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Luger 1908 Imperial Navy Rig     

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This is a 1908 DWM (Deutsche Waffen und Munitions Fabriken) Navy rig, built for the German Imperial Navy. This piece has a 6 inch (150mm) barreled all-matching, 9mm Parabellum with the Navy adjustable rear sight and matching Navy magazine. It comes with a belt loop original holster, period belt and Imperial Navy belt buckle, a two pouch manufactured marked magazine pouch with two matching magazines, a proofed Navy cleaning rod and a proofed Navy (Marinen) loading tool.  This is a Créme-de-la-Créme rig.      (1015)

To each of the two Naval ports of Kiel and Wilhelmshaven a Vice-Admiral was appointed as "Marine Stationschef" (Commander-in-Chief of the Station) for the Baltic and for the North Sea respectively. These Admirals were also in command of the Naval port district, including the forts, all the vessels, dockyards, and Naval resources within the jurisdiction of the station are under their authority, excepting the vessels of the "First Squadron."

The Naval School at Kiel prepared Naval cadets to become officers. The examinations to be passed by midshipmen and cadets on entering the Navy, and while on board the training-ships, were held at this school. The large number of special branches of science with which Naval officers were concerned led to instruction in gunnery and torpedo work being only given on board the school-ships. Midshipmen and Naval cadets were during the whole term of their training under the supervision of the Inspector of Education. The latter was a flag officer, who in respect to educational matters controlled the training-ships Stosch, Stein, Gneisenau, and Moltke, besides having direct control of the Naval School and the Naval Academy at Kiel. The object of the Naval Academy is to prepare officers for the higher positions in the service.


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.


This is a very difficult gun to find in such a pristine condition. The German Navy was a salt-water service and the survivability of the German Imperial fleet was not enviable.  The Parabellums were initially issued with the safety up but then with the 1908 conversion to safety down the Navy recalled all the Luger's and had the thumb safety modified.

This Navy is the classic; complete with three matching magazines. The first toggle link is marked with the DWM logo.  There is the two-position (100-200m) sight on the rear toggle link and the last two digits of the serial number appear on the rear toggle.

This Luger has the long sear, the fire blued springs, and the large flanged rear axel pin. The safeties include both the grip safety and the thumb safety.


In August 1904 the German Navy underwent testing of 5, 9mm Selbstladepistolem Model 1904 from DWM. The trial was successful and in September 1904 the Navy asked the Kriegsministerium to order 2,000 Model 1904 navy pistols as soon as possible.  Thus began to first acceptance of the 'Luger' by the German military.  The 1904 Navy incorporated the new coil mainspring, the new extractor with the loaded-chamber markings.  These "improvements" were underway during the testing an acceptance of the navy model.


Serial number placement is in the civilian ("hidden") style.  The serial number appears on the front of the frame, on the bottom of the locking bolt, on the trigger, on the bottom of the barrel, the side plate,  the left side of the receiver, and under the first toggle.

Navy cleaning rod are a collectible item in there own right as they are very rare.  This early edition has the Marinen proof on the wooden barrel and the brass tip so not to injure the barrel in cleaning. 

To the belt collector the difference between these two buckles is measured in hundreds of dollars.  The Imperial Navy began with the buckle on the left with the extended side crown  while the Army adopted the one on the right.  As the war progressed and Navy  personnel were pressed into ground duty there was an intermixing of the Army buckle to Naval personnel.  This rig has the very early, original Imperial Naval Dress Buckle. A super find for the exceptional Navy Collection.

This Luger has all matching numbers. The magazines are the ORIGINAL with the Marinen Crown Proof and the matching serial numbers. Here you can see the matching serial number of each magazine.  Truly a difficult to find rig. The two magazine pouch has the early brass post and while difficult to photograph there is a manufacturer's cartouche inside of the flap.

The interior of the Luger is in excellent condition with all the parts matching. Additionally there is a wide flanged rear toggle pin which began to appear in the Navy's.  See Kenyon Lugers at Random Page 150.


The original 1904 Model (with the toggle lock) were issued with the 'up-safe' thumb safety configurations.  So too were the original 1906 Models. The German Navy then wanted the safety moved to the downward position to match the '08 models that had been issued.

This resulted in the recalling of all the weapons issued and the thumb safety was reversed and the Geshichert was milled out (in some instances crudely filled).  So now beginning with the 1908 model we have the down-safe model which matched all the military deliveries. 


The serial numbers include the "b" suffix and above the number on the barrel is the Marinen proof.  This proof also appears on each of the magazines. The concentric ring magazine base is the characteristic of the German Imperial Navy Lugers. This Luger is identified as a curio and can be send directly to C&R licensees and above.   Questions to:  

The Crown "M" proof or Imperial Marinen was the acceptance stamp of the Navy and its application was directed by regulations that were constantly changing. The directives for the weapons were specific as the production increased some of the accessories didn't get proofed so when you find a loading tool and cleaning rod that are marked you are know as "Lucky".


Beginning in the Spring of 1906 delivery was begun for the true 'Pistole 1904'. By that time all the changes had been made to the toggle lock (eliminating) and changing the 60° dicing on the toggle-grip. There was the retention of the grip safety but the controversy over the direction of the thumb safety had begun. 


The German Navy had three dockyards — at Wilhelmshaven, Kiel and Danzig. The last named was of minor importance, at least as a fitting-out yard. The dockyard superintendent (Oberwerst Director) was a Rear-Admiral or captain, and is directly subordinate to the Secretary of State. 

The Ships Examining Commission at Kiel was responsible for the trials of ships, more especially of new ships, and for the testing of the efficiency of their fittings. At its head was a senior captain or Rear-Admiral. The pride of Kiel was its magnificent harbor, which had a comparatively uniform depth of water, averaging 40 ft., and close to the shores 20 ft. Its length is 11 miles and its breadth varied from 1/4 mile at the southern end to 4-1/2 miles at the mouth.

Its defenses, which include two forts on the west and four on the east side, all situated about 5 miles from the head of the harbor at the place (Friedrichsort) where its shores approach one another, made it a place of great strategic strength. The imperial docks (five in all) and ship-building yards were on the east side facing the town, between Gaarden and Ellerbeck, and comprised basins capable of containing the largest war-ships afloat. The imperial yard employed 7,000 hands as of 1910, and another 7,000 were employed in two large private ship-building works, the Germania (Krupp's) and Howalds'.

The W.W. represents Werft Kiel (the Naval dockyard at Kiel) weapon #10812. In addition to the matching serial numbers throughout this fine Luger, and the matching Navy magazine this weapon is unit marked.

The German military in WWI marked a large percentage of the individual weapons with unit markings.  These were a rather simple code that consisted of initials of the unit and then the weapon number. The few (comparably) Lugers issued to the German Navy, plus the losses suffered by the sinking of ships and submarines makes the unit marked Navy very hard to find.

The unit markings raise the collector value of those guns to show that not only were they of a specific model but that the individual weapon was issued to a military person, and then survived.


So within the German WWI official designation of the Pistolen 1904 (Navy) collectors have established four categories briefly distinguished as Old Model (with the right rear toggle lock, - extremely rare); the 1906 1st Issue Unaltered (thumb up-safe, no toggle lock), the 1906 1st Issue Altered (thumb down-safe, milled/filled and restamped Gesichert and finally the 2nd Issue with the manufactured down-safe configuration.


This full rig is rarely found in such a complete variation in this extraordinarily fine condition. This was set up as a holster gun with an early Imperial buckle and two pouch mag.  Probably a shipboard Master of Arms. All matching serial number plus the matching Navy magazine.


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