This is an excellent lot of not one, but "two" (2) all original and very rare, DWM Model 1900 American Eagle, U.S. Army "Test Luger" pistols with an original late production U.S. marked 1906 dated brown leather holster. These two ultra rare Lugers have been cased in a beautiful deluxe custom made, leather bound, walnut display case manufactured by the HUEY custom case company. The first pistol (SN 6069), is a beautiful example of one of the approximately 1000 test Lugers purchased by the U.S. Ordnance Department for troop trials with the U.S. Cavalry. In April 1900 the Ordnance Board authorized the order of 1000 DWM model 1900 Luger pistols, which were delivered in two separate lots; approximately 800 shipped 26 October 1901 (serial numbers approximately 6,100-7,100 range) with the remaining 200 shipped on Oct 29 1901 (serial numbers in the 7,200 range). This scarce pistol is serial number "6069" and falls slightly below the known U.S. Test Eagle serial numbers ranges, however it has the correct proof marks, indicating its originality. These test Lugers were actually produced expressly for the U.S. military when they were interested in selecting a replacement pistol for U.S. Army Model 1894 revolver chambered for the inadequate 38 Rimless cartridge. These Lugers were produced as a standard 1900 commercial Luger and were then hand selected at the DWM factory for shipment to the US Army. These Lugers are highly sought after by both German Luger collectors and U.S. martial handgun collectors as they are a key piece in any advanced collection. The most distinguishing features noted on these Test Eagle Lugers are, 1) there were no German acceptance proofmarks; 2) they lacked the typical "Germany" export markings usually found on the front of the frame or under the barrel; 3) some but not all of these test Lugers had a small German ordnance proof that resembled the U.S. Ordnance bomb proof, located inside the front frame recess area (which both of these pistols are correctly proofed) 4) the rounded portion on the opposite side of the takedown lever has the last two digits of the serial number, 5) sometimes this small DWM proof (similar to the US Ordnance proof) is stamped in front of the recoil lug located on the underside of the barrel extension and some but not all have the bottom of the wooden magazine base proofed. At the conclusion of these tests all these Lugers were deemed inadequate for U.S. military use and many were later sold to Bannermans' for resale. The top of the chamber area is correctly marked with the great Seal of the United States and are correctly serial numbered in the commercial fashion. They have all the early features such as a grip safety, old style frame, with short barrel extension, recessed breech bolt with flat extractor, dished toggles with toggle locks on the side. They have the full serial number located on the major components with the last two digits of the serial number on various smaller parts along with the backside of both grip panels. These Lugers have a deep rust blue finish with straw colored small parts. This excellent pistol is complete with a unmarked nickel plated magazine with an unmarked wooden base. This Luger as noted is complete with an original 1906 dated U.S. marked leather holster that was manufactured by the Rock Island Arsenal. This rare holster is identical to the original 1901 dated Test Eagle Luger holster however this example is marked on the back side "ROCK ISLAND/ARSENAL/1906/T.G." with the standard large embossed "US" inside the oval on the front flap. The back has the single large belt loop secured by two brass studs. As noted this excellent Luger pistol set is housed in a beautiful, leather bound, French fitted walnut display/storage case. The case holds both pistol, the original leather holster and a walnut ammunition block that holds 18 rounds of original ammunition (also included).
Excellent with 90% of the original blue finish overall with high spot wear and slight thinning of the grip straps. The various small parts retain 50% of their original straw colors. The grips are excellent with distinct, sharp checkering on both sides, mixed with some minor handling marks. As noted this excellent Luger has the small DWM proof (Ordnance style Bomb proof) inside the frame recess, the underside of the front toggle area and on the underside of the barrel extension with the last two digits of the serial number on the rounded domed portion of the takedown lever. This rare Luger has all matching numbered parts except the magazine which is unnumbered. The 1906 dated U.S. marked leather holster is excellent plus with a beautiful medium brown leather color overall, with clear sharp markings, tight stitching and a nice stiff original feel to the leather. The walnut case is as new. A superb example of an original DWM Model 1900 American Eagle Test Luger pistol.
This is the second exceptionally scarce DWM Model 1900 American Eagle U.S. Army "Test Luger" pistol in this lot. It has the following distinguishing features: 1) there are NO German Army acceptance proofmarks; 2) it lacks the typical "Germany" export markings usually found on the front of the frame or under the barrel; 3) this example also has the correct small DWM/German ordnance proof (similar to the U.S. Ordnance bomb proof) inside the front frame recess area, 4) the front flat portion of the takedown lever has the last two digits of the serial number and not the rounded portion, 5) there is a small DWM/German proof (similar to the US Ordnance proof) stamped on the underside of the barrel extension in front of the recoil lug and the walnut base of the magazine is unmarked or proofed. The chamber area is marked with the American Eagle Crest and it is numbered in the commercial fashion, with the full serial number located on the major components with the last two digits of the serial number (09) stamped on various smaller parts to include both grip panels.
Excellent with 98% of the original blue finish overall with minor edge/high spot wear and a minor gouge on the right side of the barrel. The various small parts retain 90% of their straw colors. Both grip panels are excellent with nice distinct checkering on both sides and only minor handling marks. A beautiful example of a superb pair of exceptionally nice DWM Model 1900 U.S. Army Test Luger pistols all housed in a beautiful custom display case.
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