1908 Imperial Navy Rig

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This is a 1908 Commercial DWM  German army. This Parabellum is 9mm with a 4" (100mm) barrel that is proofed and serial numbered to the gun.  Serial number placement is in the civilian ("concealed") style. The thumb safety is marked "Gesichert" and extractor "Geladen."  This example has all matching numbers. This piece is a 4 inch (100mm) barreled 9mm Parabellum  that was intended for the  civilian market and bought by the Imperial Navy  Kaiserliche Marine and proofed with the Marinen proofs for use on shore. (633)

 This is an extraordinary war trophy; taken from destroyed home of a WWI Imperial sailor is the all matching DWM commercial Luger with the Marinen acceptance proof, a 4" holster, a period belt with the very rare Naval Colonial dress belt buckle in addition to the proofed dagger and scabbard plus the very picture of the former owner.  A colossal historical find.

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 read "Legal" for all the terms of the sale.


The extractor is marked "GELADEN". The bore is good with distinctive lands and groove.  The thumb safety is new style, and blued. The thumb safety is marked 'Gesichert' and safe is down. 

This is a standard 1914 Model gun designated by collectors. This Luger has all matching numbers. The finish is very good  and  this model has a hold open latch and stock lug. The first toggle link is marked with the S/42 Mauser code.  There is the "V" rear sight on the rear toggle link and the last two digits of the serial number appear.   This is a basic collector gun.

We have been asked to provide a picture of the Marinen proof without the application of the Lacquer-Stik so that is can be more clearly seen. It shows a shadow around the proof since it was struck on a five digit commercial gun after it was blued.

These were the guns mostly supplied to the I & II Marine Divisions that were deployed from the ships after  the battle of Jutland in May 1916. The Battle of Jutland is considered to be the only major naval battle of WWI. Jutland witnessed the British Navy losing  more ships (14 ships and over 6,000 lives) than the Germans (9 ships and over 2,500 casualties). But the German fleet was never again to be in a position to put to sea and challenge the British Navy in the North Sea.

This battle did free the Marine Divisions from sea to land duty.


A graduating class of young sailors from a Torpedo Division.

The first Seebatallion was organized on 13 May 1852 as the Royal Prussian Marinier-Korps at Stettin. This formation provided small contingents of marines to perform traditional functions such as protecting officers, general policing aboard warships and limited amphibious shore intrusions. The Seebatallion in 1870 had a strength of 22 officers and 680 non-commissioned officers and men. Battalion headquarters was then located at Kiel.

Prussian army Generalleutnant Albrecht von Stosch was appointed chief. Stosch had no experience in naval matters, but  nevertheless, brought significant administrative talents to his new post. He also perceived military power to emanate “from the tip of an army bayonet.”

SMS Rheinland show in port. At Jutland the biggest battle between battleships ever was a tactical German victory, but it did not change the strategic situation for the Hochseeflotte. Locked up in the North Sea by a British blockade, the German ships were limited to operate in North and Baltic Sea only and could not support the few ships operating outside of Europe.

SMS Hindenburg

Stosch ended the practice of placing marines aboard warships. Instead he adopted a concept that became known as Infanterieismus. He would train seamen as naval infantry, qualified in using small arms and competent in infantry tactics and amphibious operations. That approach would position the Seebatallion as a compact, self-contained organization, roughly equivalent to the British Royal Marine Light Infantry. Enlargement of the battalion to six companies allowed a reorganization and the transfer of half of the battalion to Wilhelmshaven to form the II. Seebatallion. Both battalions were then increased in size to four companies. Scheduled exchanges of officers from the Prussian army brought current tactical thinking to the sea battalions


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 down but then with the 1908 conversion to safety down the Navy recalled all the previous Lugers and had the thumb safety modified.

This Parabellum began as a 1908 commercial 9mm Parabellum.  The five digits in the serial number, the unmarked magazine and the lazy (horizontal Crown Nitro] Proof is all the evidence in addition to the lack of military inspection proofs.  It is then the extraordinary appears with the Crown M [Marinen Proof] on the left of the receiver and the bottom of the magazine we now know the gun was purchased "off-the-shelf" by the German Imperial Army and issued to the Imperial Marine.


The inside of the gun is clean and well cared for and the barrel is shiny and bears clear lands and groves. The most distinctive feature of these pistols is undoubtedly the toggle-lock mechanism, which holds the breech closed by locking in a manner not unlike the human knee, which can sustain a heavy weight when straight, but once bent is quite easy to continue to bend. The toggle joint in its straight position resists the rearward force of the detonating cartridge, then "buckles" after enough time has passed. When a round is fired the entire breech, barrel and toggle move straight rearward (on rails) until the toggle begins to ride up on a pair of cams that "breaks" the toggle (makes it bend at the joint). Once the toggle joint is no longer straight, it bends freely, allowing the bolt to come rearward, and the striker to be cocked. The spent cartridge is extracted by a combination extractor/loaded chamber indicator on the top of the toggle, is ejected as the toggle nears the end of its rearward Free Travel Info, and a new round is stripped from the magazine and chambered as the toggle is driven back to the straight position by a spring.

The Loading Tool has a Crown "T" proof (somehow substituted from the commercial with a military proofed tool) and inside the holster cover is another manufacturers cartouche dated 1915 which again indicates that when the holster was brought into the Imperial Navy jurisdiction it was re-worked and re-stamped to denote Marinen property.

Here we can see the early Imperial Naval dress (brass) belt buckles.  These are very rare and were worn by the Imperial Colonial Naval Troops and the Marines aboard the warships.  This is a unique find with all the accouterments this Imperial Sailor carried and a picture of the bearer. guns possess.


 This is a very clean gun with an excellent barrel and all matching including the 2  magazine with the dated holster. Below is the dagger with the metal sheath and a leather loop ring for belt wear. The blade has an Imperial Naval proof so this was a dagger issued to this sailor.

It is very difficult to find an all matching serial numbered gun and a matching magazine. This is a premium rig for the serious collector who demands the best in collectable Lugers.

The holster bears the 1915 Manufacture's cartouche and the "M" Marinen acceptance stamp. The leather is in good condition, soft and subtle and all parts are functional.



The sailors ("Matrosen") of the Imperial German Navy who fought on the Western Front during the First World War were issued the army M1915 Infantry Greatcoat. It was field grey with a grey-green collar with six dull metal buttons down the front, deep plain turn back cuffs and two buttoned hip pockets.

The greatcoats issued to the Matrosen differed in two ways from those issued to the army. Firstly they had no shoulder straps and secondly they had the Imperial Crown on the buttons rather than state crowns and emblems worn by army units. Officers' greatcoats were double breasted.  Below Right: Matrosen in Greatcoat w/Naval Luger and Bayonet.

Imperial German Navy Pennants and Flags.

The outbreak of the Great War saw the rapid expansion of marine forces into division size units. Drawing on Seebatallion reservists and conscripts, the naval infantry brigade under Generalmajor von Wiechmann grew into the first Marine Division; an additional Marine Division was formed in November 1914. These two divisions formed Marine-Korps-Flandern [Marine Corps Flanders] under Admiral Ludwig von Schröder (known in Germany as the "Lion of Flanders"). In early February 1917 a third Marine Division was organized thus giving the naval infantry corps a strength of 60-70,000 men.

Marine units fought in 1914 at Tsingtao and Antwerp, in 1915 at Ypres, in 1916 on the Somme, in 1917 in Flanders and during the 1918 offensive battles in northern France.


This Luger has been cared for over 105 years now. It is looking for a good home.  Most people are satisfied with al all matching Luger, some want the proofed tools and 2nd magazine while others seek the full rig with the period belt and buckle.  This ensemble adds the very rare Naval Buckle and a proofed dagger along with the picture of the owner during WWI.  It doesn't get any better than this.

The complete rig has a dagger, very similar to the boot knife carried by solders with had a metal sheath and a metal spring loaded clasp that fit inside the book.  This dagger is proofed with the Marinen proof and was designed for belt wear.

The blank bottom commercial magazines were stamped with the Marinen proof . Our Matrosen had been awarded the Iron Cross, undoubtedly a brave man in the service of the Fatherland.

Here you can see the many places where the serial number has been placed to identify all the machined parts of these Lugers.  It is truly inspiring to find proofs and serial numbers wherever you look indicating the craftsmanship these guns possess.


This excellent example of  the German 1908 Commercial Imperial  Navy  4" Luger. Purchased by the Imperial Navy for the assignment to the Marine divisions that were deployed as ground forces in Flanders during the end of the war.  This entire rig and accompanying framed photograph is  offered for $12,500.00 cash priced over-the-counter. This Luger is identified as a curio and can be send directly to C&R licensees and above.   Questions to: josef@phoenixinvestmentarms.com   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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3 Day Return Policy

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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