1908 Commercial Luger Archived

Genuine German Luger - Largest Variety of Lugers Offered
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This is beautiful example of a completely matching, 1908 DWM (Deutsche Waffen und Munitions Fabriken) Commercial Luger.  This is chambered for 9mm and has a standard 4" barrel (100mm) with fixed sights and walnut grips.  A very unique specimen in excellent condition with a lot of history in a 100+ year old gun.   (999)

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.


DWM set aside the 40000-51999 as the serial number block for 1907 production.  During that year several variations were produced using both the short and long frame, grip safety and with out, 7.65mm and 9mm; 4", 4 3/4", 6", 11 3/4" carbines. 1907 was the year of transition for DWM as they moved from the grip strap safety to just the single thumb safety. 1907 was the last year that DWM produced guns with and without proofs.  The early 1907 Army Test guns were the 9mm, short frame, 100mm barrel, grip safety and safety up thumb safety.


Serial number placement is in the civilian ("hidden") style. As a very early commercial gun the serial number appears on the front of the frame, on the bottom of the side plate, the bottom of the locking lever and on the trigger. The last two digits appear on the left of the breech block, the underside of the 1st toggle and rear of the 2nd toggle and stop lug. This Luger is all matching; it does not have a stock lug nor a hold-open.

The extractor is marked Geladen (Loaded) and the thumb safety is marked "Gesichert" and when exposed (safety down) means safe. The Parabellum has the long sear and no stock lug, another characteristic of the commercial Lugers of that time.

The DWM monogram markings appear on the 1st toggle link; there is the "V" rear sight on the last toggle link.  The barrel is numbered and proofed and matches the frame. The firing pin is the old style, unnumbered and is correct for the gun. Initially the front site was set at 80-110 meters but it was determined that this weapon would be used at a lot closer range so a 50 meter (slightly higher) sight was ordered for the military weapons.

Original grips are finely cut diamond shaped checkering made from walnut or in some cases beech wood. While military grips are serial numbered to the gun most commercial Lugers were not; these grips have inspectors marks but are not numbered.


At the outbreak of WWI the German Army seemed reasonably equipped with the Luger Pistol. The DWM factory in Berlin moved to peak production by 1915 and were producing 700 Parabellums per day.

The combined production for DWM  during the war years is only estimated at 740,000.  This was extraordinary for this period when each Luger was individually machined and hand fitted and proofed. The war destroyed vast quantities and these 90 yr old guns that have survived today are treasured in  collections throughout the world.


The inside of the gun is clean and well cared for.  The exterior shows honest wear on the muzzle, barrel and high points on the sides. The barrel is shiny and shows distinct lands and grooves.

Below:  The barrel is Crown B.U.G Proofed. Good crisp proofs on the frame left of the receiver and toggle. The stock lug bears the serial number. Collectors prize the guns that are BUG proofed.  The Crown B means the barrels were tested using a heavier load in accordance with the 1892 proof law. The Crown U (Untersuchung) means it was inspected after assembly and the Crown G (Gozogen) means a rifled barrel.

The Luger has all matching numbers including the magazine. The magazine is wood based, unnumbered in accordance with Commercial practices. The magazine is super clean and practically unfired.  This Luger shows characteristic holster wear on the side plate and front exposed edges of the rails and end of the barrel. On the bottom of the barrel is the caliber marking done at the factory; in this case 118.35.

The serial number puts this Luger in the early 1907 production year for commercial gun.  

When Germany mobilized for WWI at the killing of the Arch Duke Ferdinand weapon procurement went into high gear.  The military factories were running full time and the Royal Arsenal at Erfurt began to produce the Parabellum. When production was insufficient to arm the growing army the Imperial Government began to buy commercial guns off-the-shelf and these were made available to officers for purchase.  Pitroff probably was an officer who purchased his side arm and had his stamped in the front grip stamp in accordance with the practices at that time of the war.

Another identifying characteristic of these early guns is the short frame, long sear, Crown B. U and the extractor. BUG proofs are always hard to see since they were applied before the gun received the final finishing and their depth was sanded in the preparation for rust bluing.  These proofs are seen and historical.

Above Left you can see that there is not grip safety, no stock luck and the serial number on the rear toggle. The right frame pictures you can see where the hold open was not milled into frame when the notion to save money influenced the production of the gun. The error was immediately recognized and the military weapons were called back for refitting and future guns were produced with the hold open.  This rare variation testifies to the trueness of the early 1908 Commercial Issue.

There is an unpublished theory that the German Government marked the inside of the Commercial guns that were purchased and made available at reduced costs to the officers.

At this time there is no original documents but observation finds these stamps of "P" or "Pvt" in exactly the same position only on the 1908 Commercials. 

This serial number places production in 1907 so it would logically be among the 1st purchased.

This weapon is designated as a Curios and Relic (C&R) and be sent directly to those licensed persons or though your local dealer.


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. We strive to provide pictures so you can judge for yourself if the gun meets your criteria. If you need more information about the gun to make your decisions then email josef@phoenixinvestmentarms.com

This is a marvelous example of the 1908 Model Commercial Parabellum that was purchased by an officer for use in WWI and engraved his name in the front of the grip strap where unit markings were prescribed.


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