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Selling: September 10, 2011

Lot 3127: DWM - Luger

Sold for DWM - Luger
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The Finest Known Historical U.S. DWM Model 1902 American Eagle Cartridge Counter Luger Pistol Serial Number 22430 with Holster
Estimated Price: $50,000 - $90,000
Serial #DWM - Luger ManufacturerDWM ModelLuger
TypePistol Gauge9 Mm Luger Catalog Page220
Barrel4 Inch Round FinishBlue GripWalnut
Stock ClassCurio & Relic Handgun RatingSee Condition
DescriptionOne of only 50 produced, all in the 22401-22450 serial number range, this specimen, is a superb example of an extremely rare 1902 DWM Luger that has been fitted with the unique "Powell Indicating Device", commonly called a "Cartridge Counter" on the left side of the grip. Produced on order from the U.S. Board of Ordnance circa 1902-1903, the Cartridge Counter model is nearly identical to the 1900 Model Test Luger, with the addition of the Powell Device, which consisted of a magazine configured to have a cutout and guide screw extending through the left side, and a 3 1/4" long slot in the left grip, aligned to match the magazine, with a guide numbered one through seven and a celluloid window to protect the internals. The screw, connected to the magazine follower, rests at the "7" position when loaded, advancing upward with the follower as rounds are discharged, permitting the soldier to determine his remaining rounds by merely looking at the grip. With this upgrade, the 1902 Lugers were issued to the Cavalry and Light Artillery Boards at Ft. Riley, Kansas on April 19,1904 for field testing. Issuing their final report on July 4, 1904, the Cavalry Board recommended that these Lugers not be adopted for service. Because of this rejection, a new set of trials would be called in 1905, which eventually led to the development and adoption of the U.S. 1911 pistol. Blade front and notch rear sights, with the "fat barrel" profile, American Eagle on the chamber, recessed breech bolt, dished toggles with the toggle lock on the right side, as produced during this time frame, and "DWM" on the toggle link. High polish rust blue finish overall, with 'straw' colored lock bolt, trigger, magazine release ejector, extractor, toggle lock and safety lever which is polished bright under the "safety position". The grip screws and pins have a niter blue finish. The pistols have a grip safety with the first model thumb safety lever. Matching full numbers on the barrel and frame, with matching partial numbers on the latch, side plate, trigger, toggle links, extension, and breechblock. Checkered walnut grips with the aforementioned Powell Device, and a properly fitted nickel magazine with wood base and nickel accent discs. With a brown leather flap holster, which bears the stamp of the Ordnance Corps on the flap. Reportedly, this pistol was purchased directly from Springfield Arsenal by one Donald Whittemore, subordinate to Colonel Glenn P. Wilhelm and Springfield armorer during WWI. Whittemore placed the pistol in storage, where it remained for over 50 years, thus explaining the superb condition of this piece.

ConditionExcellent, bordering on near new, with over 99% of the original blue finish, showing only the smallest amount of minor handling marks overall. Grips are excellent, with some minor shrinking and yellowing of the correct celluloid cartridge window, a few dark spots, and crisp checkering. Holster is very fine, showing a few minor scuffs. Mechanically excellent. This is the finest example of the 1902 Cartridge Counter Luger in the entire world. The Crown Jewel of Luger or American Martial Automatic Pistol collecting.
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SHIPPING CHARGES. All shipping charges must be paid by the successful bidder prior to delivery of the firearm. If Rock Island Auction (RIAC) is asked to ship the purchased lots, there will be a separate charge for such shipping. Shipping charges will be based upon what it costs RIAC to ship the purchased lots to the purchaser. All items must have shipping insurance; this insurance is mandatory. RIAC will not charge any labor charges for shipping. RIAC is not liable for any acts of omissions in packaging or shipping. Purchased lots handled by outside carriers or packers, including those RIAC may have recommended, may carry their own insurance and any claims for losses or damages should be addressed directly to the outside carriers or packers. RIAC will arrange for packing and shipping at RIAC’s earliest possible convenience. RIAC will attempt to ship as soon as possible; however, due to RIAC’s high volume of absentee bids, shipping can take up to two weeks after full payment is received. In the case of crating or any exceptional packaging, the purchaser will be charged RIAC’s cost from outside agents. Purchaser pays shipping, packing materials, and insurance charges. The shipping of any purchased items outside of the United States is hereby classified as “foreign export”. All foreign export is the sole responsibility of the purchaser.