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1938 Swedish Army Trials Luger


Hi guys, thanks for tuning in to another
video on ForgottenWeapons.com. I’m Ian McCollum, and I’m here today at the Rock Island Auction Company taking a look at a Swedish test Luger. Now Sweden tested the Luger in, like, 1904, along with pretty much every other interesting and potentially viable semi-auto pistol that was out there on the market. They were looking to replace their revolvers with
one of these hot, fancy, new, semi-automatic pistols. And the Luger they tested at that point was the old model,
the new model Luger wasn’t developed until 1906. And what they found in those tests was that the Luger was
actually the most accurate of all the pistols that they tested, but it was not the most reliable, especially in very cold
conditions (which you do get in Sweden every once in a while). And so as a result of that test they actually ended up
adopting the Browning Model of 1903 as their Model of 1907 pistol. And it was chambered for the
Browning 9x20mm … semi-rimmed cartridge, which is kind of an oddball. It existed in that
period but didn’t take off very well. So, they built a whole bunch of those pistols
under license at Husqvarna, and they’re good guns. But when World War Two started approaching in the late
1930s, Sweden started buying batches of submachine guns and these were, as one might
expect, in 9mm Luger calibre. And so they decided we really need to kind of standardise,
we need to replace these old simple blowback Browning 9mm pistols with other pistols that are
actually in the same cartridge as our submachine guns. So in 1938/1939 the Swedish
military held another pistol trial, and in this one, one of the guns
that they tested was this guy. In fact, specifically this pistol.
So let’s take a look at it. This is pretty much a standard commercial pattern
Luger, but there are a few little subtle differences. So first off, let’s look at the top. These were purchased from the Mauser company,
so they have a Mauser banner on the toggle. And they are all dated 1938. Sweden bought 300 of these pistols, and
the serial numbers go from 5,700 V to 6,000 V. So this one’s right at the tail end of that. Of those 300, 275 of them were this pattern.
Which is to say a longer, a 4.75 inch barrel, as opposed to the 4 inch barrel that the German
military used, and chambered for 9mm Parabellum. They did also purchase 25 of them with the
shorter 100mm or 4 inch barrel in .30 Luger calibre, but most of them were 9mm guns like this. One other subtle difference
with these is that they have rust blued parts overall, which is normal,
except they then have a salt blued barrel. And if you look at this, you can tell the difference
in the finish between the barrel and the frame here. The barrel is much shinier, the
frame has a more matt finish to it. And then, of course, the small parts, as
you would expect from a commercial Luger, are strawed, so you can see they
kind of have this golden colour to them. Unfortunately, the magazine on this one is mismatched. It should actually be marked 9mm,
the Swedish contract ones were. It’s not actually necessary because the magazines are
interchangeable for the two calibres, 9mm and .30 Luger, but the original Swedish mags did have that marking. Everything else is standard for what you would
get from a commercial Mauser-made Luger. So we have a commercial proof up here. Serial numbers are repeated on a whole
bunch of the parts, typically the last two digits. The safety is standard,
and marked in German there. So despite their Swedish military trials use, they
don’t actually have any Swedish markings on them, and they can be identified only by serial number and the
other somewhat unique features that we just went over. Now in this later trial the Swedes were also
looking at the P38 (or rather the Walther HP, the army pistol, Heerespistole, that preceded the P38),
and they were also looking at the Finnish Lahti M35. And what they ended up finding was that the Luger was
the most accurate of the guns that they were testing, but once again it was too expensive, and they
ended up buying about 1,500 Walther HPs or P38s. Well, the problem is they couldn’t buy more than
that afterwards because World War Two broke out, Germany kind of isn’t so interested in selling guns
commercially they kind of want to keep them for themselves, keep building more, and so Sweden ended
up adopting the Lahti as the model M40 and producing that under licence at Husqvarna. So kind of interesting, Luger got two chances with the
Swedish military, and both times it was a good pistol. It was just not quite good enough and, in
general, it was too expensive every time. That was pretty much the one biggest failing of the
Luger was that it was a very expensive pistol to manufacture. So they didn’t end up adopting it in any greater quantity,
and were left with just the 300 of them that they purchased. Hopefully you guys enjoyed the video.
If you’d like to follow Rock Island more closely, check out the description text below. You’ll find
links there to Rock Island’s own YouTube channel, as well as their Instagram page. You
can follow everything that they do there. Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “1938 Swedish Army Trials Luger

  1. My grandfather always wanted our armed forces to use The Luger. Think he got his hands on one to shoot down South and loved it.

  2. I love the lines on a Luger pistol. So sleek. Would love to shoot one in .30 Luger someday. That round interests me.

  3. Occasional cold? Try November to Mars with an average temperature of -10 to -15 degrees Celsius. Sure the southern parts are a bit warmer but that is just a third of the Country… Here in the northern third we usually see -20 on average with -30 to -35 on occasions.
    Still interesting video and it is always fun to see Swedish stuff on the channel, by the way Ian have you ever had the chance to handle the GRAM 61 & GRAM 63?

  4. Allied war trophies
    most Allied solider had incident with this pistol
    Kraut use it as bait to American solider trophy hunter

  5. Hey Ian! Absolutely love the channel and had a question! Have you ever had any injuries while doing this? Serious or minor? ( it's guns, I imagine you have just like I.😅😂)

  6. and still… the Pistol 07 (browning) survived the Luger and wasnt removed from service until the late 80´s when it was replaced by the Glock 17 and 19.
    some even remained as late as very late 90´s (i fired a military one in service as late as 99 or 2000)

  7. Pistole is pronounced pistol-eh, not pistoel. Google translate's listen function can help you with tricky pronunciations.

  8. A Luger has to be one of the most identifiable hand guns in the world.
    Even a neophyte like myself could correctly identify one.

  9. I around that content and it still sounded like you said Husqvarna the chainsaw manufacturer I could be wrong but I can't find any evidence this it would be cool if we had a video explaining that if Husqvarna the chainsaw manufacturer actually there

  10. luger really is the most extensively discussed small arm in this channel. there's many type of em, is there any type of it using suppression? or is it possible.

  11. Isn't it amazing how many commercials start populating this channel After IGM and PreagerU bring lawsuits against YouTube!

  12. Luger. On a trial. In 1938…
    Have they also thought about adopting french 75mm and Martini-Henry by 1943? By God, swedes had designed a lot of stuff that was a decade ahead of its time /and sold it to Germans/, but this one boggles my mind.

  13. why didn't the FN Model 1903
    see more success? It was a relatively popular and well made gun, but never seemed to get any huge contracts beyond Sweden.

  14. Der Kampf Der Infanterie: https://youtu.be/qmibfBVMJB8
    It just shows how similar Swiss military is to the Wehrmacht.

  15. More Swedish guns please!! There are some really interesting Battle Rifle prototypes in 6.5x55mm in the Swedish Army Museum archives

  16. Fun fact. The Pistol m/07 mentioned stayed in service well into the 80´s (together with Pistol m/40) and i can confirm they were still in some storage, if not in use, in the the early 90´s.

  17. I got the chance to shoot 5 rounds with the m/40 when I did my military service here in Sweden 38years ago I remember it as rather heavy with one hand.

  18. Great video as always, it will be nice if you do a video about price of the guns on old/recent time to compare, or if you can inculde this on your nexts post ''am curious about this kind of stuff'' .

  19. I don't like the shape of the Lugers, i preffer the Husqvarna M40 shape; but i'd helded a Luger and their very comfortable to handle, that's the only thing that i like about 'em.

  20. Ian is so adorable when trying to pronounce foreign words. "Husk-Warna" 😀
    It's ok, dude, we don't expect you to get it right. Thank's for trying, though. It's the thought that counts. 😉

  21. I remember reading somewhere that the Lugar cost was $16, and the Walther was like, $6.50.
    Anyone know if this is right?

  22. Side question. There seems to be no major US manufacturer of 9mm Luger caliber pistols in this era. Until the S&W model 39, the only 9mm Paras in the USA, seem to be imports? Am I wrong?

  23. One day I'd like to see a YT video of every Luger and every Luger variant. Shouldn't take more than 236 to 485 hours.

  24. Hey Ian! Love your stuff! If you wanna improve your Swedish pronunciation on Husqvarna just make the U longer like: Huusqvarna. Just really linger on that U and you'll have the pronunciation down tight!

  25. The problem with adopting the Browning as m/07 pistol was that officers when the guns got older and that ammunition that was supposed to go into it was harder to get by, they used the 9×19 for the m/45B K-pist. Guns cracked and broke…. not heard about serious accidents but one can imagine….

  26. Our shooting club has an old m/39 (HP) from I 17 (infantery regement in Uddevalla, sweden. My first 9mm was an P5, I always suprised people to the LEFT on me with spent brass! Good ergonomics but to short for competition. Thanks from Sweden for all Your work.

  27. The problem with cold climates is extensive.
    -40C (And -40F, yes Fahrenheit is based on -40 Celsius for some reason) is that steel shrinks in cold, making mechanisms fail.
    I live 200 Kilometers north of the arctic circle in Sweden and it gets that cold at times.
    Even modern car engines refuse to start in this climate, so a 80 year old pistol will also have trouble cycling.
    Testing guns in extreme climates would make an interesting video. A modern freezer would get the gun and ammo to -30C ish … i wanna see that!

  28. Born and raised in the town of Huskvarna hearing Amerikans pronounce the brand Husqvarna always make be smile. To much weight on the U in Husqvarna if you where to pronounce it like Ian does it would be spelled Hussqvarna.

    More boring facts : it is derived from 2 words Hus and Kvarn meaning House and Mill, House here meaning more like castle (mideval swedish) so translated it would be Castlemill. The castle is long gone but if you are ever in Huskvarna do visit the factory museum some nice guns and motorbikes there.

    O yea Huskvarna is the town, Husqvarna is the brand/factory

  29. Does anyone else keep waiting for Ian to say "war were declared"? I think this video could have used that at the correct time 🤣

  30. So what kind of issues were the lugers facing in the cold ? I mean some oil and keeping the weapon in holstler beneath your coat should have kept the luger warm enough to function brilliantly like it does. This video was awfully short in length and lacked description of the actual test the lugers went through and what kind of issues were reported. Can you kindly make a more detailed one and express your views on it too. Beautiful gun thanks for sharing.

  31. Excellent, as always, Ian. Thank you. As a collector, lover and student of Lugers, i think you always do a fine job of covering Luger material. I can tell you like Lugers as well.

  32. Did Colt ever consider submitting 9mm chambered 1911s for foreign trials? Did they have a "understanding" with FN to stay out of Europe? Seems like a missed opportunity for Colt.

  33. Ian, the Great thing about your series is that you showcase these historic, obsolete, and sometimes prototype weapons that are in the picture books and that I have seen in Museums–but could never see handled, used, or dis-assembled. We finally get to see how they actually "worked" and were made. Keep up the good work!

  34. we have used luger pistols in the Norwegian army and it is even colder here. I just guess the Swedes did not have the money for them,that's probably the issue

  35. Very cool. Had the opportunity to shoot a Luger a few years ago at a Swedish pistol club. I had trouble making the tiny sights work for me though.

  36. The Luger P08 was a great gun but so expencive to buy that it was mainly used only by higher ranking officers and spesialist. Regular soldiers would use Browning patent guns like Colt M1911 or Browning High Power.

  37. According to wikipedia, some Luger Carbines had barrels up to 600mm long – the same as the Kar98k! I've yet to find a single image of such an example. Should Ian hunt down a luger carbine next, of any length?

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