SOLD FOR: $1626
Make: Mauser imported by C.A.I. (Century Arms International)
Model: Luger Model P.08, Parabellum-Pistole
Year of Manufacture: Circa 1942, 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. The bottom of the chamber ring has some faded markings. The top of the chamber ring is marked “42”. The left side of the slide is marked with the serial number “5726”. The trigger bar has had its original serial number struck out “02” and the number “26” penciled in. The right side of the slide is marked twice with the NSDAP-era Waffenamt featuring an eagle above “135” (used for “byf” marked specimens), which indicates the slide was manufactured by Mauser, and an eagle clutching a swastika. The firing pin’s original serial number is faded and it has a penciled in number “26” marked on it. The extractor, situated on the breechblock, has had its original serial number “01” struck out. The left side of the breechblock is marked “01” and has a faded proof mark. The top of the front toggle is marked “S/42” (the code for Mauser until 1939) and has a struck out serial number “01”. The rear toggle is marked “26”. The receiver axle is marked “26”. The trigger side-plate is marked “26”. The trigger is marked “26”. The portion of the frame, situated between the trigger and locking bolt, is marked with two faded East German police (Volkspolizei, sometimes abbreviated as VoPo) proof marks (the clear proof features a Gothic sunburst “D”). The locking bolt is marked “26”. The safety bar is marked “26”. The front of the frame is marked “5726” above an “X” inside an oval and a stylized “i”. The right side of the frame is marked with the importer’s stamps “P08 9MM GERMANY MFG” and “CAI ST ALB VT”. 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 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 scattered light-moderate handling marks, nicks, compressions and scuffs. Notably, the grip panels are largely discolored.There are no chips or cracks. The checkering is somewhat sharp. Overall, the grips are in Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Arsenal Refurbished
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is some very light 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 loading port on the butt-strap and some light wear around the muzzle. Also, there is some light oxidation visible around some of the recesses. A few markings are slightly faded, but most remain clear. The screwheads are unmarred and 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 two magazines. The left side of each magazine is marked “2/100”. The base of each magazine is serial matched with one marked “1” and the other “2”.
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’s frame and slide appear to be original to each other, despite a number of replacement parts. The gun was originally manufactured in 1942, but its service history did not end there. It 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 marks between the locking bolt and trigger) and often feature an “X” (this gun has one of the front of the frame). While most of the Lugers issued to the Volkspolizei had synthetic grips with a target logo, the grips could have been swapped out by CAI (the importer) or a previous owner. One thing that is a bit more odd about this gun, it still has a eagle clutching a swastika on the right side of the slide (although the swastika is faded) which was typically removed during refurbishment. Yet 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. The one thing to bear in mind as far as markings, the front toggle and breechblock are not original to this handgun; the “S/42” marking was changed to “42” in 1939 and “byf” in early 1941, this gun was made in 1942 and should have a “byf” code on the front toggle (again this is a result of the refurbishment process). This gun is very well preserved with a strong blue finish and clear markings. The gun is both ergonomic and mechanically sound with two matching magazines. This is a great option for fans of the Luger and is a relatively more uncommon Volkspolizei variant. Good luck on your bid!