RARE & Fine 9mm BULGARIAN DWM Luger 1908 w Holster
Early Matching #s Used in Both Balkan & World Wars
Here we present a rare Bulgarian Contract DWM Luger Model 1908, made circa 1910 at Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken in Imperial Germany. This order followed two previous orders of Lugers by Bulgaria, the first in the Model 1900 and another in Model 1906. The Model 1908 Bulgarian was the country’s third order, and has the distinction of being the only Luger variant in which the maker’s mark (DWM) is located atop the chamber, rather than the first toggle link, where instead is located the Bulgarian Royal Crest. Not even the previous iterations of Bulgarian contracts share this peculiar feature. Other features making the Bulgarian contract models different than others is the Cyrillic markings for the safety (OГЬHЬ) and loaded chamber indicator on the extractor (ПЬЛЕНЬ).
While the 2 previous Bulgarian contracts were ordered in 7.65 Luger (.30 Luger, 7.65x21mm), the 1908 Bulgarian was chambered in 9mm Luger (9mm Parabellum, 9x19mm) at the factory. The 1908 is also unique for the presence of a lanyard loop at the back of the magazine well for retention.
Bulgarian Contract Lugers are very rare in general as not many were made in the first place, but many were in service for a span of about 50 years, leading to loss through attrition or being overhauled with parts from other guns to keep them going. Bulgaria was in nearly constant conflict from 1912 to 1945, first with the two Balkan Wars, and then both World Wars. In both WWI and WWII, Bulgaria started out in opposition to the Allies, then switched sides.
This specimen comes with an original holster. It is also hand marked in Cyrillic on the right side of the frame, just above the top of the grip panel. Thanks go to Nikolay Nikolov for helping to translate this to “Major Podiencki”. The Bulgarian Royal Crest is in its unique place on the top of the toggle. The DWM monogram is atop the chamber. A small Bulgarian Lion proof mark is located on the right side of the chamber.
The accompanying leather holster is made of stout material and dyed black. There are no markings anywhere on the interior or exterior, this being consistent with other examples of Bulgarian holsters. Two belt loops are secured to the back. The flap is secured by placing the brass bar through the brass fixture at the end of the flap, then sliding the small leather strap through. A spare magazine holder is secured on the front exterior, and a small pocket for accoutrements is located at the top, under the flap. The bottom side of the snap on the magazine holder is marked “STOCKO”. Overall condition is very good, solid with good stitching, likely by hand.
The overall condition is fine. About 90% of the original rust blue remains with much of the straw coloring. All markings are clear and legible. The checkered walnut grips are in very good condition though the checkering has been worn with many years of service. Serial numbers match with the magazine being unmarked and unnumbered, which is correct. Bore is very good with a frosted appearance. The action is excellent.
This firearm is classified as a Curio & Relic. Another regimentally marked example not currently found worldwide!
Barrel is 100mm in length.
Caliber: 9mm Luger (9mm Parabellum, 9x19mm)
The bore is in very good condition and the action is in excellent condition.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
Here is a very rare and fine example of a Bulgarian 1908, a hole never to be filled in most Luger collections.
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