This is a very rare and fine condition, all matching WWI German Model 1914 Luger manufactured by the Erfurt Arsenal in 1914, the first year of WWI. The Royal Government Arsenal at Erfurt only manufactured about 7,000 Model 1914 Lugers in 1914, by far the fewest number produced during Erfurt production during the war. The end of the 1890s and early 1900s saw great international military interest in semiautomatic weapons, particularly handguns. The famous Borchardt design and the Mauser C96 pistol are both examples of this interest at the turn of the century. The German Army ultimately settled on the Borchardt-based Luger design for its armed forces.
Initial military production of the Luger pistol, in 9mm Parabellum caliber, was limited to the Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM). The first German military organization to adopt the new Luger design was the German Navy, which approved the Model of 1906 pistol on May 12, 1905. Although the German Army tested the Luger design as early as 1901, it did not officially adopt the Luger as the standard Army sidearm until August 1908, which gave the weapon the designation Model of 1908. Initial Model of 1908 Lugers did not have chamber markings but the year of manufacture began to be marked on the chamber in 1910.
To augment DWM production, the German military ordered the establishment of Luger production at Royal Arsenal at Erfurt in January 1909. The Erfurt Arsenal was a Prussian government-owned arms factory that manufactured ammunition and rifles at Erfurt in Thuringen. Funds for production was allocated on January 16, 1909 and tooling up for Luger production began. The first Model 1908 Lugers were manufactured in early 1911 and Luger production continued through November 1918, when the last Erfurt-manufactured Lugers were produced. Erfurt only manufactured Lugers for the German military.
Luger production at Erfurt was under license from DWM and Erfurt Lugers are identical to DWM Model of 1908 Lugers. Although DWM easily met the pre-WWI military demand for Luger pistols, the German military wanted to ensure that the military supply of pistols was not affected by the fluctuations inherent to commercial production. Erfurt manufactured the standard military model Luger from 1911-1914 (known as the Model 1908) and from 1916 to 1918 (known as the Model 1914). Erfurt did not manufacture Lugers in 1915 as production was temporarily shifted to other weapons demands.
The first Lugers manufactured at Erfurt in 1911-1912 did not have hold-open devices or stock lugs. Most of these Lugers later had the hold-open device added. Approximately 10,000 Erfurt Lugers dated 1911 were manufactured and approximately 21,000 were manufactured with a 1912 date.
By directive on May 6, 1913, all Model 1908 Lugers were to be produced with the hold-open device and all existing Lugers were to be retrofitted for the device. Additionally, all Lugers delivered after August 4, 1913, were to have the stock lug added. Approximately 12,000 Erfurt Lugers were manufactured with a 1913 date. With the stock lug and hold-open device now standard, the model was changed to the Model of 1914. Approximately 7,000 Erfurt Lugers were manufactured with a 1914 date, of which this pistol is one, 80,000 with a 1916 date, 180,000 with a 1917 date and 175,000 with a 1918 date. Approximately 453,000 Model 1914 Erfurt Lugers were manufactured. In 1914, when this particular Erfurt Luger was manufactured, the serial number range ran from approximately 504 to 9448b. This Luger is in the –a suffix, so it was probably manufactured in the summer of 1914, just prior to the outbreak of the war.
The Barrel on this Erfurt Model of 1914 Luger is its original 4-inch long barrel and it retains 95% blued finish with wear noted around the muzzle. The left, rear of the barrel has the Erfurt crown proof mark. The right rear of the barrel also has an additional barrel eagle proof mark. The bottom of the Barrel is serial number matching and is marked "6902," over the muzzle diameter of the barrel at production in millimeters, "8,82." The bore still has a mirror finish on the lands with darkening grooves and the rifling is still very strong.
The Front Sight is the standard fixed front sight that is staked in place to the front sight dovetail. The Barrel witness line at the rear lines up exactly with the witness line on the Receiver (also referred to as the Barrel Extension). The Breech Face is very clean.
The Receiver, also known as the Barrel Extension, has the matching serial number "6902" on the left side and it retains 95% of its original blued finish. This Luger has the correct unrelieved Sear Bar, which wasn’t changed to the relieved style at DWM and Erfurt until 1917, and it is serial number matching with "02," and an Erfurt acceptance stamp on the raised portion and it retains 95% of its blued finish. The Sear Bar Spring retains 90% of its slightly faded fire blued finish. The Chamber Date is crisply marked "1914," and the face of the chamber is very clean with wear and thinning of the bluing in this area. The Ejector remains in the white and has a “Z” stamp. The external portion of the ejector spring retains 90% of the original straw finish and has the Erfurt eagle acceptance stamped horizontally.
The right side of the Receiver has all of the correct proof marks crisply stamped, including three Erfurt crown inspector/acceptance stamps (Crown over gothic “W,” crown over gothic “S,” and crown over gothic “B” as well as the large eagle German Army Proof Test mark. The bottom lug of the Receiver has an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp as well as a sans serif “C” assembler mark and a serif “N” and “2” stamp. The bottom rear of the receiver has a serif “A” and “S” stamp and a “7” assembly stamp.
The Frame retains 95% of its original blued finish. The Recoil Spring remains in the white and the Recoil Spring Guide appears to retain virtually all of its original blued finish The Frame itself shows almost no evidence of any corrosion ever having been present, especially on the Frame sides under the Grip Panels. The left side of the Frame, just above the trigger guard, are several stamps a serif “H” stamp and two “3” assembly stamps.
The bottom part of the Frame on both sides, which are obscured when the Grip Panels are installed, have numerous inspector marks including serif “1” and “4” stamps. The bottom of the Frame, at the magazine well opening, is an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp on the bottom rail of the stock lug and another Erfurt crown acceptance stamp over a serif “3” stamp in the magazine floor plate lug recess.
The Side Plate is serial number matching with "02" stamped on the outside adjacent to an Erfurt crown over gothic letter acceptance stamp and it retains 90% of its blued finish with wear noted on the high points. The Trigger/Sear Lever Arm is correctly in the white and the Lever Arm pin is still correctly blued. The Trigger/Sear Lever Arm also has an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp. The inside edge of the Side Plate has the assembly number “33,” which matches the corresponding spot on the frame. The only part missing on this Luger is the Holden Open device, which does not affect the functioning of the pistol.
The Frame itself has the full matching serial number "6902/a" on the nose with an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp below it on the front of the trigger guard. The Lanyard Ring is fully secured at the rear. The internal surfaces of the Frame are correctly polished in the white.
The Front Grip Strap retains 95% of its blued finish as does the Trigger Guard Bow with wear noted on the high points. The Back Strap retains 95% of its original blued finish with edge browning and a few minor dings and wear exhibited on the shoulder stock milled lug portion. The Magazine Well is polished on both the front and rear and is in fine condition with no pitting noted.
The Magazine Release checkered button is still crisp and the right, flat side exhibits 60% of the original straw finish along with an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp. The Magazine Release Spring retains 80% of its now faded fire blue finish.
The Trigger is serial number matching with "02" stamped on the top left side and an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp on the right side and it retains 95% of its straw finish with the balance worn to the white. The Trigger Spring remains in the white.
The Safety Bar is serial number matching with "02" and an Erfurt stamp on the front and it remains in the white. The Safety Lever is serial number matched with "02" stamped on the top flat, an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp on the bottom, and it retains 90% of its straw finish. The "GESICHERT" or SAFE marking is still crisply stamped. The Takedown Lever, also known as the Locking Bolt, retains 80% of its original straw finish and it is serial number matching with the serial number "02" and an Erfurt crown stamp stamped on the left side.
Both matching Grip Panels are in fine condition with very minor wear on the checkered, exterior points towards the bottom and neither panel has any chips or cracks noted. The left panel has an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp and the matching partial serial number “02” on the inside. The right panel also has the matching partial serial number “02” and an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp on the inside as well as a pencil “69,” which are the beginning of the pistol’s serial number. Both Grip Panel Screws retain 95% of their original blued finish, both with unmarred slots. Both Grip Panels fit perfectly along the Frame edges and the Panels are solid and do not move.
The Breech Block has the matching serial number "01" on the left side below the German Army Test Eagle proof stamp and an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp on the right side and it retains 95% of its blued finish. The face of the Breech Block is clean. The Breech Block Pin still retains the majority of its original fire blued finish. The Extractor is serial number matching with "02" stamped on top with 98% of its blued finish remaining on top with the sides of the Extractor still correctly in the white with the left side marked "GELADEN" or loaded on the side. The Firing Pin Spring Retainer is very clean with an unmarred single slot and it remains in the white as does the Firing Pin Spring. The Firing Pin itself remains in the white and is serial number matching with "02" stamped on the side below an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp.
The Center Toggle Link has an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp and the large crown over the serif “ERFURT” stamp and matching serial number "02," stamp and it retains 98% of its blued finish. The Rear Toggle Pin shows considerable fire blued finish on the left side with the balance starting to turn brown. The bottom of the center link has “7” assembly stamp.
The Rear Toggle Link has an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp and the matching serial number "02" stamped on the rear slope and retains 95% of its blued finish. The Coupling Link moves freely and is still in the white. On the bottom of the rear link is a “5” assembly stamp. The Rear Toggle Pin retains the majority of its original fire blue finish on both ends and it also retains considerable original fire blue finish along the barrel of the pin itself.
The Magazine is a correct WWI Erfurt-manufactured, wrap-around, tin-plated magazine with the correct wood base. The body of the magazine is in fine condition retaining the vast majority of its original tin plating. The wood base is marked with two Erfurt crown stamps and the serial number “5076/a.” The Follower and Follower Spring are still strong and it fits securely in the magazine well of the Luger and releases smoothly.
This is a very rare, fine condition and all matching WWI Erfurt Model of 1914 Luger from 1914 and it functions perfectly.
This pistol is C&R eligible This pistol will also come with an historic writeup and a CD containing all of the photos in the listing. I accept Visa and MasterCard and charge NO FEES. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like additional photos posted.