.22 luger clone for first gun?


April 4, 2004, 11:49 AM
yesterday at the gun show, i came across a luger copy (by stoeger, i think. sto something) in .22 for $225. from what i can tell, this is a pretty darn good price... but it would be my first gun, and would see a lot of use. would i be getting in over my head if i gave the dealer a call and arranged to go buy it?

it's got a real charm (shoot, it's a luger!) and appeared to be in good condition. however, i'm no expert, and it IS obviously used (made in the 60s, iirc). how deep of a creek will i be in if i need parts?

i was also looking at walther p22's... definately like the look and feel. grip was a bit short, but there was no mag in, and i believe that would have helped. looked like i could get a 5" for about $260.

from what i saw, there are no rugers in my price range with grips that agree with my hands :/

so what do y'all think? jump on the luger (dealer is 3.5 hours away from here, but it appears t obe a good enough price to deal with that), or just wait for the next show and get a p22? either way, i want a luger some day. question is, for my first gun?

oh, does shipping a gun within the state of virginia require an ffl, or is that just for interstate commerce?

(on a side note... my best friend picked up a black 4" xd9 at the show for $399 and is pleased as can be. very nice gun.)

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April 4, 2004, 12:48 PM
I don't know anything about the "Stoeger Luger" But I'd not recommend a used gun as your first gun, unless maybe you were buying a "police surplus" gun for self-defense.

I'd choose from new guns in current production from a major make for one's first gun. The Ruger MkII is supposed to have the same grip angle as the original German Luger, why do you say the grips don't fit your hand?

My list of first .22 handguns would be:

Ruger MkII
Beretta Neos
SIG Trailside
Browning Buckmark
Walter/S&W P22
Any brand name .22 revolver (Taurus, Ruger, S&W).

Stoeger Lugers are not "real" Lugers unless there are some WWII surplus ones imported by them. These would not be in .22LR.


Lobotomy Boy
April 4, 2004, 01:54 PM
Run, don't walk away from this steaming POS. I owned one of these abominations around 1979 or 1980. In addition to the shoddy craftsmanship of the gun, the Luger open-breach design is poorly suited for a .22LR round. The mechanism needs a fairly strong charge, at least in the 9mm range, to properly cycle. If you buy this gun, you will become proficient at removing spent shells from the interior of the jammed up mechanism because it will happen with every single magazine you ever try to fire.

April 4, 2004, 03:11 PM
There's absolutely nothing wrong with buying your first gun from the used market. For the same money of a new gun you can sometimes get a higher quality used model. The trick is knowing what to look for and the simple way to that is to take someone who knows guns with you to shop.
Alot of new guns on the market today offer absolutely nothing over the craftsmanship put in the older models found on the market.
A quality .22lr is seldom hurt. Many shooters bought .22lr pistols as their first gun then sold them to move up in caliber. Stick with the brand names and you seldom run into problems.

BTW...there were some "real" Lugers in .22, but they are collectable and way out of most people's price range.

Johnny Guest
April 4, 2004, 06:29 PM
Uh-uh. Nix, nein, non, nyet, nunca. Any other negatives in whatever language. Full agreement with Lobotomy Boy: "Run, don't walk away from this" particular deal.

It may be inaccurate, but it IS unreliable AND ugly. The original German produced Lugers had a certain sleekness, and when fed proper ammo and kept scrupulously clean, were pretty reliable. This pistol is none of these. It is essentially a poorly executed blowback .22, complicated by the addition of a purely decorative toggle action. Fit and finish were mediocre at best.

pauli, you write, "it's got a real charm (shoot, it's a luger!)" Sorry, the perceived "charm" will fade rapidly while clearing stoppages. The inaccuracy of this type is legendary. As to being a Luger - - Well, SORT of. Stoeger ARms company at some point acquired legal rights to use the Luger name for all marketing of new firearms in the U.S.A. Even when Interarms was producing/importing a very credible copy of the original pistol in 9mm and .30 Luger, they had to sell it as "the Parabellum pistol," without CALLING it a Luger. So, yes, if the old Stoeger company had wanted to market a seven shot, .32 S&W caliber sigle action revolver and label it "Luger," well, I guess it would BE a Luger, technically . . . But it wouldn't be what "Gun People" call a Luger, and neither is that .22 you describe.

I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but, pal, you asked for input. I feel you must have had some worries or you wouldn't have asked.

I think you're on the right track, wanting a .22 for your first handgun, and there are plenty of good choices out there,both new and used. For the $225 price, you should be able to locate a good used Ruger Standard or possibly Mark II, a Browning Buckmark, or Ruger Single Six. For slightly more, a Colt or even an S&W model 41. The extra money would be less than a nice evening out with the spouse or significant other.

Best of luck, sir - -

April 4, 2004, 10:37 PM
Hmm, interesting opinions. My interest is piqued because my Grandpa has one of these, and he really likes it.

Perhaps a gift of a better gun is in order.


April 5, 2004, 07:06 AM
"a luger copy (by stoeger, i think. sto something) in .22 for $225."

it is probably a German-made Erma KGP690 (marketed by Stoeger in USA). It was also made in calibers .32 ACP, .380 ACP, 8 mm Knall. The frame of this little look-alike is made of soft zinc alloy, the bolt assembly and barrel is often steel, but not allways. They made the bolt even from polymer sometimes.

The little guns are not great shooters, and not known from their high reliability.

I would buy a .22 LR revolver instead, for about the same sum.

A bad, unreliable first gun ain't a good start!

Lobotomy Boy
April 5, 2004, 08:24 AM
I ordered mine from a catalog that specialized in European imports. I had previously orderd a former East German police Walther PP in .32, and that was a great gun. It had a lot of holster wear, but the bore looked almost new. So I ordered the Stoeger "Luger" .22. I couldn't believe the gun when I saw it. It looked like someone had taken a hunk of pot metal, stood over a grinder, and ground out something vaguely shaped like a Luger. The only other time I have seen craftsmanship that shoddy was when I tested a Royal Enfield Bullet built in India for a motorcycle magazine. I tested a Russian Ural sidecar rig for the same magazine and the quality of the Russian bike was infinitely higher.

Fumegator, either your grandfather is the luckiest man on the planet (he should go to Las Vegas) or he has never tried to actually shoot his Stoeger Luger.

Jim K
April 5, 2004, 03:17 PM
The Stoeger Luger is not an ERMA; they are different guns. The Stoeger Luger is not a locked breech gun and has only superficial resemblance to the German service pistol. My experience with the Stoeger Luger has not been positive and I do not recommend either it or the ERMA. (Do not confuse the .22 with either today's stainless steel "Stoeger Luger" in 9mm, which is a not-especially-good copy of the original Luger, or the 1920's Stoeger Luger imports, which are beautiful guns and collector's items.)

There were NO original Lugers in .22 caliber, though there were conversion units in both .22 and 4mm. The 4mm was strictly a single shot proposition.

My choices for a .22 semi-auto pistol for general plinking would be either the Ruger Mk II or the Browning Buckmark, with a lean toward the Ruger. The NEOS is already starting to show the same kind of problems that haunted the two earlier versions of the same design, the High Standard Duramatic and the Colt .22.


April 5, 2004, 03:45 PM
hmm. so you guys think i should consider passing on this one? ;)

i like the mark II. the only problem is, all the nice cheap ones have grips that i don't much care for, and replacing them presumably drives up the cost (unless someone is magically giving away better grips...).

i guess i'll have to take a closer look at the buckmarks...

i *did* like the walther p22, but man, there are a lot of parts on the exploded diagram.

April 5, 2004, 03:51 PM
Fumegator, either your grandfather is the luckiest man on the planet (he should go to Las Vegas) or he has never tried to actually shoot his Stoeger Luger.

Actually, he shoots it fairly often. Perhaps he is just lucky. However, it would be cool to give him a real Luger. If I ever get the money, I will.


April 5, 2004, 08:19 PM
There were NO original Lugers in .22 caliber, though there were conversion units in both .22
Also a Target Luger and a Luger Carbine in .22 caliber (though very few were supposedly made).

April 6, 2004, 12:50 AM
A 22cal is an excellant choice for a first gun.
Which is more important to you.....gun safety for a novice user or actual use?
I would go with a 22cal single action revolver for safety and a
22cal semi-auto Ruger Mark II for actual use and resale value.
The Mark II is one, if not the most, popular 22 on the market
The 2004 models are drilled and tapped for a scope you might want later.
You can get countless parts and kits for it.
I would get the basic model that is drilled and tapped and upgrade later if you decide to. Mark II's are not created equal. Many versions are available. If you are not interested in later upgrades you do not need it drilled and tapped. Barrell length and thickness varies greatly in differant models. Not interested in later target shooting?....you do not need a bull barrell...etc.
Read up on the differant models before purchase. Do an internet search for "Ruger Mark II" and you will get more info than you will likely want to read.
Nothing wrong if you want a Luger for sentimental reasons either. Just do not expect to much from it.
Good luck to you in your search and remember....All guns are loaded.

April 6, 2004, 02:41 PM
What don't you like about the Ruger MkII grips? Are the ones your refering to factory plastic grips? If the gun wears some other type you can get factory replacement grips at any gunshow for about $10, and they only require you to remove 2 screws to replace.

One Ruger I bought had $70 Eagle Finger Groove Grips. They were cool but too big for my hand so I replaced them and sold the grips and recouped some of the cost of the original gun.

I would really reccomend a used Ruger becuase they are more than likely already broken in. This is not a bad thing as far as I'm concerned. I don't think it is possible to ruin a MkII by shooting it too much.

April 6, 2004, 05:01 PM
I just saw two of those at a really high priced store I go into once in a while for a good laugh. They were $125 and $150, new. Dont pay $250 for one. They seemed pretty low quality. Get a Bulgarian Makarov for a first, cheap gun, you can get them for $150 and the ammo is cheap too. They are indestructable and super reliable.

April 7, 2004, 05:26 AM
Stoeger has owned the Luger tradename since the 1920s. In the rest of the world it was known as the Pistol Parabellum.

As for the .22 Luger. Some of the early ones were actually decently made and actually worked. While the later ones would make lousy fishing weights. All of them were made under contract for Stoeger. It depends on who had the contract and the tooling that month as to whether or not an example is a POS.

What always put me off on them is that they were so damned FUGLY! :barf:

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