An important discover

Hello fellows,

Hereafter you can find a recent study performed by Paolo Petracco.

It is an important step for all the Luger collectors’ community.

Thanks Paolo



I checked my own LP08s looking at the rear sight stampings (other than the serial number) found under the sight on the barrel and the sight frame. I realized there are some marks (numbers and letters) on the frame of the sight base near the screw, and some others inside the sight frame stamped on the barrel body-flat top(the dove-tail of the sight frame).
Here is what I found. I have listed serial number, markings on the barrel and markings on the sight frame on either side of the screw.


These are the results from LP08s in my collection and five collector friends.

DWM 1914 #1316, 316, nothing
DWM 1914 #1469a, __69 F 9
ERFURT 1914 # 50, blank, blank (no screw present, doesn't seem to have ever had one)
ERFURT 1914 # 1966, EC, blank
ERFURT 1914 # 2324, EW (the E letter is up down), blank
ERFURT 1914 #5865a, L, nothing
ERFURT 1914 #4469b, C, nothing
ERFURT 1914 #3097a, L, nothing

DWM 1915 #1919, 3819, E 8
DWM 1915 #4179, 5879, N 8
DWM 1915 # 3701, 540, B 4
DWM 1915 # 6680, 8380, B 3
DWM 1915 # 693, 479, C
DWM 1915 #3398a, __98, K 0

DWM 1916 #2725, 2725, 7
DWM 1916 #8034, 8034, 0
DWM 1916 # 958a, 95, F 9
DWM 1916 #1245a, 1345, R 3
DWM 1916 # 1510b, 510S, Y 5
DWM 1916 #4572, __72, 6

DWM 1917 #1501e, .01, R 26
DWM 1917 #631, 4013, 0
DWM 1917 #8447a, 6947, 69
DWM 1917 # 8652a, 7252, Y 72
DWM 1917 # 2055b, 255, A 2
DWM 1917 # 2668g, 6368, 63
DWM 1917 # 850g, 8850, R 88
DWM 1917 # 6424a, 472, L 47
DWM 1917 # 9512e, 8512, Q 85
DWM 1917 # 605g, 810, E 81
DWM 1917 #1007g, 7507, H 75
DWM 1917 #2420h, 1920, 19
DWM 1917 #8711h, 5811, 58
DWM 1917 #2634k, 9534, 95
DWM 1917 #8238i, 4338, 43
DWM 1917 #9660m, 8560, 85
DWM 1917 # 2187a, 487, L 4
DWM 1917 # 421c, 8221, I 82
DWM 1917 # 665g, 9465, 94
DWM 1917 # 8531a, 5431, 54
DWM 1917 # 2499c, 299, Y 2
DWM 1917 # 9702a, 6802, Q 68
DWM 1917 #6360b, _360, H
DWM 1917 #6705f, __05, E 39
DWM 1917 #3980g, __80, 42
DWM 1917 #6974g, E __974, 43
DWM 1917 #8687d, __687

DWM 1918 # 810, 1610, 16 Y
DWM 1918 # 4483a, 4782, 47Q
DWM 1918 # 9756b, 265, 6 M
DWM 1918 #246a, 246, K

Now I realized that there is no link between the letters and serial number in the Erfurt specimens, but the DWM ones are another matter. Very often there is a close relation between the number-letters near the screw on the rear sight frame (below the sight blade) and the numbers inside the frame (stamped on the flat surface of the barrel where the sight frame is dove-tailed fitted): these numbers are (almost always) a mix between the gun serial number and the code near the screw.
Now my opinion about: the codes (letter/s and number/s) near the screw are the assembler's personal code, and the numbers inside the frame were necessary to identify the barrel. Why identify the barrel?

Let's take a step backwards. When an assembler had to finish the assembling of a P08(at this point already blued and numbered and proofed) gun, he took any of the blued barrels "on the desk”, he put the glue on the threads, he screwed the barrel into the receiver, he put together the other parts thereby finishing the gun, he test fired the gun with two high-pressure testing rounds, and, if everything was right, he stamped the serial number under the barrel(the "halo"). If anything was wrong, he unscrews the barrel before the glue was hard and screwed another one...
The final assembling of the LP08 was slightly different. The assembler needed to get back from the bluing "department" the exact barrel that was prepared for this particular gun. This because he had already fitted/adjusted the rear sight frame (already numbered) by filing the dovetail of the barrel or that one of the frame for the right fit. The rear sight frame is a delicate piece, if forced into an improperly adjusted dove tail it will become damaged. If it were possible to successfully force the sight frame into the dove tail, there would be no need for first one and then two locking screws.

So, the upper flat surface of the barrel bears this mix of a part of the serial number of the gun and of the assembler's code so that he can identify the proper barrel for the proper gun. After screwing on the finished barrel, the final fitting of the rear sight and test firing, the serial number was stamped onto the bottom of the barrel (the "halo" as always tells us it was the last part numbered on the gun). Adjusting of the stock attaching iron was probably made before of this, when the gun frame was still "in the white”. Perfect specimens do not bear track of "forced" attempts at fitting on the bluing of the stock lug rail and on the attaching iron neither. Finally the gun was cleaned, oiled again and stored.
Any further opinion about is welcomed.

I've to thank George Anderson for his fundamental contribution to this work: without his help I could not post it this way.

Paolo Petracco