View Full Version : Luger P08 info please

September 17, 2006, 03:40 PM
I have recently come into temporary custody of a P08 Luger. So far I have determined that it was made by DWM, has a four digit serial number, two magazines, one with a wooden base, it also has the tang on the grip for the shoulder stock. Barrel looks to be four inches, and I cannot find any military acceptance marks anywhere. The toggle is stamped with a 94, which is the last two digits of the serial number. On the front strap of the grip is stamper " S.D. III.R(with an X overstamped).64." There also seems to be a lanyard attaching point above grip and below the toggle. The only two markings seem to be a N with a crown over it, and the word "GESICHERT" under the safety lever when in the safe position.

Sorry that was so windy, any information is appreciated.

Steven Mace
September 17, 2006, 07:54 PM
Adam, is the Luger chambered in 7.65mm or 9mm?

Steve Mace

September 17, 2006, 07:59 PM
Sounds like a pre-WW2 Luger. The swastika appears in the late thirties, of course. "Gesichert" identifies the safety mechanism. Most P08's are cut for the shoulder stock.

Surely someone here on this diverse site will have the details on those other markings as the research into all aspects of the Luger has been the subject of a lot of scholarship.

Have you tried her at the range? I have a nice DWM that a friend of my Grandfather's brought back from WW2. It points like no other gun (I have yet to shoot my new SAA) and they are very accurate if you hold them tight. If you noodle grip the Luger, she will not like it and will jam up quickly.

Try and find some of the stouter 9mm if you can find it. I have always had luck with the Sellior & Belliot 9mm. The Luger only likes certain hollow point ammo, but you cannot put too hot a 9mm in a Luger, in my experience.



Jim Watson
September 17, 2006, 08:14 PM
All perfectly standard. There ought to be a date over the chamber.
The frontstrap marking is for the unit the gun was issued to.

James K
September 17, 2006, 09:38 PM
It is a police Luger, probably originally a military model, but refurbished after WWI, as many were, and the military date and other markings removed. The strap marking is that of the police organization which had the gun for issue to its agents. The "SD" could mean something else, but it may mean Sicherheitdienst, the notorious "SD", which was the security service of the Schutzstaffel or SS. Not part of the army, the SD could very well have had one of those "police" Lugers. The SD was a sort of super security service which snooped on Nazi party organizations and members to detect any disaffection; it terrified even hardened SS personnel. Technically, it was a party organization, not part of the government, as the Gestapo was.

The stock attachment and lanyard loop are standard for almost all Lugers, even commercial models. The full serial number appears on the front of the grip frame just above the trigger guard. If there is a letter below the number, it is part of the serial number (e.g., 1234 b would be the serial number, not just 1234).


September 18, 2006, 04:43 AM
Adam, is the Luger chambered in 7.65mm or 9mm?

Steve Mace

It is chambered in 9mm.

There ought to be a date over the chamber.

There is nothing over the chamber, and there is no evidence of the number being removed. On the underside of the barrel, in front of the chamber, the four digit serial number is stamped, and below that (with the barrel pointing up) is a proofmark. On second thought, that proofmark could be the letter "C", but it looks like something has been stamped over it.

Thank you for your help gentlemen, any further info is much appreciated.

September 19, 2006, 07:11 AM
All the P08s I've seen have a 4 digit serial number combined with a letter a - b - c ...

So the letter changes every 10,000 lugers and it moves up a letter. The thing that looks like a C might be that or an L. The letters are written in script, IIRC, different than the numbers.

The date was probably ground off the chamber with typical German pride in workmanship. I believe the DWMs were all WWI vintage or earlier and the equipment was transferred to another mfr (Simson) when DWM was parted out following the Great War per the treaty of Versailles. (IIRC)

A luger scholar will probably be here soon to give you the chapter and verse.

July 15, 2008, 04:01 PM
i have had a Luger P-08 for about a year or so, and am moving back to the UK shortly. i have just recently learned, by a long discussion with a Customs and Excise officer, that it is banned from import. therefor, i have no choice but to sell it. can anyone tell me where i can sell it for a decent price, and more importantly, how i am suppost to ship it. please send any advice to my personal email, as i use that daily. it is [email protected]

many thanks

Jim Watson
July 15, 2008, 04:30 PM
There is a sales section at

Or GunBroker.com

If you are in the USA, you must ship a pistol to a dealer with Federal Firearms Licesnse who will transfer the gun to its new owner. Many dealers will require the gun be shipped FROM a FFL although that is not the law.

James K
July 15, 2008, 05:50 PM
Technically, all Lugers are not P.08's. Pistole 1908, or P.08, is the German military designation, the same as Model 1911 is the American military designation for the ".45 automatic." But there were thousands of commercial Lugers, and more thousands made on contract for other countries which called the pistol by some other model number.

The statement that all P.08's had four digit serial numbers with a letter after the first series is true, but does not apply to commercial or non-German contract Lugers which had a variety of numbering schemes.

Nevertheless, the letter, if present, as well as the manufacturer and the date are all needed for unique identification of a Luger, since numbers repeated each year and there was no effort to assign serial number blocks to manufacturers. So there would have been dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Lugers with the serial number "1234". A proper identification would be "P.08, S/42 (Mauser), 1938, 1234c".