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The Luger

The Luger Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review May 2019 Title The Luger
Author Neil Grant Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2018 ISBN 9781780960142
Format 80 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $20.00


Neil Grant recaps one of the 20th Century’s most famous firearms in The Luger – 64th in Osprey’s extensive “Weapon” series.

The first 30 pages survey LP 08 Luger design, development, worldwide testing, and sales. And helpful sidebars and illustrations amplify core commentary.

Notes on Luger carbine proposals and derivatives proved especially interesting. In fact, Grant later remarks, LP 08s with wooden shoulder stocks apparently made “considerable impact” in World War I:

“[T]he International [Military] Control Commission supervising the post-Versailles German Army specifically prohibited the Reichswehr from having stocked pistols.”

Coverage then segues to “use” – 30 more pages of “taking the Luger into battle”. After reviewing Luger “operation and maintenance” details, text summarizes Imperial German, between-wars, World War II, and post-WWII use.

An intriguing “impact” chapter and brief “conclusion” complete contents.

The semi-automatic LP 08 design came to symbolize German armed 20th-century military prowess. “It remains,” Grant notes, “almost the only wartime weapon actually put back into production – a fitting tribute to what must be judged one of the most important handguns ever produced.”

He distills Luger’s legacy to two facts: it spawned “an entirely new class of weapon, the submachine gun”. And its “most lasting influence” was “the 9mm Parabellum (9x19 mm) round”.

An informative cut-away, references, and extended captions supplement Osprey’s succinct, 80-page study.

Seeking a compact, competent introduction to the iconic LP 08 Luger? Grab this terrific little title.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!