View Full Version : 1917 DWM Artillery Luger with 9s on grip

August 26, 2001, 08:51 AM
Does anyone know the history of these? I have only seen one other artillery luger before with the 9s in the grip and that was in a book about arms of the 20th century by S. Bull.

August 26, 2001, 10:17 AM
If you find out anything, let me know. I have a 1916 with the big 9 on the grips. The grips are original, and the 9 appears to have been put there a long time ago. I'd post a picture, but PhotoUSA is down, and my pictures are captive.

Mike Irwin
August 26, 2001, 02:38 PM
They were, I believe, an expediency measure during World War I.

The German military needed handguns, and the only truly suitable handgun in the country at that time was the Mauser C-96.

It was adopted in, I believe, 1915 as a substitute standard for wartime production in 9mm.

To differentiate the 9mm military version from other versions chambered in 7.63, the 9 was carved in both grips and painted red.

August 26, 2001, 03:21 PM
Mike, you're talking about the C-96 Broomhandle, and we're talking about the P-08 Luger.

MP-44 and I apparently both have a similar model, and it has a big 9 engraved in the grips, but mine is not red. I know the grips appear to be original, and they have the last two digits of the serial number inside, just many of the other small parts.

James K
August 26, 2001, 05:36 PM
AFAIK, no one has ever figured out why the "9" on those Luger grips. As Mike says, it was done on the Mausers because they were normally in 7.63mm, but the Luger was never in service in any caliber other than 9mm. Perhaps someone got the long barrel Luger confused with the long barrel Mauser and decided to mark its grips as well.


Mike Irwin
August 26, 2001, 09:39 PM

I saw "9s on the grips" and immediately went into C96 tunnel vision mode.

Sorry, guys.

August 27, 2001, 04:40 PM
Now that PhotoUSA is back up, here's my Artillery Luger with the "9" engraved grips.


Jim V
August 27, 2001, 06:08 PM
Weren't the first "Lugers" issued to the German Navy in .30 L? It was not until the army showed interest in the pistols the caliber was increased (by removing the neck in the .30 L cartridge case.)

However, that was well before '17 and the artillery "Luger" pistols.

BTW, Luger is the registered trademark of the Stoger Company.

James K
August 27, 2001, 08:34 PM
Hi, Jim V. and folks,

The first adoption of the Luger by the German armed services was the Marine Modell 1904, but it was in 9mm, not 7.65. (Marine means "Navy"; AFAIK Germany had no Marine Corps as we know it.)

I do hate to get into this, but the "red nine" grip shown has the "9" much higher on the grip than pictured in the books, and the grips look too new for a WWI vintage gun. There have been reproduction Luger grips with the "9" sold and these do crop up from time to time.

Jim V., yes, Stoeger has the copyright on the name "Luger", which is how they were able to put out that POS .22 a few years back with the name "Luger" on it.

Actually, "Parabellum pistol" is used in Europe, where the guns were never called Lugers. "Parabellum" comes from the Latin phrase "Si vis pacis, para bellum" (if you want peace, prepare for war) and was used by DWM as their telegraph address, from which it was applied to the pistol as well as the Parabellum machinegun.


August 28, 2001, 04:36 AM
The 9s on my grips have been there since at least the 1940s as that is when my farther first saw it.

August 28, 2001, 04:52 PM

I've had the grips off this gun, and they sure look original. I'd be quite surprised if these were reproductions. One has a pretty clear 11 stamped on the back, on the other one, it's hard to tell. They also have wear that pretty much matches the original finish of the gun, it's also in pretty good shape.

James K
August 29, 2001, 10:17 PM
I agree that the grips could hardly be faked that far back. Looks like a nice piece.


August 30, 2001, 04:34 PM
I still want to find out how the "9" got on the grips, I've gotten about a dozen stories so far! :)