I’ve always loved Lugers, ever since I was given a toy Luger cap pistol as a child. Unfortunately it was played to destruction but I would dearly like to get another in its original yellow box. The nearest I have come is this photo I found on www.nicholscapguns.com .
I now own three Lugers, all old ones made by DWM (Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken). Two are Swiss Lugers in 7.65 but my favourite is this 9mm 1915 dated pistol, shown in photographs below.
What one first notices when handling a Luger is how precisely it is made. All the parts fit together with the precision of a watch. The second thing you notice is how comfortable it is to hold. It is extremely well balanced and naturally points in the direction that one wants to shoot.
What I wasn’t expecting was how fine its trigger would be. This is a military pistol. Its official name was not Luger but Pistole Parabellum, which means “pistol for war”. One has no right to expect an excellent trigger from a service pistol. But once in a while it happens, I suppose. The trigger on my 1915 Luger breaks very precisely and consistently allowing very good groups to be got from it. I’ve taken it apart and I am convinced that no gunsmith has ever attempted to improve upon it, which makes it all the more remarkable.
1915 was early in war production. The quality of its rust blue finish is superb. The pistol was clearly very well looked after during its life. Before I acquired it, it had led a rather inactive life locked in the section 5 armoury at Bisley Camp in Surrey for the past 18 years. But it is now the centre piece of my collection of early semi-automatic pistols and is also an opportunity for me to test how accurate and effective these pistols were.
I am not sure how well it would behave if I were to plunge it into a bucket of mud but on the range, firing factory 9mm ammunition, it performs flawlessly with no jams or misfires. But don’t worry about the mud, I have no intention of simulating conditions on the Western Front to that degree of verisimilitude!