Currency:USD Category:Firearms & Military Start Price:60,000.00 USD Estimated At:120,000.00 - 150,000.00 USD
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[?]Live Online Auction Starts In 2020 Jun 12 @ 10:00 (UTC-4 : AST/EDT)
TRIAL. Cal. 7.65mm Luger. S# 35. Exceptionally rare, one of about 40 pre-production Lugers, this example was one of only three pistols, two known serial numbers, trialed by the Dutch military in 1899. In 1899, the Dutch requested some Lugers for an October trial. One was initially supplied. After a brief postponement, DWM forwarded two additional, "improved" pistols, #34 and this pistol, #35. This exact pistol was reviewed at length in the Borchardt & Luger Automatic Pistols series by Geoff Sturgess. It has a 6" barrel with blank chamber and matching toggle assembly, wherein the externally unmarked middle link has the original, squared extension. The last link is stamped with the intertwined "GL" initials of Georg Luger, a marking that only appears on the pistols he personally assembled or presented. It has a later pattern thin trigger (a correct DWM tool room transitional replacement), a thin grip safety with rounded corners, and the early, broad, checkered thumb safety. The frame under the safety is blued, without a scribe-bordered recess, and retains its original, non-relieved configuration that will only accept the early, flat button magazine. On close inspection, the inner frame at the bottom of the frontstrap was never hollowed out - a step that was later taken to reduce weight. Underscoring this rarity; Sturgess cited that this was "the only example known with a solid front grip strap toe." Grips patterned after the Borchardt with central checkering and a broad, heavily varnished border, as fitted to other prototype Lugers. Magazine is the earliest type with the flat, checkered button and unmarked wood base. It is not surprising that a few parts on this pistol were updated or period replaced, the sand and rust testing of the Dutch trial reported as being particularly severe. The 6" barrel is a factory replacement, having had the raised collar machined to about half its normal thickness and a narrow spacer installed. The index marks on the bottom of the barrel and receiver align perfectly around the spacer, still in-the-white, as one would expect from a toolroom or field-tested pistol. Other unnumbered parts include the frame (the "35" having been added by the importer), trigger, firing pin, sideplate, grip safety, trigger, magazine release button, and both grips. The dual firing pin spring has been updated with a single coil spring. As per the other trial guns, major components were finished with a well-polished rust blue. Strawed parts include the takedown lever, extractor, ejector trigger, thumb safety, and sear. Fire blued front sight and grip screws. MAGS: 1 (like conditioned) correct original 8 rd., flat button. UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: near excellent Mauser attach" case from the 1970's; maroon leatherette exterior, lined in red velvet plus partitioned for pistol and various included accessories. CONDITION: approximately 70-75% original rust blue with scattered freckling and showing some cleaning. Most wear on the front and backstraps, the backstrap with touch-up and some erosions on the edges. Discreetly import marked using a fine laser etching method in an unobtrusive area. Comparable condition small parts and grips, the left panel missing a chip under the safety lever and magazine. Mirror bore, and near excellent manual mechanics. Near excellent attach" case. An exceptionally rare pistol, this is the only M1899 Luger known to have survived the Dutch military test trial, having been mentioned in the Sturgess book by SN on pp. 185, 208, 209. According to Sturgess, "Only a couple of true Borchardt-Luger prototypes are known to exist, and this is probably (one of) the most significant & important." An absolute gem under any circumstance! PROVENANCE: Ex-Doug Smith Collection; From the esteemed collection of Paul Regnier, Switzerland. (20-1407/LA). CURIO. $120,000-150,000.