SOLD FOR: $2375
Make: Mauser (byf)
Model: Parabellum-Pistole, Luger Model P.08
Year of Manufacture: 1942, C&R
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Action Type: Toggle-Action Semi-Automatic Striker-Fired Pistol fed by Detachable Magazines
Markings: The bottom of the barrel is marked “9193”. The bottom of the chamber ring is marked with several characters. The right side of the barrel is marked with a NSDAP eagle clutching a swastika which was an army test proof. The top of the receiver is marked “42” which was the date of manufacture. The right side of the receiver is marked with two Eagle over “135” NSDAP waffenamts which indicate the pistol was made by Mauser and an NSDAP eagle clutching a swastika (army test proof). The left side of the receiver is marked “9193” (the marking is oddly stamped, please see photos) and the trigger bar is marked “93”. The top of the extractor situated on the breechblock is marked “93” (the “9” appears to have been stamped over a “2”), the left side of the breechblock features a faded NSDAP eagle clutching a swastika and the breechblock is marked “93” (the breechblock serial number is only visible when the pistol is taken down). The top of the front toggle link is marked “byf” which was a Mauser production code and “93”. The rear end of the rear toggle link is marked “93”. The front of the trigger side-plate is marked “93”, while the concealed portion is marked “92”. The receiver axle is marked “93” (it appears the “9” was stamped over a “2”). The safety bar is marked “93”. The left side of the trigger, concealed by the slide, is marked “93”. The left side of the frame is marked “P.08”. The locking bolt is marked “93”. The firing pin is marked “93”. The hold-open latch is marked “93”. The front of the receiver is marked “9193” above “i”. The left side of the magazine is marked with an NSDAP style eagle over “37” waffenamt, “fxo” above the same waffenamt and “P.08”.
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 black synthetic. The grip panels have light handling marks, nicks and scuffs. The checkering remains mostly sharp and 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 mostly sharp rifling. There is some light-moderate erosion concentrated in the grooves and scattered light pitting.
Overall Condition: The pistol retains about 75% of its metal finish. There are scattered light-moderate handling marks, nicks and scuffs on the gun’s metal surfaces. Notably, there is finish loss along the leading edges and some light wear around the muzzle. The markings remain clear. The screw-heads 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 a single magazine which has some light handling marks. 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 1942 three years into the Second World War and it would prove to be one of the most brutal years of the entire war. Following the Wehrmacht’s failure to seize Moscow in the Winter of 1941-1942, the Germans planned to strike a decisive blow against the Soviet Union by seizing the oil fields in the Caucasus and the critical logistical hub of Stalingrad on the Volga (modern day Volgograd). The fighting in the Caucasus proved indecisive and the entire German Sixth Army was destroyed at Stalingrad in what amounted to the bloodiest battle in recorded history. Aside from the defeat in the Soviet Union, the German Afrika Korps under Erwin Rommel was also defeated by the British at the Second Battle of El Alamein. By early 1943 Germany’s position had become increasingly grim but there were still two more years of bloodletting left. Mauser used the code “byf” on its output from early 1941 until the end of the conflict. Despite some handling wear the gun remains aesthetically pleasing and it is both an ergonomic and mechanically sound option. Some of the gun’s parts are force matched (the breechblock, trigger side-plate, receiver axle) and the serial number on the left side of the frame is stamped awkwardly, this was likely either the result of war-time refurbishment or the work of an importer. If you are a fan of German military arms and WWII history then this is the handgun for you. Good luck on your bid!