View Full Version : Commercial Luger Safety Question

December 28, 2009, 11:49 AM
I just acquired a nice DWM Commercial Luger, 9MM, dated 1910. It fires well, is very tight, nice bore. Everything works and operates as intended, including the safety. I have been told it is not safe to carry with one in the chamber, is this true, or just hearsay.

I am not really planning on carrying it, I have other pistols that would do a better job, but I am curious. The safety seems to operate fine, nothing is loose on the pistol.

December 28, 2009, 04:47 PM
I'm kind of taking a stab in the dark here, but I'm sure that knowledgeable people will pipe up.

If I remember correctly, the Luger has a safety that blocks the sear. As long as you're confident that the hammer and sear have positive engagement (as you pull the trigger with the hammer cocked, the hammer moves backwards a bit), then it's as safe as it can be.

It doesn't have all the modern bells and whistles that prevent the hammer from striking the firing pin if it inadvertently falls. That's not a "problem" that is unique to your Luger, though.

Remember, though, that I'm not a Luger expert and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

December 28, 2009, 07:35 PM
The Luger is a super well made pistol, but the design is a very early one in which some things were done that later designers decided were not too safe. The trigger/sear bar/ safety system is something that leaves a bit to be desired safety-wise.

Among them is the fact that the sear lever is exposed on the left side of the gun.
If the gun or safety is worn/defective, or the safety is inadvertently moved Off, the gun can fire simply by squeezing the side of the receiver, pressing the sear lever.

There was a famous case where a man was found shot dead in his kitchen with a partially disassembled Luger.
The investigation turned up that he'd been cleaning the gun and forgot to empty the chamber.
With the barrel unit off the frame, he apparently was preparing to run a rod down the barrel and squeezed the receiver, releasing the firing pin and firing a shot.

December 29, 2009, 09:32 AM
Thanks, that makes a lot of sense. I will be sure to inspect the pistol very carefully, paying atention to the sear lever. Sure is a neat little pistol, even has German Army unit stampings on it, nice piece.

December 29, 2009, 10:02 AM
So I was all ready to pipe up again and say that that must have been how Hoobler got shot in Band of Brothers, but then I did a little Googling and found out that it wasn't a Luger at all! According to Babe Hefron, it was a Browning Model 22 which had no safety at all.

So I guess that "a" safety is better than "no" safety at all (I say this in a vain attempt to veer my comment back on topic.)

James K
December 29, 2009, 10:45 PM
That story sounds unlikely (and a bit like the old story about the Japanese Type 94), but it must have happened enough times that a special safety device, the Schiwy safety, was designed and installed on police pistols. It prevents the sear from moving when the sideplate is not in place, so it prevents accidents when the gun is disassembled.

I might note that commercial Lugers were not dated and didn't have Army markings, so what you have is a military Luger from the second year of production. I strongly advise not carrying that gun; it is far too valuable to have it confiscated or damaged if you had to use it.

(FWIW, the Luger has no hammer; it has a straight drive firing pin.)


December 30, 2009, 09:19 AM
The Army markings are on the front strap of the grip, H8.1.2.1, which means 8th Hussars(?) perhaps. It is marked 1910 on top of the chamber and DWM. I assumed it was a commercial. I need to get some references on it, any suggestions where to look?

James K
December 30, 2009, 10:16 PM
I can't help on the marking, but many Lugers marked in that location were police issue (ex-military) and the marks are police property marks. If it is a military mark, "H8" seems odd as in that combination the number almost always comes first. For example, Third Hussars would be 3H, not H3, followed by the squadron and weapon number.

Next to the American M1911/M1911A1 and the Colt SAA, no handgun in history has been documented as much as the Luger. The books range from very good to, frankly, error-filled garbage. I have read books by Luger "experts" who didn't even know how the gun worked (one described it as a blowback) or where they were made. There is also a lot of speculation, due primarily to the loss of records in WWII plus several factories ending up behind the Iron Curtain.


January 1, 2010, 02:47 PM
bigjack, if your firing pin is numbered to match your luger, I suggest finding a spare and using that one when you shoot, luger firing pins are very prone to breaking and never dry fire, use a snap-cap

January 1, 2010, 04:40 PM
Thank you so much, I didn't know they were numbered, I will check tonight. THanks.