Re: 1917 German Luger
First a note on the letter dates. Hitler began the rearming of Germany in earnest in 1934, prior to his abrogation of the Versailles treaty. Letter dates were used for only two years, 1934 (K) and 1935 (G). In March, 1935, Hitler openly announced that Germany would not be bound by the treaty and that rearmament would begin. (A typical Hitler lie; secret rearmament had been ongoing for at least two years.) After that, there was no concealment of arms production and the actual date was used for 1936 and subsequent production.
To provide some secrecy, German arms and equipment manufacturers were assigned codes. The format changed several times, but for most of the war it was two or three lower case letters. The S/42 and 42 for Mauser were early; Mauser Orberndorf was later was assigned the code "byf", and retained that code through the end of Luger production.
Prcko's "strange emblem" is probably the interlaced letters "DWM" (Deutsche Waffen-und Munitions Fabriken), the manufacturer.
The 1920 "dates" were a post-WWI Weimar government property mark. In 1920, the government offered a reward for military weapons turned in by civilains. These were marked with the date of the law (1920) as a property mark to make sure weapons were not somehow taken back and turned in again. The mark was also to be applied to weapons currently in the hands of troops and police or in government stores, but that effort never really got started. There were some Lugers actually made in 1920 for the government; these have been seen with that single date, or with two "1920" dates, the manufacturing date and the property mark.
Last edited by Jim K; 09-03-2012 at 12:04 PM..