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Hello Gentlemen,

I'm new to the forum and so I've probably got more questions than answers for you at this point in time. However, I do enjoy Imperial German research just for the fun of it. I have a number of items in my collection that I've researched including photos. So for some of you excellent research detectives, here is a nice unit marked Luger that I have turned up precious little on. I believe the L.I.R. 382 MWA unit correllates with the 44th L.D. which included the L.I.R. 382. (Picture is attached but not very readible, the unit mark is M.W.A.L.I.R.382.3.B.54. ) This info comes out of the reprint of 250 German Divisions in the Great War. According to that resource, the 44th L.D. was a bunch of old men that were able to hold a sector well. There are some things that old men are good at, this is just one of them! I noted that the 44th's regiments contained assault units (probably much younger and still bullet proof), used to gain intelligence in the front and improve positions for defensive purposes. I postulate that the L.I.R 382 MWA belonged to one such assault unit. I have seen similar units pictured and armed with the Artillery Lugers. So it makes sense that this particular Artillery luger was indeed something that this MWA unit would have been armed with. I'd like to learn more about this specific unit if there is more information out on it more specifically than at the Division level. Also, any pictures of the LIR 382, if any do exist which might add to an interesting piece of history.

Thanks to any contributions, John

PS: I see that maximum size for an attachment is 70K which doesn't allow for high resolution. However, there must be a better way that I'm just not schooled in.

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John,

How are you translating M.W.A.? I am assuming it is the Minenwerfer Abteilung of the regiment. This type of unit makes more sense for an artillery Luger, as they normally would have been to the rear and not assault troops. I would think an artillery Luger would not be the weapon of choice for assault troops, as it would have been a bit unwieldy for close combat. Standard Lugers, KAR98a's and grenades would have been the norm for the first waves.

Chip

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John,

How are you translating M.W.A.? I am assuming it is the Minenwerfer Abteilung of the regiment. This type of unit makes more sense for an artillery Luger, as they normally would have been to the rear and not assault troops. I would think an artillery Luger would not be the weapon of choice for assault troops, as it would have been a bit unwieldy for close combat. Standard Lugers, KAR98a's and grenades would have been the norm for the first waves.

Chip

Chip,

Yes, I do believe that M.W.A. stands for "Minenwerfer Abteilung". I imaged MWAs as a component of the assault troop formation providing rapid, mobile, and close support to an advancing assault formation. Hence, they would have to be quite close to where the action was occurring. I think the artillery luger with 32 round trommel magazine would be one of the weapons of choice for close combat. Some say it was the forerunner to the MP18.

John

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John,

You are correct and perhaps I should have said, "to the rear of the assaulting infantry troops". Of course, light Minenwerfer were included in the assault as support to the infantry. In Bruce Gudmundsson's book, "Stormtroop Tactics", he states that "Immediately behind the line infantry, the organic trench mortars and grenade launchers of the Assault Battalion would move forward to positions from which they could support the further prosecution of the attack".

My comment was that it made sense to me that an artillery Luger would be issued to a Minenwerfer unit, as such a weapon was not normally issued to assault infantry.

Chip

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My father's storm unit (Garde=Reserve=Pionier=Regiment (Flammenwerfer) ) made special 76 mm spigot mortars (would they have been called a "l. Minenwerfer" or a "Granatenwerfer"?) that only weighed 20 kg in their own workshop, which could be carried on the back of a gunner like a backpack, and another gunner or two carried a special backpack with 12 Granaten, which also would weigh 40-45 lbs. These mortars were imbedded in the actual field flame companies, about two per company; the flame regiment had no seperate Minenwerfer unit.

My father discussed the weapons that his unit carried into combat, and almost every soldier carried a regular P 08. He never mentioned Artillery Lugers or snail magazines in the context of his unit and WW I. I wonder if the snail-shell magazines would make themselves into a Landwehr unit (we are not talking Landsturm here, are we?) as they were, I assume, rather scarce and also rather delicate. He talked a good deal about his P 08s (he carried one for years after the war, photos of him in the street show a tight suit jacket with an enormous bulge where he carried a P 08 in a shoulder holster, he had a "carry permit" thru the Schwarze Reichswehr, and ran "Lugers" to the Turks after the war, during their War of Independence, including Artillery Lugers. He never heard the term "Luger" until he reached the USA in 1926, they called them "Parabellums".) His cell leader in the Schwarze Reichswehr had a MP 18 and therefore snail-shell magazines.

Bob Lembke

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My father's storm unit (Garde=Reserve=Pionier=Regiment (Flammenwerfer) ) made special 76 mm spigot mortars (would they have been called a "l. Minenwerfer" or a "Granatenwerfer"?) that only weighed 20 kg in their own workshop, which could be carried on the back of a gunner like a backpack, and another gunner or two carried a special backpack with 12 Granaten, which also would weigh 40-45 lbs. These mortars were imbedded in the actual field flame companies, about two per company; the flame regiment had no seperate Minenwerfer unit.

My father discussed the weapons that his unit carried into combat, and almost every soldier carried a regular P 08. He never mentioned Artillery Lugers or snail magazines in the context of his unit and WW I. I wonder if the snail-shell magazines would make themselves into a Landwehr unit (we are not talking Landsturm here, are we?) as they were, I assume, rather scarce and also rather delicate. He talked a good deal about his P 08s (he carried one for years after the war, photos of him in the street show a tight suit jacket with an enormous bulge where he carried a P 08 in a shoulder holster, he had a "carry permit" thru the Schwarze Reichswehr, and ran "Lugers" to the Turks after the war, during their War of Independence, including Artillery Lugers. He never heard the term "Luger" until he reached the USA in 1926, they called them "Parabellums".) His cell leader in the Schwarze Reichswehr had a MP 18 and therefore snail-shell magazines.

Bob Lembke

Roger all. Its hard to debate a first hand account. I think the P08 was of course often used.

The proper terminology would be P08 Long or Lange. Counter attack after an assualt was always a possibility. With 32 rounds, the P08 Lange delivered superior fire power. Attached is a picture of an MW unit. I was hoping to find a similar picture of the unit of interest or at least some more detailed information about it. that is the LIR 382.

John

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Roger all. Its hard to debate a first hand account. I think the P08 was of course often used.

The proper terminology would be P08 Long or Lange. Counter attack after an assualt was always a possibility. With 32 rounds, the P08 Lange delivered superior fire power. Attached is a picture of an MW unit. I was hoping to find a similar picture of the unit of interest or at least some more detailed information about it. that is the LIR 382.

John

Double-rats!! I just wrote a rather lengthy reply, and in its last stages there was a slip of a finger and the entire reply disappeared. As it is 5 AM, I will re-write a radically briefer version.

To me, the semantics of the use of the word Abteilung to a mine thrower detachment suggest that it was a unit larger than a platoon. When used as a specific unit term one use is for an artillery ballalion of four batteries (Feld=Artillerie Abteilung, not Bataillon), another a small MG battalion of three companies of about 100-120 men (Machinengewehr=Scharfschuetzen=Abteilung). As it was the MW unit of an infantry regiment I would guess that we are talking about a unit roughly company-sized, a platoon sized unit would probably be called a Zug, and we cannot expect that an infantry regiment would have a mortar battalion. (As the war went on German infantry units acquired more and more crew-served weapons, until it seemed like the rifleman was a disappearing species.) The word might suggest something a bit larger than a company.

On the other hand, the storm detachment of a Landwehr infantry regiment would be fairly small. There were only about 18 of the classic largely infantry storm battalions (one was a company), one per Army. (They were mostly infantry units, but not all) Most of these had three infantry companies and one MG company, but a few were larger, the famous Storm Battalion Rohr had five "infantry" companies (the unit was a pioneer unit) and two MG companies, but it had a dual role, combat and training, more so than other storm battalions.

As the classic storm battalions trained the infantry, infantry units were expected to set up storm units within their framework. Storm units were usually doled out by squad and platoon to stiffen attacking infantry. A Landwehr regiment might set up an internal storm unit, as you said perhaps manned by somewhat younger and more nimble men than the average Landwehr man, who usually were men between 28 and 35. But it is hard to see such a unit larger than a company, and I think that it was more likely to be more like a large platoon. So it is hard to see a storm unit of a size of a large platoon up to a company having its own mortar battalion, or even a mortar company. Sort of the tail wagging the dog. In short, it is very unlikely that the MWA was attached to the regiment's storm unit, if in fact that Landwehr regiment actually had a storm detachment. (I think that in some of these infantry units the storm unit was not permament, but may have been formed from some of the more active unit soldiers for a particular attack or operation.)

I am not 100% sure about all of the above, there seems to have been some variability between the organic storm detachments of ordinary infantry units. I hope that my bombast will not deter other comment.

In short (not my strong point), the "Artillery Luger" almost certainly was issued to the regiment's MWA, but that detachment was almost certainly not subordinate to the regiment's storm unit, if in fact LIR 382 had an organic storm detachment, which I do not think has been established. The MWA, which we tentatively know existed, was probably somewhat larger than the regiment's storm unit, which we do not know existed.

I might add mention that German (or other) dealers in military photos and PCs often willy-nilly describe any soldier holding a stick grenade or wearing puttees as a "storm trooper", even if he was a tooth-less 40 year old, leaning on a crutch, knowing that many gullible collectors will immediately treble their bid. This tactic may add to the impression of the number of "storm troopers".

Bob

PS: A bit of pedantry, despite my poor German grammar. Pistole is feminine, so lange is probably correctly written with a trailing "e", but it should not be capitalized, possibly unless really coopted into a fixed term for the firearm. I would guess that the Germans would have called the handgun the lange Parabellum; parabellum of course being the Latin for "for war".

My father's flame storm company dealt with the problem of repelling a counter-attack by carrying light MGs into combat. The German Army allocated each flame company two German MG 08/15s, but they wanted more, and a lighter MG, so they used captured French LMGs, the notorious Chauchat, which they used about two per platoon. When converted for the US .30 rifle round, as issued to Yank troops, the weapon was almost unusable, while in the original French round, if clean, it had a fair chance of actually operating, especially if cleaned well and then test-fired, allowing selection of weapons that actually operated. (It really was a terrible weapon overall, but not quite as bad in the French round, but it was light enough to be fired from the waist on the advance. And one would probably find ammunition and even possibly magazines in a captured French position.)

To make you grind your teeth, as a collector, about 1920 my father had 33 spare P 08s; an armory in Germany blew up and it rained new "Lugers" on the town, he bought P 08s with a 4" barrel for two pounds of butter, and with a 10" barrel (yours, I presume) for three pounds of butter, a convenient price, as Pop worked on a farm at that time. I imagine that you paid more.

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Double-rats!! I just wrote a rather lengthy reply, and in its last stages there was a slip of a finger and the entire reply disappeared. As it is 5 AM, I will re-write a radically briefer version.

To me, the semantics of the use of the word Abteilung to a mine thrower detachment suggest that it was a unit larger than a platoon. When used as a specific unit term one use is for an artillery ballalion of four batteries (Feld=Artillerie Abteilung, not Bataillon), another a small MG battalion of three companies of about 100-120 men (Machinengewehr=Scharfschuetzen=Abteilung). As it was the MW unit of an infantry regiment I would guess that we are talking about a unit roughly company-sized, a platoon sized unit would probably be called a Zug, and we cannot expect that an infantry regiment would have a mortar battalion. (As the war went on German infantry units acquired more and more crew-served weapons, until it seemed like the rifleman was a disappearing species.) The word might suggest something a bit larger than a company.

On the other hand, the storm detachment of a Landwehr infantry regiment would be fairly small. There were only about 18 of the classic largely infantry storm battalions (one was a company), one per Army. (They were mostly infantry units, but not all) Most of these had three infantry companies and one MG company, but a few were larger, the famous Storm Battalion Rohr had five "infantry" companies (the unit was a pioneer unit) and two MG companies, but it had a dual role, combat and training, more so than other storm battalions.

As the classic storm battalions trained the infantry, infantry units were expected to set up storm units within their framework. Storm units were usually doled out by squad and platoon to stiffen attacking infantry. A Landwehr regiment might set up an internal storm unit, as you said perhaps manned by somewhat younger and more nimble men than the average Landwehr man, who usually were men between 28 and 35. But it is hard to see such a unit larger than a company, and I think that it was more likely to be more like a large platoon. So it is hard to see a storm unit of a size of a large platoon up to a company having its own mortar battalion, or even a mortar company. Sort of the tail wagging the dog. In short, it is very unlikely that the MWA was attached to the regiment's storm unit, if in fact that Landwehr regiment actually had a storm detachment. (I think that in some of these infantry units the storm unit was not permament, but may have been formed from some of the more active unit soldiers for a particular attack or operation.)

I am not 100% sure about all of the above, there seems to have been some variability between the organic storm detachments of ordinary infantry units. I hope that my bombast will not deter other comment.

In short (not my strong point), the "Artillery Luger" almost certainly was issued to the regiment's MWA, but that detachment was almost certainly not subordinate to the regiment's storm unit, if in fact LIR 382 had an organic storm detachment, which I do not think has been established. The MWA, which we tentatively know existed, was probably somewhat larger than the regiment's storm unit, which we do not know existed.

I might add mention that German (or other) dealers in military photos and PCs often willy-nilly describe any soldier holding a stick grenade or wearing puttees as a "storm trooper", even if he was a tooth-less 40 year old, leaning on a crutch, knowing that many gullible collectors will immediately treble their bid. This tactic may add to the impression of the number of "storm troopers".

Bob

PS: A bit of pedantry, despite my poor German grammar. Pistole is feminine, so lange is probably correctly written with a trailing "e", but it should not be capitalized, possibly unless really coopted into a fixed term for the firearm. I would guess that the Germans would have called the handgun the lange Parabellum; parabellum of course being the Latin for "for war".

My father's flame storm company dealt with the problem of repelling a counter-attack by carrying light MGs into combat. The German Army allocated each flame company two German MG 08/15s, but they wanted more, and a lighter MG, so they used captured French LMGs, the notorious Chauchat, which they used about two per platoon. When converted for the US .30 rifle round, as issued to Yank troops, the weapon was almost unusable, while in the original French round, if clean, it had a fair chance of actually operating, especially if cleaned well and then test-fired, allowing selection of weapons that actually operated. (It really was a terrible weapon overall, but not quite as bad in the French round, but it was light enough to be fired from the waist on the advance. And one would probably find ammunition and even possibly magazines in a captured French position.)

To make you grind your teeth, as a collector, about 1920 my father had 33 spare P 08s; an armory in Germany blew up and it rained new "Lugers" on the town, he bought P 08s with a 4" barrel for two pounds of butter, and with a 10" barrel (yours, I presume) for three pounds of butter, a convenient price, as Pop worked on a farm at that time. I imagine that you paid more.

Well, this debate has certainly gone off on a tangent that I never expected. I am glad that there are those who are as passonate about the history as myself. I could go on forever. Based on the picture provided (29 men) and the unit mark on the weapon itself, MWAs (or something) were armed with the P08 Lange. Wheher or not there is any additional information on the LIR 382 is available, I do not know. Fact is, there is a weapon with a unit mark that can be attributed to the LIR 382 and we want to know more about it. The record indicates that there were assault troops assigned to the LD 44 to which the LIR 382 was assigned for over three years. Is there nothing out there that sheds light on this unit? I believe there is a connection to the MWA. So, my hope is that something will surface about this unit to explain the mark on the weapon. This my friends is a fact that we cannot deny. This is a clue that has been left behind. It is for us to figure out why.

Sincerely, John

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The Minenwerfer Abteilung were done away with in September 1915 and after that there were MWK and Minenwerfer Battalions. Landwehr Div 44 was formed after this change....

That is something worth looking into, but I have to run off to work...

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The Minenwerfer Abteilung were done away with in September 1915 and after that there were MWK and Minenwerfer Battalions. Landwehr Div 44 was formed after this change....

That is something worth looking into, but I have to run off to work...

I wouldn't get too hung up on trying to figure out if the unit mark is correct or not. There was plenty of non-standard marking going on at the time. I'm certain the marking is original and non-standard. One man's department or detachment was another man's company when it came to unit marks. I'm still after information about the L.I.R 382 and what MW units might have been assigned to it.

Thanks, John

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Chris,

I found a good summary of Landwehr establishment and MWA reorganization dates at the below link. It would appear that LIR 382 came into existance in 1915 even if the LD 44 had not, but I think the LD 44 was around too. Also, I don't believe the transition to MWKs happen overnight. Perhaps I read the footnotes incorrectly, but some MWA may have existed beyond 1916.

John

http://www.agw14-18.de/formgesch/formatio_...in.html#_ftn107

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John, I to have a P.08 marked in the exact place yours is marked with M.W.A.L.I.R.38 . B.38 The space between the 8 and B on yours has two marks that may be the remnants of numbers I can not make out. My p.08 has had its barrel replaced and on this evidence maybe a shorter one if this was indeed a artillery model. I know very little about this pistol except if you Google demilled P08 luger (on the "Millsups Forum) it will link you to pictures of mine if you need comparison. Once again thanks to you and the other members here who helped solve some of the mystery behind my P.08.

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Daven,

Thank you for posting addition information about you MWALIR unit marked P08. I think your pistol unit mark is M.W.A.L.I.R.382.1.B.38. Your picture at the indicated site is not so clear but if the numbers you indicate are accurate than that's what I think you have in the way of a unit marking. With a better picture of the grip strap I think I can help you further. I think you are correct about the barrel replacement as these should be the long barrel. All the ones known were issued to this unit were 1917 dated P08 lange.

There is also discussion on Jan Still's gun boards web site at http://luger.gunboards.com/showthread.php?t=22859 . You will need to join as a member to see the pictures posted. I can tell you that there is another unit marked P08 known to exist with a marking similar to yours: M.W.A.L.J.R.382. 1.B.10. which means Minenwerfer-Abteilung, Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment 382, First Bataillon Waffe no. 10. Yours would be weapon number 38 and would have the "38" vice the "10". Counting your unit marked P08, there are is four known P08s from the M.W.A.L.I.R.382. Two from 1st Batailion, one from 2nd Batailion, and one from 3rd Batailion. I would also say your serial number is in the "c" series (SN 3791c) and therefore not too far off from the other 1st batailion serial number (sn 6207c). I am still wanting to know more about this unit as a whole.

Interesting discussion. Again thanks for adding to it.

Best, John

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Daven,

Thank you for posting addition information about you MWALIR unit marked P08. I think your pistol unit mark is M.W.A.L.I.R.382.1.B.38. Your picture at the indicated site is not so clear but if the numbers you indicate are accurate than that's what I think you have in the way of a unit marking. With a better picture of the grip strap I think I can help you further. I think you are correct about the barrel replacement as these should be the long barrel. All the ones known were issued to this unit were 1917 dated P08 lange.

There is also discussion on Jan Still's gun boards web site at http://luger.gunboar...ead.php?t=22859 . You will need to join as a member to see the pictures posted. I can tell you that there is another unit marked P08 known to exist with a marking similar to yours: M.W.A.L.J.R.382. 1.B.10. which means Minenwerfer-Abteilung, Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment 382, First Bataillon Waffe no. 10. Yours would be weapon number 38 and would have the "38" vice the "10". Counting your unit marked P08, there are is four known P08s from the M.W.A.L.I.R.382. Two from 1st Batailion, one from 2nd Batailion, and one from 3rd Batailion. I would also say your serial number is in the "c" series (SN 3791c) and therefore not too far off from the other 1st batailion serial number (sn 6207c). I am still wanting to know more about this unit as a whole.

Interesting discussion. Again thanks for adding to it.

Best, John

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John, thanks for the additional info. I will try to add some additional photos to the forum you saw the others on since I am most likely restricted on this site from adding them until i become a basic member. (soon I hope) I did find in my search (and a different subject) that mine is missing the hold open latch. It shoots but does not feed the rounds and while digging deeper for answers discovered it's absence. The ser#3791 has slide and side plate # 23, bolt, firing pin, and part with rear sight on it # 87 and every thing else #91. extractor is unmarked. So if you now where I can find this hold open latch in the USA it would be gratefully appreciated.

Also it's really to have what seems to be a rare find even though it's still a mixed up jumble of parts. daven

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M1s074.jpg just a practice run on the pic of the front strap. Also the word cool was left out of my previous post after really. It won't be the last.

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lugar147.jpglugar146.jpglugar145.jpgDSC_0928.jpgM1s077.jpgM1s076.jpgDSC_0937.jpg just a few better pics on the front strap and the shots of the ground off stuff and the slide that to me shows what looks like the number 191 or at least a 91 though the receiver does not appear to be of this P08.??

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Davin,

OK, I can see the unit marking more clearly now. What you have is the following unit mark: M.W.A.L.I.R.382.2B.38.. So your gun (at least the main frame of the pistol) belonged to a 1917 P08 lange issued by Minenwerfer-Abteilung, Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment 382, Second Bataillon as Waffe no. 38.

On the Jan Still Gunboards web site at the before mentioned link you will see a complete 1917 P08 Lange ser nr. 6713c having the unit mark M.W.A.L.I.R.382.2B.4. and so the frame of your gun was just a few numbers off in the weapon number. Very good.

Best, John

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Thank you John for the interesting info. I always seem to find the mistery weapons that need lots of research. I wouldn't want it any other way.

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I just wanted to thank everyone for this discussion. I also have a luger from this unit--LIR 382. Unfortunately, it is not a "lange" model, but rather a standard P08. It is simply stamped L.I.R. 382.3.5 Also unfortunately, I don't really remember when or where I acquired it, but it had to be sometime after 2004. As you have discovered, there isn't a great deal of information out there on this unit. My first impressions was that somebody in LIR 382 was more committed to stamping lugers with the unit mark than other units! They seem to have been intent on marking lugers after the order of November 1916 that stated such marks were no longer necessary. But I'm not too sure that it was just a zealous supply officer or nco. any more. Somewhere or another Still comments that there are a disproportionate number of some regimental lugers in the US because those units had more direct contace with the US troops. So, I'm wondering if the number of LIR 382 lugers we find today is more of a reflection of where that unit was at the end of the war and/or to whom they surrendered or were captured by. At least one problem with that theory, I think, is that at least one of the LIR 382 lugers discussed here and on other forums is still in Europe. One last comment with regard to "lange" models; Still notes that regulations allowed even infantry units to have a number of these. I want to say that Still said each infantry unit was allowed two "lange" models. In any event that means that there are "lange" models out there with IR markings. Thanks again for all the hard work and great information.

Most Sincerely and Appreciatively

Steve

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My 2 blurry pictures above are of the removal of the what i call the attachments for the stock? As compared to my friends unaltered 1936 S/42. My conclusion based on what I've read is someone either went to a great deal to to restore (to shooting condition) this piece and for some reason did not want the longer features, or it was so badly damaged(possibly intentional) they salvaged what they could to make it work in a shorter version. Why would anyone grind those parts down on the back strap and is the area near the mag supposed to look like the one on the 1936 S/42? My guess is yes as that was the point of the lange P08. longer range rifle like weapon.

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