Lugers Under Versailles: The 1926 Simson P08

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Simson & Co of Suhl was chosen as the sole contractor legally allowed to manufacture and rework military small arms for the German military under the Versailles treaty. They acquired the P08 Luger tooling from the Erfurt arsenal, and began small volume P08 production in 1925. They would product just under 12,000 pistols total between 1925 and 1934. The first 600 were made with 1925 chamber dates, and the first 100 or so in 1926 were also dated, but then the markings changed to a blank chamber for the rest of the production run. These were all Army and police pistols, with no commercial production.

This particular example is an interesting outlier, with a 1926 chamber date but a serial number (424) that should be in 1925. It is likely that this gun was set aside for quality control reasons (it also has an RC stamp on the frame) and not completed and marked until early 1926.

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