Sold For: $1,220.22
Make: Deutsche Waffen-und Munitionsfabriken (DWM)
Model: Luger P.08 (Parabellum-Pistole)
Year of Manufacture: Circa 1921-1928, C&R
Caliber: 7.65mm Parabellum
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” and the serial number “9516 / l”. The bottom of the chamber ring is marked with some faded characters. The left side of the slide is marked with a crowned “N” nitro proof. The left side of the breechblock is marked with a crowned “N” and the rear of the breechblock (by the firing pins slot) is marked “30”. The top of the front toggle link is marked with the “DWM” logo. The rear end of the back toggle link is marked “16”. The right side of the slide is marked with an upside down “GERMANY”. The trigger side-plate is marked “16” at the bottom. The left side of the trigger is marked “16”, visible when the side-plate is removed. The locking bolt is marked “16”. The safety bar is unmarked. The front of the frame is marked with the serial number “9516 / l”.
Barrel Length: 3 5/8”
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-moderate handling marks, nicks and scuffs. Notably, the panels have some scattered discoloration. The checkering remains mostly sharp. Overall, the grip panels 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 some light erosion concentrated in the grooves.
Overall Condition: The pistol retains about 75% of its metal finish. There are light handling marks, nicks and scuffs. Notably, the finish has worn off the leading edges, some scattered spots of finish loss on the grip-straps and some scattered patches of light surface oxidation. The markings remain clear. The screwheads have light tool-marks but they remain serviceable. Overall, the pistol is in Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The magazine included with the handgun has some trouble seating properly in the frame. 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 8-round magazine. The magazine has light handling wear, but it 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 refurbished and/or fabricated during the Weimar-era for commercial sales. It is chambered for the 7.65mm Parabellum cartridge, has a 3 5/8” long barrel and is marked “GERMANY” in English; all characteristics associated with a refurbished handgun destined for commercial sales in other nations. Between 1921-1928 there were a number of Lugers that were both refurbished and fabricated specifically for export, primarily to the United States with its large commercial firearms market (hence the English language “GERMANY” marking). These commercial exports are referred to today as the “alphabet DWM” Lugers due to the serialization pattern applied to them and the lack of markings typically seen on Luger P.08 handguns. This specimen has wear consistent with its age but it is still aesthetically pleasing. This fascinating old handgun is a great option for collectors of historical firearms. Good luck on your bid!