1900 American Eagle  Parabellum  SSOLD

Genuine German Luger - Largest Variety of Lugers Offered
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This is a 1900 Model, 7.65mm (.30 Cal Luger), the "old model" transitional frame with a Type II thumb safety and is not marked but is polished with the extractor the old style leaf type. The Luger has all matching  serial numbers and a  grip squeeze safety.  There is an "American Eagle" from the US Great Seal over the Chamber and the DWM (Deutsche Waffen-und Munitionsfabriken AG) on the first toggle link.  This  Luger has all the characteristics of the American Eagle Test Luger of the US Military Test Guns from the trials conducted in 1901, however it is at the high end of the Test Listings and does not appear on the Bannerman purchases of the used Test Parabellums.  (1819)

One of the things "known" about Lugers is that international law required guns made for commercial sales must show the country of origin.  Usually this was done on the early Lugers by placing "Germany" on the front of the frame under the serial number.  This gun does exhibit this 'commercial' designation. It also does not have the "German" import mark required by customs for any weapon entering the US. This is one of the classic Lugers exported by DWM to the United States as a very early commercial model.


On March 9, 1901 the United States Board of Ordinance and Fortifications , through the commanding officer, LTC Frank H. Phipps ordered a meeting of the board with Mr. Hans Tauscher, the DWM factory representative at which the Mr. Tauscher procured to Parabellums for preliminary test and evaluation of the Board.  On March 18th, 1901 with Mr. Tauscher present the tests began and after several days of testing the expended 2000 rounds and recommended the U.S. Army purchase sufficient Lugers (1000) to hold field testing trials and evaluation.  Actual cost was $15,630 or $14.75 per Luger and $.88 per extra magazine (Wow).


The frame is the old "long" model with the American Eagle seal over the chamber. The thumb safety is not marked but it is polished and extractor the old leaf model. The thumb safety is the 2nd design in the evolution of the Parabellum, rounded with dicing and represents a very early edition.  This Luger has all matching numbers. The barrel is numbered and proofed and matches the frame.

The frame is the old model with the American Eagle seal over the chamber. The thumb safety is the Type II The safety is the squeeze grip with the thumb safety "safe" in the up position. The Serial Number is 4 digits with no "Germany" marked export stamp. These models did not have a stock lug but do have a hold open.

This Parabellum is all matching;  the magazine  is correct and does not exhibit any serial number; however the early DWM proof is on the base. Not too often do you find a 1900 with such minimal exterior wear, let along the distinctive fire-blued toggle connecting pins.  The barrel shows signs of the early frosting of the corrosive primers but this should not affect ballistics if anyone is inclinded to shoot a 115 yr old gun.

Left: You can see on the bottom of the magazine what some people believe is the flaming bomb insignia of the US Ordinance Corps. It is really an early DWM proof with the two extensions not touching. On the right you can see the close up of the Great Seal of the United States which DWM applied to the 1900 and 1906 models as a sales tool for the American public.  The Swiss were so impressed by the early Swiss Cross that DWM had the American Eagle initially engraved and then roll stamped into the chamber and so began a long series of contract guns stamped with nationality symbols.


This model is a  hold open variation. The first toggle link is marked with the DWM monogram. The safety is the squeeze grip with the thumb safety "safe" in the up position. Note the rebated trigger guard. The Serial Number is 4 digits with no small letter suffix characteristic of the commercial models which were numbered consecutively until 1923. No Stock Lug present.

Above Right: On some of the earlier numbered Test Eagles there was of placing  the last two digits of the serial number on the rounded side of the locking lever. This practice was soon stopped due to the difficulty of proofing on the rounded material plus the space one had to work with.  The placement of the serial number on the left exterior of the locking lever is an anomaly in the presentation of these 1900 Lugers, not seen before or after on commercial Lugers.


One thousand test Lugers (7.65 cal) were delivered to the U. S. Springfield Armory in late 1901. Most were distributed to U.S. Cavalry troops involved in police actions in the Philippines and Cuba. As the American Cavalry troops had used revolvers (Colt .45 and .38) for over 30 years, the small caliber, complex Luger, was viewed with some suspicion and not readily accepted.

There were complaints as to small caliber, safety while riding from horseback, and unreliable action. As a result of these reports 50 Lugers in caliber 9mm were briefly tested by the Army in 1904-1906 and three Lugers in .45 caliber were tested in 1907. The Luger was rejected by the U.S. Army in favor of the Colt M1911 in 45 caliber.

The characteristics that separate these U.S.-American Eagle-Test Lugers from other Model 1900 Lugers are: the lack of proofs, the lack of a "GERMANY" import stamp, and the last two digits of the Lugers serial numbers on the right end of the takedown lever (instead of the left lower side) on the early models.

 In 1904, 50 of the Lugers were ordered in the 9mm configuration with the Powell Cartridge Indicating device installed.  these are believed to come from the original purchase which were shipped back to Germany, reworked, refurbished and had the G.H. Powell Cartridge Device and special magazine installed.  This took some time and these were received in 1904 and shipped to Ft Riley KS (25) and 25 to the President of the Calvary Board. On April 10, 1907 Ft. Riley sent back 24 to the Springfield Armory but did not take a part in the 1907 testing of the 9mm Luger.


One has to simply admire the clean lines and flat top and side of the early 1900 model. Later on the side plate was thickened and a ridge appears and the rear toggle link was raised over the receiver return spring creating a ridge on the rear of the gun.


A clean commercial magazine bottom, absolutely correct for the 7.65mm 1900 American Eagle bears the DWM early proof mark. These commercial Luger's were up to five digit serial numbered and the small parts were marked in a concealed location, commonly at the bottom of the locking lever and side plate.

Michael Reese set the serial numbers between 6099-7098.  We have subsequently learned that DWM did not ship a dedicated block of number and more Parabellums have shown up in the 7000 series with the same characteristics (No Importation -GERMANY marks) to fill in the gap of missing numbers.  Collectors have further learned that some guns were purchased by Bannerman, (high 7147) repaired or reconditioned and those serial numbers were recorded. The serial numbers issued from Springfield Arsenal are limited in reports, and fall into the Reese listing of test guns. This is an early 1900 American Eagle falling just outside the documented range.

The extractor is of the original configuration of a leaf spring to extract the round when fired. The Swiss recognized the weakness of this part of the Luger and installed a metal extractor with a spring which DWM then redesigned the extractor.   The early Long Sear; the Type II thumb safety and  Wide Grip Safety mark the early design.  Note the side bevels in the 1st toggle link which is characteristic of the DWM produced guns.  While every Luger was interchangeable each manufacturer has some small distinctions in their process that set them apart.


In 1905-1907 the Springfield Armory called in most of the M1900 Test Lugers; 770 were sold to Francis Bannerman and Co. at public auction around 1910. Reportedly, some of the Lugers did not survive the tests and were destroyed by the Army. The reported serial range for these 770 Lugers purchased by Bannerman are 6167-96, 6282, 6361-7108, and 7147. Kenyon, Costanzo, and Reese report a serial range of 6100 to 7100. In 1910 the Springfield Armory reported 321 Lugers in 7.65 mm repaired. In 1911 the Rock Island Arsenal reported 306 Lugers in 7.65 mm repaired (Scott Meadows, U.S. Military Automatic Pistols, 1993, page 386).


Above: the thumb safety was first designed in a flat checkered pattern (Type I) which gave way (intermittently) to the shorter rounded checkered (Type II) and then the thumb safety we are most familiar with the Type III.

Very clean and minty both inside and out.  Most of these early guns were purchase and saved by the early owners and not used as "working" guns.  Sometimes we find some in the Western States that have homemade holsters and show the wear that came with continual usage.  There was recently a 1906 American Eagle attributed to a Western sheriff with a Western holster rig at a Las Vegas Gun Show.

The grips are inspector marked and have no serial numbers. This was a common practice on the early 1900 Parabellums. Old catalogs list these guns originally from $18-$35 depending on the year they were offered.   All that craftsmanship could be yours for $30.00; unbelievable.

This is the classic American Eagle 1900 Luger, the basic collectors must have in any serious collection.  While these models are not 'rare' they are difficult to obtain in excellent condition as this one represents.  See Kenyon "Lugers at Random" Page 104. This Parabellum came from a well-known Luger collector who's life was dedicated in most part to collecting the variations of the gun. 

It is entirely subjective to give any Luger a rating of excellent or fine, just as it is to declare it xx% blued or strawed. Few Lugers are out of the box new and these are premium priced. Bluing percentages is like Beauty, in the eye of the beholder.  We strive to provide pictures so you can judge for yourself if the gun meets your criteria.

In April 1903 it was proposed to Hans Tauscher that he accept 50 of the 7.65mm Parabellums in the U.S. Army's possession for $50 of the 9mm version (.39" caliber). Mr. Tauscher was the agent for DWM in the US and he had to personally sign at US Customs for any test weapons that came into the US. There is no record of the serial numbers of these 50 guns and no record concerning what Mr. Tauscher did with them; remember he was a salesman for DWM so trading old used guns for new ones does not sound intuitive for the outcome of these fifty going back to Germany.


As the Luger became more recognized, DWM began an active export campaign both in North and South America.  While there was greater acceptance of the Luger in South America the popularity of the Luger in the US was increased by the placement of the US Seal with the American Eagle over the chamber. It wasn't a contract, just marketing that brought about the American Eagle, one of the most sought after variations of the Luger.


Holding an early Luger, a timeless representation of a personal level of quality and pride of craftsmanship, brings you back a hundred years to another century of weapons development. This Luger represents a piece of history and a turning point in our nations weapons procurement. 

The Classic 1900 Parabellum, a must for anyone's collection. This is a magnificent example of the 1900 American Eagle DWM Parabellum. A 7.65mm pencil thin barrel this is the classic Luger with the squeeze grip safety. Any questions to josef@phoenixinvestmentarms.com We reserve the right to withdraw any firearm from an auction site that is sold over the counter. We reserve the right to withdrawn any weapon sold over the counter. Call for availability.


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LAYAWAYS:  Sometimes our "significant other" doesn't understand the beauty, craftsmanship and investment potential of one of these investor grade weapons.  In these circumstances where discretion becomes the better part of valor we will accept layaways of up to one year with at least 20% down and some activity occurring monthly to insure that after one year the sale is completed.  Cancellations of layaways forfeit 33% if done within two months, otherwise 100%. You can transfer a layaway to a consignment sale at any time. See "Legal" for exact terms.


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We honor a three day return policy. We will answer any questions, send you any pictures, as detailed as you want, to insure that what we are showing you is what you want to see, before you buy it.  See Legal.


WARNING: We do not represent these guns as safe to fire. They are not test fired before sale; they are sold as collectibles only. Prior to firing you should have it inspected by a qualified individual and abide by all safety requirements.

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