This is a very rare and fine condition, all matching WWI German Model 1914 Luger manufactured by the Erfurt Arsenal in 1918, the last year of WWI. The Royal Government Arsenal at Erfurt manufactured about 175,000 Model 1914 Lugers in 1918, from serial number 300 to 7538t.
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, 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.
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 and crown, and with areas of plum patina showing in places. The left, rear of the barrel has the Erfurt crown over letter eagle proof mark below the Erfurt crown over “RC” revision commission stamp. 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 "2850," over the muzzle diameter of the barrel at production in millimeters, "8,84." The bore still has a very shiny finish with moderate frosting in the grooves. 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 and remains correctly in the white.
The Receiver has the matching serial number "2850" on the left side and it retains 95% of its original blued finish. This Luger has the correct relieved Sear Bar, which was incorporated into production at DWM and Erfurt in 1917, and it is serial number matching with "50," on the relieved portion and an Erfurt acceptance stamp on the raised portion and it retains 95% of its blued finish. The Sear Bar Spring retains 95% of its fire blued finish. The Chamber Date is crisply marked "1918," and the face of the chamber is very clean with no wear. The Ejector remains in the white. The external portion of the ejector spring retains beautiful 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 “M,” crown over gothic “F,” and crown over gothic “B” as well as the large eagle German Army Proof Test mark. There is also a crown over “RC” stamp, which is the Revisions Commission stamp. This stamp was placed when a particular part or assembled weapon was flagged for some reason and, if the part of weapon passed a thorough acceptance by the inspectors assigned to the commission, then it was stamped and accepted into service. The bottom, front, right rail has script “c,” “a” and “n” inspection stamps. The bottom lug of the Receiver has numerous inspection and assembly stamps. There are also numerous inspection and assembly stamps on the rear legs of the receiver.
The Breech Block has the matching serial number "50" on the left side below the German Army Test Eagle proof stamp and an Erfurt crown over “B” 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 "50" 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 top of the extractor has an Erfurt crown over Gothic letter stamp. The Firing Pin Spring Retainer is very clean with an unmarred single slot, and it remains in the white. The Firing Pin Spring remains in the white. The Firing Pin itself remains in the white and is serial number matching with "50" stamped on the side below an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp. There is an “D” stamp on the firing pin flange.
The Center Toggle Link has an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp and the large crown over the serif “ERFURT” stamp and matching serial number "50," stamp and it retains 98% of its blued finish. The Rear Toggle Pin shows considerable fire blued finish on the sides. The bottom of the center link has numerous assembly stamps.
The Rear Toggle Link has an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp and the matching serial number "50" stamped on the rear slope and retains 95% of its blued finish. On the right side of the rear link is an Erfurt crown over “F” acceptance stamp. The Coupling Link moves freely and is still in the white. On the bottom of the rear link are sans serif “N,” and “D” assembly stamps as well as a serif “E” 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 Frame retains 95% of its original blued finish. The Recoil Spring retains the majority of its straw finish, 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 including an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp, a serif “C” stamp, and a serif “20” mating number stamp. The bottom part of the Frame on both sides, which are obscured when the Grip Panels are installed, have numerous inspector marks.
The Hold Open Latch and Spring remains in the white, with a fire tempered end spring, and is serial number matched with a "50" and an Erfurt crown and gothic “f” stamp on the top surface. The Side Plate is serial number matching with "50" stamped on the outside adjacent to an Erfurt crown over gothic “F” acceptance stamp and it retains 75% of its blued finish with wear noted on the high points and on the sear hump and rear portion. 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 extension leg of the Side Plate has a serif “20” mating stamp, which matches the mating stamp on the frame.
The Frame itself has the full matching serial number "2850/n" on the nose with an Erfurt crown acceptance stamp and the crown over “RC” Revision Commission stamp below it on the front of the trigger guard over a Gothic “f” stamp. 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 retains the majority of its original straw finish. The Magazine Release Spring retains 100% of its beautiful fire blue finish.
The Trigger is serial number matching with "50" stamped on the top left side and an Erfurt crown “RC” revision commission on the right side and it retains 90% of its straw finish with the balance worn to the white. The Trigger Spring retains the majority of its original straw finish.
The Safety Bar is serial number matching with "50" stamped on the front and it remains in the white. The Safety Lever is serial number matched with "50" stamped on the top flat and it retains 90% of its straw finish. The bottom edge of the Safety Bar has an Erfurt crown inspection stamp. The "GESICHERT" or SAFE marking is still crisply stamped, and it still retains all of its original white paint. The Takedown Lever, also known as the Locking Bolt, retains 70% of its original straw finish and it is serial number matching with the serial number "50" and an Erfurt crown over “RC” revision commission stamp.
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 over gothic “F” acceptance stamp and the matching partial serial number “50” on the inside. The right panel also has the matching partial serial number “50” stamp and a “5” stamp. Both Grip Panel Screws retain 90% of their original bright, heat-tempered blued finish, with unmarred single-slots. Both Grip Panels fit perfectly along the Frame edges and the Panels are solid and do not move.
The Magazine is the original and matching WWI wrap-around, tin-plated magazine with the correct wood base marked “2850/n” on the bottom over an Erfurt Crown over “f” stamp. The Follower and Follower Spring are still strong, and it fits securely in the magazine well of the Luger and releases smoothly.
This Luger also comes with a fine condition and correct WWI Luger Holster. This holster retains the vast majority of its original brown finish with small areas of wear through the original finish. The original buckle and strap are present with crazing on the strap at the bend. All of the original stitching remains. There is an original loading tool in the tool pouch in the top of the flap. The underside of the flap is maker marked with a rectangle that has “HANDWERKSKAMMER / DARMSTADT,” and the top line is unreadable.
This is a very fine and all matching, complete WWI Erfurt Model of 1914 Luger Rig from 1918 and it functions perfectly.