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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first and only Luger, a c. 1942 model which was reconditioned after the war with several replacement parts. I had had some jams with Blazer ammo, but the main problem seemed to be that the toggle (?) wasn't stripping a round from the mag every time. I decided to try different ammo--Fiocchi and Winchester. The problems merely got more frequent and more diverse. Failures to extract/eject, failures to load all the way into the chamber, failures to strip the next round from the mag, etc. I think that the ammo isn't fully cycling the toggle, so either the spring is too strong or the ammo too weak. I have gotten diametrically opposed advice on the ammo issue. Some say definitely use hot ammo, some say definitely do not. I will try a couple of mags of +P and see what happens. As it stands now, the Luger is no fun at all despite the very light trigger and the wonderful accuracy--WHEN THE THING WORKS!

Drakejake
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Luger came with three mags. One, I am told, is C.WW1. The other two hold seven rounds and are of indeterminate manufacture with wooden bottoms. Most of my mags are new Mec Gars. It is hard for me to believe that all the Mec Gars are bad. I have had problems with all of the mags. My gut instinct is that the mags and the pistol will work with the right ammo. If not, I will have to consider replacing some springs. I suppose it is possible that when this Luger was reconditioned an inapproprate recoil spring was installed. But the way, where is the spring that holds the toggle down?

Thanks,

Drakejake
 

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Moderator / Gold Bullet Member
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Drakejake, Sounds like your problem might not be magazine related if you have tried all those. I would say it is not ammunition related either as Winchester round nose ball is reliable in Lugers. Enough power to lock it back on the last round. That is the usual indicator that the ammunition you are using is powerful enough.
The toggle is held down by the mainspring in the handle of the pistol. When the toggle is moved rearward by the detonation of a cartridge this power pushes the toggle back, compressing the mainspring. After reaching is rearward limits, the compressed mainspring, hooked to the toggle on the underneath of it, decompresses and essentially pulls the toggle down and consequently forward. Were this my pistol I would consider either changing the springs with a complete Wolf kit or sending it to someone who would do it for you.
I have used a fellow by the Name of Ted Green (THOR)for similar problems. He has proven to be a genius with these problems and fixed my Luger right up. It had a mysterious fireing problem which I could not begin to figure out. Works beautifully after Thor sent it back. He fixes and test fires to make sure it is right. Hope this helps, Jerry Burney
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the very helpful advice. This is a reconditioned Luger with replacement parts. This work was done during the post-WWII occupation of Germany, I have been told. Some of these parts may have affected the performance of the pistol. My best guess is that the pistol isn't cycling full. This would explain the failure of the "barrel/toggle assembly" to strip a round from the mag. The mechanism may not be going back far enough to hit the bottom of the round. If the cycle is slightly short, this might also explain some failures to eject. I will try some +P ammo. If this doesn't work, I will consider other possibilities.

Drakejake
 

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Drakejake, none of my business what you decide to shoot in your Luger but I would not recommend plus P ammo in a pistol that is not functioning properly. The power of the ammunition is not your problem. If your toggle is not going back far enough to strip another cartridge there must be a mechanical failure and plus P ammo will only put more pressure on a system that is faulty. This could endanger the pistol or yourself.
The toggle should go back farther than what is required to strip a cartridga, far enough to enable the holdopen spring to lift and mechanically hold the toggle open on the last round.

Can you do this manually? This would indicate there is no mechanical obstruction. Jerry Burney
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
"The toggle should go back farther than what is required to strip a cartridga, far enough to enable the holdopen spring to lift and mechanically hold the toggle open on the last round.

Can you do this manually? This would indicate there is no mechanical obstruction. Jerry Burney"

Of course I can manually feed a round into the chamber. Otherwise I could not fire the gun. I can also pull the "slide" back far enough to lock it back on an empty mag. Yes, the Luger will usually lock back after the last round. If there is a mechanical problem with the pistol, it must not be obvious, so far as I can tell.

Thanks,

Drakejake
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My experiment with firing +P ammo in the Luger failed. I got a box of hollow point Remington +P, 115 grain, and loaded up some mags. After a few shots of this ammo, the sideplate fell on the ground. I replaced the sideplate and tried some standard ammo, and the sideplate fell off again. The takedown lever isn't doing its job of holding the sideplate on. I do not know yet whether there is a small spring or latch for the takedown lever that I am missing. I will check. Meanwhile, my current theory is that the magazine catch is worn and isn't holding the mag up high enough in the pistol. I removed the latch and could see a good bit of wear on the top. This would certainly explain failures of the "slide" to strip the top round and push it into the chamber. Having the mag too low might cause other problems as well. I will try to replace the magazine latch and see if this helps. (Can anyone suggest a good source for this part?) There is significant play bewteen the bottom of the mag and the grip, i.e., once the mag is locked in, one can move it up and down a bit by pushing up on the bottom of the mag.

Thanks,

Drakejake
 

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Drakejake, This spring is on the bottom of the barrel of the lever, inset into the frame. On the right side of the frame you will see a small dot, this is the end of it sticking out of the frame. The underside has the other end barely sticking out. This spring has a slight bow in it to lock in the locking lever, the lever has a corresponding slot you might notice in the barrel. These two interact to achieve a tight hold. If the spring is there, push it out from the underside and remove it. Bend it a little and see if that works. Be careful not to overbend or break it.
Your mag catch may very well be another gremlin. You could hold the mag up with the palm of the left hand to see if it strips a cartridge.

You might try Lugerdok, Tom Heller. Heusually has all the parts anyone needs. If you cannot track him down let me know I will try and provide an address. Jerry Burney See below

Tom Heller
E-mail Address(es):
[email protected]
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jerry, thank you very much for the information. I have mastered removal of the mag latch and spring and reinstallation thereof. Regarding the locking bolt spring, I understand what you mean. Somehow this spring has disappeared, perhaps today. The small opening on the right side below the bolt, where one end of the spring would go, is empty. I am sure this is a very small spring which would surely vanish if it popped out of the pistol. I assume that without this spring the locking bolt will move down with every shot and allow the side plate to pop off. I plan to purchase a new mag latch from Marstar but so far I haven't been able to locate a locking bolt spring for sale. Numrich lists this part but are out. Any ideas? I am gradually becoming more familiar with the P08.

Drakejake
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have sent a message to Tom Heller about some parts and will call Sarco in the morning. I have bought from them before.

Thanks,

Drakejake
 

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Drakejake, You want to try and find an original spring if possible. This is a fairly finniky part and I have bought a repro from Sarco before. It was made out of a bobby pin and a piece of crap that needed fitting if it could be fit. An original will slip right in place with no difficulties.
Keep trying Tom Heller...He might have an original. Jerry Burney
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jerry, I have contacted Tom and will probably buy the two parts from him. Sarco is cheaper but the mag latch is out of stock there.

Thanks for your help,

Drakejake
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I bought a takedown lever (also known as locking bolt) spring and mag latch from Tom Heller. Thanks, Tom! Unfortunate;y I broke the little spring trying to get it all the way into the pin hole. I should have sanded the end down a bit to smooth the way. By the way, I discovered that the broken off end of the old spring was still stuck in the pin hole. Of course, I had to remove it before trying to install the new one. I will know better next time. The replacement mag latch does seem to raise the mag slightly in the grip. I hope it will help prevent some jams I have been having. I will be in CA for three weeks and will get back to the Luger when I return. I love this gun and must have one that works well.

Drakejake
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree on not using +P ammo. Most Lugers are at least 60 years old and are a design that never was intended to operate on +P pressure. From what I have been told, one reason for broken parts is the habit of some to fire surplus WWII era submachinegun ammo in their Lugers, which caused parts to fail.
 
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