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Old March 17, 2014, 03:23 PM   #51
James K
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I am sure he did a lot of research, but all writers tend to fall into traps on details, often on stuff they are absolutely sure they know so they don't need to check.

The 9mm story, as far as I can determine, is kind of interesting. Luger offered the 7.65 to the German armed services (naturally). The Army requested a caliber change to 9mm. Now the 7.65 was supported ("headspaced") on its shoulder, like the rifle cartridges of the era. And Luger wanted to keep the same size base to avoid having to redesign and retool for the pistol. But when he tried to use a shoulder type case for 9mm, the shoulder was far too small to provide good case support. (There are some 9mm cases with tiny shoulders in collections , so this seems to be true.)

So how to support the case? Finally, Luger hit on the idea of supporting the case on the case mouth, which allowed him to satisfy the Army's request for a 9mm bullet in a case with the base the same size as the 7.65mm.

But that meant the case was tapered, one drawback of the 9mm for feeding; a straight case would have been better. So why not a straight case? Probably because the Army said 9mm, not 9.1mm or 9.2mm, and Luger wanted to give the Army what it asked for.

Jim
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Old March 17, 2014, 11:00 PM   #52
RickB
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I've heard the 9mm Luger described as .30 Luger with shoulder blown out, but the case OAL and extractor groove are different, so clearly there's some other story behind it?
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Old March 18, 2014, 05:18 AM   #53
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According to Datig, p. 75-77, the 9mm was introduced with the Model of 1902 (following the Model of 1900 in 7.65) as an attempt to get the German government to adopt the Luger. Remember, the following is from 1955:

Quote:
The first modification of the original was offered in the year 1902 and was designated as the model of that year. It may be assumed that the primary motivation behind this new type was the hope of interesting the German Government to the point of adoption of the Luger.
Datig goes on to say the first physical design change was shortening the barrel from 4-3/4" to 4", changing the rifling from 4 to 6 grooves, and introducing the "short" frames and receivers.

Then he says this:

Quote:
The one other change appearing with the 1902 was probably the most important and far reaching modification developed during the complete history of the Luger. In fact, although at the time, I am certain no one realized the fantastic scope it would ultimately attain, that one modification has probably done more to change the course of the history of ALL pistols than any other since the invention of the automatic principle of firearms! There has not been a pistol or sub-machine gun manufactured since that time, or a country in the world, whose basic production and history in the field of small arms has not been radically influenced by that one seemingly, at the time, unimportant change. It was the introduction of the 9m/m Luger cartridge!
It is fairly evident that very little attention was paid to the 9m/m Luger round in 1902 or for at least 2 years thereafter as the Model 1902 was undoubtedly made in relatively small quantities. This indicates that either the 1902 left only a slight impression on the commercial market or that it was actually meant to be a semi-experimental pistol used merely for the sole purpose of introducing the 9m/m cartridge or in other ways "feeling out" the potential market. Due to the fact that the only four 1902s examined are all American Eagle models (one other 1902 has been examined which is a commercial model without engraving over the chamber) it must be surmised that this specific model was considered to be of little consequence at the time of its introduction. All four known examples of the Model 1902 encountered to date are numbered in the #22,400 to #23,400 series.
Quote:
The Model 1902 was indeed a phenomenon! At the most, possibly 1,000 of this model were produced and consequently forgotten whereas the CARTRIDGE flourished to the point where, today, it is by far the most popular and widely used handgun cartridge in the world!

Last edited by spacecoast; March 18, 2014 at 06:13 PM.
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Old March 18, 2014, 06:32 AM   #54
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Interesting discussion. I have been shooting my P.08 more these days. It is a re-arsenalled 1941 BYF that came back through East Germany or Russia. It operates flawlessly, and is very accurate. It shows almost no wear. I'd like to think it was captured from a German officer at the eastern front, which is probably a likely scenario.

Recently, I brought it out after years of not shooting it to show a friend what Lugers were all about. I first shot my FMJ reloads through it, then some factory bulk FMJ. It performed perfectly. Then we tried a mix of flat point reloads, and factory hollow points. It again performed perfectly. I know it was designed for FMJ, but mine operates with any 9MM I use. I have thought about carrying it recently, and may do so.
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Old April 16, 2014, 05:33 PM   #55
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I'm pretty much in the same place as the OP.

I have a PO8 DKM Luger manufactured in 1911 that has been in my family since prior to WWII…rarely shot,a bedside gun and car gun, mostly bedside. Several years ago I had a respected Luger smith check it over for me. He found it to be in excellent mechanical condition but only about 80% blue remaining...the upper is very good, but the grip frame is worn. No pitting. The wood is in good shape. All matching numbers except for one. Period correct magazines. Period correct holster that has been trimmed for an easier draw..probably done when the gun was purchased. Shucks. This particular smith recommended not shooting it because of possible firing pin problems with this vintage PO8. He said if I wanted to mess with a 9mm, to buy a different gun and "save" this one.

So, I have "saved" it…and still haven't bought another 9mm. I'm a revolver type of guy, but I have the itch to shoot the darn thing. Recently I had a another smith look it over and strip and clean it up for me. I asked him about shooting it. His advice…shoot it and enjoy it. He said that if it were a pristine gun he would not make that recommendation. He also said that about any 115 or 124 grain ammo would be fine. Of course no +P.

Is there any ammo that works especially well in a PO8? I still have half a box of pre-WWII ammo that I have kept with the gun. Think I'll "save" that.
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Old June 11, 2014, 12:09 PM   #56
WPhillipEley
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I have a similar question. Did you get a response to your question? I have a 1920 Luger P08 Commercial pistol, but no ammunition. I would like to shoot it. Can I purchase .30 caliber ammunition at most any gun shops and sporting goods stores that will work with my P08?
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Old June 11, 2014, 12:19 PM   #57
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Quote:
Can I purchase .30 caliber ammunition at most any gun shops and sporting goods stores that will work with my P08?
7.65mm Luger, aka .30 Luger may still be found in some of the bigger gun stores or ordered online. You won't find it at Walmart or a mom & pop store, but it's out there.

Try this link: http://ammoseek.com/ammo/30-luger
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Old June 11, 2014, 07:01 PM   #58
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All P08s (German military pistols) were 9mm.
Apparently, Remington used to make a small annual run of .30 Luger ammo, but I think the last factory fodder I saw was Fiocchi?
Handloading is a bit of a hassle, as the barrel groove diameter is closer to .310" than .308", so "thirty caliber" bullets are not of the ideal size. I push jacketed .311"-.312" bullets through a Lee sizing die, and they come out at the correct .309+.
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Old June 11, 2014, 07:47 PM   #59
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Quote:
I'm pretty much in the same place as the OP.

I have a PO8 DKM Luger manufactured in 1911 that has been in my family since prior to WWII…rarely shot,a bedside gun and car gun, mostly bedside. Several years ago I had a respected Luger smith check it over for me. He found it to be in excellent mechanical condition but only about 80% blue remaining...the upper is very good, but the grip frame is worn. No pitting. The wood is in good shape. All matching numbers except for one. Period correct magazines. Period correct holster that has been trimmed for an easier draw..probably done when the gun was purchased. Shucks. This particular smith recommended not shooting it because of possible firing pin problems with this vintage PO8. He said if I wanted to mess with a 9mm, to buy a different gun and "save" this one.

So, I have "saved" it…and still haven't bought another 9mm. I'm a revolver type of guy, but I have the itch to shoot the darn thing. Recently I had a another smith look it over and strip and clean it up for me. I asked him about shooting it. His advice…shoot it and enjoy it. He said that if it were a pristine gun he would not make that recommendation. He also said that about any 115 or 124 grain ammo would be fine. Of course no +P.

Is there any ammo that works especially well in a PO8? I still have half a box of pre-WWII ammo that I have kept with the gun. Think I'll "save" that.
I have very good luck shooting Federal Champion Valupak 115 grain 9mm in my mixed numbers 1913 DWM P08. Using current Mec-Gar magazines I rarely have a malfunction. Pretty impressive for a 101 year old pistol! And impressive you can walk into any gun store and buy ammo for it.
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Old June 12, 2014, 11:58 AM   #60
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You won't find it at Walmart or a mom & pop store, but it's out there.
No, you won't find rare or uncommon ammo at WalMart. But you can sometimes find it at "mom & pop" stores. When you do, its usually been there a LONG time.

One Mom & Pop store/gas station I knew (basically the last place to gas up before heading into the high country) had shelves with a box of nearly every caliber known to man, including Weatherby and some African big game calibers. They would even sell individual cartridges. And more than one hunter over the years was very glad they did.

The mom & pops often have stuff you just won't find on the shelves anywhere else. You just can't count on finding a specific thing at a specific place when you need it.

Check out the old mom & pop hardware stores too. One place I found a 25rnd box of Win 12ga 00 Buckshot. Had been there so long, dust on the box, and the marked price was little more than a new 5rnd box at Walmart. And, the old boy gladly sold it to me for the marked price! Tough to beat that!

Back to Lugers, the old lugers were set up to eat a 124gr @1050fps. That was the original 9mm loading. Most seem ok with the 115gr @1150fps, which later became the standard load. I wouldn't run anything else through an old Luger, no point to it.
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Old June 12, 2014, 06:44 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyvel
7.65mm Luger, aka .30 Luger may still be found in some of the bigger gun stores or ordered online.
Gyvel, I suspect you meant 7.65 Parabellum.

AFAIK the only .30 Luger / 7.65 Para load that's consistently available from a major commercial maker is made by Fiocchi; it's an Italian company, hence the ammo is generally marked with the metric designation, although some of their boxes are evidently marked both ways. Speaking of which, both Fiocchi flavors are supposedly "Available" at Midway as I write this...

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/167...ProductFinding
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/652...ProductFinding

That said, as others have pointed out, this is one of those cartridges that tends to linger on local store shelves for a LOOONG time. Don't be surprised to find 20+ year old Remchester.

Also, just as an aside, .30 Luger / 7.65 Para is actually somewhat of an oddball, as it actually uses neither a true .30-caliber (0.308", 7.62mm) nor a true .32-caliber (0.312", 7.65mm) bullet; it's usually loaded with a 0.309-0.310" or 7.63mm caliber bullet, so it's .31-caliber.
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Old June 14, 2014, 01:03 AM   #62
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Wow! Midway's website is about the most user UNfriendly site I have ever seen. I did a search for ".30 Luger," "7.65 Luger." and "7.65 Parabellum," all of which showed "0" results. I finally tried looking under Fiocchi, and had to scroll through all the calibres. Then, when I wanted see what was in my cart, it wanted my email and a password. No thanks.
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