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Unread 03-28-2023, 06:36 PM   #1
justsomeguy
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Default 1939 P08 with Nazi and Imperial markings

Hello all,
I recently acquired a P08 after desiring one for many, many years.
Specifically I was looking for one with a high probability of a war time capture, which I think I have.
I'm hoping from the pictures, the experts here could tell me more about the history of this pistol.

I could be wrong but it looks like both Imperial and Nazi eagles on the receiver which I found interesting.

Does this mean anything specific?

Also the mag has the Imperial eagle and I was told by someone more knowledgeable than I that it was a Black widow mag. Can someone confirm or correct that from the pictures?

Thanks!
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Unread 03-28-2023, 06:53 PM   #2
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No Imperial eagles.
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Unread 03-29-2023, 12:59 AM   #3
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Ron is correct. All eagles on your Luger and the magazine are Nazi era eagles.
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Unread 03-29-2023, 01:45 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info.
What is the squiggle mark on the bottom of the mag? It looks sort of like a B.

Does the serial number give a month indication on it's manufacture date?
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Unread 03-29-2023, 07:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justsomeguy View Post
Thanks for the info. What is the squiggle mark on the bottom of the mag? It looks sort of like a B.

Does the serial number give a month indication on it's manufacture date?
What you see on the Luger mag base is a suffix letter to the serial number and it does appear that it's a b. The magazine is not matched to your Luger which is not at all unusual and will not detract from it's value.

Note on the frame under the serial number that there is also a letter. That appears to be an "x". That is actually a part of the complete serial number. Example: 1234x.

Lugers were manufactured in blocks of 10,000. The first block will be 1 ~ 10000 without a suffix letter. The next block will be 1 ~ 10000a followed by b, c etc. The letter j was never used as it is used interchangeably with the letter i in the written German language. Mauser, the maker of your Luger, went through the alphabet about three times. Unlike DWM and Erfurt production during WW1 when each year began production with 1 ~ 10000 and no suffix, Mauser continued production through the alphabet without interruption when the year changed. DWM and Erfurt would begin each year with 1 ~ 10000 no suffix and go as far into the alphabet as possible until year's end. At the beginning of the new year, they began all over at 1 ~10000 no suffix letter. Mauser simply changed the year and continued with whatever suffix letter they were on at the time.

While the serial number will not tell you what month it was made, the date, toggle stamp, serial number and suffix letter will provide a reasonable clue as to month of manufacture. Based upon the Mauser manufacturing time line chart in Still's book "Third Reich Lugers", I estimate that your Luger 8217x, 1939/42 was made in about Oct/Nov of 1939.
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Unread 03-29-2023, 09:51 PM   #6
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The magazine bottom you showed is numbered 3095 and the suffix letter is "T", in my opinion.
The "+" symbol means that is was a spare or second magazine for that gun.

One can make some educated guesses on luger serial numbers by their block groups (suffix), but it is hard to narrow down to a particular month. Since the transitioned the year from 1939-1940 with the "Z" suffix, the gun was probably made very late in 1939.

The Imperial era is 1900-1918 (Germany is ruled by a Kaiser)
The Weimar Period is 1919-1933 (Between the World Wars)
The NAZI period is 1934-1945 (Hitler)

The Spread winged eagle was used from 1939-1945.

Below is an Imperial Eagle
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Unread 03-29-2023, 10:27 PM   #7
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That magazine letter suffix is an odd ball font. Actually it is a 1940 l(L).
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Unread 03-30-2023, 02:27 AM   #8
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Thank you all for the information. It's been very enlightening.
Today I took down my Luger for the first time and learned a couple things but of course it brought more questions.
I found that everything but the hold open and possibly the grips match.

On the grips I found that the right scale is only marked with a Z and the left is marked only with an L.

My hope is they aren't reproductions, they seem aged appropriately as best I can tell but does not having a number mean they are in fact repro grips?

The last question for now is, how much does having a non-matching hold open and grips affect the overall value of the gun?

While I have no desire to part with my most recent acquisition I do like to track pros and cons to the value.
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Unread 03-30-2023, 02:04 PM   #9
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It is not entirely uncommon to find mismatched grips on a P-08. But, since yours have no serial numbers, they may be original to the gun, as Mauser did not always number the grip panels on NAZI era lugers. If the hold open is numbered differently from the gun, then it has been replaced at some point, and again is not uncommon, as it is a somewhat fragile part.
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Unread 04-02-2023, 12:39 PM   #10
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You will find many symbols and letters on the inside of parts.
These marks were applied during production and were part of keeping track of machining steps and quality assurance work.

Workers were paid per correctly executed production step. So it was necessary to check a workers work and mark it before it was passed to the next station. If workers messed up, they did not get paid for the part. At the same time, when a worker performed his work on a previously unaccepted part, he would also receive no pay for his work.
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Unread 04-13-2023, 02:52 PM   #11
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Vlim
Obviously the factory worker salary procedure of not crediting parts that failed inspection, but were subsequently corrected was established before the arrival of strong labor unions. This non credit clause was a important lesson that the machinist would not likely forget and minimized future poor work. The close inspection of parts that were to be used in any hand assembled machinery was essential.
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Unread 04-14-2023, 03:27 PM   #12
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It is rare to find a 1939 Mauser Luger with grips serialized to the gun, as for some reason very few were numbered. On the other hand, the grips on 1938 and 1940 Mauser Lugers were, in almost every case, serialized to the gun.
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