The Luger P08 ("Pistole 1908" or "Pistol 1908") was a semi-automatic pistol designed by Georg Luger. The pistol was first introduced as the service pistol of the German Empire and was used during World War I. It was a serviceable design, and remained in use by the reign of the Nazi Party. It initially saw action alongside the Mauser C96 and even the Walther PP. By the late 30s, the Luger became rather expensive and complicated to manufacture, which led to Walther Arms to design the new standard issued sidearm, the Walther P38. Despite this, the Luger remained in service by the end of the war, and was held in limited numbers by some countries for a number of years afterward, though its use fell off quickly as the design was superseded by more effective platforms.
Currently, the Luger P08 is highly antiquated, and is mostly found as a collector's piece, with individual examples in good condition tending to be fairly expensive.
The Luger is a semi-automatic that is toggle-locked and recoil operated. Based on the design of the Borchardt C93, the Luger uses a single stack magazine of 8 rounds. Other variations include a 32 round drum and could be converted into a carbine. The standard barrel length is small, however other variations like the artillery and marine model used much longer barrels.
Originally, the Luger was to be chambered in the 7.65mm Parabellum, though nearly all were manufactured to accept the more powerful 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge (which was itself originally designed for the P08. Under half a dozen examples chambering the .45ACP ACP cartridge were produced, but were discarded during weapons trials.
The Luger design was very sensitivity to sand, moisture, and other environmental conditions, and was highly prone to repeated jamming unless disassembled and thoroughly cleaned. This was somewhat mitigated by elaborate wooden stock holsters, though the handgun tended to suffer mechanical failures as well.
- Most handguns of this model chamber the 9x19mm cartridge, making compatible ammunition common.
- Jamming will occur should it be exposed to certain elements and on occasion will jam on it's own.
- Low magazine capacity compared to other semi-automatic pistols