SOLD FOR: $1550
Model: Luger Model P.08, Parabellum-Pistole
Year of Manufacture: Circa 1939, 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 with a crowned “N” East German nitro proof and “753” above “F”. The bottom of the chamber ring has some faded markings. The top of the chamber ring is marked “1939”. The left side of the slide is marked with the serial number “8447” adjacent to a faded East German sunburst Volkspolizei proof. The trigger bar is marked “47”. The right side of the slide is marked twice with the NSDAP-era Waffenamt featuring an eagle above “63” (used for “42” marked Mauser Lugers which were manufactured from 1939-1941), which indicates the slide was manufactured by Mauser, and a faded eagle clutching a swastika (the swastika has been largely defaced). The firing pin is marked with a penciled in number “47” marked on it. The extractor, situated on the top of the breechblock, is marked “47”. The left side of the breechblock is marked “47” and is marked with an eagle clutching a swastika. The top of the front toggle is marked “42” (the code for Mauser from 1939-1941) and has the serial number “47”. The rear toggle is marked “47”. The receiver axle is marked with a faded “7”. The trigger side-plate is marked “47”. The trigger’s original serial number “14”, which is concealed by the side-plate, has been struck out and a “47” has been marked further down (which is visible when the gun is assembled). The portion of the frame, situated between the trigger and locking bolt, is marked “M”. The locking bolt is marked “47”. The safety bar is marked “47”. The front of the frame is marked “8447” above what appears to be a stylized “V”. The left grip strap is marked “B” above the mainspring.
Barrel Length: 4”
Sights/ Optics: The front sight is serrated blade fixed to a banded base fixed to the muzzle (the portion of the front sight facing the user is marked with discolored white paint, it now has a tan hue). The rear sight is a “V”-notch integral to the rear toggle link.
Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The grip panels are two-piece checkered synthetic with target logos. The grip panels have some light handling marks but lack any notable defects. There are no chips or cracks. The checkering remains sharp. Overall, the grips are in Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Arsenal Refurbished
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with mostly sharp rifling. There is some erosion concentrated in the grooves.
Overall Condition: The pistol retains about 90% of its metal finish. There are some light handling marks, nicks and scuffs on the gun’s metal surfaces. Notably, there is some light finish loss around the muzzle, the trigger side-plate and on the left side of the frame, just ahead of the trigger side-plate. Also, there are a few scattered patches of light pitting visible under the finish. A few markings are slightly faded, but most remain clear. The screwheads have light tool-marks but they remain serviceable. Overall, the pistol is in Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The receiver axle fits a bit loosely into the rear end of the slide. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. There is light 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 two magazines. The base of each magazine is serial matched with one marked “1” and the other “2”. The left side of the magazine numbered “2” on the base, under the serial number, is marked “2/1001”. The magazine marked “2” on the base has been force matched and has a struck out “7” still visible adjacent to the serial number.
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 Luger appears to largely be in its original configuration with a few replacement parts added to it when it was refurbished by the East German government. The gun was originally manufactured in 1939, but its service history did not end with the conclusion of WWII (the gun’s origin is evidenced by the date code on the chamber ring and “42” marking on the front toggle which was used by Mauser from 1939-41). The gun was eventually refurbished for service with Volkspolizei (literally people’s police) of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR; East Germany). These Lugers generally feature force matched parts (a practice that was common in the Former Eastern Bloc), DDR proof marks (see the proof mark on the left side of the slide) and often feature an “X” (this gun has no “X” marking, but has the other distinct features seen on Volkspolizei P08s). Lugers issued to the Volkspolizei had synthetic grips with a target logo, this gun has such grips. The gun still has a eagle clutching a swastika on the left side of the breechblock, a marking which was typically removed during refurbishment (although it is only visible when the gun is taken down and the visible NSDAP eagle on the right side of the slide has had its swastika defaced. It should be remembered that the refurbishment process was imperfect and such a small detail likely did not greatly trouble the factory worker who was stuck working on the gun. This gun is very well preserved with a strong blue finish and clear markings. The gun is both ergonomic and mechanically sound with two magazines. This is a great option for fans of the Luger and it is a relatively more uncommon Volkspolizei variant. Good luck on your bid!