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I recently posted this same content in the Military Handgun forum - my apologies for double posting. It was recommended that I post this content under this forum, which makes a lot more sense.

I'm not particularly literate with the history of P08s or DDR military firearms, so I have a few questions throughout the post that I'm hoping the subject matter experts will be able to shed some light on. Thanks in advance!

Here is a recently acquired G-Code Luger. It looks to have had a very interesting journey. It has an “X” stamped on the front of the receiver, which I believe indicates Russian capture. Imported by "SSME PLANT CTY FL."

It also appears to have a Volks Polizei police stamp, as shown in pic #2. Does anyone know what "20" inside the sunburst would indicate? I assume it would be linked to a specific VoPo entity / location. From what I've read, the DDR exported relatively small numbers of former VoPo pistols with all VoPo markings defaced. Then, after reunification, more of such pistols were pulled from storage and exported for much needed cash inflow, with markings intact, as this was no longer a concern.


The barrel has the East German crown stamped on the bottom, which would have been installed during DDR refurbishing, and I believe the "N" crown-stamped DDR P08 barrels were manufactured in post-war Czechoslovakia. Why did the Czechs supply these barrels? My understanding is that the DDR manufactured P08s in small numbers, so wouldn't they have had the manufacturing capacity to supply their own P08 barrels for refurbishment?

The grips are VoPo replacements, with the classic “bullseye” at the top of them. That bakelite is so cool - when you really look at it in the proper light, it's reddish-brown with a green tint.

The magazine is East German manufactured, with a matched serial number. My understanding is that the DDR refurbished P08s would get two matching mags, marked as "1" and "2" with the respective serial number. Shame that the "2" mag for this piece is surely long gone.

I'm guessing that the firing pin is force - matched... I doubt that parts were being electro-penciled from the factory in the late '30s.


It may have been refinished at some point in its life, as the finish is fairly even across the force-matched parts.

Also note the “234” that is electro-penciled on the front of the grip, pic #8… I’m guessing this was basically a cage code? Or would this be linked to the Soviet or DDR refurbishing process?

To my limited knowledge, the Soviets supplied these captured P08s to the DDR after the war, and most of them ended up with the VoPo, but some went to various DDR military / paramilitary entities. It also seems that these VoPo P08s are typically very serviceable, as both the Soviets and DDR were quite good at refurbishing them.

So, from what I know about these, this P08 was manufactured pre-war, likely captured on the Eastern front from a German army unit, hastily refurbished by the Soviets, then given to the DDR to become a police pistol after another refurbishment, then exported to the US after reunification.

On the topic of its life during WW2 - do its original markings give any indication of what unit may have carried it? I fully understand that the Germans did not put unit affiliation markings on their weapons, but I figure there may be some trends with where (or with who) certain years of manufacture or serial number ranges ended up.

Overall, the piece is in very nice condition, and I bet it will make a great shooter. I really do enjoy learning more about these pieces of history, and I look forward to hearing what you all think. Pics below. Enjoy!

Jack

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