viewed with some suspicion and not readily accepted.

There were complaints as to small caliber, safety while riding from horseback, and unreliable action. As a result of these reports 50 Lugers in caliber 9mm were briefly tested by the Army in 1904-1906 and three Lugers in .45 caliber were tested in 1907. The Luger was rejected by the U.S. Army in favor of the Colt M1911 in 45 caliber.

The characteristics that separate these U.S.-American Eagle-Test Lugers from other Model 1900 Lugers are: the lack of proofs, the lack of a "GERMANY" import stamp, and the last two digits of the Lugers serial numbers on the right end of the take down lever (instead of the left lower side) on the early models.


The early markings on the 1900 give us a time-line as these transitional indications place the guns, not always the serial numbers, sequentially.

Early 1900 displayed the Type I & Type II thumb safeties and the serial number on the curved surface of the locking lever on the right side of the gun.

(See Picture Right - "60").

By the upper end of the Test Series the practice of placing the last two digits of the serial number on the curved side of the locking lever was discontinued in lieu of placing it on the bottom of the locking lever.

One can conclude that these unnumbered guns were taken "off the shelf" out of a sequence of production and numbered to meet the contract as the early characteristics show up "sprinkled" in the contract series.       

Here is an illustration of some of the characteristics of the early 1900's.  "A" represents the leaf extractor which removed the round from the chamber when fired; (B) is the flat surface you will find on the 1900 Classic Luger. "C" denotes the Type II thumb safety (rarely seen); "D" is the early long sear. "E" shows where the early side plates fit smoothly onto the frame making this classic gun a thing of beauty. "F" is the locking lever which is unnumbered on the left hand side.
Above pictures show the serial numbers in the "Hidden" commercial style on the 'left' under the barrel and the bottom of the side plate and on the 'right' the "60" serial number on the trigger.

The front of the 120mm barrel has the traditional high front sight that was sighted for 50 meters. The rear toggle has the last two digits of the serial number and shows the "v" rear sight.


 In 1904, 50 of the Lugers were ordered in the 9mm configuration with the Powell Cartridge Indicating device installed.  these are believed to come from the original purchase which were shipped back to Germany, reworked, refurbished and had the G.H. Powell Cartridge Device and special magazine installed.  This took some time and these were received in 1904 and shipped to Ft Riley KS (25) and 25 to the President of the Calvary Board. On April 10, 1907 Ft. Riley sent back 24 to the Springfield Armory but did not take a part in the 1907 testing of the 9mm Luger.


Very clean and minty both inside and out.  This  Parabellum appears to be an original without being re-worked or re-blued. Most of these early guns were purchase and saved by the early owners and not used as "working" guns. The inside is '"in the white" where it should be and the areas under the grips and grip safety are clean.   Exposed in the picture is the grip safety and the two digit serial number on the side.

The grips are stamped with the last two digits of the serial number in a small script. Above Right: The 1900 in full recoil shows the dished toggles, the fire blued pins and the Type II thumb safety.

The extractor  is of the original configuration of a leaf spring to extract the round when fired. The Swiss recognized the weakness of this part of the Luger and installed a metal reinforcement. DWM then redesigned the extractor with a thicker metal that was spring loaded to eject.  The early Long Sear. The Type II thumb safety and  Wide  (16mm) Grip Safety.  Note the side bevels 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.

Above, under the thumb safety the metal is polished to indicate "Safe".  The American Eagle or the US Great Seal is roll pressed over the chamber, a custom DWM adopted after the introduction to the Swiss, with the Swiss Cross in Sunburst. 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.  It was followed by the 1900 Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Chilean, Carlos I (Portugal) as a sale tool.  [The spots that show up on high mega-pixel pictures are not rust but the reaction of the metal to the oils in the human hand]



In December 1901 the US Army ordered Rock Island Arsenal to produce a holster and rig for the distribution of the Test Guns to the various military units.  During the US Government testing in 1901/02 of the 1900 Parabellum the American Eagle was employed as a sales tool and when the second test began in 1907 with the order for another 1000 pistols from DWM and 1000 holsters from the Rock Island Arsenal they all had the American Eagle. The acceptance by first the Swiss and then the Americans for their national symbol on the gun highlights the "contract gun series"


Above we can see the clean lines of this Luger with the toggle lock which held the breach and toggles in place when the gun was not being fired. These are the classic Luger's with the lines known the world over as the most recognized handgun in the world.

In 1905-1907 the Springfield Armory called in most of the 1900 Test Lugers; 770 were sold to Francis Bannerman and Co. at public auction around 1910. Reportedly, some of the Lugers did not survive the tests and were destroyed by the Army. The reported serial range for these 770 Lugers purchased by Bannerman are 6167-96, 6282, 6361-7108, and 7147.  Kenyon, Costanzo, and Reese report a serial range of 6100 to 7100. In 1910 the Springfield Armory reported 321 Lugers in 7.65 mm repaired. In 1911 the Rock Island Arsenal reported 306 Lugers in 7.65 mm repaired (Scott Meadows, U.S. Military Automatic Pistols, 1993, page 386).

This is the classic American Eagle 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 Kenyon "Lugers at Random" Page 56.  This Parabellum represents the essence of the 1900 model with the disked toggles, the flat top rear toggle, the long sear and wide grip safety. This Parabellum came from one of those old collections where caring and maintenance preserved this 115 year old piece. 

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.

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.  These early guns are truly a tribute to the craftsman of DWM with no tool marks, extensive polishing and rust-blued finishes with strawed smaller parts.


As the Luger became more recognized, DWM began an active export campaign both in North and South America.  While there was greater acceptance of the Luger in South America the popularity of the Luger in the US was increased by the placement of the US Seal with the American Eagle over the chamber. It wasn't a contract, just marketing that brought about the American Eagle, one of the most sought after variations of the Luger.


The Classic 1900 Parabellum, a must for anyone's collection. This is a magnificent example of the 1906 American Eagle DWM Parabellum. A 7.65mm pencil thin barrel this is the classic Luger with the squeeze grip safety.  Call for availability. Any questions to josef@phoenixinvestmentarms.com . We reserve the right to withdraw any firearm from an auction site that is sold over the counter. We reserve the right to withdrawn any weapon sold over the counter. 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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