POTD: DWM Model 1902 Cartridge Counter American Eagle Test Luger

   07.08.21

POTD: DWM Model 1902 Cartridge Counter American Eagle Test Luger

Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! We have a long one today thanks to Rock Island Auction Company (check them out). Today we have a photo of an ordinance department ordered cartridge counter Luger. Let’s dive right in! The base of the magazine is a normal wooden 9mm style one. The magazine itself is modified with a slot on the left side and the follower has a pin attached in order to point to the number of rounds left.

“The left grip is also conversely slotted and covered with a 3 1/4 inch celluloid strip, with a small delicate metal strip underneath the celluloid that is painted with the black numbers (1-7) running from the top down, to indicate the number of rounds remaining in the magazine. “

“Example of an extremely rare 1902 DWM Luger that has been fitted with the unique “Powell Indicating Device”, commonly called a “Cartridge Counter” on the left side of the grip. There were exactly “50” of these pistols produced, and they fall into a specific serial number range (22401-22450), with the serial number of this specific example produced right at the end of the production range, which is probably why it has remained in such exceptional condition. This cartridge counter device was a US developed feature and was expressly ordered by the US Board of Ordnance for testing in late 1902 early 1903. The US Government then acquired these pistols in exchange for 50 each, 1900 Test Luger pistols in the spring of 1904. The Model 1902 “Cartridge Counter” Luger pistols were issued to the Cavalry and Light Artillery Boards at Ft. Riley, Kansas on April 19,1904 for field testing. On July 4, 1904, the Cavalry Board issued the final test report on the Model 1902 Luger, which recommended that these Lugers NOT be adopted for service. This Powell Indicating Device consists of a standard wood base magazine that has been slotted on the left side of the magazine body and fitted with a special follower that had a small pin/special indicator screw fitted on the left side that would move up and down, from the fully loaded, to empty position as the cartridges are fired.”

Lot 3371: Rare DWM Model 1902 Cartridge Counter American Eagle Test Luger [Photograph found in Auction Catalog #50, Rock Island Auction Company]. (n.d.). Retrieved July 7, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/50/3371/rare-dwm-model-1902-cartridge-counter-american-eagle-test-luger

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