1923/29 Three Line Stoeger SOLD

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This is an "atypical" 1923 Stoeger assembled by BKIW (the successor to DWM corporately) and probably rolled stamped in 1930 with the 3rd line by Mauser after Stoeger received the patent for the term "Luger".  This is an "alphabet" gun with the "n" suffix and military four digit serial number.  It is therefore safe to say that  this gun is a 1923 BKIW 3-line Stoeger contract Luger, assembled in 1923 or 1924, consisting of a DWM/BKIW Stoeger contract frame, 2-line receiver, and toggle link assembly and then roll stamped by Stoeger after changing the barrel with the 3rd line patent statement on the right side frame rail after 1929.          (1890)

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.


The firm AF Stoeger became the sole importer of the DWM Luger Pistols in the US on March 13, 1922.  Stoeger ordered its first Luger pistols through Hugo Panzer & Co who was the successor for Hans Tauscher who fled to Germany in WWI when he was accused of being a spy.  It is not known if Stoeger attempted to buy the rights to import the Luger from Panzer but on July 25, 1921 Stoeger send a Confidential Price list to the whose jobbing trade.  These 1921 Lugers were not American Eagles and were 7.65 mm with 98mm barrels of those restricted by the Treaty of Versailles.


The 150 mm barrel length bears the crisp barrel band of BKIW manufactured but contains no proofs or serial numbers indicating it was most probably installed by Stoeger as they advertised in the 1924  Catalog not only the expertise but the buyers ability to pick from barrel lengths. From the highly polished side plate serial numbered to the gun and the fine diamond serial numbered wood grips to the GELADEN extractor and GESICHERT thumb safety this points us firmly to an early A.F. Stoeger frame and assembly with the 1930 third line added after the patent acquisition. 

This example has all matching numbers. In the history of the Stoeger orders it appears that this is one of the "alphabet guns" from 1922-1926 that was re-worked by Stoeger and a 150mm barrel added.

The bottom of the Parabellum is in minty condition with the last two digits of the serial number displayed on the bottom of the locking lever and the side plate.

A nice clean crisp DWM (Deutsche Waffen und Munitions Fabriken) and the absence of any numbers on the extractor, 1st & second toggle link add to our perception that this is an out of the box early assembled frames for Stoeger from existing DWM parts and then stamped on two occasions for the Three-Line qualification.


During the 1920’s DWM was not permitted to manufacture guns with a barrel of 100mm so these ‘20’s guns were all 98mm and since 9mm caliber was restricted they were 7.65mm or .30 caliber Luger.  In 1922 Stoeger ordered 2500 Parabellums with the 7.65mm barrels and the American Eagle “same as shipments before the war”. There was a second order in 1924 from Stoeger with requesting the two-line “A.F. Stoeger Inc and on the second line New York.   The Germany was added for export reasons. During this period the “post-war alphabet guns” began to appear in the orders and with some of the unfilled 1922 order the American Eagle was roll pressed on the guns.  These has the Berlin Crown N and a mixture of ‘Gesichert’ and ‘Geladen’ or ‘Safe’ and ‘Loaded’.

 In 1929 Stoeger trademarked the name “Luger” without objection by the successor of DWM, BKIW/DWM.  The 1930 order to Mauser included the line “Genuine Luger Registered U. S. Patent Office”   This third line of the Stoeger’s  was not applied to the first ten guns delivered by Mauser and Stoeger complained to them about it.  By that time Mauser was in the “v” series suffix.


This is a beautiful gun. Well maintained by its successive owners and is now seeking another custodian of history to protect it. It should be mentioned that A.F. Stoeger, Inc. did have “expert”, professional in-house gunsmiths, engravers and other marking capabilities as early as 1924, as stated in their 1924 copyright © dated Stoeger sales catalog on page 4.
A.F. Stoeger registered "Luger" in the US in 1929.  These were sold in the early 1930's in both 9mm and 7.65mm but the cost of the Luger was high compared to other guns of that period. Jones reports in Luger Variations that nearly all had the military style of serial numbering.  By 1934 the DWM toggles were said to be used up; therefore this weapons was probably set aside, awaiting the completion of the order from Stoeger.

When you research by serial number of the "n" series you find yourself in very early 1920's; The original Stoegers came from the "alphabet guns", the left over or undelivered  military guns from WWI. The magazine is characteristically unnumbered for a commercial gun.  The absence of the "Germany" export stamp under the serial number on on the left side of the breech block suggests the one location on the right side of the frame was sufficient to get this into the US. 

The roll stamp is clean and crisp indicating this was a very early stamping with these dies which begin to flatten over time to produces a thicker imprint.  One can see that the stamp of A.F. Stoeger is finer than the third line which would indicate it (3rd line) was ordered later.  There is an ever so slight change in depth of color on the barrel indicating that after addition of the longer barrel the gun was re-blue and removed the 'halo' from all the added inscriptions on the gun to give it a uniform appearance.


In 1930 through a series of mergers DWM machinery, parts and personnel moved from Berlin to Oberndorf and immediately began producing Lugers from existing stocks. The first contract filled was for the Dutch Air Force and this was completed in 1928. While during this period that majority of work at Mauser Werke was re-works they did produce the contract for three line A. F. Stoeger of New York. 

This has been recognized by most authorities as falling in the 403v-463v.   The notes of August Weiss indicated that the serial numbers 515v-524v were delivered in 1930.  This was later revised to include 400v-600v in the original Stoeger order and dated the production to the 33-34 era. Most are described made with the safe and loaded indications.


The absence of the American Eagle on the frame indicates that this Luger was probably a 'salesman's' sample to demonstrate the lettering on the right side.  Mauser was reluctant to use the term Genuine "Luger" because it implied others were not 'genuine'.  Mauser consented and the word "Genuine" can be seen as an added word in a slightly smaller font.

Exquisite in clean and beautifully finished gun prepared by Craftsman of the old school.  This is a distinctive addition to anyone's collection that wants not just the very rare three line Stoeger but one in 6" barrel and without the American Eagle customarily found.  This is the gun for the discerning collector of rare investment guns.

The front and rear of the gun show a very clean barrel in good condition and scarcely fired Luger.  Most of the Parabellums' that are commercial guns are usually very well cared for and preserved as compared the military guns that have gone to war and only later in their life do they have a custodian that cares for them.


Hallock & van de Kant report in The Mauser Parabellum that it is certain that the third line was not applied by DWM before the end of 1929 and that this may have been done by either Stoeger or Mauser on the request of Stoeger.  See Page 454 in above reference for 1922-1926 Stoegers.  The fact that Stoeger ordered and advertised different 9mm barrels lengths; the Crown U appears on a DWM Barrel that has the distinctly cut barrel band of DWM leaving open the possibility that the barrel was changed and the third line added by Stoeger to early two line alphabet guns. No one will ever know.


The inside of this Luger is as clean as the outside.  Although the gun shows some very slight wear someone has cared well for this fine Luger.  Note the vertical Crown N on the receiver. During this period the polishing before the salt blue process was extraordinary.  It is hard to find machine or tool marks on this gun. The low 4 digit serial number with the "n" suffix puts this Parabellum in the early part of 1920's with the sale of excess WWI serial numbered guns.  Probably in the first order from Stoeger and then the 3rd line added.

The pins are fire blue and nitrate straw bluing is intact on all the proper parts. Showing us nice clean lines that are crisp and definitive work of the early craftsman.

The extractor is marked GELADEN (Loaded) and when a round is in the chamber the extractor rises to give the shooter the visual and tactile recognition that the gun is loaded. Nothing in American firearms was this advanced in 1906.  The thumb safety was down for safe (GESICHERT) which began in the 1908 models as more intuitive for the shooter.

The commercial Crown N dominates the left side of the receiver and with the side plate remove we can see the sear next to the Crown N and the trigger is exposed showing the matching serial number to the gun.


The Stoeger catalogs are not, in regards to the evolution of the inscriptions, very revealing in the advertising thought process of A.F. Stoeger where, in the first catalog advertising the Luger in 1924, specifically, the emphasis is on the word “LUGER”, bearing in mind that as of 1922, Stoeger had “wrestled” the sole Luger franchise from Hugo Panzer. While Stoeger went to the effort of emphasizing the word “LUGER” yet, despite that, the 1924 catalog advertisement for the Luger made no mention of the 2-line A.F.STOEGER INC – NEW YORK.


Offered is a A.F. Stoeger 1923 produced BKIW Parabellum that has a third line added in 1920/30 for sale in the United States.  This is a 9mm Luger with an 6" (Navy 150mm) barrel, wood grips and proper wood bottom magazine. Any questions to josef@phoenixinvestmentarms.com

This gun may be withdrawn without notice for in-store sale. We reserve the right to sell any internet offering to a direct sale and do not warrant the availability of any firearm that do not have a cash deposit. 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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