SOLD FOR: $2650
Make: Mauser (byf)
Model: Luger P.08
Year of Manufacture: 1941, C&R
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Action Type: Toggle-Action Semi-Automatic Striker-Fired Pistol fed by Detachable Magazines
Barrel Length: 4”
Sights/ Optics: The front sight is serrated blade dovetailed 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 grips have fairly minor handling wear with some smoothed checkers at the bottom of each panel. There are a few scattered minor marks. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Very Good-plus condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Refinished
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with sharp rifling. There is some light erosion in the bore, mostly toward the muzzle-end. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 7 out of 10.
Many military and C&R-eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide.
Overall Condition: The pistol retains about 80% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges and there is some finish wear on raised features. The barrel has scattered finish wear. There are some scattered spots of minor surface oxidation. There is infrequent very minor erosion under the finish with a few spots of more notable erosion, most covered by the grips when installed. There are some scattered minor nicks and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, the pistol is in Very Good condition as refinished.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box Paperwork and Accessories: This pistol comes with a total of two magazines and a black leather flap holster. One magazine has a serial-matching alloy floorplate, the other has a non-matching wood floorplate. The back of the holster is marked “jhg / 42”, eagle WaA286 waffenamt, and “P.08”. “Rommel” has been hand-carved in the back of the holster and the inside of the flap.
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 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 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. 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 P.08. 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 specimen was made in 1941 and is in quite good condition given its age and potential use in the most destructive conflict in history. Mauser used the code “byf” on its output beginning in early 1941 and continued to use that code until the end of WWII, which aligns with the waffenamts and date code on the slide. This Luger has serial-matching parts including one of the magazines. The pistol was produced in what would prove to be the most decisive year of the conflict. On June 22nd, 1941 a German led coalition invaded the Soviet Union and initially made massive inroads into Soviet territory. The Red Army took massive losses in the early months of the invasion, millions of Soviet soldiers were taken prisoner (where they would be starved to death by their captors) and the German military appeared poised to capture Moscow by the end of the year. What German High Command had not foreseen was a massive Soviet counteroffensive. On December 5th, under the leadership of General Giorgy Zhukov, Red Army units which had been stationed in the Far-Eastern portions of the Soviet Union were transferred to Moscow and launched a counteroffensive which repulsed the German advance and secured the imperiled capital of the Soviet Union. Also, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Germany declared war on the United States which only further complicated Germany’s position.
This pistol has been refinished, so it looks quite nice for its age and service. It retains a decent bore and strong mechanics and comes with a holster as well as a brace of magazines. If you are a fan of German military arms and WWII history then this is the handgun for you. Good luck on your bid!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud