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German Weapons

> Pistols

Luger P08 Pistol

Luger P08 Pistol

Walther PPK

Basic Information
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of Origin German Empire
In service Germany (1906-1945)
Switzerland (1908-1945)
Other countries (1908-present)
Wars World War I, Spanish Civil War, World War II, Second Sino-Japanese War, Chinese Civil War, Others
Designer Georg J. Luger
Produced 1908-1945
Technical Specifications
Length 222mm
Weight 871g
Barrel Length 98mm-203mm
Cartridge 7.65x22mm Parabellum
9x19mm Parabelum
Action Toggle-locked, short recoil
Rate of fire Semi-automatic
Muzzle Velocity 350-400 m/s
Effective range 50m
Feed System 8-round detachable box magazine, 32-round detachable drum
Sights Iron sights

More commonly known as the Luger, the Pistole Parabellum 1908 is a toggle-locked recoil-operated semi-automatic pistol. The Luger was made popular by its use in Germany during World War I and World War II. It was soon replaced by the Walther P38.


The Pistole Parabellum 1908 (or Parabellum-Pistole) was the name for the Luger P08. The design was patented by Georg J. Luger in 1898 and produced by German arms manufacturer Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) starting in 1900. It was an evolution of the C-93 design by Hugo Borchardt in 1893. Although the Luger pistol was first introduced in 7.65x22mm Parabellum, it is notable for being the pistol for which the 9x19mm Parabellum (or 9mm Luger) cartridge was developed.


The Swiss Army evaluated the Luger pistol and adopted it in 1900 as its standard side arm. The Luger pistol was accepted by the German Navy in 1904. The Navy model had a 6inch barrel and a two position rear sight. The German Army adopted the Luger to replace the REichsrevolver in front-line service, in 1908. The Pistole 08 had a 4 inch barrel and was chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum. The P.08 was the usual side arm for German Army personnel in both world wars, though it was replaced by the Walther P38 starting in 1938.


The Luger uses a toggle-lock action, which uses a jointed arm to lock. This is opposed to the slide actions of almost every other semi-automatic pistol. After a round is fired, the barrel and toggle assembly (both locked together at this point) travel rearward due to recoil. After moving roughly one-half inch (13mm) rearward, the toggle strikes a cam built into the frame, causing the knee joint to hinge and the toglge nad breech assembly to unlock. At this point the barrel tops its rearward movement (it impacts the frame), butthe toggle and breech assembly continue moving (bending the knee joint) due to momentum, extracting the spent casing form the chamber and ejecting it. The toggle and breech assembly subsequently travel forward (under spring tension) and the next round from the magazine is loaded into the chamber. The Luger pistol was manufacturered to exact satandards and has had a long service life. The Luger's 55 degree grip angle has been praised, and duplicated in William Bill Ruger's .22 LR pistol.


The Lange Pistole 08 (German for Long Pistol Model of 1908) or Artillery Luger was a pistol carbine for use by German Army artillerymen as a sort of early Personal Defense Weapon. It had a 8 inch barrel, a 8-position tangent rear sight (calibrated to 800 meters) and a shoulder stock with holster. It was sometimes used with a 32-round drum magazine and also available in various carbine versions with even longer barrels. The Walther P38 replaced the Luger P08 in 1938.

Photo gallery (6)

See also

  • P08 "Luger" series at WWIIGuns

  • References

  • "Luger P08 Pistol." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 06 Aug. 2010. .

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