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Portuguese Army Lugers: From Manuel II to World War Two

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Portugal first tested the Luger pistol in 1901, and its commission on self-loading pistols recommended the design for adoption in 1904. No money was available at the time, but a second commission again recommended the Luger in 1907, and it was formally adopted and purchased in 1908. The initial batch was 5,000 pistols chambered for the 7.65mm Parabellum cartridge with 120mm (4.75″) barrels and “M2” crests for then-king Manuel II. They were designated m/908, and numbered from 1 to 5000.

These pistol would satisfy Portuguese Army needs until 1935, then the Guarda National Republicana ordered another 564 pistols in the same configuration. These came from Mauser at this point, and had “GNR” crests. These were taken form Mauser commercial production, and have serial numbers between 1900v and 2500v.

The final purchase of Portuguese Army Lugers came in 1943, another 4,578 gun from Mauser. Of course, Germany was deep into the Second World War by this time, and there was no option for Portugal to order its specific configuration. Instead, the Portuguese m/943 pattern was identical to the German standard P08, with the Portuguese guns coming right off the same production line – Waffenamt markings and all. They are numbered between 150m and 5330m.

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