For sale is the complete police P08 rig featured on p. 227 of History Writ in Steel (HWIS), which was key evidence in determining that the property markings S.P.Bn. and SP.Bn. were those of the Sicherheits-/Schutzpolizei of the city-state of Bremen and not from the district of Bautzen in Saxony as had been assumed previously.
The pistol is a 9-mm “Alphabet Commercial DWM,” serial number 8185m in excellent condition. It has commercial C/N proofs on the left side of the receiver, the left side of the breech block and the bottom of the barrel. Small parts are matching and numbered in both military and commercial styles. The firing pin is fluted and un-numbered. The oversize rear toggle axle is stamped Ü0,05m/m and 85.There are two serial-number matching aluminum-base replacement magazines numbered 1 and 2 with late-1930s E/154 and E/L acceptance stamps, respectively. The front grip strap is stamped SP.Bn.669. There is a Schiwy (sear) safety installed but no evidence of a Walther (magazine) safety. The bore is shiny with clean rifling.
The undated brown holster is in excellent condition and is maker-marked K. BUDDE / BREMEN. It originally had a diagonal buckle closure that was replaced with a studded “up-strap” police-style closure. Inside the cover in ink is “F.E.” and “…ning.” The former is partially covered by the back of the closure stud and the latter is partially obscured by what appears to be glue from a subsequent label. The inside of the cover is also die stamped POL.BRH. The holster includes an unmarked takedown tool.
The pistol was manufactured in 1924 (Still, Weimar Lugers, p. 15) as a 7.65-mm (.30-cal) commercial Parabellum and converted to 9-mm for police use, perhaps by Simson. The replacement barrel has halos around the serial number, gauge and proof stampings indicating these were applied after the barrel was finished. Virtually all of the .30-cal. Alphabet Commercial DWMs manufactured and sold to the police in the mid-1920s were converted in this manner. The sear safety was added to the gun in the mid-1930s, probably after the Walther magazine safety had been discredited (1935-36). The firing pin may have been fluted and the oversize toggle axle installed at that time.
The holster and magazines were keys to the interpretation of the SP.Bn.669. marking on the pistol as being from Bremen and not Bautzen. The holster was manufactured in Bremen, probably in the early to mid-1920s as a commercial holster. It is stamped POL.BRH. which almost certainly is an abbreviation for Polizei Bremerhaven. Administratively, Bremerhaven was a part of the Free and Hanseatic City of Bremen and would have been policed by a unit of the Bremen Schupo. While the holster does not bear the serial number or property stamp of the pistol, the fact that there are two magazines with serial numbers matching the gun convinces me that these items were all part of a single policeman’s rig. If the holster had not been paired with the gun until after the war, it is highly unlikely that it would have contained a magazine matched to the pistol. This rig reportedly was brought back from WWII by a Canadian vet. Bremen was captured by Canadian troops, who were nowhere near Bautzen, further supporting the Bremen identification. More information supporting this identification may be found in Chapter 17 of HWIS.
The ink markings inside the cover of the holster are interesting although I don’t have an interpretation. The partial word “…ning” was probably a policeman’s name. The lighter-colored material covering part of the name is probably the glue from a paper or cloth label. I have observed such labels in other holsters from Bremen. This material seems to underlie the “F” suggesting the F.E. was added after the label was removed. The “E” in this marking is partially obscured by the back of the closure stud. Therefore, the probable sequence of events was: (1) the policeman inked his name; (2) this was later covered by a label, perhaps also containing his name; (3) the label was removed or came loose; (4) the initials F.E. were inked and; (5) the holster closure was converted to police style. If correct, this suggests that the holster was used by the Bremen Schupo with a buckle closure for some time prior to its conversion.
I am asking $2,750.00 including shipping and insurance for this complete rig in excellent condition which played a key role in identifying the property markings of the Weimar-era uniformed police of Bremen. I will ship to C&R or FFL01 holders in U.S. locations (only FFL01 in California). I will accept a personal check (with appropriate time to clear), postal money order or bank cashier’s check. There is a five-day non-firing inspection period. Return shipping and insurance will be the responsibility of the purchaser. If desired, I will provide the above provenance information in the form of a signed letter.
Please contact me at [email protected]. The first positive email response received will take it. Please do not use private messages through the forum.