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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is a rather strange LP08.


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Figure 1 and 2. 1917 DWM LP08 #7029e is an all matching(-mag) LP08, including its barrel which has been shortened to 4.5 inches. The barrel was cut/spliced following the same procedure that was used during the Weimar to shorten Red Nine Broomhandles so they would conform to the Versailles restrictions that limited maximum length of 9mm pistol barrels to 100 mm (3.94 inches). That is, the barrel was cut in two places, just behind the front sight and also 100 mm from the breech face. The front sight barrel band was bored out so that it could be sleeved/soldered onto the barrel stub which had been turned down to accept the front sight band. The spliced/sleeved barrel of #7029e was expertly done and it shoots right on target. Presumably this is a Weimar product. My understanding is that the Weimar reworks were done in small shops and, as a German collector/historian told me, almost anything could come out of these shops.
This may be a good example of “almost anything”, as the work on LP08 7029e doesn’t make any sense:
1) replacement with a shorter barrel was light years easier, and of course the standard method used during the Weimar to shorten barrels of artillery and navy lugers
2) the barrel on #7029e was still in excess of the mandated 100mm.
Perhaps a Weimar machinist was practicing the technique, or thought that 4.5 inches was close enough? Maybe he just wanted to make a unique LP08? On the other hand, I suppose it is possible that an expert machinist in Cincinnati with lots of time, and one too many LP08s could have made this?
John
 

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Quite likely that the intention was save as much of the barrel as was (then) legal. If the chamber is not considered to be a part of the barrel, then re-barreling with a standard length barrel would have resulted in a sacrifice of the chamber length. We in Germany are confronted with the opposite problem at the moment. The new gun law prohibits snub nose handguns, stipulating a minimum length barrel. If the chamber is not part of the barrel, quite a few guns might be saved from destruction.

Patrick
 

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Not much of a sight plane but certainly a cool pistol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the comments.
Not stamped with “Germany” or “1920”. No additional proofs or marks that I can see.
If chamber length is excluded, this barrel would indeed meet the “100mm or less” Versailles restrictions. However I assume that Versailles barrel length was defined as beginning at the breech face and including the chamber. Anybody read that document?
Rust bluing/finishing looks just like original, although I would think barrel surface must have been reworked/reblued to remove marks from the lathe jaws.
John
 

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The practice of changing Luger barrels to 3 3/4" after WWI is practical evidence that the pertinent measurement was breech face to muzzle; the idea of excluding the chamber length is a new concept to me. The lack of a GERMANY marking indicates that it is not likely to be an export pistol, and the barrel length indicates it is not a Weimar rework for internal sales.

This superbly crafted oddity is probably the result of a private gunsmith's art.

--Dwight
 

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According to Goertz (Die Pistole 08) the Versaille Treaty merely stipulated "100mm or less". Under Anglo-Saxon Common or Case Law, custom and precedent would preclude measuring the length of a barrel from the end of the chamber to the muzzle, as it is customary to measure its length from the breech face. But under Continental European , Roman Civil Law, the exact wording of the law is definitive. And the chamber is not the barrel. This is definitely NOT a new concept here in Germany as recent cases involving the treatment of short barreled hand guns has clearly shown.

Patrick
 

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Rust bluing/finishing looks just like original, although I would think barrel surface must have been reworked/reblued to remove marks from the lathe jaws.
I routinely use masking tape on blued barrels (Lugers especially) to prevent marring the finish...Works great, whether in a barrel vise or a lathe jaw. ;)

[...He replies, many years later...] :D
 
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