How to Read German Luger Numbers

by Brandon Getty
German soldiers used the Luger in WWI and WWII.

German soldiers used the Luger in WWI and WWII.

The Luger P08 pistol, also referred to as the Pistole Parabellum, was first produced in 1900. It was designed by Hugo Borchardt but patented by Georg J. Luger. Though the Luger was used mostly by German forces in World War I and II, Finland, Switzerland and Poland also adopted the pistol for field use. Thanks to its smooth design and telltale curved butt, the Luger remains coveted by collectors. Before having your pistol appraised, you'll need to locate and record all of its serial numbers.

1. Ensure that the Luger is not loaded with a live magazine and that the safety switch, located at the rear left-hand side of the gun, is engaged.

2. Locate and write down the main four-digit serial number on the underside of the barrel, just above the trigger.

3. Find the script letter, which follows the serial number, and record it onto the paper. The script letter denotes the production series of your Luger.

4. Look at the top of the pistol. Note and record the numerical code just before the start of the exposed barrel. This refers to the Luger's particular make.

5. Record the frame number, located on the left-hand side of the gun just above the trigger.

6. Take down the slide number, which is just above the beginning of the pistol butt, or handle.

Items you will need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Damp cloth

About the Author

Brandon Getty began writing professionally in 2008, with columns appearing in "Thrasher" magazine. He received a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and lives in Stockton, Calif.

Photo Credits

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