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1902 American Eagle Cartridge Counter

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1902 American Eagle Cartridge Counter

This is a DWM 1902 American Eagle Cartridge Counter in 9mm with the 100mm (4") Fat Barrel with the early dished toggles and toggle lock on the left side of the frame. This has the grip and thumb safety, walnut checkered grips and came with the decorative disc in the magazine (commonly called Swiss magazine because it started with their models). (907)


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Army Test 1902 Luger Cartridge Counter

These 9mm Lugers were manufactured for US Testing after the initial test trials resulted in unfavorable comments regarding the "stopping power" of the 7.65mm original rounds. Exactly fifty of the original guns were exchanged for the newly developed 9mm cartridge and the US was the one who modified the magazines and installed the slotted grip to indicate the number of rounds remaining.

Powell Cartridge Counter

The official designation of this grip is the Powell Indicating Device.  The slotted grip has a metal strip numbered 1-7 and works with a special magazine which is slotted on the left side and fitted with a pin assembled to the magazine floor plate.  The left side of the frame, under the grip,  is cut out to allow the pin to move fully to the top. (We have inserted dummy rounds to illustrate the cartridge indicate at #3).

1902 Cartridge Counter Luger
The frame is the early "short" frame with the long sear and no import marks or stock lug. The extractor is the early model, unnumbered.  This was really a developmental Luger with the 9mm "fat barrel".  The DWM logo (Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken) and the American Eagle are characteristic of this rare model.  As was the commercial 1902 series you can see the three digits of the serial number on the rear toggle.

The 50 Lugers of the G. H. Powell Cartridge Indicating device were ordered from the DWM agent Hans Tauscher in New York in exchange for 50 of the original test Lugers.  These were manufactured in Germany and shipped to US in April 1904 and 25 of these were subsequently shipped to the President of the Light Artillery Board in and 25 to the President of the Cavalry Board at Ft. Riley KS.


     The decision was made to begin the serial number range for the 7.65mm, 4 3/3" barrel (120mm) 1902 Luger with 10001-21999 and these ran until September 1902. In August 1902 DWM began making carbines in the 21000 range, these are the very early carbines.  

     In September 1902 DWM began to manufacture the 9mm Luger within the 22000-22999 and included in this group are the 02 American Eagle, the 02 Commercial, the late 9mm commercial carbine, the 1902 American Eagle Cartridge Counter 22401-22450 and the 1902 Danzig Luger.

     With the completion of the Cartridge Counter there were the "fat barrels" still on the shelf so DWM continued to assemble the 9mm American Eagle and Commercial Fat Barrel until they ran out. This pushed this model into 1903 when the serial numbers changed to 23000-23999.


Here is the rear toggle of the Luger which displays the three digit serial number. One of the characteristics of the true 1902 Luger is the application of three numbers of the five number serial number on various parts.  In this case the rear toggle and the lower left the grip safety and lower right at the bottom of the side plate. Truly an outstanding example of the Cartridge Counter with the known serial number range of 22401-22450.


DWM 1902 Army Test Cartridge Counter

On the left you can see the old style recoil spring and the grip safety.

Above the serial numbers on the bottom of the barrel, the locking bolt and side plate.

Beside the .45 Cal Luger this model is probably one of the most famous and most difficult to obtain.  The disposition of the 50 guns is unknown with 50 going to Ft. Riley Kansas and then 24 being shipped to Springfield Armory. Springfield Armory is known to have auctioned off the test guns for as little as $10.00.

Cartridge Counter 1902 Luger
1902 Luger DWM Right Angle

On April 10th, 1907, 24 of the Powell Indicating Device were shipped to the Springfield Armory where the Board of Officers were convened by Special Order #305 for the military tests.  Col. Philip Read was the President of this Board and he is known to have left the Armory on March 28th, 1907 so it is believed that none of the Cartridge Counters were tested by the Board.


Luger Cartridge Counter

This is one of the most coveted Lugers, prized by collectors as one of fifty documented produced.  The 1902 Cartridge Counter in 9mm was part of the US Army test guns ordered for the 1907 tests.  This is a very rare and known gun and is being offered Price On Request (POR) to the discriminating collector.

1902 US Army Test Luger


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