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Unread 09-13-2020, 11:49 AM   #1
JB2020
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Default G-Code Luger, Russian Capture, VoPo (DDR)

Good morning. This is my first post on this forum, and I'm pleased to be here.

I'm not particularly literate with the history of P08s or DDR military firearms, so I have a few questions throughout the post that I'm hoping the subject matter experts will be able to shed some light on. Besides that, I just wanted to share this very neat piece of history. Enjoy and thanks in advance!

Here is a recently acquired G-Code Luger. It looks to have had a very interesting journey. It has an “X” stamped on the front of the receiver, which I believe indicates Russian capture. Imported by "SSME PLANT CTY FL."

It also appears to have a Volks Polizei police stamp, as shown in pic #2. Does anyone know what "20" inside the sunburst would indicate? I assume it would be linked to a specific VoPo entity / location. From what I've read, the DDR exported relatively small numbers of former VoPo pistols with all VoPo markings defaced. Then, after reunification, more of such pistols were pulled from storage and exported for much needed cash inflow, with markings intact, as this was no longer a concern.

The barrel has the East German crown stamped on the bottom, which would have been installed during DDR refurbishing, and I believe the "N" crown-stamped DDR P08 barrels were manufactured in post-war Czechoslovakia. Why did the Czechs supply these barrels? My understanding is that the DDR manufactured P08s in small numbers, so wouldn't they have had the manufacturing capacity to supply their own P08 barrels for refurbishment?

The grips are VoPo replacements, with the classic “bullseye” at the top of them. That bakelite is so cool - when you really look at it in the proper light, it's reddish-brown with a green tint.

The magazine is East German manufactured, with a matched serial number. My understanding is that the DDR refurbished P08s would get two matching mags, marked as "1" and "2" with the respective serial number. Shame that the "2" mag for this piece is surely long gone.

I'm guessing that the firing pin is force - matched... I doubt that parts were being electro-penciled from the factory in the late '30s.

It may have been refinished at some point in its life, as the finish is fairly even across the force-matched parts.

Also note the “234” that is electro-penciled on the front of the grip… I’m guessing this was basically a cage code? Or would this be linked to the Soviet or DDR refurbishing process?

To my limited knowledge, the Soviets supplied these captured P08s to the DDR after the war, and most of them ended up with the VoPo, but some went to various DDR military / paramilitary entities. It also seems that these VoPo P08s are typically very serviceable, as both the Soviets and DDR were quite good at refurbishing them.

So, from what I know about these, this P08 was manufactured pre-war, likely captured on the Eastern front from a German army unit, hastily refurbished by the Soviets, then given to the DDR to become a police pistol after another refurbishment, then exported to the US after reunification.

On the topic of its life during WW2 - do its original markings give any indication of what unit may have carried it? I fully understand that the Germans generally did not put unit affiliation markings on their weapons, but I figure there may be some trends with where (or with who) certain years of manufacture or serial number ranges ended up.

Overall, the piece is in very nice condition, and I bet it will make a great shooter. I really do enjoy learning more about these pieces of history, and I look forward to hearing what you all think. Pics below. Enjoy!

Jack
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Unread 09-13-2020, 11:52 AM   #2
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Default More pics.

More pics.
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Unread 09-13-2020, 12:52 PM   #3
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Your Luger was rebuilt in East Germany from parts that came from numerous guns. The barrel was replaced with a new one and the crown/N stamp is a standard EG proof. The barrels were newly made by VEB Earnst Thaelmann in East Germany. Some - not all - have a date stamp such as 953 (Sep, 1953)

The 20 in the sunburst is a unit or district mark. The X may - or may not be - a Russian capture mark. A post-war directive said that German police who were armed after the war would have arms that were distinctly marked and that may be the reason for the X. Who marked them and when may never be known.

Police magazines are normally marked 1 & 2 as you say.

There is a good amount of information about EG Lugers in the book "THE PARABELLUM IS BACK! 1945 ~ 2000" by Bauldino & Vlimmeren.
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Unread 09-13-2020, 03:09 PM   #4
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Welcome to this LUGER forum from Italy.

Also my first Luger was a "Russian Capture" from 1942. and like yours was only some kind of mixmaster, or part gun if we prefer to call it like that, not being a collectible I used it several times at the shooting range.
It was my "school-ship "to learn how to disassemble and reassemble a Luger.
Enjoy it, and by the way, nice close-ups.
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Unread 09-13-2020, 03:25 PM   #5
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The lighting on those photos is perfect .. very nice job.
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Unread 09-13-2020, 03:59 PM   #6
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did you buy a box of parts down at the local flea market ?
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Unread 09-13-2020, 04:00 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the replies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doubs View Post
Your Luger was rebuilt in East Germany from parts that came from numerous guns. The barrel was replaced with a new one and the crown/N stamp is a standard EG proof. The barrels were newly made by VEB Earnst Thaelmann in East Germany. Some - not all - have a date stamp such as 953 (Sep, 1953)

The 20 in the sunburst is a unit or district mark. The X may - or may not be - a Russian capture mark. A post-war directive said that German police who were armed after the war would have arms that were distinctly marked and that may be the reason for the X. Who marked them and when may never be known.

Police magazines are normally marked 1 & 2 as you say.

There is a good amount of information about EG Lugers in the book "THE PARABELLUM IS BACK! 1945 ~ 2000" by Bauldino & Vlimmeren.
Thanks for the info about the barrel. I don't know why I thought the "N Crown" barrels came from Czechoslovakia... I checked the barrel for a date stamp - there's nothing other than the "N Crown."

I'm convinced that the "X" is a Russian capture mark. I compared it to the "X" on a Russian capture K98k, and it is totally identical in size, and even has the exact same weak stamping in one of the corners of the "X." Perhaps the VoPo stamp would have been the identification marking for designating it for official DDR duty? Again, I am no expert on P08s, or East German stuff.

I'll have to check the book out. I'd love to find out where the "20" in the sunburst is linked to.
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Unread 09-13-2020, 04:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergio Natali View Post
Welcome to this LUGER forum from Italy.

Also my first Luger was a "Russian Capture" from 1942. and like yours was only some kind of mixmaster, or part gun if we prefer to call it like that, not being a collectible I used it several times at the shooting range.
It was my "school-ship "to learn how to disassemble and reassemble a Luger.
Enjoy it, and by the way, nice close-ups.
I agree that this is an excellent piece to start a P08 collection. Mixed parts but totally serviceable. Again, it looks to be nicely refurbished, so I'm sure it will shoot quite well. I definitely plan to take good care of it, though.
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Unread 09-13-2020, 09:56 PM   #9
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I like it. Very nice photos. The VoPo Lugers are not beauty queens but they show an interesting history, a gun from a war lost and then brought back to life by German ingenuity in a practically bankrupt vassal state. They are survivors and still shooting.
Glad your old vetran found a good home
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Unread 09-14-2020, 10:02 PM   #10
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The importer may still be in buisness!

http://fflgundealers.net/ssme.html

http://flcompanydb.com/company/P9700...affen-inc.html
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