Pre-WWII Mauser S/42 S42 P.08 P08 Luger 9mm Semi-Automatic Pistol 1938 C&R

SOLD FOR: $1725

LSB#: 220213DA027

Make: Mauser

Model: Luger Model P.08, Parabellum-Pistole

Serial#: 3960

Year of Manufacture: 1938, C&R

Caliber: 9mm Luger

Action Type: Toggle-Action Semi-Automatic Striker-Fired Pistol fed by a Detachable Magazine

Markings: The bottom of the barrel is marked “3960 / 8,83”. The bottom of the chamber ring is marked with faded letters. The right side of the barrel is marked with a Weimar eagle (Weimar proof marks were still in use during the early years of the NSDAP-era) which was an army test proof. The top of the receiver is marked “1938” which was the date of manufacture. The right side of the receiver is marked with two Eagle over 63 NSDAP-style waffenamts which indicate the pistol was made by Mauser and a plain Weimar style eagle (army test proof). The top of the extractor situated on the breechblock is marked “33”, the left side of the breechblock features a Weimar style eagle and the breechblock is marked “08” (the breechblock serial number is only visible when the pistol is taken down). The top of the front toggle link is marked “S/42” which was a Mauser production code and a struck out “08”. The rear end of the rear toggle link is marked with a struck out “08”. The Trigger side-plate is marked “75”. The trigger bar is marked “60”. The locking bolt is marked “60”. The safety bar is marked “60”. The left side of the trigger, concealed by the slide, is marked “60”. The receiver axle is marked “60” adjacent to a faded “K”. The firing pin is not serialized. The left grip-strap is marked “3”. The right grip-strap is marked “d”. The front of the receiver is marked “3960” above “i”. The bottom of the magazine is marked “3690” above a “L”, a “+” symbol and an NSDAP-style Eagle above “63” waffenamt which indicates it was manufactured by Mauser (The magazine is not serial matched to the pistol).

Barrel Length: 4”

Sights/ Optics: The front sight is serrated blade fixed to a banded base fixed to the muzzle. The rear sight is a “V”-notch integral to the rear toggle link.

Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The grip panels are two-piece checkered wood. The grip panels have light handling marks, nicks and scuffs. Notably, the panels have some scattered patches of black discoloration, there is a notable nick at the center of the right panel and a small ding at the front-bottom portion of the right panel. The checkering remains mostly sharp. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Refinished

Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with sharp rifling. There is light erosion concentrated in the grooves.

Overall Condition: The pistol retains about 70% of its metal finish. There are some light-moderate handling marks, nicks and scuffs. Notably, there is finish loss around the muzzle, some finish loss concentrated on the bottom of the barrel and a small patch of nicks on the right side of the barrel. The trigger sideplate, which is not original, has lost a good deal of finish and has some light pitting visible beneath the bluing. The markings remain clear. The screwheads have light tool-marks but they remain serviceable. Overall, the pistol is in Very Good condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is barely palpable play between the barrel assembly and frame. We did not fire this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.

Box Paperwork and Accessories: The pistol comes with a single 8-round magazine.  The magazine has light-moderate handling wear. Overall, the magazine is in Very Good condition.

Our Assessment: 

The Parabellum-Pistole 1908, commonly referred to as the Luger, was designed by Georg Johann Luger. Luger was an unlikely gun designer, born in 1849 he was the son of a surgeon, Bartholomaeus von Luger, and while attending university he served as a One-Year Volunteer with the 78th Infantry Regiment (Infanterieregiment 78 ein) of the Austro-Hungarian Army. While in the military Luger proved himself a skilled marksman and he began to develop an interest in the small arms technology. Following four years of service Luger worked a number of jobs in Vienna. Finally, in the 1870s Luger met Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher who recruited him as a sales representative for Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabrik AG (DWM). One of the company’s weapons that Luger marketed was the Borchardt C93 (named after its designer Hugo Borchardt) which was criticized for being too heavy and poorly balanced. Luger decided to rework the design and eventually secured a contract for his new pistol with the Swiss Army which dubbed it the model 1900 which was chambered for 7.65mm Parabellum cartridges. After some minor reworking Luger introduced the Pistole 1904, chambered for 9mm cartridges, which was adopted by the Imperial German Navy, the pistol was henceforth referred to as the Luger. A slightly altered version of the pistol with a smaller barrel was adopted for service by the Prussian Army in 1908, hence the designation P08. The P08 would become one of the most iconic weapons of the 20th century. Following the end of WWI Luger was bankrupted, he had invested in War Bonds which had become worthless following Imperial Germany’s defeat and worse yet he was forced out of his job by his employer DWM which sought to appropriate his patents. The ensuing legal dispute between Luger and DWM would be decided in his favor in 1922, but he was financially ruined by that time and passed away the following year at the age of 74. His pistol would continue to serve the German military during WWII (although the P38 was the Wehrmacht’s standard issue sidearm) and saw service in a number military and police forces after the war.

This particular Luger was manufactured in 1938 five years after the NSDAP came to power in Germany. That year Germany began to flex its military might with a European war nearly erupting over the Sudeten Crisis. Ultimately, France reneged on a treaty obligation to defend Czechoslovakia at Britain’s behest. Neville Chamberlain, the British PM, helped facilitate Germany’s annexation of the Sudetenland (a part of Czechoslovakia which was populated by ethnic Germans). Chamberlain would famously proclaim after the crisis that he had secured “peace for our time” through his diplomacy. Unfortunately, it would prove a premature statement as WWII broke out a year later. The pistol’s Waffenamts are consistent with army issued small arms, but the gun has a number of parts which are not original. Among the mismatched items are the included magazine, the breechblock, front toggle, rear toggle, extractor and trigger side plate. Although this luger is not entirely in its original configuration, having a number of replacement parts, it remains an aesthetically pleasing and ergonomic pistol, and while it has some handling wear it is still an impressive handgun. If you are a fan of German military arms and WWII history then this is the handgun for you. Good luck on your bid!

Pre-WWII Mauser S/42 S42 P.08 P08 Luger 9mm Semi-Automatic Pistol 1938 C&R
Pre-WWII Mauser S/42 S42 P.08 P08 Luger 9mm Semi-Automatic Pistol 1938 C&R