Millions of Luger pistols were made by makers in Germany, England, Switzerland, and other countries. Stoeger is a United States gun company that owns the Luger trademark and still produces Lugers. The German military began using Luger pistols in Though the pistol is recognized by its exposed barrel and butt that fits into one's palm, the most reliable form of identification is by serial number. Identify your German Luger B by the serial number, proof symbol, production year stamp and the manufacturer's mark.

Examine the area beneath the Luger barrel on the metal in front of the trigger guard. Most Lugers have a four-digit serial number stamped into the metal. World War One German Lugers feature a four-digit serial number with a letter after or below the number. Identify the serial number. Identify the last two digits of the serial number. These two numbers will appear on the chamber, side plate, slide, toggle, receiver, and possibly on the barrel, butt and back of the gun's magazine.

The 9mm eight-round magazine fits up into the butt of the gun within the area of the gun covered, on the outside, by the grips. The two digits may also appear on other small parts. Verify that the two digits on all parts match the last two digits of the serial number. If the digits do not match, the Luger in your possession was "married" or compiled with parts from different Lugers to create a whole. This is done for sales purposes to create a nicer looking gun. Examine the top of the Luger or the outer side of the frame for one or multiple proof marks.

Proof marks are logos used by various gun manufacturers. Proof marks are as varied as the types of guns made. Two examples of proof marks are a starburst and an eagle with letters or numbers beneath. Consult a Luger pistol or German military weapons identification and price guide book for a list of proof symbols. Identification and price guide books are available online through gun specialty stores, bookstores and through some gun dealers and stores.

Books are the best locations for reliable lists and illustrations of all known proof symbols. Look on top of the chamber near the start of the barrel for a year stamped into the metal.

According to the Pistol History Society, after the gun's production year will be marked on the gun. Look at the top of the Luger. Most makers used a stylized version of their name as the maker's mark. Locate the maker's mark. If you fail to find it on the top of the Luger, look on the side of the gun above the grip. Gun manufacturers placed their marks in a variety of places. Consult a Luger pistol or German military weapons identification and price guide book for a list of manufacturers and their corresponding maker's marks.

Louise Harding holds a B. Harding is a professional fiction writer.Everybody loves the rakish look of a Luger Pistol, their allure is legendary and owning at least one Luger pistol is the goal of most every gun collector. The other side of that coin is that buying your first Luger can be a very intimidating experience for everyone….

We have walked many a client through their first Luger acquisition, and this is an important learning experience; some folks decide that one is enough and some become completely enamored with them and start to build a collection. As every Muslim must once in their lifetime make the pilgrimage to Mecca every gun collector must cross the threshold into the world of the Luger…….

There are as many Luger variations as there are flavors of Baskins Robbins Ice cream but the Vanilla and Chocolate are the place to start the tasting, you can add the flavor options as you go. First step is narrowing down your focus. If you start too broad it can get overwhelming and potentially lead to unwanted choices. For Lugers that means the standard P. Once you pick the era, your search can be much more focused. Buying your first Luger will be much easier if you are aware of these basic facts, you can really focus on exactly what you are looking for and make a more informed buying decision.

Log in. CollectingNews. November 18, Posted by Scott. WW1 Era Lugers……. This is extremely desirable as you can trace the wartime history of that particular pistol and know what battles it may have witnessed and survived.

Nazi Era Lugers……. This is a term given to the late production Lugers that used substitute black plastic grips and usually a black plastic bottom mag, which give them a very attractive and menacing look that has appealed to all collectors.

Most folks want the Black Widow in there collections, it is very commonly encountered but the demand is so great they command a substantial premium.

Leave these non-matching magazine pistols to the Gun Broker crowd, You are looking for an investment grade piece with enhanced liquidity if and when you sell.

There is no shortage of fine Nazi era Lugers with the correct original magazines. Please note that a pistol that is still with both original numbered magazines will command a price well over twice what a pistol with one matching mag will bring and we only recommend those for advanced collectors and those who must have the exceptional. These are the secret codes for weapons produced in K and Gstarting in the date was openly applied.

These Lugers are extremely rare and both Letter dates are very desirable among collectors as they are the first of the newly built Lugers of the Nazi era.

Conclusion Buying your first Luger will be much easier if you are aware of these basic facts, you can really focus on exactly what you are looking for and make a more informed buying decision.Widely known as the "Luger" or "Parabellum", the semiautomatic, recoil-operated Pistole P was based on an design by American Hugo Borchardt.

George Luger adapted Borchardt's original design and considerably refined it in The resulting improved pistol was accepted into military service inand remained the standard service pistol of the German Army until the introduction of the Walther P The Pistole P was a powerful and accurate weapon, although costly to manufacture.

The Olive-Drab. The Luger is obsolete today, but still quite attractive to collectors. Its sleek design and its infamous connection to Nazi Germany have been factors in its continued popularity. Several million pistols were produced by many different makers, in different arsenals, in Germany, Switzerland and England. In addition, multitudes of commercial versions were manufactured before and after both wars. The vast majority of the pistols were stamped with a four-digit serial number.

This number cycle was repeated monthly by the various arsenals, thus making it possible to have between and pistols bearing the same serial number.

Tips for Buying your First Luger Pistol

The serial number, always stamped on the frame, may also appear on the receiver and barrel. If the serial numbers don't match, this indicates the pistol was assembled from parts of several pistols. The last two digits of the original serial number may appear in several places on the gun as a parts number. Sometimes the same serial number will be stamped in multiple places on the gun, but will only include the letter suffix below the barrel, ahead of the trigger guard.

These markings apply to Lugers as well as P Pistols. There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: luger p Then click the Search button. Like most websites today, Olive-Drab. Please turn on the Javascript on your browser to see the more than one thousand Olive-Drab. Visit the Olive-Drab. See also WW2 Books. Olive-Drab Directory. Additional Info No Javascript? Carl Walther. Mauser Werke. Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabrik. Made at government arsenal at Erfurt,Germany prior to No Javascript?The maker is almost always identified.

Military ammunition usually includes date information, and civilian ammunition often has caliber information. Sometimes the caliber information is either spelled out or abbreviated ; 38 SPL, etc. Sometimes information on the headstamp indicates the type of load VII Z on. Sometimes markings are deliberately deceiving, as with some.

Sometimes the headstamp only indicates the maker of the cartridge case, or distributor of the loaded cartridge, or the using activity, not the actual "manufacturer" of a loaded cartridge. Even collectors with years of experience and extensive reference libraries end up with a few cartridges they cannot identify, so don't feel bad if you cannot identify everything.

The following headstamps have been reported to exist, but it is strongly suspected they do not occur on small arms ammunition. If you have encountered this code on any ammunition, even if it is not small arms ammunition, please contact us with the details.

References cited in the right hand column:. Headstamp Codes Codes are listed by number codes, then in alphabetical order from A to Z, followed by a list of suspect codes at the end. Manufacturer or in some cases the maker of the cartridge case, or distributor of the loaded ammunition, or a using activity, or other meaning.

Found on 7. Russian State Arsenal, location unknown. Listed here to avoid confusion with Bulgarian factory using the same code. Found on ammunition made and earlier.

How to Read German Luger Numbers

Factory Ceased operations in Normally found as part of a two-entry headstamp with date being the only other entry. Normally found on cartridge headstamps with a date stamped right-side up in relation to the factory code. Normally found on cartridge headstamps with a date stamped upside down in relation to the factory code.

Inc, Doniphan, Neb. UlyanovoskRussia. Deutsche Waffen-u. Munitionsfabriken A. Found also with a circle around the numbers.

Proof Marks, Date Codes, and German Firearms

Remington Arms Company, Inc.The Luger P08 pistol, also referred to as the Pistole Parabellum, was first produced in It was designed by Hugo Borchardt but patented by Georg J.

Thanks to its smooth design and telltale curved butt, the Luger remains coveted by collectors. Before having your pistol appraised, you'll need to locate and record all of its serial numbers. Ensure that the Luger is not loaded with a live magazine and that the safety switch, located at the rear left-hand side of the gun, is engaged.

Locate and write down the main four-digit serial number on the underside of the barrel, just above the trigger. Find the script letter, which follows the serial number, and record it onto the paper. The script letter denotes the production series of your Luger. Look at the top of the pistol. Note and record the numerical code just before the start of the exposed barrel.

Nazi treasure, Eastern Europe, short version

This refers to the Luger's particular make. Brandon Getty began writing professionally inwith columns appearing in "Thrasher" magazine. Items you will need Pen Paper Damp cloth. Step 1 Ensure that the Luger is not loaded with a live magazine and that the safety switch, located at the rear left-hand side of the gun, is engaged.

Record the frame number, located on the left-hand side of the gun just above the trigger. Take down the slide number, which is just above the beginning of the pistol butt, or handle. About the Author. Photo Credits.Collectors who spend enough time around European firearms will often notice that the guns are littered with a variety of odd markings, letters, and other stamps that seem like some sort of secret code language from another world.

Virtually every European pistol or rifle has these markings, but product manuals rarely cover what they mean. Despite this fact, decoding the stampings can be incredibly useful in determining the age and origin of a firearm.

luger markings guide

Today, we will take a look at what these stampings mean and what sort information we can glean from them. Officially, these markings are known as proof marks or proof stamps. Though the European tradition of compulsory proofing and subsequent marking dates back to the English Gun Barrel Proof Act ofGermany did not adopt a similar law until Intended to help guarantee the quality of firearms produced in each nation, proof laws laid forth a set of standards that gun manufacturers must adhere to in order to market their products.

Over the years, the specific proof stamps employed by German manufacturers have varied somewhat especially during and after World War Twobut the markings have remained fairly consistent for most of the past half-century. In terms of mechanical assurances, this stamp is the most important on the weapon.

Headstamp Codes

These symbols represent the proof house that performed the testing. Typically, each manufacturer uses the same proof house for all of their firearms, but this is not always true. Meanwhile, Walther products produced in Arnsberg usually their. The final markings are often most interesting to collectors. For dating purposes, each letter corresponds to a specific number and together, the two letters represent the final two digits of the production year.

Hopefully, this clears up some of the uncertainty that surrounds these European markings, especially the German proof marks that are so common on popular firearms today. Sometimes these symbols can be useful tools in assessing generational changes that occur over the lifespan of a firearm design.

They are also critically important to collectors who seek examples from specific eras or date ranges. If readers have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments below. Over the last five years, Nathan has written about a variety of firearms topics, including Second Amendment politics and gun and gear reviews. We've sent you email with a verification link. Please click on the link to activate your account.

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luger markings guide

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Read our privacy policy. Proof Marks. The nitrocellulose proof mark on this HK USP 9mm barrel indicates the part has passed overpressure testing and is safe to use. Proof Houses. This list of modern German proof houses is a handy tool for determining where and sometimes when a firearm was made.

Date Codes. German Date Codes 0. Note also the nitrocellulose proof that we previously saw on the barrel. All major components carry this mark. This is a more modern version of the marking than shown in the table above.Founded in Skip to content. Quick links. Luger markings identification - help Discussions on the small arms used by the Axis forces.

My Luger is produced in but those markings looks like early-Nazi Germany markings eagle? Is this possible? Can someone decipher those markings? You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post. A very similar style of eagle can be found on Gewehr 98 rifles.

The other marking is an inspection stamp, consisting of a crown over a 'fraktur,' or letter. Best, Pat. It looks like "I" letter, with the crown. Can you identify that letter? Do you have a close-up picture with better resolution, perhaps?

German military proof. Found on barrel and breechblock,and breechblock only, The 'PTV' marking is different and I believe but am not entirely certain that it is an abbreviation for 'Polizeischule fur Technik und Verkehr' Berlin.

In this was changed to 'Technische Polizeischule.

luger markings guide

Please don't assume this is certain, as I am a rifle collector and not a handgun collector. My handgun collection is very small and my experience with handguns is through my professional career, and only with very modern handguns.

It's the only gun I've ever regretted selling! Good luck, Pat. The crown inspection stamp may possibly be the letter "O" in Fraktur font but not sure if that letter was ever used for inspections.

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