The German Luger P08 Sootch00 Review
Luger was introduced in 1898 by George Luger, and by 1908, the German Army had adopted the 9mm Luger. This was originally chambered in 7.65×21 Parabellum. In fact, Switzerland and the German Navy adopted the Luger in that caliber, but the 9mm is the caliber that the German army felt was the best. And obviously, it’s proven to be a great round. The Luger P08 served all throughout World War I, World War II, and was used after the war. In fact, up until the 1980s, it was used in police agencies in Germany and it is a very unusual firearm with a toggle action system. But, this is one of the most iconic firearms in history because of World War I and World War II–of course, serving against the Colt 1911. This Luger is a loaner from a really good friend of mine whose grandfather picked this up off the battlefield in World War II and I really appreciate him for letting me borrow this beautiful firearm for this review.
The Luger P08 was probably the most recognizable side arm of World War II, and possibly even World War I alongside the Colt 1911. These were adopted by the Swiss Army in 1901 and it was chambered for the .30 Luger or the 7.65 Parabellum. The German Navy picked it up in 1906 and then the German army chambered it in 9mm and then adopted it in 1908. There are a lot of different versions including the Navy version and the artillery version–which actually has a stock that fits on the front with a longer barrel and adjustable sights. The US military even tested a number of Lugers in .45 ACP, but of course ended up going with the Colt 1911.
Now, when taking the Luger out to the range, it is a totally different experience mainly because of the toggle action setup. I mean when these toggles come up, it doesn’t come back towards you but it’s more of a down push. It’s very unusual, but it’s still really a smooth shooting gun. Because the sights are so fine, that front sight especially, it points really well and it gets really good accuracy. I mean it’s known for its accuracy, plus very smooth shooting. The grip is really made to shoot one handed and we shot quite a bit with it one handed for fun of course. But then we shot it with the standard two hand grip and it’s a very pleasurable gun to shoot at the range. It’s only got an eight-round magazine, so it was really quick, but most of the firearms during that time also had it. We had no malfunctions, which with this really different action and a gun made over 80 years ago, it was nice that it just was very reliable–and these tend to be very reliable.
I mean this is German engineering at its finest. And because of that, the Luger P08 is still one of the most sought after military surplus firearms on the market. Now obviously these are pretty expensive, and they were expensive to produce. They’re very intricate, very well machined and if you can find them on the used market, they bring a premium. But there are all kinds of different models and so there’s no way to give you a real price. Years ago in fact, about 30 years ago, I bought a Luger that was an import and I think I paid like $400 for it. One of the things about surplus firearms is that when they first come into the country, that’s a great time to buy them because now these are definitely on collector status.
Thanks to my friend Bill for the loaner! We also appreciate Fiocchi for Supplying the ammo!
The Replica Helmet and Coat I purchased from Sportsman’s Guide. Code SOOTCH for $20 off $100 or more Purchase at checkout.
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