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Article created: Monday, May 12, 2008
Article modified: Thursday, October 2, 2008

Variation 2 Green and Gold Cover German
Language Parabellum Instruction Manual

  Featured herein is a Variation 2 green cover with gold text circa 1902 commercial German language Parabellum instruction manual for the Old Model 1900 7.65mm Parabellum or Luger. Formally of the Nico van Gijn Collection.1 This manual is defined by the author to be a 2nd variation because of the inclusion of the full name and address of the company Deutsches Waffen- und Munitions-fabriken on the cover. The otherwise identical Variation 1 manual lacks this cover information and most importantly has the added statement „SYSTEM LUGER” hand stamped on the inside title page and the on the three fold-out Tafels or Plates. The “System Luger” statement is conspicuously absent in the Variation 2 green cover manual inside title page and fold-out tables. For more information on this particular aspect of the manual go to: Parabellum: The first commercial production Luger instruction manuals, the colored series.

Another unique feature of the subject manual which has not been pictured in any previous publication, other than being, in of itself an extremely rare manual is that this manual is, most certainly one of ninety of the manuals ordered by the Dutch Small Arms Arsenal through DWM’s representative in Amsterdam, the firm of Georges & de Watteville in 19052 with the trial Lugers in 9mm, defined by the Dutch as the “Dutch Model”3.

The below information provided by Nico van Gijn who once owned the only surviving example of the “Dutch Model” being serial number 10130B, a 9mm new model 10000B series Luger prototype of these 10 9mm test Lugers of which the subject manual was supplied: It seems that someone stole or was allowed to own this Luger after the trials. I am sure the Luger and manual were together since 1904 as the person I bought both the gun and manual had nothing to do with firearms at all. He was a farmer and used the pistol with blanks to hurry up cows! He had both the gun and manual a long time ago. There were no 9mm manuals at that time so they changed all data about ballistics, weight etc. by hand.4

The specific pages modified in the subject manual, including the black inked "9 m/m" on the cover, to reflect the 9mm ballistics and characteristics of the “Dutch Model” 9mm prototypes are page 38 "Zuusammenstellung der Wichtigesten Abmessunger" or "Dimensions and Efficiency" and Tafel V, "Flugbahn und Munition" or Table V, "Trajectory and Ammunition". For comparison page 36, "Dimensions and Efficiency" and Table V, "Trajectory and Ammunition" of the circa 1902 red cover English language Parabellum manual are included. Also included for comparison purposes is additional 9mm ballistics data from the first published pre-WW1 commercial German language manual for the grip safety new model commercial 7.65mm and 9mm Lugers and the P.08 Luger Coincidently this pre-WW1 commercial manual was published no earlier than 1910 as the P.08 BUG proofed commercial version of the German army P.08 was not generally available to the public prior to 1910 due to the total DWM production preoccupation with the P.08 Army contract. The first German domestic advertisements for the commercial P.08 also didn’t appear until 1910.

There is one other circa 1902 green cover German language manual claimed to be one of the 90 Dutch trials manuals ordered in 19055. The claim is based on the Dutch State Arsenal property marks Artillerie inrichtingen, Hembrug – BIBLIOTHEEK or Artillery institution, Hembrug - LIBRARY on the cover. What is not known about this manual is whether it is marked up internally, similar to the subject manual, to reflect 9mm specifications or simply an unmodified 7.65mm Dutch file copy as stated on the cover.

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