1938 Mauser S/42 Afrikakorps Corps


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This is a 1934 Model Pistole 08 military gun manufactured by Mauser for delivery in 1938. This Parabellum is a 4 inch (100 mm) 9mm Parabellum made on the "short frame" with short sear. This Luger is offered with the entire rig (see below) from the Afrikakorps that was the German response to the British attacks on their allies, the Italians.  This is a "rig" that was brought back by an Army Air Force mechanic who was stationed in Libya during WWII.  (1998)

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. Please visit Legal (tabbed) for Conditions of Sale.


The GermanAfrikanders was formed, on February 19, 1941, after the German Armed Forces High Command (OKW) had decided to send an expeditionary force to Libya to support the Italian army, which had been routed by an counter-offensive, Operation Compass. The German expeditionary force, commanded by Erwin Rommel, at first consisted only of the 5th Panzer Regiment and various other small units. These elements were organized into the 5th Light Division when they arrived in Africa in February. In the spring the 5th Light Division was joined by the 15th Panzer Division, though it did not arrive until after Rommel had made a counter-offensive and re-taken most of Cyrenaica and gone back over to the defensive. At this time the Afrikakorps consisted of the two divisions plus various smaller supporting units, and was officially subordinated to the Italian chain of command in Africa (though Rommel had conducted his offensive without any authorization).










Rommel inspects his new command in 1941         -          The Old and New Transportation.


Serial number placement is in the military (exposed) style. The thumb safety is marked "Gesichert" and extractor "Geladen." This example has all matching numbers including two matching magazines. The barrel is numbered and proofed and matches the frame. Collectors refer to this model as 1934 to represent the year that Mauser created the machinery for their production run of the Luger. So this 1938 dated 1934 Model is an early Mauser variation and excellent example of craftsmanship.

This post 1937 Mauser exhibit the salt blue process that blued all the parts of the gun including the trigger, locking lever, thumb safety and magazine release that was formally nitrate (straw) blued. Although a different look for the Luger it was a shiny surface process and gave us another variation.

The first toggle link is marked with the S/42 Mauser code, this was one of four logos that Mauser used during the war; S/42, 42, byf and the Banner.   There is the "V" rear sight on the rear toggle link and the last two digits of the serial number appear.



Adolph Hitler Reviewing Troops prior to movement to the front.

Afrika Parade for the Italian Allies

Below: Feldmarshall  Erwin Rommel. Deutsches Afrikakorps, with German General Staff


This is a war-time battlefield souvenir that has seen at least three continents and still remains in excellent shape as a testimony to the craftsman that created it and the Deutscher Soldat who cared for his weapon and the good home it found after the war.

The extractor [GELADEN - Loaded] rises above the breach block to both visually and by feel (in the dark) that the gun is loaded and ready for action.

The right side show the various early straight wing Eagle 63 proof characteristic of the Mauser along with the drooped winged Alder (Eagle) of the military acceptance stamp both on the frame and barrel. Beginning in 1939 this stamp was changed to the straight wing Alder with the Swastika giving rise to the Nazi marked guns. The 2nd Eagle is the Waffenamt proof of Reich Govt. test acceptance.


Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel enjoying a toast with his soldiers. General Rommel was loved by his men and after his return to France and the defeat of the Afrikakorps in 1943 and internment of his men by the US in Mississippi they would continue to write to Rommel to explain their health and conditions.


The barrel is matched to the gun with the caliber 8.81mm stamped.  The "l" serial suffix puts this "1936 date mid-way in the 1936 contract. Serial number placement is in the military ("exposed") style.   The serial number appears on the front of the frame, on the side of the locking bolt, on the trigger, on the bottom of the barrel, the side plate,  the left side of the receiver, the safety bar, the sear bar, the rear connecting pin, and on the extractor.

The barrel is gauge marked and serial numbered to the frame; the magazine is matching in addition to the 2nd magazine in the holster is a matching serial number.

 On the left are the two matching magazines in blued sleeves with the solid aluminum bottom.  Aluminum was more plentiful and durable than the wood bottoms but still an intricate part to machine.


Me109 in Desert Camouflage

It is very difficult to find any items from the Afrikakorps due to the short life (2 yrs) that they were in existence and when defeated the GI Souvenirs' moved with them to Sicily, Italy and beyond. 

During the summer of 1941 OKW invested more command structure in Africa by creating a new headquarters called Panzer Group Africa (Panzergruppe Afrika). On August 15 Panzer Group Africa was activated with Rommel in command, and command of the Afrika Korps was turned over to Ludwig Crüwell. The Panzer Group controlled the Afrika Korps plus some additional German units that were sent to Africa, as well as two corps of Italian units. (A German "group" was approximately the equivalent of an army in other militaries, and in fact Panzer Group Africa was re-designated as Panzer Army Africa (Panzerarmee Afrika) on January 30, 1942


This gun is very clean inside. It shows us the short sear that lets the Luger be loaded with the safety on and with the toggle in full rear recoil we can see the serialization of the rear main axel pin ordered in 1933.  The frame does has the "Mauser 2mm Hump" at the rear of  the frame to protect the rear main axel pin. 

Above Left: Here is the Luger in full recoil with the rear main axel pin exposed. The frame is a Mauser frame as you can see the 2mm hump that Mauser built into the frames to protect the rear main axel pin. In 1932 the Reichswehrministerium issued an order that the rear connecting pin be serial numbered to the gun which was required by order in 1933.  The grips are in very good condition and are serial numbered to the gun.

This is a full Rig. Tan Leather holsters are becoming more and more rare and are seldom seen in good condition; this holster is extraordinary.  There is a 2nd matching magazine, the 1938 holster and buckled  tropical belt and a loading tool. When your are talking about a "bring back" this Luger was captured intact with the everything. Usually the buckles sell for over a hundred dollars by themselves and seldom available with the belt with full components.  This leather is in very good condition and has been well cared for with all stitching intact and serviceable.

The holster is in excellent shape with flexible leather and original white stitching. It has the manufactures cartouche, the Waffenamt proof and the 1938 date and an Afrikakorps stamp on the upper right rear.

The loading tool is proofed with the early drooped wing Eagle 63 of the Mauser inspector. Inside the Parabellum all the numbers are matching including the trigger, locking lever and receiver pictured above right.


After the defeat at El Alamein and the Allied invasion in Morocco and Algeria Operation Torch OKW once more upgraded its presence in Africa by creating the XC Army Corps in Tunisia on November 19,1942, and then creating a new 5th Panzer Army headquarters there as well on December 8 under the command of Col.-Gen.Hans-Jürgen von Arnim.. The remnants of the Afrikakorps and other surviving units of the 1st Italian Army retreated into Tunisia. Command of the Army Group was turned over to von Arnim in March. On May 13, 1943 remnants of the Afrikakorps along with all other remaining Axis forces in North Africa surrendered.


This is a seldom seen rig with the tropical belt and Wehrmacht buckle of the Afrikakorps that was captured with the 1938 gun and dated holster. The Brown holster has the German all original stitching and is proofed to include the Afrikakorps stamp on it.  The holster comes with an extra matching magazine & proofed loading tool. This is a minty 76 year old inheritance of history that is seldom available to the WWII collector. Questions to josef@www.phoenixinvestentarms.com

We reserve the right to sell any internet offering to a direct sale and do not warrant the availability of any firearm that do not have a cash deposit. This gun may be withdrawn without notice for in-store sale. Call for availability


LAYAWAYS:  Sometimes our "significant other" doesn't understand the beauty, craftsmanship and investment potential of one of these investor grade weapons.  In these circumstances where discretion becomes the better part of valor we will accept layaways of up to one year with at least 20% down and some activity occurring monthly to insure that after one year the sale is completed.  Cancellations of layaways forfeit 33% if done within two months, otherwise 100%. You can transfer a layaway to a consignment sale at any time. See "Legal" for exact terms.


See Credits, Bibliography, Notices and Disclaimers.

3 Day Return Policy

We honor a three day return policy. We will answer any questions, send you any pictures, as detailed as you want, to insure that what we are showing you is what you want to see, before you buy it.  See Legal.


WARNING: We do not represent these guns as safe to fire. They are not test fired before sale; they are sold as collectibles only. Prior to firing you should have it inspected by a qualified individual and abide by all safety requirements.

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