SOLD FOR: $2725
Make: Mauser (S/42)
Model: Parabellum-Pistole, Luger Model P.08
Year of Manufacture: 1934, date code “K”, 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 “9554 / 8,82”. The bottom of the chamber ring is marked “7” ahead of the lug and “B/90” on the lug which is an Reichswehr acceptance mark. The right side of the barrel is marked with an Weimar-style eagle which was an army test proof. The top of the receiver is marked “K” which indicates the gun was manufactured in “1934”. The right side of the receiver is marked with “B/90” and “S/91” Reichswehr acceptance marks which are adjacent to a Weimar eagle (army test proof). The left side of the receiver is marked with the serial number “9554” while the trigger bar is marked “S” and “54”. The top of the extractor situated on the breechblock is marked “54”, the left side of the breechblock features a Weimar eagle and the breechblock is marked “57” (the breechblock serial number appears to have been poorly struck out). The top of the front toggle link is marked with a Gothic “S/42” which was a Mauser production code and “54”. The rear end of the rear toggle link is marked “54”. The Trigger side-plate is marked “54”. The locking bolt is marked “54”. The safety bar is marked “S” and “54”. The left side of the trigger, concealed by the slide, is marked “54”. The receiver axle is marked “54”. The firing pin is marked “54”. The left grip-strap is marked “K” above the mainspring assembly. The hold-open latch is marked “54”. The right grip-strap has some faded marks. The front of the receiver is marked “9554”. The concealed portion of the grip panels are both marked “54”. The left side of the magazine is marked with an eagle above “37” NSDAP waffenamt near the top and has the same waffenamt near the base under “122”. The bottom of the magazine is marked with a NSDAP eagle above “37” waffenamt, not serial matched with the serial “6680” and is marked “b”.
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 and there is light wear around the screw slots. The checkering remains mostly sharp. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue and Straw
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with mostly sharp rifling. There is light erosion concentrated in the grooves.
Overall Condition: The pistol retains about 55% of its metal finish. There are scattered light handling marks, nicks and scuffs on the gun’s metal surfaces. Notably, the finish worn off the leading edges, the majority of the barrel’s finish has worn off, the finish has thinned out on the grip straps and the gun is coated in light surface oxidation. The markings remain clear. The screw-heads have light tool-marks but they remain serviceable. Overall, the pistol is in Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The hold-open latch is not properly secured to the frame and falls out when the gun is taken down, but it is easily replaced and does not interfere with the action. Otherwise, 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. The magazine has some light handling marks, its finish has largely worn off and it is coated in light surface oxidation. Overall, the magazine remains 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 1934 as indicated by the “K” marking on the chamber ring. Mauser took over production of the Luger P.08 for the German military in 1934 (a year after Hitler came to power) and first year production P.08s were marked with a “K” rather than a formal date code to conceal Germany’s rearmament which was in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Germany had never fully conformed to the provisions of the treaty, but following the NSDAP assumption of power it began to accelerate its military development. This was initially done in secret, but by 1935 the charade was no longer needed as the country began to openly declare it was remilitarizing. These markings add a unique flavor to this Luger which fits into the transition period from the Weimar to NSDAP eras. It lacks the politically overt NSDAP markings seen on Lugers made several years later, but is a direct byproduct of NSDAP policies vis-a-vis Germany’s rearmament. Despite some handling wear the gun remains aesthetically pleasing and ergonomic. While the hold open latch is not properly secured, otherwise the gun remains a mechanically sound option. Aside from the breechblock, the gun is serial matched. If you are a fan of German military arms and WWII history then this is the handgun for you. Good luck on your bid!