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Nazi German Luge


Condition: Used, Minor Wear
Caliber: 9mm Luger






The Pistole Parabellum 1908 — or Parabellum-Pistole (Pistol Parabellum)  is a toggle-locked recoil-operated semi-automatic pistol. The design was patented by Georg J. Luger in 1898 and produced by German arms manufacturer Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) starting in 1900 with other manufacturers such as W+F Bern, Krieghoff, Simson, Mauser and Vickers;[2] it was an evolution of the 1893 Hugo Borchardt–designed C-93. The first Parabellum pistol was adopted by the Swiss army in May 1900. In German Army service, it was succeeded and partly replaced by the Walther P38 in caliber 9mm Parabellum.

The Luger is well known from its use by Germans during World War I and World War II, along with the interwar Weimar Republic and the postwar East German Volkspolizei. Although the P.08 was introduced in 7.65mm Parabellum, it is notable for being the pistol for which the 9mmP (also incorrectly known as the 9mm Luger) cartridge was developed.

One of the first semi-automatic pistols, the Luger was designed to use a toggle-lock action, which uses a jointed arm to lock, as opposed to the slide actions of almost every other semi-automatic pistol. After a round is fired, the barrel and toggle assembly (both locked together at this point) travel rearward due to recoil. After moving roughly 0.5 in (13 mm) rearward, the toggle strikes a cam built into the frame, causing the knee joint to hinge and the toggle and breech assembly to unlock. At this point the barrel impacts the frame and stops its rearward movement, but the toggle assembly continues moving (bending the knee joint) due to momentum, extracting the spent casing from the chamber and ejecting it. The toggle and breech assembly subsequently travel forward under spring tension and the next round from the magazine is loaded into the chamber. The entire sequence occurs in a fraction of a second. This mechanism works well for higher-pressure cartridges, but cartridges loaded to a lower pressure can cause the pistol to malfunction because they do not generate enough recoil to work the action fully. This results in either the breech block not clearing the top cartridge of the magazine, or becoming jammed open on the cartridge’s base.[3]

In World War I, as submachine guns were found to be effective in trench warfare, experiments with converting various types of pistols to machine pistols (Reihenfeuerpistolen, literally “row-fire pistols” or “consecutive fire pistols”) were conducted. Among those the Luger pistol (German Army designation Pistole 08) was examined; however, unlike the Mauser C96, which was later manufactured in a selective-fire version (Schnellfeuer) or Reihenfeuerpistolen, the Luger proved to have an excessive rate of fire in full-automatic mode.

The Luger pistol was manufactured to exacting standards and had a long service life. William “Bill” Ruger praised the Luger’s 145° (55° for Americans) grip angle and duplicated it in his .22 LR pistol.



The P08 nine-millimeter Parabellum—or Luger—pistol was the brainchild of its namesake inventor, and it served Germany faithfully during both world wars. Often associated with the Nazi regime, it was the handgun of the Kaiser’s Soldaten before Hitler took power.

Yet it’s more closely associated with the latter. If you watch a World War II movie, you almost expect a barking Gestapo officer to start frantically waving a Luger around.


“From its adoption, the Luger was synonymous with the German military through the end of World War II,” Aaron Davis wrote in The Standard Catalog of the Luger. “Ask any World War II vet of the [European Theater of Operations] what the most prized war souvenir was and the answer will invariably come back, ‘a Luger.’”

Although chambered for several calibers, the most common Luger model used nine-millimeter Parabellum ammunition, a caliber that swept the world after World War I, and which owed its name to the Latin saying.

Armies around the world still use this round in various submachine guns. It’s also the round fired by the Beretta M-9 pistol, currently the official sidearm of the United States military

This Luger is a recoil-operated, locked breech, semi-automatic handgun with an eight-round capacity. It has a unique toggle-lock action, which uses a jointed arm to lock the weapon, instead of the slide action used by almost every other semi-auto pistol in the world.

Luger got his initial idea for the pistol from Hugo Borchardt, designer of the bizarre-looking C-93. Borchardt’s pistol was powerful and accurate, but heavy, awkward to hold and very expensive to produce. Luger took the complex toggle-lock action, simplified it, angled the pistol grip at 55 degrees—to make the weapon more comfortable to hold—and produced the gun in a smaller package.

The Luger Model 1900 was the first weapon engraved with the letters DWM—for the Berlin manufacturer Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabrikenindicating the point of origin for all early models of the pistol.

The Swiss first purchased the Luger Model 1900, originally chambered in 7.65 millimeter. By 1906, DWM made pistols for Brazil, Bulgaria, Holland, Portugal and Russia.

The U.S. Army even briefly considered the Luger before turning to the M1911 .45-caliber pistol. However, other customers—including the German navy—wanted a bigger round. By 1908, the classic nine-millimeter Luger was the standard, hence the designation Pistole 1908.

The Luger remained the standard service pistol of the German army until 1938, when the Walther P-38 nine-millimeter pistol entered service. Despite its good technical reputation, the Luger is still a complicated machine with several downsides.

When the pistol’s breech is open, the jointed arm sits at an acute angle—the kind of mechanics that make the pistol susceptible to malfunctions because of fouling.

In fact, the Browning Hi-Power became the Luger’s greatest competitor, because of the Browning’s simplicity—which mattered to soldiers who had to field-strip and clean the handgun in the field.


Luger P08s were highly prized trophies of war. Allied soldiers captured thousands of them—and several episodes of the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers highlights an American soldier’s quest to obtain one.



Modified in 1908 as the 9/9mm Parabellum, the Luger is noted as the weapon for which the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge was introduced. It is estimated that more than three million Lugers were built during their long service run. Various sub-machine guns had seen valuable and effective trench warfare service during the Great War, with experimentation done as well via pistol conversions into fully automatic hand-held sidearms, among them the P08, in which the Luger displays a substantial rate of fire.

The Luger is 8.74 inches long, with a barrel length of 4.7 inches (3.9 inches in the short version and 7.9 inches in its artillery version); a weight of one pound, 15 ounces; a rate of fire of 116 rounds per minute in its semi-automatic modality; and a muzzle velocity of 1,148 to 1,312 feet per second in its 9mm short-barrel configuration. With its iron sights, the trusty Luger had an effective firing range of 56 yards in its short-barrel edition, boasting a feed system of an eight-round, detachable box magazine plus a 32-round magazine if needed.


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