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A Well-Traveled Luger


Hi guys thanks for tuning into another video on Forgotten weapons.com I’m Ian McCollum and today I have an interesting Luger to take a look at this isn’t fancy special super rare in any particular Historical sense but what it does have is a really interesting backstory to it this gun has pretty much been everywhere in German history in the last hundred years and it’s the Combination of proof marks and manufacturing marks and property marks that really show a tremendous historical trail to this Specific pistol so let’s take a closer look and let me walk you through where this gun has been so mechanically, this is a standard po8 Luger and If we look at the top on the toggle, we start with a DWM stamp That is deutsche waffen und munition, Fabrique they were the the main factory making Lugers at first other companies started later on but PWM was the original and then we have a 1917 manufacturing mark so this was a World War one era Luger almost certainly saw use either police or military used during World War one and then it has a 1920 stamp above that that indicates that the gun was collected and Inventoried and refurbished and was part of the Weimar Republic’s legal legally allowed armament between the world wars so that 1920 basically that 1920 stamp is on there to prove that the gun was inventoried So if you ran into a military firearm that didn’t have that second date stamp, you would know that it was illegally possessed Germany the German government wanted everyone to turn in the guns that they had So as to comply with the the allied military control of Germany during the 1920s So this pistol went back into Weimar service most likely as a police gun? It has as a pinhole here For attaching a special police safety that was instituted That would prevent the gun from firing when the slide was removed That’s one of the safety issues with the Luger is that normally if you have a round chambered you can actually fire it With just the slide assembly. And so that’s the sort of thing that leads to unintentional discharges when policemen take the guns apart to clean them not realizing there’s a round chambered and then accidentally fire it so this has Indications that the safety itself is no longer there, but it appears to have been mounted at one point So part of its use as a police gun during the Wiemar era Then it would have passed into service during World War two We don’t have any specific evidence on the gun of its World War two use but we know it was in Germany through the war because We have some more markings here on the front grip strap so this somewhat crude looking stamping tells us a number of additional things about the gun this star burst right here is the marking of the Volkspolizei That’s the the German police the East German police after world war ii and Then these three letters SWS Indicate that this was a police gun and they tell us where it was used which was Weissensee The leading s tells us that this was actually put into police property use when Weissensee was in the Soviet sector and That sector only existed for a fairly short time. So right after world war ii this pistol went back into police use with soviet control in soviet-controlled Germany in Weissensee and then we have another milestone up here that crown n to 95 and a shield is A much later West German commercial proof mark indicating that this gun came on to the commercial market and became legal for resale in 1995 and what happened in between there is that there was actually at the the end of The the East German government. There was a large arms Depot discovered in Weissensee. It was a Stasi arms Depot and It had something on the order of a thousand submachine guns 1,500 pistols a bunch of mg 42s most likely machine guns anti-tank rifles Panzerfausts it was kind of a huge hidden Arsenal in Weissensee And that Arsenal was pretty well ransacked a lot of the guns that were in there were not properly turned in and destroyed and This is almost certainly one of them that was Liberated from the the Stasi armory and Weissensee and then a couple years later commercially proofed in West Germany So to make it legal for sale and came back on the market and we can see more evidence of that on the magazine actually The gun has been outfitted with an East German Volkspolizei magazine you can kind of tell these by their construction they have an aluminum base plate and They have a proof mark here 2/1001 indicates that it was manufactured by Haenel in East Germany and This magazine is its magazine. Number two, the guns came were issued with two magazines and its serial numbered 2650 Which is matching to the gun? This gun was there in World War one? It was there at the Treaty of Versailles through the Weimar Republic Through Hitler’s rise to power and the rearmament of Germany pistol was still there through World War two then into the Soviet occupation and then passing into the East German government and this pistol then outlasted the East German government was still there in Germany when the wall came down reproofed by West Germany and now back in commercial hands I Always enjoy finding guns that have not just not just historical provenance to one event or two events But in the case of something like this pretty much all of German 20th century history everything that happened there This pistol was there to see so that makes something really interesting to look at and a really cool piece To have in a collection. Thanks for watching You

100 thoughts on “A Well-Traveled Luger

  1. Im actually from Germany, not to far from Weißensee. Thanks for bringing the history of that depot to my knowledge.

  2. My grandpa carried a P08 when he became a police officer. When Hitler came to power, my grandpa automatically became a member of the Nazi party since he worked in public service. His P08 accompanied him to Russia, the Crimean peninsula, Budapest back up to Travemünde where he and his comrades who survived that wild flight from the Russians surrendered to British troops.
    After "denazification" which simply meant working the same job for less money, he was allowed to keep his P08 until he retired. He did in 1979, too soon and my father inherited his gun. Since my father was a doctor who never had any intention of firing this metal piece of history, he never joined a gun clob and therefore only had a license to own this gun as part of his heritage. Gun laws changed and government wanted him to add some sort of keylock to the gun and to surrender the key to the county officials. Gun smiths were busy due to the law change and not able to supply and install a keylock mechanism so that he decided to hand the gun in. The motherfuckers destroyd that gun… It was made in the twenties, the stamps matched, it came with a leather !quick draw holster and an extra magazine. My grandpa kept his ammunition in a gas mask can…
    When I told my dad how much money he threw away and how such a piece of history could have been sold to someone who values such things, his jaws dropped… Worse, a few years ago, my dad asked my grandma to hand him my grandpa's medals so that he could keep them in his safe, she refused, several weeks later, they were stolen when a burglar broke into her appartment while she was on one of her extensive travels at the time…
    Still have his russian dictionary and his Wehrmacht's instructions on company tactics…

  3. All those eras and none of them 'scrapped' this gun (well eventually in the end…). Besides this incredible find and amazimng video you should learn one thing: If there's ever one era in which you're told to divest your gun, you know there's foul play. Ideologies, no matter how conservative/cosmopolitive/social/equal/garden-eden-like will eventually turn against you – but arms are always welcome, no matter anything.

  4. This perfetcly highlights Germany's terrible past. Just be reminded that every era this gun went through accumulated its own pile of dead bodies

  5. That moment your buying a airsoft Luger and you begin trying to do the same stamping as this video’s Luger.

  6. I own one of those with some decorative ornaments best gun i have quality unmatched far better than nowadays janki plastick space blaster looking guns

  7. This thing has been preserved so well throughout the 101 years that it has lived.
    Let's hope it will live for another century.

  8. So, the police, trained personnel who should know better than to try to disassemble a fire arm with or first checking to see if it is cleared actually made enough of a happen if accidental discharge that it required retrofitting an additional safety? I guess double checking is important after all.

  9. Real Lugers (with matching numbers) are incredibly reliable. Mine is over 100 years old and it shoots great.

  10. 2:27 …not realising there is a round chambered… they were Dutsche menschen ja? not american.
    They never do any Fehler! 😉
    As always amazing video congrats.
    ps: i shot one with just the slide it is very manageble. I heard it was used that way in the war when oficers were captured.

  11. humanity must stop using sophisticated technology for wars. It is necessary to return to the weapons of the times of Antiquity

  12. My grandpa has a p38 which I believe was manufactured after WW2 for west German police service maybe. I’ll be visiting him soon so I’ll look up the serial number to see.

  13. What makes it even better,
    The P08, is still a good useable pistol. Even with only 8rds better then a M9……

  14. Really intriguing to imagine it's life. Had a Winchester 97 which was sold to a guy N Dakota in 1912 , bought it off his grandson in 1996 and put a couple of thousand shells through it .Sold it last year and I'm guessing it's still out there somewhere making a lot of noise.All the best Blighty.

  15. "Hello, kamerade. Out for walk?
    Ah! You are a young one! Bright and strong!
    Forgive mein accent und sometimes broken English- I learn from old enemies, not always best.

    The world is much brighter nowadays… but my sights will work. So does my toggle.

    I have seen the great kings clash, nobility put aside for anger, but righteous anger it was.
    Blood and flesh spilled, onto the ground, by young lads.
    I fought for the Kaiserreich. My people needed me. My nation needed me.

    I have seen democracy rise up in place, chance for peace.
    People were not satisfied. They desired strength. They became tyrannical.
    The roar of machines built for struggle, for war, clashing, sprays of sparks.
    The men drew me again- a black spider on arms. I hated to look at it.
    But German they were, why should I argue with master of kin?

    Then silence. A black silence. A new tyrant to put me in his holster. The instruments of farmhands were law of land.
    I was used to control the people, to further revolution I never wanted.

    Then a fortress crumbled.
    I was free.
    Such color!
    Germany may lose pride, but they never lose heart.
    Mein Brandenburg Gate still standing. Mein Victory Column still strong.

    I am at peace.
    I fend off robbers after my master. I hunt the fauna of the forest.

    And now… what stories shall you tell me, kamerade?"

  16. An article (in German) about the Weissensee Stasi arsenal: http://baseportal.de/cgi-bin/baseportal.pl?htx=/eumel61/abfrage
    Another one about the Berlin city district Weissensee, mentions the arsenal only briefly: http://www.berlin-weissensee.de/index.php/de/heimatfreunde/vorstand/86-heimatfreunde/geschichte/72-geschichte-weissensees?showall=&start=5

  17. Just out classes my World War II luger. Just a great piece of history. Mine is dull in comparison. The only story behind mine is that my dad's friend Gave it to me when I was about 9 years old. He was an old German Guy but my dad refused to let me shoot it Tell I was responsible enough. I think my dad gave him $20 for it… He refused to take the money

  18. how many people have held that gun? and pointed that gun at someone? so much history in a machine that tells no stories other then its scars.

  19. Ian. I have a Remington M1917 Mosin all czar markings intact. Have had it over 30 years just recently noticed it has a Westinghouse bolt and a Fin stamp. If it could tell us the stories

  20. When the germans lost the war and wandered home through Denmark my grandfather met a soldier that were so hungry he swapped he's Luger for a piece of rye bread with sausage

  21. Japanese folklore tells many stories of possessions, particularly tools, that manifest their spirits as tsukumogami upon reaching 100 years of age. Whether these are good or bad spirits varies in the telling but often depends on way the object had been treated. It was obviously well cared for, so let's hope for the sake of the current owner that this Luger was also justly used in its first century.

  22. I've got a Bulgarian Luger from 1918 (it says 'о г ъ н ъ' on it, Bulgarian for fire), also made by DWM. One of the prettiest pistols of all time, imo.

  23. The commercial proofmark is dating from 1995 and the proofing took place at the "Beschussamt" of Suhl in Thuringia. The town of Suhl is located in the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and was – after reunification 1990 – in 1995 part of the Federal Republik of Germany. So it is no "West German" commercial proof mark.

  24. A gun that saw all ideologies of Germany over the years, Imperial, Democratic, Fascist, Communist, and now Democratic again it’s a shame that we’ll probably never know who it’s owners where

  25. I found an old Luger pistol in my garden today. It had "Luger" printed in the metal on one side above the handle and "Empire Made" printed in the metal above the toggle above the trigger. It's in very bad condition and full of dirt. I've checked all of your videos and other sites and can't find any info about this particular one. It has the toggle of a 1906 but the small clip with the checkered knob at the side of the barrel is the old size, small. The handle is missing but looks like it had a coil inside. The part surrounding the trigger is missing. I'm not sure if it has a bullet inside or not.
    Can you tell me what year it was made and what model it is? Thanks.
    Oh yeah, and it has two small holes on the opposite side to the Luger label with "Oil" between and two arrows pointing to the holes.
    If it's German, why would the labels be in English?

  26. How can a man really own something when he is just an unimportant moment in the life of such object. I'll be probably long dead rotten, when this Luger will be just fine and looking quite new. How could I own it?…
    Great video as usual. Thanks Ian

  27. Hey Ian, i love your series and thanks a lot for putting out all these awesome videos. As a german I´ll try to give you a helping hand in pronouncing Volkspolizei. I know you always aim for the most correct pronunciation and the V in german language is pronouced more like an F, instead of a W. No critic at all, just a suggestion. 🙂

  28. I know this is an older video, but i hope you stell read comments, because i have to ask… did you actually put in a 'whooosh' sound effect at time index 5:06?

  29. Would you be able to continue the "well traveled" fire arms. I love the history behind what it's been through…. please please please

  30. My grandfather was in the South African Airforce during WW2 in North Africa. The air crew were issued Webley .38’s as sidearms that were apparently terrible and were always on the search for either 1911’s from the US troops or captured Lugers. A German aircraft was shot down and crashed next to their runway, some of the mechanics recovered a pair of Lugers from the wreckage and gave one to my grandfather. After the war he took it back to South Africa and eventually licensed it.

    Some time in the 90’s the police contacted him and said they had recovered his Luger and wanted to know why he had not reported it stolen. He told them impossible, he still has it in his safe. They did not believe him and sent someone around to verify it. Turns out they had found another Luger with the same serial number.

  31. I had a 1918 erfurt luger w woodbottom mag….also had a k-98 cavalry carbine , the az model with the piling hook underneath…had a 1920 permission stamp on the receiver, originally dated 1917. Also a last ditch cyq code spreewerke p-38….all gone now…if you love your guns, dont ever get married.

  32. It's a Forrest Gump gun. It wasn't Hitler's gun nor did it fire a "shot heard round the world" but it was legitimately involved with all the historical changes for 80 years of German history.

  33. So the gun live thourgh Imperial Germany, Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, German Democratic Republic, and present day Germany. Crazy to me how this gun outlived some countries and some people in a 100 years.

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