View Full Version : German Luger Questions

June 26, 2010, 10:10 AM

61013My neighbor gave me a german luger he brought back from WW2 germany. I am wondering about some of the markings and problems I am finding. It has 1915 stamped on top with what looks like LWM in fancy letters. Serial 4124 stamped all over plus the #24. The back strap has M.G.K.707 42. Was it made in 1915? It has other markings that are small and hard to read. I would like to find out more on this gun if I could from the markings. When shooting 9mm rounds that I reloaded the spent casings have a step about .170 from the end at .378 dia. and the rest of the casing mics .378. Looking in the breach I can see a step. Rounds fire ok. The mags or the mag release seems bad as when I pull back or fire the last round it will not stay open. It will if I push up on the mag. Any help with this gun would be appreach. Will send photos if I can figure out how. thanks Jim

June 26, 2010, 02:31 PM
[When shooting 9mm rounds that I reloaded the spent casings have a step about .170 from the end at .378 dia. and the rest of the casing mics .378. Looking in the breach I can see a step. Rounds fire ok.]


That Luger is most likely chambered for the 7.62mm Luger (.30" caliber), AND IS NOT A 9mm (.355") LUGER !

Be thankful that you hopefully have not permanently damaged a fine old collectible.

[LWM in fancy letters.] - = DWM (Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken ), a WWI German munitions maker.
. Mauser purchased DWM's machinery in 1929.

[ Serial 4124 stamped all over plus the #24.] - Small parts were marked with the last 2 digits of the gun's SN.

[ The back strap has M.G.K.707 42.] - "M.G.K. = machine gun company, part of the German Imperial Army (WWI).

[ Was it made in 1915?] - Yes


June 26, 2010, 02:51 PM
That Luger is most likely chambered for the 7.62 Luger (.30" caliber), AND NOT A .355" CALIBER 9mm LUGER !

you beat me too it. the .30 luger has a stepped case, like described. not unusual to fire 9mm thru it, what with 90 yrs of wear. the mags are the same, interchangeable.
fiochi makes .30 luger ammo.

June 26, 2010, 03:24 PM
Wow! I would not have thought it possible to do that without eating that toggle mechanism.

June 26, 2010, 06:01 PM
Thank you fellas for setting me straight on the ammo and caliber. WOW what a mistake. Nice to learn something once you know it all t.y.

June 26, 2010, 06:56 PM
A valid testament, to Luger's stoutness. :cool:


Jim Watson
June 26, 2010, 08:09 PM
Could you show us some pictures of the fired brass before everybody flies off in a total panic? I don't think a 9mm will chamber in a .30 barrel, and believe there is something else at work here.

June 26, 2010, 08:40 PM
I'm not very familiar with Lugers, but wouldn't the cartridge be stamped on it some place?

Jim Watson
June 26, 2010, 08:52 PM
Or not any obvious way, there might be a small bore gauge number stamped on the barrel - I've seen a little 8.81 - but there is no caliber designation as such. Assuming it is a military weapon, which is what they were mainly making in 1915, the Army knows what ammo is issued, and the troops use what they get. The German army did not use .30 Luger that I ever heard of. I have seen it said that the navy bought some before they got the then-new 9mm in 1904 but have not seen even a picutre of one.

June 27, 2010, 06:20 AM
jim i hope these pictures are clear enough. i should have known something was wrong when i had to push the fjrn 115 gr. bullet down .040 more to cycle thru the mag. close to 20 rounds fired with two hangups, both were the casing stuck in chamber. i knew very little about lugers as i thought they only were made in 9mm. is this gun worth much to a collector. just hope my photos bear out. jim york hey jim i have the pictures but not familiar enough to load them although i had a couple turn out. i know how to email them from my desktop to you or anyone interested. my e mail jcyork1949hotmail.com

June 27, 2010, 06:57 AM
I think the .30 caliber deal started with some kind of disarmament regulations after WW1, not being allowed a "military round". I was never a fan of Luger's,but there were a heck of a lot of .30 Lugers around when I was younger. Commercial ammo was on the shelves too. You would think they would have rebarreled them, unless they were mostly WW1 bringbacks. I don't know, maybe there were just a lot of them in my area.

Jim Watson
June 27, 2010, 09:00 AM
I know there were a lot of WW I 9mm Lugers rebarrelled to .30 under post WW I restrictions.

Cramming a 9mm back into a .30 chamber is what seems unlikely to me.

Send pictures to [email protected] and I will make a guess.

If not damaged by wrong ammo, the gun is worth a good many hundreds of bucks. There are a lot of different Luger variations and collector interest depends on a lot of fine details.

James K
June 28, 2010, 09:00 PM
Geez, guys, you must have been smoking smokeless powder again. Before posting with a lot of caps and large type, did anyone of you ever try inserting a 9mm Luger round into a .30 Luger chamber? You can't get the round in without a sledge hammer. No, the OP was not firing 9mm in a 7.65 chamber. And it is not "unusual", dreamweaver, it is impossible.

Now that you have got the OP all confused, thinking his gun is broken, let's start over. The pistol is a standard P.08 (Luger), made in 1915 by Deutsche Waffen-und Munitions Fabriken (DWM). It was issued to the machinegun company of the 707th infantry regiment, where it was gun number 42. (An MG company had a lot of pistols, as they were issued to each gunner and assistant gunner.)

Any guns converted post-war to 7.65mm Luger had the date and military markings removed before being refinished. Pistols retained by the Reichswehr and the police were not converted, but guns in 9mm could not be manufactured without an OK from the Allies.

Now that "step". Starting from the back, is the fired case swelled up about .170" ahead of the base (where the markings are)? If so, that is simply case swelling, caused by a slightly oversize chamber or undersize ammo; very common and no problem. (Remington ammo is notorious for being undersize.)

In other words, there is no problem with your pistol, and you were not firing the wrong ammo. We just had some folks hit the panic button a bit too soon.


James K
June 29, 2010, 03:36 PM
The OP sent me an e-mail saying he took the gun to a gunsmith and they found the front of a separated case stuck in the chamber. Oddly, I had thought of that, but didn't think it would allow a round to chamber, but apparently it did. Any, problem found and will be fixed.


June 29, 2010, 04:39 PM
There are a number of "Lugers" out there in 7.65 Para, but those are P06 of the Swiss army. I've not heard of 7.65 used in German P08. Reworks after WWI was done to shorten 6" Navy and 8" Artillery versions down the the legal 4" barrel length, since the Versailles treaty forbade submachine guns, including all long barreled semi-autos. Most of the reworks show a second year stamp indicating the date of conversion.
German police used 7.65 Browning (32 ACP), not 7.65 Para.

June 30, 2010, 11:24 AM
1920 Commercial Model Lugers were made in just about every variation, Navy, 4", etc., both from surplus military and newly-manufactured parts. Mine is a 3 3/4" barreled .30, with no import stamp.

James K
June 30, 2010, 09:44 PM
In the aftermath of WWI and later in the great depression, Germany was in dire need of hard currency to stem its rampant inflation. Limited to a small army, one product they had in abundance was ex-military pistols and rifles. German Mauser 98 "sporting rifles" of varying quality flooded the market in the US and elsewhere, and converted Luger pistols were imported into the US by the ton. Since German makers were not allowed to make or sell pistols in the 9mm military caliber, the conversions were to the 7.65 Parabellum (.30 Luger or 7.65x21), which had been the original Luger caliber and required only a new barrel for conversion. They are very pleasant to shoot.

They have no caliber marking or "import stamp" (which was not required until 1968), but they are marked "GERMANY", the country of origin marking required since the late 19th century.


P.S. An oddity from that era was the Mauser 98 rifle converted to a two-shot bolt action 12 gauge shotgun. There were two main brands, the Geha and the Remo; googling either name will turn up more info for those interested.


James K
June 30, 2010, 09:59 PM
I will use a new post to respond to one point. The so-called "double date" Lugers are not necessarily conversions.

In 1920 Germany, torn by factional strife and horrendous imflation, possession of military arms by civilians was made a crime, but individuals who had such guns could turn them in without punishment. Those guns were then marked with the year they were "accepted" by the government. After that, private possession of any weapon without that mark was illegal; any weapon with it found in private hands was stolen government property.

Many of those "double date" guns were later used by police and the German armed forces, captured in WWII and brought back to the US. Some did undergo alterations of various sorts, but that is not what the double date indicates.