Jan C. Still Lugerforums banner


9165 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  jps-s

I think I am fairly typical of most collectors in that we find "The Hunt" is what gives us the most pleasure. When that need is satiated then we move on to the next quest. The parameters of my collection are all small arms used by the Germans from 1920 thru 1945, this includes not only the Wehrmacht, but also includes any and all party affiliates of the N.S.D.A.P., Kriegsmarine and the Police. I had pretty well accomplished most of my goals (The Hunt) when about five years ago, while walking thru a Dallas Gun Show I happened on a table with an interesting "shotgun." However, it was not just a shotgun but a German Drilling, and not just a Drilling, but a Luftwaffe M 30 survival Drilling manufactured by JP Sauer & Sohn. Like any good collector, accustomed to dealing in K98's, Walther PP and PPK’s, Mauser pistols etc., etc., I didn’t know anything about M 30 survival shotguns. As I started my inquiry for information it became abundantly clear there just isn’t very much information available. The only printed articles that I have been able to find is one by Joe Buffer in ‘Guns & Ammo’ dated 9/79 and a short article in the American Rifleman dated 1976. Additional information has been given to me by a good friend and fellow collector Don Andrews of Metairie, LA. Yes, I purchased the Drilling and the hunt was on - you see it originally came in a metal case full of accessories and I had none of these (A collector’s Dream!!!!).
About two years after acquiring the above Drilling I got a call from a Dallas Pawn shop wanting me to come down and look at a ‘weird’ shotgun. To my surprise it was a BSW over/under 12 ga. marked the same way as the Drilling with a Luftwaffe Eagle cartouched in the right butt stock and the same eagle die stamped on the right side rear of the top barrel. Yep, I got it too!!!
Below, I will explain in some detail the description of both guns and what information I have. I hope you find it interesting and if you have any additional information I would hope that you would share it with us.
M 30 Survival Drilling Description
The word Drilling comes from the German base word "drei" (three) and literally means "three barreled gun" as in this case, a side by side 12 ga. over a rifled barrel in 9.3 x 74R. This is a standard JP Sauer & Sohn commercial grade drilling with light engraving, a raised cheek piece and a checkered pistol grip butt stock, plus a checkered forearm. The only difference between this gun and the commercial grade are the obvious Luftwaffe shrouded Eagle "2" ordnance inspection stamp is struck on the top flat of the forward locking lug (figure 1), and the Luftwaffe Eagle die stamped on the barrel and cartouched on the right side of the butt stock (figure 2). My particular piece is dated 242 (February 1942) and serial numbered 337976. The following information is taken directly from Joe Buffer’s article in ‘Guns & Ammo’ to describe the contents of the carrying case (Figure 3). "The M 30 Drilling was issued in a compact green aluminum case, whose compartments were fitted to secure a cleaning kit, leather sling (the sling in my case is AKAH marked), two boxes of 10 rounds of 9.3 x 74R H-Mantel rifle cartridges, 20 rounds of 12 gauge Brenneke slugs, and 25 rounds of 12 ga. Shells with 3 ½ mm shot. Felt ridges protected the gun, which was broken down during storage. The case was sealed against moisture, and there is a contents list on the inside lid." Also contained in all issue cases was an instruction manual and a test target numbered to the gun. The top of the case is stenciled "Drilling M 30 mit munition und Zubehor." Carrying case fully loaded with accessories and ammunition weighed 32 pounds.

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Figure 1. Eagle "2" ordnance inspection stamp is struck on the top flat of the forward locking lug of Drilling, sn 337976.

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Figure 2. Luftwaffe Eagle cartouched on the right side of the butt stock of Drilling, sn 337976.

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Figure 3. Carrying case for the Luftwaffe drilling (from the M 30 manual).

The M 30 Drilling is 42" inches long and weighs 7 ½ pounds. Butt stock and fore stock are of finely checkered, first grade European "Nutze" (walnut). The barrels are manufactured from the finest Krupp steel (Laustahl) and stamped as such. The gun is finished with full commercial quality detail, such as engraved screw heads, artistic Sauer logos, a casehardened breech with minor scroll engraving throughout its outside surfaces and the trigger housing.
The Drilling is carefully hand fitted and is built on a Blitz action, with double under locking lugs, Greener cross bolt and sideslips.
The only picture of the Drilling in use, that I have seen, are the ones being photographed in a “photo op” of two Feldewbels unloading an M 30, Mg13, flare pistol, and a K98 off a Ju 87 (Stuka Dive Bomber) in North Africa (Figure4 & 5). It is a part of a series of pictures (Bundesarchive 433/859), one of which is shown in Joe Buffer’s article and the other two were given by Wolfgang Kern author of a book on flare pistols “Deutsche Leucht-und Signalpistolen, showing the various stages of unloading a Stuka after a mission. The interesting thing about the series of pictures is that both the K98 and the M 30 were carried aboard loose and not in cases. Another picture is reported, showing a downed —110 in Switzerland with all it’s survival gear lined up on the ground including an M 30.

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Figure 4. Two airmen unloading an M 30 Drilling and a K98 rifle off a Stuka dive bomber in North Africa

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Figure 5. The arms unloaded from the Stuka dive bomber: M 30 drilling, machine gun13, flare pistol, and a K98 rifle.

The procurement data was supplied by Don Andrews, DC. Cole and Leonard E. Hunter (1975). The reported M 30 Luftwaffe Drilling serial range is 334660 (April, 1941) to 339755 (Sept.1942). Interspersed within this serial range are commercial 16 ga. production. It is estimated that between 2000 and 2500 were produced between 1941 and 1942.

The amazing thing about this gun is that for the value of Reich marks at that time, it was a very expensive piece of military hardware to be throwing around loose in the cockpit of an airplane. JP Sauer and Sohn survived the war and are still making weapons today. Up until at least 1976 Colt was importing the Sauer Drilling and might be doing so today. Jim Cate recently supplied me with some information concerning orders of the M 30 from the factory showing total deliveries of 2456 pieces out of a total order of 4000 pieces as being delivered. But the most interesting new information is that there was an order of 147 pieces for a technical and traffic Police school. Are there some police marked drillings out there? Needless to say my M 30 is the center of my collection.

Luftwaffe BSW 12 ga. Over and Under Description

Like the M 30, the Luftwaffe BSW shotgun is a standard commercial grade over and under 12 ga., with checkering on the forearm and a small amount of light engraving on some metal parts. Again, as with the M 30, there is a Luftwaffe eagle cartouched on the right butt stock and another Luftwaffe Eagle die stamped into the right side rear barrel assembly (figure 6). The manufacture date of 10/41 (Feb. 1941) is stamped on the bottom of the barrel assembly and the Luftwaffe acceptance stamp is on top of the locking lug. The serial number of this gun is #54106.

Download Attachment: Drilling6.jpg
Figure 6. The Luftwaffe Eagle is die stamped into the right side rear barrel assembly of this BSA 12 ga. over and under shotgun, sn 54106.

Both Don Andrews and I own a JP Sauer & Sohn over and under, his is serial numbered #294249 manufactured 640 (June, 1940) and mine is 294295 dated 240 (Feb. 1940) and they are both marked identical to the BSW. Other collectors and dealers have reported either owning or seeing various manufacture’s, e.g., Merkel and Kreighoff over and under shotguns marked in similar fashion. To what purpose did the Luftwaffe contract for these over and under opens up a lot of supposition. In conversations I have had with US pilots there are a couple of reasons that come to the forefront:

1. Training gunners at pass shooting ( learning how to lead a target). This was a fairly common practice with Allied Air forces. One can only assume that German gunners were trained in the same manner. As quoted, in the Guns and Ammo article by Joe Buffer, Gerneral Galland went on to say “Doppleflinte der Luftwaffe (over and under Shotgun), which was an obligatory exercise to sharpen eyes and reflexes of Luftwaffe fighter pilots.”

2. Recreational shooting. There are a number of pictures around of Adolph Galland bird hunting in uniform, difficult to tell what kind of shotgun he is carrying, and members of the Luftwaffe on the line shooting and clay targets.

The few Luftwaffe pilots I have had the chance to talk to remember that there were shotguns available at most major bases, but they’re not sure or can’t remember what they were used for. Unfortunately I have never met a pilot that carried the M 30 on his plane. Maybe one of these days!

In conclusion very little information has come to the surface, i.e., production numbers, contract information and actual military regulations concerning their usage, but nevertheless, these shotguns and Drillings are beautiful pieces of work and were definitely a part of this period of military history. Hope you have found this article informative and if you own any of these Drillings and shotguns, I would sure appreciate description and serial numbers as I currently have 43 Drillings listed in my data base.

By Bob Cutler 2/09/03 (typed from hard copy into the Forum by J. C. Still)


Historical notes “The 9.3 x 74R is a popular German cartridge for single shot, double and combination guns. It originated in the early 1900's, probably as their answer to the .400/.360 Nitro-Express which British gun makers developed in various versions. It is quite similar to, but slightly longer than, the various rifles by the Germans. The 9.3 x 74R is listed in the current RWS catalog.” (From an article supplied to me by Don Andrews - source unknown)


1. “GUNS & AMMO” volume 23, number 9, September, 1979 published by the Petersen Publishing Co., Article written by Joe Buffer title “Luftwaffe Drilling” p. 56.

2. Letter written to Donald I. Andrews from D. C. Cole and Leonard E. Hunter dated 1 September, 1975, concerning JP Sauer & Sohn production numbers of various shotguns.

3. Numerous conversations with Donald I. Andrews concerning above subject matter.
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I have for this gun the original sling ,and 2 original rounds .that I took out of the original case some 25+ years
ago before selling the set .if anyone interested [email protected]

this is much interesting information! I like to add two notes to this post:


"Training gunners at pass shooting ( learning how to lead a target). This was a fairly common practice with Allied Air forces. One can only assume that German gunners were trained in the same manner."

I can confirm this. A recently deceased old hunter told me the following: As a young man he made his hunter's exam during the war (note: since the new Hunting Laws of 1936, every person who wanted to get a hunting license/permit had to pass a special exam for hunters. This is the case even today). To pass the exam, it was necessary i.a. to shoot clay birds (Trap) and to achieve a minimum result during the exam. He learned clay bird shooting on a Luftwaffe shooting range near Lüneburg , a town close to Hamburg. He shot clay birds together with German Luftwaffe pilots.


"Both Don Andrews and I own a JP Sauer & Sohn over and under, his is serial numbered #294249 manufactured 640 (June, 1940) and mine is 294295 dated 240 (Feb. 1940) and they are both marked identical to the BSW."

Jan, if you could please ask Bob Cutler for photos of the proof marks of his shot gun proofed in February, 1940, that would be just great! Jim Cate and I are after a long gun proofed in Feb 1940 since years! Why? Well, some years ago the question was hotly debated, WHEN THE EAGLE/N PROOFS were introduced: on January 15, 1940 (which is a fact based on the German Proof Law, which came into force on this day), or on April 01, 1940 (a date mentioned in older sources). A photo showing the date 2/40 and the relating proof marking eagle/N OR crown/N would terminate any discussions.


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Were your drillings at the Maxx show this past weekend?
If so thank you for such a nice display!
just read again your wonderful article about the Sauer Luftwaffe drillings and shot guns and again looked at this nice photo:

quote:Figure 5. The arms unloaded from the Stuka dive bomber: M 30 drilling, machine gun13, flare pistol, and a K98 rifle.

Sorry to say, but it is not a drilling, but a side-by-side shot gun. And no Sauer at all, as it has the foreshaft release at the tip of the foreshaft, not in the middle. The spring loaded press button at the tip of the foreshaft is typical for Belgian and English shot guns.

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Thanks for the correction.
That push button is referred to as and "Anson forend release"in the double gun world. Shotguns with the pull down lever in the middle,also on both English and European arms,have a "Deeley release".Those are the two most common types found and still used today on fine doubles as well as drillings and verlings.
There is a complete description of the Sauer Luftwaffe Drillings in my 3rd Sauer book, as well as a chronological listing of the known serial numbers of these guns. Color photographs show the gun in its original case, with the original listing for the enclosed items and ammo that came with each Drilling, and a factory test target for an example. There are a couple of nice original photos (black & white) showing these guns being used. The book is entitled: J.P.SAUER & SOHN, SUHL, Waffenstadt; A Historical Study of the Hunting and Sporting Guns Made by the Original Company 1751-1945. It is availabe through the German Gun Collectors Association, Checkpoint Charlies' website, and other book sellers. Thanks, Jim Cate
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