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CptCurlAdministrator
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DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100
      #317757 - 04/07/18 09:34 PM

I posted this over on one of the Luger forums and thought I might share it here also.

The Luger is the descendant of Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson. Let me run you through its interesting ancestry.

In the early 1850s Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson designed the Volcanic Repeating Pistol, the basis of which was a breech loading toggle action.

This design was improved, and in due course morphed into the Henry Repeating Rifle.

Steady improvement of the design resulted in the Winchester Mod. 1866 and Winchester Mod. 1873, both of which operated by a toggle action.

In 1884 Hiram Maxim had the idea of using recoil momentum to initiate the opening of the locked toggle action, thus making it capable of automatic fire. His historic machine gun changed warfare forever.

Hugo Borchardt consolidated these concepts into the design of his Model C93, the first commercially successful semi-automatic pistol. It operated by way of a toggle action kicked open by levers activated by the initial recoil of the fired round.

Finally, Georg Luger, an engineer and designer employed by Ludwig Loewe & Company, which was later absorbed by DWM, applied his expertise to this progression to design, by the year 1900, the Parabellum pistol, most commonly known as the Luger.

It's an interesting heritage with American, British, and German connections!

So now, I present you with a verbatim rendition of my post over on the Luger forum:

DWM Model 1902 Luger Carbine s/n 50100




I was born in the mid-1950s and grew up in a time when the Luger had tremendous mystique. In those days you could order a "surplus" Luger from the back of a magazine for something like $25. Every kid wanted one.

Then came 1968 and the laws that put an end to mail order guns. Still the Luger was a dream gun. I was in my mid-teens with my only source of money the few dollars I could earn in summers mowing grass. I couldn't buy one for myself.

For reasons I don't understand, the interest for guns took hold of my brain. I wanted to be a pistolero! My first handgun came to me at Christmas of 1966. It was a Ruger Standard .22 semi-automatic. The profile of that pistol is copied directly from the Luger. I loved that gun and shot it often; but man, I wanted a Luger.

A few years later, I think 1968, I got my first Luger - a 9mm P.08 marked "byf" on the toggle (Mauser code) and "41" over the chamber. It was a very common WW2 Luger in good condition and all matching except for its magazine and right grip panel. I was already into loading 9mm ammo using a Lyman 310 tool, as my first center fire pistol had been a bring-back P.38 a year or two before. Shooting this Luger was great fun.

Over the years I acquired a few Lugers, but their rapidly escalating prices made it hard along the way. I've posted a few on this forum in past years. Always on my bucket list was a 1902 Luger carbine.

Now I'm in my mid-60s. Many of life's experiences and challenges are in my rear view mirror. Just recently I ticked off another bucket list item: I corralled my Luger carbine. Yes, Kaiser Wilhelm II had one, Teddy Roosevelt had one, and now I have one!



ARGUABLY THIS IS THE VERY LAST OLD MODEL PARABELLUM EVER PRODUCED.

Woah! That's a whopping big statement. There are a lot of Luger collectors who will shake their heads from side to side.

The short argument, based on facts, goes like this:

* In 1904 DWM capped off its production of Old Model Lugers with a run of about 1600 carbines numbered from about 23400 to 25000, which was intended to be the end of Old Model production.

* This inventory of carbines slowly sold off; but as it dwindled, DWM still had on hand a trove of Old Model parts (even though the Old Model hadn't been produced since 1904.

* DWM had made one or more prototypes, and also some presentation carbines in the New Model pattern, but they didn't feel that a full production run was in their economic interest. To do a production run of New Model carbines would require further engineering and significant setup.

* To meet a residual demand for carbines, DWM assigned a block of serial numbers, 50001-50100, to a short production run of 100 carbines that would utilize the last remnants of Old Model parts still in inventory. This run required no engineering, as these carbines are identical to the older production carbines. It would use parts that otherwise would be scrapped. They made the run.

* This carbine is #50100.

In the great reference work, The Borchardt & Luger Automatic Pistols, (Vol. II, at page 602) the authors discuss the end of Old Model production, summing it up like this:

". . . from ca. sn. 22470, are a long block of nearly a thousand 9/100 mm short frame pistols, mostly with the US Great Seal impressed over the chamber, from a known low of 22471 to ca. sn. 23400, above which, with few exceptions, are a block of ca. 1600 carbines, from sn. 23400 - 25000, which is the end of the Old Model serial range. About 100 standard Old Model carbines occupying the 50000 - 50100 block in the commercial serial number range were assembled from surplus components, probably in late 1911 / early 1912, since they bear crown/BUG proofing applied before the change to crown/N commercial proof in 1912."

Let me present a photo array. I'm not proud of this photography and it was done in hasty fashion. I was not using my normal photography setup. Believe it or not, all these photos were taken with my phone. In fact, I took them in my bedroom with only indirect natural light. The pistol and its parts were spread out on the bed.

I have tried to document this interesting pistol in hope of generating discussion. I'm a bit hesitant, because so many on this forum are experts and I am not.

It's a gorgeous example showing very little use. It has all original finishes and a perfect, like new, bore. All parts match.

The Swiss gave the Parabellum its start with the first order in the year 1900. It's poetically appropriate to see that this, quite possibly the last Old Model carbine, bears the Geneva cross in sunburst and evidently was intended for sale in Switzerland. With the piece is what appears to be a Swiss military cleaning kit or accessory (the brass bottle). I have seen these paired with surplus Sig P210 pistols. This accessory is embossed with the Swiss cross, both on its body and on its cap.

The sling appears to be original, and on inspection it certainly seems to be of proper age.

I had the old unopened box of Peters ammo. I know it's not carbine ammo, but the empty compartment called out for a box of ammo, and it had to be old.

The pistol is in a very old case that markedly resembles the cases discussed in Gortz & Sturgess. To my eye the case is contemporary to the pistol, though it may have been re-lined.













































































































Finally, let me close by saying I know the arguments to refute the claim that this is the last Old Model Parabellum. Nobody can ever know for sure.

Thanks for your patience.

Curl

--------------------
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YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



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lancaster
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: CptCurl]
      #317763 - 05/07/18 01:04 AM

magnificent and congratulation

if you look for a semi auto pistol THIS is the top, you can not get higher
do you wish to shoot it?

--------------------
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.
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CptCurlAdministrator
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: lancaster]
      #317764 - 05/07/18 02:56 AM

Lancaster,

Thanks for your comment.

I do not plan to shoot it. There is too much history of failure of the flat mainspring of the Old Model Parabellum. This one is ~107 years old, which gives the mainspring all that time to crystallize, take a set, and become brittle. With my luck it would snap.

If it were a New Model Parabellum I certainly would shoot it. The coil mainspring was a substantial improvement, as you know.

I think this very pistol deserves a special place in history. It his the highest serial number of the last block of numbers assigned to Parabellum carbine production. That batch of carbines were made a full eight years or more after Old Model production had ceased. So this pistol has the best claim of being, not only the very last Old Model carbine, but the very last Old Model Parabellum of any configuration. I'm glad to have it and feel very fortunate.

Curl

--------------------
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YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



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lancaster
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: CptCurl]
      #317767 - 05/07/18 04:46 AM

yes, a broken part would be a personal black friday

--------------------
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93x64mm
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: lancaster]
      #317771 - 05/07/18 06:50 AM

What a wonderful bit of history there CC, glad it's gone to someone like yourself who more than appreciates the linage & workmanship of this magnificent piece of working art!
No you simply can't put a price on history & whatever you paid for it was worth every bit of blood, sweat & tears!
Thankyou for sharing with us mere mortals!
93x64mm


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Daryl_S
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: 93x64mm]
      #317772 - 05/07/18 09:50 AM

That's REALLY nice.

Curly - I WISH to shoot it, however, will defer to your greater wisdom. It is going to be a pleasure to handle this treasure - & perhaps get a photo for the forum - with me in it, of course1 Be jealous, boys!

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Iowa_303s
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: Daryl_S]
      #317773 - 05/07/18 12:30 PM

Thanks for the history and photos CC.
That truly is a magnificent piece

--------------------
Matt

formerly known as Iowa_303

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FlatTop45
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: Iowa_303s]
      #317776 - 05/07/18 04:51 PM

Thanks for posting and all the great pics! The Luger Carbine is one of my bucket list guns also and has been ever since I was a teenager. I remember the first time I ever saw one was on the cover of the August 1980 issue of the American Rifleman and I've been in love with them ever since. That issue also had an article about the Luger carbines Kaiser Wilhelm used as his personal hunting rifles (I seem to recall something about him having a bad arm and so he couldn't use a standard hunting rifle).

In my opinion, these carbines beautifully bridge the gap between classic walnut and blued steel hunting rifles and the modern, semi-automatic sporting rifles of today. I understand and agree with your decision not to risk shooting it, but on the other hand, wouldn't it be wonderful to hunt with it just once!

J


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CptCurlAdministrator
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: FlatTop45]
      #317780 - 05/07/18 09:04 PM

Oh it would be wonderful to shoot it with no fear.

The age is not the issue. Made about 1911, I have many older guns that I regularly shoot without second thought. It's just that dang mainspring.

Here's what Gortz and Sturgess say about the issue:

". . . they should be regarded only as non-firing collector pieces, as must all Borchardt pistols in virtually any condition.
***
The leaf main springs and extractors of Borchardt pistols and Old Model Parabellums are now all more than 100 years old, and the mainsprings have been subjected to continuous stress while assembled in the action for that period. They will consequently have taken a permanent set as well as being prone to age crystallisation and brittleness, which will inevitably lead to fracture on firing sooner or later."

Gortz, Joachim and Sturgess, Geoffrey, The Borchardt and Luger Automatic Pistols, Vol. III, page 1617.

You must appreciate the fact that it was the weakness and relative unreliability of the leaf mainspring of the Old Model that led to its re-design into the New Model that eventually became the reliable and ubiquitous P.08.

Old Model guts:





New Model guts:





Thanks for all the comments on this wonderful piece. Please keep the discussion going.

Curl

--------------------
RoscoeStephenson.com

YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



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tinker
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: CptCurl]
      #317786 - 06/07/18 01:43 AM

Very nice!


So many details.
Such great condition!

--------------------
--Self-Appointed Colonel, DRSS--



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Daryl_S
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: tinker]
      #317787 - 06/07/18 01:49 AM

Easy to see the potential problem with that double buggy whip spring.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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lancaster
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: Daryl_S]
      #317790 - 06/07/18 04:12 AM

some times ago I had such a spring for sale coming from a gunmaker estate, think its gone for +/- 150 euro

my gunmaker had a parabellum hunting carbine projekt on stock for me

9mm DWM action allready with the long barrel but not ready. talked with mister wagner about it and he will make it ready for relativly small money. this would be a pistol I can shoot until the barrel glows.





Mister Wagner making such replicas with original DWM Parabellum actions for many years
http://www.wagner-eltze.de/waffen/aktion-lugerjagdkarabiner/

--------------------
Norwegian hunter misses moose, shoots man on toilet
.
bringing civilisation to the barbarians


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Waidmannsheil
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: lancaster]
      #317792 - 06/07/18 04:38 AM

Curl, very, very nice and great to see so complete, well done. As to the the leaf spring, I am not that convinced of the explanation given. Plenty of old clocks and watches around that are hundreds of years old with springs that still work, some under horrendous stress.Same with lots of other old guns. We get classic cars in all the time that have springs just as old that are still being driven regularly on the original springs. As the springs are heat treated you normally don't get crystallization of steel, plus the steel used was pretty good and that spring is very long which reduces the stress. Still I wouldn't want to be the one to tell you to shoot it and have the spring break. Considering that the spring is not very complicated, why don't you get a new one made and fit that so that you can shoot it.
Anyway, glad to see that you finally fulfilled a dream. Good on you.

Waidmannsheil.

--------------------
There is nothing wrong with vegetarian food, so long as there is meat with it.


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lancaster
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: Waidmannsheil]
      #317793 - 06/07/18 05:00 AM

it could be that all part will stand shooting the pistol but if only the smallest part will break ...
you never know until its happen

--------------------
Norwegian hunter misses moose, shoots man on toilet
.
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Homer
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: lancaster]
      #317801 - 06/07/18 08:53 AM

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Donuts!
Thanks for sharing Cpt Curl and Lancaster.

Avagreatweekendeh!
Homer

--------------------
"Beware the Lolly Pop of Mediocrity,
Lick it Once and You Will Suck Forever"


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Ahmed577
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: Homer]
      #317805 - 06/07/18 11:04 AM

One of my mistakes was to sell my mauser carbine. I never knew what it really was. I am sure it is now a treasured possession in the hands of an avid admirer.

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Vladymere
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: Ahmed577]
      #317810 - 06/07/18 12:06 PM

I don't know if the spring is numbered to the pistol or not. You don't want to damage a numbered part on a safe queen though as it can never be replace with an original numbered part.

Clocks and watches can have springs replaced without compromising the originality of the antique piece.

Vlad


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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: lancaster]
      #317821 - 06/07/18 06:50 PM

Quote:

some times ago I had such a spring for sale coming from a gunmaker estate, think its gone for +/- 150 euro

my gunmaker had a parabellum hunting carbine projekt on stock for me

9mm DWM action allready with the long barrel but not ready. talked with mister wagner about it and he will make it ready for relativly small money. this would be a pistol I can shoot until the barrel glows.





Mister Wagner making such replicas with original DWM Parabellum actions for many years
http://www.wagner-eltze.de/waffen/aktion-lugerjagdkarabiner/




If only such a shooting replica was legal here. As a non-collector shooting firearm. Classed as an (illegal) semi-auto rifle here with a stock attached. As a handgun, not a problem. The stock would have to go missing ...

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
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"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: Vladymere]
      #317822 - 06/07/18 06:52 PM

I was thinking also whether a replacement spring could be fitted, to allow it to be shot.

Good buy Curl. Congratulations.

Did not know there was a difference between early and later Lugers.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

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CptCurlAdministrator
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: lancaster]
      #317828 - 06/07/18 09:09 PM

Quote:

some times ago I had such a spring for sale coming from a gunmaker estate, think its gone for +/- 150 euro

my gunmaker had a parabellum hunting carbine projekt on stock for me

9mm DWM action allready with the long barrel but not ready. talked with mister wagner about it and he will make it ready for relativly small money. this would be a pistol I can shoot until the barrel glows.





Mister Wagner making such replicas with original DWM Parabellum actions for many years
http://www.wagner-eltze.de/waffen/aktion-lugerjagdkarabiner/





Lancaster, that looks like a wonderful rendition of the Luger carbine. I hope you can acquire it and have it finished. If so, be sure to give a full report.

Curl

P.S. I just looked at the website. His price seems very reasonable. The carbine - 2310 euros, the case - 249 euros; total 2559 euros. With the exchange rate now at 1.17, that's approximately US$3,000. Of course, there is the added cost of import fees, custom duty, and shipping. Still, that's very inexpensive.

I'm not clear on whether he supplies the original pistol or whether the customer supplies it. Do you know the answer?

Like you say, "Shoot until the barrel glows." Lancaster, for goodness sake get one and give a full report!

Curl

Edited by CptCurl (06/07/18 09:20 PM)


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CptCurlAdministrator
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: Vladymere]
      #317829 - 06/07/18 09:27 PM

Quote:

I don't know if the spring is numbered to the pistol or not. You don't want to damage a numbered part on a safe queen though as it can never be replace with an original numbered part.

Clocks and watches can have springs replaced without compromising the originality of the antique piece.

Vlad






To my knowledge, the spring is not a numbered part.

Perhaps someone makes replacement springs and extractors. If those replacement parts can be had reasonably, I would most likely be game to install the replacement parts and go at it for a few magazines, then put the originals back. Not much risk there. I think maybe I'll go over to the Luger forum and ask about availability of these parts.

Curl

P.S. Replacement springs for the New Model (coil mainspring) are no problem. Wolff lists them for $7.89. No listing for the leaf mainspring of the Old Model on Wolff's website, unfortunately.

--------------------
RoscoeStephenson.com

YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



Edited by CptCurl (06/07/18 09:30 PM)


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Daryl_S
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: CptCurl]
      #317837 - 07/07/18 01:51 AM

Dang! Keep looking!

--------------------
Daryl


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lancaster
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: CptCurl]
      #317839 - 07/07/18 01:55 AM

not sure but the Model 1900 Swiss Parabellum must have the same construction and this parts are available.





for a gallery load its maybe possible to shoot a .308 roundball only with a 209 Magnum shotgun primer. just drill a 7,65mm Parabellum case out for this primer.
this would be a cartridge that did not cicle the action but could bring a roundball on airgun velocity.


wait a minute ...


here it is
http://www.lugerman.com/Pages/MainPages/Parts.html

Lower Frame Parts: 33 A
Main Spring Flat 1900, 1902 and Carbine
$150
2 on stock

--------------------
Norwegian hunter misses moose, shoots man on toilet
.
bringing civilisation to the barbarians


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lancaster
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: CptCurl]
      #317845 - 07/07/18 05:47 AM

Quote:

Quote:

some times ago I had such a spring for sale coming from a gunmaker estate, think its gone for +/- 150 euro

my gunmaker had a parabellum hunting carbine projekt on stock for me

9mm DWM action allready with the long barrel but not ready. talked with mister wagner about it and he will make it ready for relativly small money. this would be a pistol I can shoot until the barrel glows.





Mister Wagner making such replicas with original DWM Parabellum actions for many years
http://www.wagner-eltze.de/waffen/aktion-lugerjagdkarabiner/





Lancaster, that looks like a wonderful rendition of the Luger carbine. I hope you can acquire it and have it finished. If so, be sure to give a full report.

Curl

P.S. I just looked at the website. His price seems very reasonable. The carbine - 2310 euros, the case - 249 euros; total 2559 euros. With the exchange rate now at 1.17, that's approximately US$3,000. Of course, there is the added cost of import fees, custom duty, and shipping. Still, that's very inexpensive.

I'm not clear on whether he supplies the original pistol or whether the customer supplies it. Do you know the answer?

Like you say, "Shoot until the barrel glows." Lancaster, for goodness sake get one and give a full report!

Curl




for 2310 euro you get the parabellum carbine from Wagner without deliver an basic pistol for the rebuild.

I have allready bought the DWM made Parabellum for 300 euro from an estate but its on stock with my gunmaker until the project starts so dont needing a licence until.
the pistol was a carbine project before but the gunmaker was dying after give the pistol a new barrel in carbine lenght. Wagner told me it will cost 1200 -1400 euro to make it ready.

--------------------
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.
bringing civilisation to the barbarians


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Waidmannsheil
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: Vladymere]
      #317916 - 09/07/18 08:47 PM

Actually that is not quite correct. If you have a clock or watch made by a famous maker than originality of parts increases the price dramatically. A Patek Phillipe for example is worth a lot more if no parts have been replaced which Patek themselves can tell you after inspecting.

I was actually suggesting a replacement spring to use instead of the original so the Curl could shoot the gun.

Waidmannsheil.

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CptCurlAdministrator
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Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: Waidmannsheil]
      #321327 - 07/11/18 11:16 PM

Quote:

Actually that is not quite correct. If you have a clock or watch made by a famous maker than originality of parts increases the price dramatically. A Patek Phillipe for example is worth a lot more if no parts have been replaced which Patek themselves can tell you after inspecting.

I was actually suggesting a replacement spring to use instead of the original so the Curl could shoot the gun.

Waidmannsheil.




Matt,

Wouldn't it have been glorious to have shot this carbine in one of the events at the BGRC on August 5? Great seeing you there.

Curl

--------------------
RoscoeStephenson.com

YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



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Waidmannsheil
.400 member


Reged: 19/04/13
Posts: 1623
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: CptCurl]
      #321333 - 08/11/18 06:19 AM

Yes Curl, I agree. I am not a handgun person generally although I do have an interest in Luger's, Mauser Broomhandle's and Webley revolvers, in other words the sort of side arms that used to be carried on Safari.
We have talked about including a handgun event for just such weapons however the legalities and Police requirements here in Victoria mean that setting up such events are just too difficult. Maybe in the future.

Yes, we had a good shoot that day with perfect weather. We all enjoyed having you and your wife as guests, hopefully you both can make it again one day.

Matt.

--------------------
There is nothing wrong with vegetarian food, so long as there is meat with it.


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CptCurlAdministrator
.416 member


Reged: 01/05/04
Posts: 4992
Loc: Alleghany County, Virginia, US...
Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: Waidmannsheil]
      #321336 - 08/11/18 07:54 AM

Matt,

You ought to see my Broomhandle Mauser! Almost like new. I guess I should photograph it and post here on NE.com.

Curl

--------------------
RoscoeStephenson.com

YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



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Waidmannsheil
.400 member


Reged: 19/04/13
Posts: 1623
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Re: DWM Mod. 1902 Parabellum Carbine ~ 50100 [Re: CptCurl]
      #321341 - 08/11/18 08:43 AM

That would be very nice, would love to see it.

Matt.

--------------------
There is nothing wrong with vegetarian food, so long as there is meat with it.


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