1908 Luger 1st Issue Military  Archived

Genuine German Luger - Largest Variety of Lugers Offered
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This is an outstanding example of the 1st Issue 1908 Model DWM (Deutsches Waffen Und Munitionsfabriken Co) Manufactured Pistole-08. The unmarked chamber, characteristics and two digit serial number represent the 1st military contract year of production.  (996)


NOTE: Photographs taken today with the high mega-pixel camera show more than we sometimes can see with the human eye. Magnified close-ups show us tool marks and natural surface conditions that one normally doesn't see in the ordinary handling of the weapon.  Photographs are copyrighted, all rights reserved, any extraction, reproduction or display of gun pictures without the express consent of the Phoenix Investment Arms is strictly prohibited. Thank you for your cooperation.


On August 22, 1908, the German military adopted the Parabellum with a 100mm barrel (4") in 9mm and identified it as the Pistole 08 and signed by the Kaiser.  The serial number appears on the front of the frame, on the left side of the receiver, on the side plate sear and trigger. This Luger is all matching including the magazine.  This Luger bears no stock lug and an installed hold-open.  In December 1908 the Königliche Gewehrfabrik Spandau to DWM for 50,000 P-08s; production the first year (1909) was reported at 25,000 Lugers.

This 1908 Model Luger is characterized by the 9mm  4" (100mm) barrel,  the rear "V" cut fixed and front dovetailed sight and the frame with the stock lug. These series of Lugers were produced from 1908 until 1918 for the German Military. The thumb safety is marked "Gesichert" and when exposed (safety down) means safe.

Look above the trigger (see below left) and you can see the Crown Letter of the Erfurt factory that did the modification for the installation of the hold open. Early models were produced without a hold-open as a money saving proposal. It was soon apparent the value of the toggle held open after the last round was fired for quick reloading.  The Imperial Army wanted these guns modified and so ordered this done in May 1913. The renumbering from civilian to military markings and the addition of the barrel gauge may have occurred when the hold-pen was added since the new military markings were begun in 1910.

The very early military models show just two inspector stamps Crown (Letter) and the German Army Test Proof the Reichsadler or Government Eagle.  Later models had three Crown Proofs and the acceptance proof.


Sometimes we create our theories from observing parts and assume they are the rule. It is generally written that 1908 1st military emerged from  the 1906 German Army test of the Luger  with the absence of the grip safety, no hold-open, no stock lug and the Pistole's serial numbers marked in the commercial (hidden) manner with the military proofs on the left side. 


The inside of the gun reveals the all-matching parts, a long sear, a very clean main spring and a well cared for and preserved Luger.  This Parabellum represents a collector's dream with two digit serial number and a very clean Pistole -08.

The inside of this Parabellum is very clean and the pins still retain their nitrate blue.  This early weapon does not show the extensive use usually found in these 100+ year old Lugers.


Now we find a two-digit serial numbered gun that meets most of the characteristics of the model but has the serial numbers in the military fashion, no date over the chamber, and the proofs on the right hand side.  It has been modified by Erfurt for a hold open. It has been generally accepted that there were two lines at DWM through 1907 that produced proofed and unproofed squeeze grip '06 models.  Was there a two early versions of the 1st military contract?  You be the judge.


It has been accepted that a common prescribed characteristics of the 1908 1st Military is the absence of the barrel gauge however, this early '08 Military has the barrel gauge and (Above Right) the serial number on the thumb safety.

Matching serial numbers including the magazine point out the early use of the large letters in a horizontal position like those used on Navy Lugers.  The two digit serial number places is very early in production; the 86th Luger for the Imperial Army.

This Luger is identified as a curio and can be send directly to C&R licensees and above. We strive to provide pictures so you can judge for yourself if the gun meets your criteria. If you have a particular angle you want to see please ask us.  Questions to: Josef.


This is a excellent example of the 1908 Model Parabellum that was built for the Imperial Army by DWM. These early production models are difficult to find and this one is worth collectible.


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