Jan C. Still Lugerforums banner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought this Luger from SOG. It's dated 1938. The serial number is 9473 on the left side and has the small case 'u' or 'v' on the front of the frame below the same number. The toggle is inscribed with the number '42' for Mauser, and the last two digits of the serial number (73). The 73 also appears on all other parts except the side plate (non-matching with a '51). Some parts are unmarked, such as the takedown lever and safety. The barrel has no serial number, but has a very small and faint proof on the upper left (10:00 position) close to the chamber.

The barrel and unnumbered parts are probably replacements, and the the gun is re-finished and has one non-matching number, so it's a shooter, which is what I set out to buy. It is in very good shooting condition, I am satisfied with it.

The two sources I've consulted, Aarron Davis' The Luger Handbook and John Walter's The Luger Story show that for a Luger dated 1938, the manufacturer's code should be S/42. 1939 pistols began carrying the designation '42'.

Maybe someone out there knows if there were exceptions to the dates the two books I cited. John Walter's The Luger Story, page 181 shows photos of a 1941 chamber-dated gun with '42' toggle code. He states that "many explanations have been given for these guns, which may have been refurbished in c. 1943-44. Issue to coastal-protection forces seem most likely". The proof mark shown on the right side of the receiver for the gun in question is the same as the 'stick eagle' next to the two E63s on my gun.

Since I am a new Luger owner (I do collect other military weapons, mostly WWII rifles) I am hoping the many Luger collectors out there will be better informed than I am, and may shed more light on this. If there is anything special about this gun, I'd like to know to stop using it as a shooter!

ADMIN: I HAVE COPIED AND PLACED THE PICTURES HERE ON THIS SERVER. Simply because they were so large in scroling back and forth. ED

Download Attachment: site1052.jpg

Download Attachment: site1053.jpg

Download Attachment: site1054.jpg

The images above may give someone a clue.



550 Posts
Hi ragc,
* Have some fun!! Go ahead & shoot this to your hearts content after having a knowledgeable Luger 'smith examine its safety/headspace/etc.
* A 42 code 1938 dated P.08 is not a collector's recognized variation issued by Mauser to the German Army. No documented exception is known.
* Normally, a 1938 Army Luger would be found in the "b" to "m" serial number blocks. This frame is out of the 1938 range by its stamped "u"/"v" block letter.
* SO: an Assembly of disparite components.
-Appears the "u" or "v" block frame and toggle train came from a 42 code, 1939 pistol.
- It was likely married up to a 1938 marked receiver(barrel extension) that had been accepted(two sE63's) for the Army once upon a time in its history. The receiver has been renumbered (large oversized digits) to match the numeric portion of the frame's number. The Frame S/N is normally taken as the Master S/N during a re-build.
- An Army sE63 dimensionally accepted Mauser leftover/replacement barrel has been added.
- The orphan side plate had, at one time, been cut for a sear safety. This modification done either by a Police depot or originally by Mauser for a Banner Police model. By the way, where are the sideplate numerals "51" located(underneath or inside)?
- The collage was then assembled, proof tested(??), dipped/re-blued, functionally tested, and stored. Are any Crown/N proof marks apparent on the underside of the barrel? Unless markings of a re-proof test firing are in evidence, no claim can be asserted the barrel was properly installed/headspaced.
* This refurbishment could have been done Post WWII by the East Germans(DDR), Post WWII by the Russians, or by a European distributor a few months ago.
* Once wringing out a few of these safety/functionality details, a Luger is usually a quite accurate Firearm. It should provide many years of shooting enjoyment.
* Trust this helps.

Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the informative replies! I posted this same question elsewhere and the response I received was not one-half as complete (just a re-stating of the production codes and dates, which I knew). A pleasure to be here!

The sideplate number is on the lower edge. Is that a clue to who re-built it? I have found no crowns or any other marks on the barrel other than the alignment line on the very bottom.

I own several WWII rifles. I find that my K-98k, which was a Russian capture, and my Moisin-Nagant 91/30 were both very well taken care of and are in excellent, almost mint shape. If this pistol were to have been put together and used by the Soviets I trust the quality has not been compromised based on that experience.

Thanks again for the welcome and the great reply. I will take the advice given.

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