New Feature: Open Thread

Here’s something new for Saturdays (traditionally a slow day at this address):  an open thread, but not that unstructured nonsense such as found at Insty’s place.

No;  what I’d like to see is Readers weighing in with their opinions of the Gun Of The Day.  The comments can be your experiences, stories (preferably reasonably true), tragic tales, inside information of any kind, and so on.  I’ll add my thoughts as the mood takes me.

I know it’s difficult for us gun nuts to stay on topic, but please try to do so.

Anyway, without further ado, here we go.  Today, the topic is  the German Pistole 08 (P08), otherwise known as the “Luger“:

Have at it in Comments.


  1. Looks good, feels good, form follows function in the 9 mm Parabellum. Wish I had bought one before the prices went up over $2,000 for crappy ones and no limit on good ones with accouterments. Of course they are kind of fussy to feed and function and I am guessing not too many are carried and shot because they are more valuable as antique military art objects.

  2. The P08 is like a hot girlfriend – sleek, sexy, all the right curves, a joy to play with, and oh-so-tight. You are the envy of your friends when they see your hand around her.
    She is expensive, temperamental, complicated, high-maintenance, unreliable in the real world, and someone will steal her away in a moments notice.

    The P38 is the dweeby little sister. Cute but frumpy, practical, nothing much to look at, but reliable, uncomplicated, just as good at popping your cap, and will be with you for a lifetime. You marry the P38.

    1. Like my ex-wife, looked good, smart and fun when she got her way on everything, then as you say above Clifford: (expensive, temperamental, complicated, high-maintenance, unreliable in the real world,)

      I thought of her more as a Brit Sports car than a Luger. We had an E Jag and she would leave the choke on and get mad at me when she would pull into the driveway throwing smoke and what appeared to be fire out the exhaust, somehow it was my fault and I was stupid.

  3. As my mechanic said when he observed the top of my convertible go up and down. “A lot of monkey motion going on there.”

  4. Cool looking but as functional as a British car. At least it doesn’t have electrical components by Lucas.

  5. A symbol of a bygone era. The first really practical autoloading handgun in a serious chambering, (not a blowback). Very good ergonomics, very expensive to produce, but with today’s CNC capabilities not quite as bad. No plastic, No mim, No alloy other than steel. Father of today’s ubiquitous 9mm and the not so ubiquitous .30 Luger. Decried as unreliable by those that wish that they owned one or two of them.
    Much like my 120 Jaguar, when sorted out is quite reliable. (in 27 years of ownership, never came home on a truck) and like the Jag, very easy on the eyes.

  6. If someone came out with a remake today, in stainless please, for <$600 I'd skarf it up in a nano. Prolly get a black one too. And all the accessories – mags, holsters, etc.

    @Velocette, undoubtedly the best purchase I have ever made in my life was a 1991 Chevy S10 with the 2.8 V6 and a 5 spd manual and no bells for $8,888.88 cash from the dealer as I have owned it now for 28 years and not once has it not taken me to where I need to go. It sits right outside my home office door right now, ready to go. Not once. I have owned several other vehicles before and since and none of them have come close. If you run the numbers backwards and consider I write-off all business expenses regarding this truck, I have MADE money with it and most likely will til I die and then our son can start benefiting from it. Oh yeah, it's that excellent but rare robins egg blue color, not that cheezy metallic light blue that is more common.

        1. Depends who’s doing the machining. I picked up a Rock Island 1911 in 9mm last year. Beavertail, ambi safety, adjustable rear sight, fiber optic front and other goodies for $600 and change at Cabela’s. The only plastic on the gun is the fiber optic insert in the front sight.

      1. My Beretta 92FS INOX cost exactly $600. But I catch your drift. The times they are a changing.

  7. The long-standing issue with the Luger has been that the triggers aren’t that great. At least not by the standards of old…modern shooters are much more tolerant of trash triggers.

  8. My Luger was one of the “new” manufactures of the 1970s, chambered for the original .30 Mauser cartridge. As I recall, I never had a single jam or FTF, but then again I was shooting in a nice clean indoor range and not out in some muddy field in France. The trigger was okay — a clean, consistent break after a fairly long pull (which got progressively tighter the closer one got to the break point).
    I sold it because someone in the family was once shot with one by a jealous ex-boyfriend, and Connie couldn’t bear to have it in the house.

  9. My Dad got drafted at the tail end of WW2. After VE day he picked one out of a pile of captured weapons. Dated 1937 DMW made, all the parts were stamped with the last 2 digits of the serial number which was 5879. Sweet shooting pistol. Unfortunately My parents house burned down in 1988 otherwise I would have inherited it

  10. My dad was a WWII veteran. Went across Europe in 7 campaigns. He would regale us with the good/funny stories of Army life, but rarely spoke of the horrors of war. He had a typical Brooklyn non-respect for officers that earned him in fact the respect of said officers. Somewhere in Germany, late in the war, his unit came across a German armory. His Col grabbed him and said go down there and take a look see. If you want anything take it out. So dad and his fellow Sgt jump in a jeep and head down the road. Dad said it was like Aladdins treasure cave. Typical Kraut attention to detail. Bombs, mines, rifles, pistols of every description in cosmoline. Dad had built bombs before the war here in the US so he was trained in identification and handling. Swords with ivory handles, SS thunderbolts on them. German optics of all kinds. And yes, beautiful brand new Lugers. Again not just the standard manufacture but ornately engraved etc, obviously for presentation, for officers etc… So they wandered around the building for an hour before having to go. What did he grab to “liberate” ? Six chrome plated 8mm mauser bullets (I suspect either for drill or function testing) and a cast metal replica Luger. It is one piece non-functioning. I again suspect either some sort of drill item to stick in a holster or maybe training thingy. This is what the boys in the family played with on the living room floor in the 1950s while watching TV western shows ! Still have it somewhere in the garage…

  11. Seems like the wartime issue Lugers command the highest price- but the pearls are the early ones- an absolute delight to anyone who likes fine machine work, perfect metal finishing, straw color spring tempering, etc. The handgun equivalent to a 1895 Ludwig Loewe Mauser, made to a level of fit and finish that rivals a fine sporting rifle today. One thing about plastic guns, they seem to have eroded the appreciation of fine quality workmanship. Like Herreshoff said about fiberglass boats, “they look like they were made from frozen snot”.

  12. About a year ago I had the pleasure of trying out a friend’s “Frankenluger” (pieced together Luger from parts with different serial numbers). Beautiful gun. Elegant. Felt good in my hand…. But impossible to aim. The rear sight was quite precise and TINY! My friend’s brother, a former state cop, and quite a good shot had trouble getting near the center of the target from 25 feet as well So, beautiful, fun, just don’t try to actually hit anything with it and you’ll have a good time.

  13. Somewhere in one of the safes is a C-96. The last time I had it apart all of the numbers matched. The barrel looks to be shot out but someday I’ll load up some low power rounds and give it a try, might be fun.

    1. The grip panels are held on by screws but other than that no. There are several guns made without screws the Mauser C96 and Savage 1907 come to mind first. Being able to field strip it with out tools makes it appealing to the military.

  14. My grandfather shipped/carried a bunch of stuff back from his 18 month service overseas with the 42nd (Rainbow) Division in WWI. He died before I was born, but his whole uniform, web gear and contents, letters to his mother, medals and souvenirs were in a trunk in Grandmom’s basement. I discovered it about 1950 when I was 7-8 years old and donned the helmet and gas mask, tried the hobnailed boots, but they were too big, then discovered the lonnnggg bayonet (about 16″ blade) and scabbard, and a pistol and holster I now know to be a Luger. When I found these goodies, I showed my grandmother and asked about them. She seemed upset and told me to put them back, which I did. Next visit (she lived just a few blocks from us, so I walked over there often), the bayonet and pistol were gone. I found out later from my mother that Grandmom called the police and had them taken away.
    Some years later, I dug deeper and found his LF&C and Au Lion trench knives, one still in the scabbard. I knew better than to ask and spirited them back home. I still have them, but that wasn’t the end of things. After Grandmom moved to the country, she threw away his uniform and kit, and the bundle of letters which was about a foot thick. She claimed the letters were wet, but they were all in pencil and I’m sure they could have been salvaged with some TLC. She did save the medals and cut all the patches off the uniform, which came to my Mom along with maybe 15 of the letters. Sure wish I had that Luger. Some long gone cop got a real treasure.

  15. I bought one of the Mitchell Arms “American Eagle” stainless lugers they made in the early 90s. Beautiful to look at, piece of shit at the range.

    1. I think I am going to hate you for a little while today, at least for as long as I browse that site and dream of what could be.

      You’re mother wears combat boots!

        1. Go for it. You know you want to. Besides, I’ve been told making kids pay their own way through college builds character.

  16. Had one in my hands once, I was about 13…..sweet.
    Walked into a pawn-shop in Anchorage in ’62-’63, they had about a dozen Lugers for sale – all between $75 & $200.
    Not to be, I was an E-3 getting about $85/mo. (gross).

  17. Looks like Glock copied the grip angle.

    Speaking of fake Lugers, my favorite is the Finnish/Swedish Lahti M-35/M-40.

    Has the good looks of the Luger without the crazy complicated firing mechanism. In fact, the Lahti is well known as being a robust and “vigorous” action (so much so that some police agencies noticed a cracking in the slides – after some 40 years of use! )

  18. Looks like that’s a Swiss 30 caliber with the safety. Always wanted a luger, I have a Walther p-01, the later version of the P-38 but with aluminum frame. Would love to have Kreighoff Luger

  19. Was at my father’s group hunting cabin, and they were checking sights on the cabin’s range. 25 to 50 yds, perhaps. Mid 1960’s. Eventually they got to playing with handguns. My uncle had a Luger, and everyone had a go, shooting at soup cans set on top of the target board. No hits. My turn, and I had never held a real handgun. Fired at an end can, and saw the POI was on the target board, low and left. I adjusted my POA, and proceeded to knock all the cans off. Range got real quiet. I don’t recall anyone asking how I did that. I was maybe 13-14 years old. Most of them were WW2 vets. The Luger was a bringback, I think. I would have been hunting with my dad’s highly sporterized ’98 (seven step barrel profile?, beautiful stock) , as a left-hander.

  20. Father had one. ’42, 9mm, unmatched parts as parts were a bit of a problem at that point apparently.

    Shot well. Comfortable. I thought the trigger was kinda weird, but fun as a kid. It’s the first automatic pistol I took apart as a young lad when my father wasn’t home. With my 7 year old hands, it was a bear to pull the slide back. When I got caught, my father just sat and watched until I got it right. No pressure!

    Getting it apart was easy. Putting it back was a bit of the devil’s own until I learned the “trick”. Funny thing is, every time I do it, I have to go back into my memories and try to remember what that trick was.

    I’d always considered it a museum piece and not something I’d ever shoot again. Only strip and clean and enjoy the precision device. (The P38, on the other hand, was my “fun gun” – the one you wanted to play with because it had that sweet, sweet double action)

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