While shooting at the outdoor pistol range today, a gentleman walked up to me and asked what I was shooting. I said a couple 9mms; a Walther P99 and CZ75. We spoke a bit, he examined my Walther, and then asked if I had seen him shooting his Luger. I said no, then he asked if I'd like to shoot it. I said, "Sure!" He went to fetch it, as I went to my vehicle to retrieve some Portugese (FNM brand) 9mm I happened to have. He headed back to the "short range", which is only 15 feet, used to sight in and close range stuff, calling me over, and I said, "Hell, let's try it out long range (25 yards)!" He walked over, and showed me a 1940 "42" Mauser Luger, almost mint, with all matching parts and mag. VERY nice pistol. As I started to count out 8 rounds, he said, "If you don't mind, just shoot three; I'm being careful with it.", and a bit worried about what ammo I had, I assured him it was perfect for a Luger; European made, and 124gr, etc. I loaded up 3, took a seat, and rested my forearms on the "bench", and asked, "Does it hit high or low?" He said a little high, so I leveled the sights at the bottom of the 25 yard slow fire NRA bullseye. Fired thrice, and we walked down to the target. In the center, punching the 10 twice, and one so close in the 9 ring that a quarter could have covered all three. He was astounded, as he had never shot it as well, or as far, and I was equally blown away, as I had never fired ANY strange pistol as well, with such difficult sights, or heavy, heavy trigger. There is a mystique to the Luger, from its looks to is heritage, to its fine craftsmanship, but I had never experienced the additional "spell" of having one's shots cluster like that first time out, with another man's gun. A 71 year old gun, to boot. I asked him if he'd like to have the target, and he just beamed. We both had a great moment, and I developed an immediate crush for his gun, or any Luger that might shoot like that. It may have been luck, a one in a milllion gun, a good day, or all the above. I don't care. It was a special moment that two strangers enjoyed together, and it was close to a spiritual moment for me. For me, the team of a man and machine can't do much better than that. Oh, I went ahead and asked him what he gave for it, knowing it was a collectible in that condition. He smiled, and seeming a bit embarassed, sheepishly said, "$2800, but a good portion of that was because it has a matching numbered, and almost perfect condition magazine, too (no holster)." I have no doubt that gun was worth it, and only wish it were mine.
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October 30, 2011, 05:46 PM
That's a wonderful story. I shared a similar experience with a gentleman at a range near me only the gun in question was an absolutely beautiful old Colt like this one:
i had the same out of body experience shooting an 8" python, like you i only shot 6 rounds but it left a lifelong impression.
October 30, 2011, 07:24 PM
I had the same experience the first time I was put behind a "Ma Deuce".
I do have a bucket list of guns I'd like to shoot...the Luger and StG 44 are on the TOP of that list.
Lucky man you!!!!
October 30, 2011, 08:08 PM
I need to get a Luger, the only other pistol higher on my dream list is a Korth. Very cool experience, thanks for sharing.
October 30, 2011, 08:20 PM
You'll be happier with the Luger P-09.
October 31, 2011, 05:32 AM
Lugers are by far the most accurate military sidearms ever issued.
October 31, 2011, 06:49 AM
I have only been able to fire a Luger once. They are indeed something else!
October 31, 2011, 07:41 AM
Very nice. Story. Experience. Whole shooting match (as it were).
Maybe pack a camera in your range bag next time Sharpsdressed? ... love to see zen photos o' the moment... (speaking of photos...:p) here's a pair of Russian mixmasters, worn smooth both grips and bores. Can you imagine how many rounds it takes to shoot the rifling out? Both of these have BTDT, and look it. One keyholes at 15 feet, so they don't get shot, which is sad, but as I note above they've been shot enough in anger, they can rest now. Which makes me wonder, did every German soldier get issued a handgun or just NCOs and Officers? (More than likely the latter)
They are quite the classic design, especially when compared/contrasted to the 1911 or others of that era. One more photo of the pair, maybe, hopefully, others have better photos of better Lugers they'll share.
Spiritual Experience. Excellent choice of words for an excellent encounter for all involved.
October 31, 2011, 10:02 AM
I know what you mean. I can say that my all original 1920 DWM Police Luger is probably my favorite gun. Even at almost 92 years old, it shoots better than any other gun I own. Amazingly accurate and well built.