Very Rare 1902 Luger Carbine Detailed Overview
We are Pumped Up that We got 2 Luger Carbines this week!
Hey guys and welcome to another Walk-in Wednesday. As you can see right in front of me are some 1902, very rare 1902 Luger Carbines. Now I just did a video on commercial guns and many of you watched that and you can see that I had an array. It was one collection of commercial guns starting with 1900, went all the way up to World War II in 1940s. One of the guns not included in that collection was a Luger Carbine. Now I have not owned too many of these, in fact, I think only one has gone through our shop. But this week we got two Luger Carbines, both of them are model 1902s. Why don't you come a little closer and let's take a look at these.
These guns never went to war
Again if we go back to the previous video, I said one thing about the commercial guns, they usually are in very good condition because they never went to war. These in particular were purchased by probably wealthy individuals. Many of them came to America because these in particular were made in like 1904, 1905, even though the model is considered an ‘02. What's unique about the 02? You see the dish toggle.
1920 Carbine made from Leftover Parts
They did make a 1920 Carbine, and if you look at a picture of a 1920, in fact, it just has a standard toggle. Those are a little less desirable because they were put together for the commercial market from leftover Luger parts at the end of World War I. So again, World War I, the economy was destroyed so DWM who makes these in 1920 were trying to create more of a market, so they made some. But they're a little bit dubious because they were made from leftover parts.
Creating beautiful 1902 Carbines
But let's go back to the ‘02, a little more desirable. We have two that are ‘02, you see the dish toggle. You can see that they're in beautiful shape and the whole idea of a Carbine is not at all unique. In fact, all the way back to the civil war you can see Colt Carbines. Basically, they would take a Colt and in this case a Colt revolver, extend the barrel and then add a stock to the back and it makes a Carbine.
The famous red nine – Broomhandle red nine
Now the reason that that was popular, and a lot of different makers made their own Carbines, here we see the somewhat famous red nine. Gets its name went to the military in 9mm and this is the stock, this is the red nine. The stock serves as a holster and would go around your waist or across your chest, perhaps sometimes just hanging here or across your chest. But the red nine had a stock and this is commonly called the Broomhandle red nine. Again made for military. Look you can see how beautiful this is, fire blue and the stock attaches to the back; snaps in place and then you hold it like this. Now again, I started to say this is not a unique idea, you can actually hold it with one hand. It's a little bit too bulky to be a pistol and a little bit too flimsy to be a rifle. But if you remember your civil war history, they were usually using muzzle-loaded rifles which took 30 seconds between shots maybe more, I'm not clear on my facts on that but it took a while to reload.
A new invention to Sink your Teeth into: The Spencer Carbine
Toward the end of the war they came up with the Spencer Carbine and that was a new invention. That Carbine, in particular, was still a single shot. Whereas they did have the Colt Revolver, six-shot Revolver which would shoot six shots in a row without having to reload.
Pistols vs Rifle
So the pistol technology was ahead of the rifle technology and that's what made people say well why can't we take the pistol and turn it into a rifle. Extend the barrel a little bit which helps with distance shooting and then add a stock to it which would make it usable. Similar to a Carbine, same size but again a little bit flimsy and probably an idea that never really took off and I guess the analogy would be it'd be like a tablet. I have my cell phone and I have my computer but I don't use my tablet very much. It seemed like a good idea but sometimes if you want a small pistol around your waist this is not it or this is not it. If I want my rifle I'm looking for a self-loading rifle.
My favorite, the M1 Carbine
The most popular Carbine ever made was the M1 Carbine, one of my favorites used in World War II and millions of those. And by that time they really perfected a 15 shot Carbine which was smaller than a rifle but certainly more utility than a pistol.
Back to the 1902 Carbines
So let's take a look at these 1902 Luger Carbines. Again you can see a beautiful gun is built around a pistol. So this is just your typical DWM Luger in a 1900 or 1902 style. It does have the grip safety, remember when I did the last video I talked about the grip safety which went away in the 1908 model. It has an attachment lever right here. Push the attachment lever down and this just rotates off. Pretty simple design and absolutely beautiful stock. You can see the stock is numbered with the last three digits right here to match the gun. It has two screws in it, the earliest models only had one screw but they found that it wasn't secure enough so they added the extra screw. Now the woodworking on this is absolutely beautiful, the check ring, this is actually horn. You can see some of the coloration but you also see little holes from the bores and beautiful little design. This one has a similar even more coloration, a little bit of a design but beautiful checkered wood; slightly different color between the two of these but you can see why these were not used by the military.
The Artillery Luger
The military were just all about utility use. Like the Artillery, again in previous videos we've talked about the Artillery Luger and they have a site that goes from 100 meters up to 800 meters but the board looks like this. Now it would be numbered to the gun, this one is not matching but it has the two screws, it's a similar design, it has similar attachment and it rotates onto the back, very similar, very easy. You can see the imperial proof right here which means this went to the military. This is dated 1917 so it's a World War I Artillery. This makes it in to lock it in place but you can see this just is a very simple board and works fine as a Carbine and a lot cheaper. These are about twice the price and since they made them before World War I, they were trying to create a market particularly in Germany and the United States were the two biggest buyers.
Who wants the Carbine?
They were trying to create a market for a very nice self-loading Carbine that was used for hunting by the way. Actually some of the famous people who owned them Teddy Roosevelt had one and he actually took it to Africa. I don't know that he ever shot it in Africa but we know that he took it to Africa to go hunting but in fairness he had a lot of guns. He was a gun collector and had a lot of guns.
The Inventor of the Maxim Machine Gun special ordered a Carbine
Also Hiram Maxim, the inventor of the Maxim Machine Gun, an American inventor, he invented a lot of things but most famous for the Maxim Machine Gun. You can see here a picture of him and there's actually a YouTube video of him shooting his first machine gun. But he was the inventor of the machine gun and he special ordered from DWM a presentation Carbine that has his name on it. It was recently sold at Rock Island; here's a picture of that one. It went for a lot of money mostly because the attribution to Hiram, as opposed to the actual value.
How much money are we looking at here?
So the good segue into what does one of these cost? They can be anywhere from $10,000 - $20,000 depending on condition and of course making sure they're all matching.
Are all these parts matching?
So let's do that next, let's make sure this is all matching. So the only number we know of from here is 109 and we already know that that hooked on very easily. Just like most commercial guns the correct magazine will be blank on the bottom. They will have blank bottom. By the way they come in .30 caliber. There were about a little over 2,000 of these made, the model 1902. I'm told there are a few 9mm but I've never seen one. So the vast majority are going to be .30 caliber Luger and there are just over 2,000 of these made. So it has blank bottom mag, both of these mags we can see our blank bottom. We'll take those aside, let's take this one and take the lock off. You can see the grip safety, we rotate that off. It actually comes off very simply and then this one is also numbered. We're going to just make sure they're all matching.
A fire blued wedge!
The next piece is a little trickier because there's a wedge and it reminds me of the Single Action Army Colt. So with a little punch, you can push on this end and then this pops. This is the wedge, comes out and I just noticed that's like a fire blue. This thing is gorgeous because the fire blue is still on the wedge. Then I just pull this back and down and it comes off.
Do all the parts say 109?
Now it is numbered on the inside and you can see 109, so that's matching. So we know this piece is matching, there is a little piece of metal here that butts up against here, this gives it a little extra strength. So this piece of metal has a little spring in it, so it holds it in place here and then this is a reinforcement bar on the frame to hold this in. And we'll take a look.
Getting to the serial number
That's where the serial number is. So you have to take this piece off to get to the serial number. And you can see the full serial number and by the way, the 1902 Carbines fall in the serial number range of 21,000 up to about 24,000 and again there's a little over 2,000 of these made. So they weren't all Carbines. So we can see that this is probably one of the later ones made.
Up to 300m on the rear sight of the Carbine!
Beautiful barrel, adds to the accuracy. They have it calibrated up to 300 meters. This rear sight is unique to the Carbine, it's different than the navy site which is back here. You can see how it's different than the Artillery site. So that's a unique rear sight for the Carbine. You'll notice the small parts are straw, it has beautiful grips. There's not much else numbered and taking this apart is just like the Luger. Push back on the barrel and then this takedown lever; if it's not pushed back this takedown lever doesn't come down or it's very hard to come down. You'd have to pry it down which is not the way that it's designed. So all you do is push back, pry this down, side plate comes off. Once you have the side plate off you can see this just slides forward. Now you will see the inside is in the white and it should be. If this gun was refinished all of this white inside would be blued. Same way in here, if I took the firing pin out, the firing pin would be in the white.
Let’s check for matching parts on the second gun
So this first one, which I consider the nicer of the two, better condition, we now know that it's all matching but just as a refresher course let's go through this one really quickly. We have a blank bottom magazine, we have a dish toggle, we have straw parts, this slides down. We see the numbering here is 450. We pop the wedge off, let's see if this one is fire blued? Yep, this one's fire blued as well. It has the unique rear sight only found on the Carbines. This then pulls back and down, slides right off. This one is numbered in here but it's very lightly struck but it does say 450, so this matches this stock. And then the full serial number, we can see that this one is 24,000. So again one of the last ones made. Again I said 21,000 up to about 24,000. It goes all the way through to at least 24,500 but that's the approximate serial range. So this gun is also all matching.
Let’s put them back together
So I'm going to sum up but to put these back together by the way, this is called the coupler or the hanger for obvious reasons and it's got a hook right in here. So if you try to put this Luger back together, that's really not tricky other than the coupler or the hanger. Tolerances are very tight by the way which unlike many guns they're just like individually fitted. You want to look down inside here and make sure that the hanger hooks and when it does that creates the tension. You pop the side plate in and close it down. And there you go, see that, it's got the spring in it and I just pop this back on and close the wedge and voila, we're all back together again.
The original boxes
Now just one more thing that this came with many of these come in original boxes. You can see pictures of the original box, it comes in like a suitcase. They do make replicas of this box, so the replicas are available but the original boxes can sell for, I don't know $4,000-$5,000.
A very rare holster
But what this did come with, a very very rare, more rare than the gun itself because the leather comes apart. But this would be what I call a [inaudible 15:33] gazinta. Some people call it a holster but this goes into this, and this goes into that. So now you see how it gets its name. So the leather is rarer than the gun itself. Most times I see them in a suitcase, so I was really happy to see it come with the holster gazintas.
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Great stuff you guys. Thanks for watching. I'm proud to bring these to you, these won't last long. We'll put them up on the site and they'll sell very quickly because they are rare. Make sure you like and subscribe to our videos and hit the notification bell so that you're notified next time I post a video.