The German Empire’s Luger 9mm Pistol is also known as the Pistole Parabellum 1908 (or) the Parabellum-Pistole.  The Luger was one of the first semi-automatic pistols designed and produced and featured a toggle-lock (vs. a slide action), short recoil.  Georg J. Luger, designer of this weapon, patented the design in 1898.  Many consider this one of the top pistols in history.

The Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL has a Luger 9mm Pistol on display.   This pistol is just one of many authentic pieces that can be found in their extensive Firearms and Ordnance Gallery. 

Service History

The German’s used the Luger extensively in WWI and WWII as well as other conflicts.  It remained in German service from 1904 to 1945.  Switzerland used the Luger from 1900 into the early 1970s and other countries still utilize this pistol today.


The Luger was initially manufactured with a 7.65 x 21mm Parabellum, but is remembered as being the pistol for which the 9 x 19mm Parabellum (or 9mm Luger) was developed.  This pistol is not only noted for its accuracy, but also its excellent grip, a good trigger pull and fixed barrel.


The Luger is a somewhat complex pistol which requires precise production measures to assure the proper tolerance between the various parts.  Though the complexity added to the overall cost of the Luger, it also contributed to its power and accuracy.  Production of the Luger pistol lasted from 1900 to 1945.


Specifications of the Luger

  • Weight:  1.92 pounds
  • Length:  8.74 inches
  • Barrel Length (varied):  3.74” to 7.87”
  • Cartridge:
  •             7.65 x 21mm Parabellum
  •             9 x 19mm Parabellum
  •             .45 ACP
  • Action:  Toggle-locked / short recoil
  • Muzzle Velocity:  1,148 to 1,312 feet per second
  • Effective Range:  Approximately 165 feet

The Luger pistol has been used throughout history by a number of nations including Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Finland, Portugal and of course, Switzerland and Germany.  A commemorative model of the Luger pistol – whose history dates back to the German Empire and the turn of the 21st Century – was produced from 1969 to 1986 at the Mauser Werke in Obserndorf.