View Full Version : P08 info, need some help dating and placing this pistol

January 12, 2010, 12:59 PM
I've been doing some research on a Luger than I came in possession of, and you all seemed quite knowledgeable; which leads to my inaugural post

I was wondering if someone would help me date and place this gun? Or, if you all could point me to the right place to find this.

I have deduced that it was manufactured my Mauser...and that's about it.

In a previous post, Mr. Keener suggested that the full model number should be posted. (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=222346) My gun is as follows.

P.08, S/42, 1938, xx47d

Some unique markings that I have found are as follows.

There is some sort of Waffenamt stamp. I have two stamps, both have the eagle and either some numbers (63 or 68?) or the letters "SS" stamped underneath. It is really difficult to see. There is also a stamp right next to the last Waffenamt stamp, that I can't decipher. It looks like an eagle of some sort (pic attached, best I could do...)



So guys (and gals), any help would be more than appreciated.

Thank you!

Jim Watson
January 12, 2010, 04:06 PM
According to The Luger Book by John Walter,

You have a P08 (the specific Luger version to German army specification) made by Mauser at Oberndorf in 1938,

S/42 was the Mauser manufacturer's code from 1935-1938. (Went to just 42 in 1939)
1938 is clear and self explanatory as the year made.
Waa 63 was the Waffenamt ("weapons office") sub-bureau for new production of weapons in Oberndorf. (Waa 66 took care of reworks on existing guns.)
The lone eagle is an inspector's mark upon proof test.

They only went to four digit serial numbers, then added a letter and started over. So your gun is in the fifth 10,000 made in 1938. Numbers vary, but something over 100,000 PO8s were made in 1938, nearly all by Mauser, relatively few by Krieghoff.

January 12, 2010, 04:33 PM
Awesome Jim, thank you very much!

I pulled it apart (just the receiver assembly from the frame), and noticed that there are a few more numbers. I was wondering if these mean anything as well.

On the barrel there is the serial number stamped underneath. Below the serial number is "8,82".

On the assembly, the side that comes into contact with the frame, I now see a letter "P", below that is three characters in a row: an upside-down 7, an 8, and the letter G.

I can provide a picture of this too if I don't make sense.

Much appreciated!

January 12, 2010, 04:48 PM
The 8.82 is the barrel gauge, measured between the lands by shoving a gauge down the barrel. Part of the German pre-1939 proof.

January 12, 2010, 07:48 PM
The back of the wooden grips should have the last two digits of the serial number also.

January 13, 2010, 11:26 AM
Great extra info guys, thank you!

Yes, the back side of the wooden grips do still match the rest of the serial numbers. On a side note, it is quite amazing at how many parts are actually stamped with the last two numbers. :eek:

Unfortunately, the magazine is the only one that does not match. However, I do understand that this is fairly common.

Any ideas on the other markings?

January 13, 2010, 11:58 AM
Welcome to your new hobby of scouring every gun show for P08 magazines with the correct number ;)
Congratulation on your number matching gun so, and the pre-war fabrication was usually excellent quality. Of course, since that thing has collector value you now need to buy a soviet-capture parts gun to play Humphrey Bogart on the range.

Jim Watson
January 13, 2010, 02:15 PM
In the pre-internet era, there was a serial number maching service that advertised in Shotgun News. The likliest thing to look for was magazines, sideplates next.

January 13, 2010, 09:49 PM
You're not kidding on my new hobby! I've been pouring over different websites, and sat in the bookstore for a while just looking up information.

Just got off the phone with Pops, and apparently I have a few other gems in my possession; can't wait for the fun (research) to begin!

January 15, 2010, 11:26 AM
How tough to match the numbers on the toggle of a DWM 1917 gun?

- Ivan.

James K
January 15, 2010, 02:53 PM
Hi, Ivan,

Very hard. Besides, the replacing the toggle(s) gets involved with headspace and functioning, so if the gun works as is, leave it.

The practice of numbering parts came from the German system of assembly. Briefly, parts were made and inspected, then stamped to show they had passed. Then a skilled assembler put the gun together and fitted parts as necessary. Once the gun worked OK, it was taken apart again and the parts numbered so they could be put back together after hardening and finishing. That was exceedingly time consuming, and by WWII tooling was so good that it was not necessary, but the German military requirements were still in the 18th century, and pre-fitting was thought necessary even at the expense of slow production.