1908/1920 Nazi Railway (Bahnhoff) Luger  Archives


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This is a 1908 Model that was made for the Imperial German Army and directed to the German Railway Service (Reichseisenbahnen). This Parabellum is 9mm with a 4" (100mm) barrel that is proofed and serial numbered to the gun.  Serial number placement is in the military ("exposed") style. The thumb safety is marked "Gesichert" and extractor "Geladen."  This example has all matching numbers and comes with a three matching matching magazine and unique Reichsbahn shoulder holster.  (1346)


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.


WWI ended in an armistice where both sides simply stopped fighting.

It was signed in a railway carriage in Compiègne Forest on November 11, 1918 and marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for Germany, although not technically a surrender. It required the German Army to evacuate Belgium, France  and Alsace-Lorraine within 14 days or be taken prisoner. By foot, by animal, by transport and by train the German army went home carrying their personal weapons in a mass movement of  forces.


This 1908 variation still has the the DWM style short frame with short sear, no stock lug and a hold open. The strawed parts that appeared on the thumb safety, trigger and locking lever are now silver with age.

This is a very unusual shoulder holster most probably worn by a Railway Service Detective.  Without straps over the magazine one would suspect it was worn under a coat or jacket since it as not designed for rugged use. The leather is soft and pliable and the insignia of rank as a ranked railway official. Before the end of the was the Railway Police were taken over by the SS Die Schutz-Staffel under Himler

This is a beautiful example of the 1908 variation with all the numbers matching and the locking lever originally numbered on the bottom, no stock lug but the addition of he "hold-open" since the original order in 1908 did not  include the hold-open to save money.

Although this gun is not obviously visible as a double-date, it should be considered one. The original Luger was a 1908 military and bears all the characteristics of that model Parabellum; no chamber date, left side military proofing, no stock lug that has been re-built with the short sear and side frame numbering before going to the German National Railway (then called the Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft, or German National Railway Company)




 The new (Weimar) German Government after WWI found itself with an armed citizenry with all the soldiers bringing their weapons home from the war.

  On August 1st, 1920 the German authorities issued an order from Berlin that cited the impending disarming of the people required that all weapons of the armed forces were to be marked with the date to prevent people from stealing military supplies and selling them back to the government.

  On August 7th, 1920 rewards were begun for the turn-in of weapons to the government paying 100 Marks (then about $23.50) for a small arm until October 10th after which the reward was to be reduced to 50 Marks. Thus began the disarming of the citizenry; a lesson that should not be lost on free people.


Above the full serial number appears on the frame, under the barrel on the side of the frame and on the magazines. the last two digits of the serial number appear on the small parts. The early 1908 models had the serial number stamped vertically to the spline of magazine


LEFT: Poster Announcing the Surrender of Weapons

Then on August 7th, 1920 the Disarming-of-the-People Law set forth a reward of 100 Marks, (then about $23.50), were given for small arms until October 10th at which time the award was reduced to 50 Marks.

This began the disarming of the German people, paving the way for seizing all the private weapons.

This is a lesson for all of us.


The proofs of the early 1908 military were on the left side of the receiver and the serial numbers were hidden as in the commercial models.  When the gun was returned to the military in 1920 it was re-stamped in the Weimar military manner with the serial number on the left side and the side plate and locking lever stamped with the last two digits of the serial number, truly of story in itself.


The Deutsche Reichsbahn ("German Reich Railway") was the name of the German national railway created from the railways of the individual states of the German Empire following the end of World War I.

It was founded in 1920 as the Deutsche Reichseisenbahnen when the Weimar Republic (formally "Deutsches Reich," hence the usage of "Reich" in the name of the railway) took national control of the German railways, which had previously been run by the German states.

In 1924 it was reorganized under the aegis of the Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft (DRG), a nominal private railway company, which was 100% owned by the German state.

In 1937 it was reorganized again as a state authority and given the name Deutsche Reichsbahn (DRB). After the Anschluss in 1938 the DR also took over the Bundesbahn Österreich (BBÖ, Federal Railway of Austria).


The inside of the Luger reveals it was originally cut for 1906 squeeze grip safety and convert to the 1908 model without the return spring. This is a clean gun that shows honest holster wear from its long and varied service; what a tale this Luger could tell.


Above: The gun is a true 1908 with the original serial numbers hidden under the locking lever and side plate.   The three matching magazines are all numbered in the 19087 manner and appear to be


The patch comes from a Railway Officials color tab as depicted in the above picture and below. It appears this official was assigned to Brussels.



Above: The Holster is still subtle leather with all the straps and stitching intact.  Below is a female Railway Identification Passe and a wrist band from the German Army Traffic Direction.



The serial numbers match throughout the Luger with the four full digit serial number on the frame barrel (1908 original) and then (1920 addition) to the side of the frame (below).  All the small parts have the last to digits of the serial number to identify the parts with the gun.

The early 1908 Model had no dated head stamp and the Imperial Army proofs and acceptance on the left side of the gun instead of the right. This was soon reversed with the proofs appearing on the left side and only the serial number being stamped on the left side in front of the side plate.


It is entirely subjective to give any Luger a rating of excellent or fine, just as it is to declare it xx% blued or strawed. Few Lugers are out of the box new and these are premium priced. Bluing percentages is like Beauty, in the eye of the beholder.  If there are any other pictures of some position of the gun or questions about the Luger please contact josef@phoenixinvestmentarms.com


In 1933, the German government established the Bahnschutz (railroad special protection force). This organization, the personnel of which were drawn from railroad employees, was responsible for the protection of the railroads in time of war and civil disorder. Three basic armed security arms acted for the Reichsbahn:

Bahnschutz – protected rail property from theft and sabotage.

Bahnpolizei – kept discipline within the rail workforce.

Wassershutzpolitzei – patrolled railway facilities in harbours, canals & waterways.

In 1937, Hitler brought the German Railway System under complete national control.

All three services were amalgamated in 1941 under the title of Bahnshutzpolizei. It soon came under the control of Himmler and the SS took more responsibility for the control and management of prisoners and security on the German Railway.

In 1944 the Bahnschutzpolizei changed its name to SS-Bahnshutz.



For the collector this is many variations rolled into one. An original 1908 Model military that was picked up in the 1920 double-date period and then transferred to the German Railway Service ultimately in the Reichsbahn. The very unusual holster was probably custom made with to matching magazines and no manufacturers cartouche; however it does have a high train officials collar tab sewn into the holster. This very rare combination of variations is offered for $3,895.00 over-the-counter.


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