Shooting Classic Firearms: The History of the German Luger (Watch)

A classic 20th Century firearm, the Luger was among the first semi-automatic pistols ever produced. It was originally designed in 1898 by Georg J. Luger, from whom the weapon’s name is derived, and was first manufactured two years later by a German company called Deutsche Waffen-und Munitionsfabriken.

Although it was the army in Switzerland that initially adopted the gun, the German military began using the Luger in the early 1900’s. A wide range of different variations on the original design were produced by different nations as it became increasingly popular throughout Europe, but the pistol is still remembered as an iconic part of Germany’s military history.

In 1904, the Imperial German Navy began using a Luger model, and four years later the German Army officially replaced their previous pistols with this semi-automatic weapon. The Luger became the standard side-arm for German soldiers, and was used widely in both the First and Second World Wars.

The popularity of the weapon is understandable – durable, well-made and boasting an impressive rate of fire, these ground-breaking pistols were ideal for both the Allies and the Nazis during the Second World War. In fact, they were so sought after by Germany’s enemies that they were often used as bait. German soldiers would leave them lying out in the open, rigged with booby traps and explosives, for unwitting Allied troops to stumble on.

In this video, the YouTube channel C&Rsenal offers viewers an in-depth exploration of one iteration of the Luger – the Lange Pistole 08, also known as an Artillery Luger. Although they focus on this specific model, the creators behind the video also present a wider context for the Luger in general, covering everything from historical background to technical specifications. For both fans of the Luger and those interested in historical firearms in general, C&Rsenal is well worth a look.

Malcolm Higgins

Malcolm Higgins is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE