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The Artillery Luger

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Hey all, we here at True Shot Academy are going to talk about the legendary Artillery Luger. This iconic firearm is well-known among firearms enthusiasts and historians due to its unique look and track record. Our goal with this blog post is to provide a brief overview of this historic firearm while examining some of its traits and use cases.


What is a Luger?

The term “Luger” is commonly used to refer to a semi-automatic Luger style pistol like the P08 Luger. The pistol was designed and invented by Georg Luger and was meant to improve upon the prior C-93 Borchardt design. Design began in 1898 and led to the production of the “Modell 1900 Parabellum,” the first production model of the pistol we now know as the Luger. Production of this pistols was done by Deutsche Waffen-Und Munitionsfabriken (DWM), a notable German small arms manufacturer during the early 20th century. The first major military power to adopt the Luger pistol was the Swiss military in 1900. German forces such as the Imperial German Navy and German Army in 1906 and 1908. The adoption of the handgun in 1908 by the German Army is significant and influenced the naming of the pistol as the “P08” Luger. Initial models were chambered in the 7.65x21mm Parabellum, or .30 Luger, with later examples being chambered in the iconic 9mm Luger after production of the round began in 1902. The pistol would see use in both World Wars by German forces and some of their allies. Despite its replacement by the Walther P-38 prior to World War Two, the pistol still saw use in the conflict, in both its standard form and LP08 form.

Artillery Luger
Artillery Luger
Artillery Luger
Artillery Luger

Relation to 9mm Luger

Like the name suggests, the P08 Luger and the 9mm Luger cartridge were both designed by Georg Luger.  The cartridge was introduced in 1901, one year after the first military adoption by a major world power. Production of the 9mm Luger began a year later, leading to the Luger pistol becoming chambered in the cartridge. The 9mm Luger cartridge’s roots can be traced back to the German Empire and is now presently one of the most popular and common handgun cartridges in existence.


What is the Artillery Luger?

One of the most iconic variants of the P08 luger comes in the form of the LP08, or “Lange Pistole 08.” This pistol is commonly and popularly referred to as an “Artillery Luger” due to its use by artillery troops and other personnel to defend emplacements.

The most obvious differences between the P08 and Artillery Luger are the barrel and sighting system. The Artillery Luger features a 7.9” barrel and is notably longer than the original Luger pistol. In a departure from the traditional sighting system on the standard Luger pistol, the Artillery Luger features a sighting system more akin to a rifle. The rear sight of the pistol is adjustable for elevation and mirrors the rear sight found on Mauser type rifles. Optimistically, the sight can be graduated from 100 to 800 meters.

Production of the Artillery Luger began in 1913 and the pistol found its way into a variety of used with the German military in both World Wars. As mentioned earlier, the Artillery Luger was employed by artillery crews. An Artillery Luger is considerably smaller than many other small arms of the era. Prior to the use of submachineguns, storm troops would utilize stocked Artillery Lugers with “snail drum” magazines on trench raids. These firearms allowed a soldier to have an incredibly portable firearm which boasted a staggering ammunition capacity and was capable of a high rate of fire. Additionally, the Artillery Luger was used by the Luftstreitkräfte in the early days of World War One in the period before machine guns were present on aircraft. The pistol saw significantly more use during World War One than it did in World War Two as more firearms such as the MP-38 and MP-40 had been developed, providing troops with subguns.


Stock and Holster

The Artillery Luger can be equipped with a shoulder stock, allowing shooters to essentially use it like a carbine. The pistol has a provision to accept a stock at the base of the grip, allowing a shooter to maintain a standard firing grip while using the stock. The shoulder stock designed for use with Artillery Lugers is a simplistic board type stock similar to the profile of a rifle or carbine of the era. The holster for the pistol can be attached to the stock, allowing an end user to keep the pistol, stock, and holster on their person with ease. The holster is also notably longer than a standard Luger holster to accommodate the longer barrel. Simply put, an Artillery Luger can effectively be run like a pistol or as a handy carbine.


NFA Exception

In the modern era, stocked pistols often evoke thoughts of the NFA and ATF. Specifically, people think about SBR laws and whether or not something qualifies as an SBR. The ATF has previously released an opinion regarding historic firearms such as the Luger and Mauser Broomhandle pistols stating that they are not under the purview of the NFA. Simply put, stocked historical pistols do not fall under modern SBR regulations.

Artillery Luger
Artillery Luger
Artillery Luger
Artillery Luger

Why Are Luger Pistols Expensive?

Like many surplus and old production firearms, Luger pistols, particularly the Artillery Luger variants, carry a high price tag these days. The firearms themselves along with their accessories such as magazines, holsters, and spare parts have increased in value and price significantly over the years. This is mainly due to the fact that they are no longer in production and are essentially deemed collector’s items. German Lugers were produced from 1900 to 1953, meaning that the last German Luger pistol was produced over 70 years ago. Supply of these pistols, accessories, and components are only going to dwindle over time, unfortunately. Simply put, these items will continue to demand premiums as supply continues to dry up.



All in all, the Artillery Luger is a historic firearm that represents a prominent step in firearms development. Georg Luger’s pistol designs and development of the 9mm Luger round have helped pave the way for future handgun designs and worked to legitimize the concepts of semi-automatic handguns and personal defense weapons. The design is battle tested and an example of an early service pistol with a great reputation and unique operating system. Whether you prefer historic firearms or modern ones, we here at True Shot have you covered with our ammunition offerings. As always, happy shooting.


Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have a wide variety of handgun ammo and rifle ammo available to purchase. Please visit our website trueshotammo.com, call us at (888) 736-6587, or you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.


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