Adventures in Surplus: From German Imperial Navy to Ethiopia

I really enjoy finding guns that can be positively traced through multiple different parts of history, and Lugers can be a great source for that sort of story. Today I have a Luger from Royal Tiger Imports that has an incredible amount of history to it…

The upper assembly of this Luger was built in 1917 for the Imperial German Army, then property marked by the Weimar Republic, then rebuilt by Mauser and used in World War Two, then rebuilt again and used by East Germany before being supplied to Ethiopia as military aid, probably in the 1970s. The frame of the gun has an even more interesting history, as it actually began as a P04 Naval Luger, marked as part of the Wilhelmshaven naval arsenal.

You can see the other Lugers they have at Royal Tiger HERE.


  1. If someone starts importing ’57 Chevys from Cuba someday, I would love to see someone go stem to stern in them the way Ian just did with this Luger. There’s no other source of firearms in the world like Germany for marking the history of a piece through its stamps.

  2. I think this just goes to show that Commies are real cheapskates. How wonderful of them to supply military aid consisting of WWI pistols! Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they did, but what a bunch of crumbs.

    • JohnK Read about how the Russian Communists screwed their “Socialist Brothers and Sisters” in Spain by ridiculously overcharging them for junk during the Spanish Civil War. And the capitalists were supposed to be the exploiters!

  3. Don’t expect to be treated fairly by Royal Tiger Imports. Received a $1500 rifle last week with a cracked stock that was not mentioned in the description. When contacted they said that I should have examined the pictures more closely and that they had no responsibility to mention a major defect when it was listed. I was told that I could send the rifle back if I paid a $300 restocking fee. Buyer beware.

  4. So I’m curious-what did Ethiopia do with these Lugers and PPKs? I know RTI sells them so they probably went into storage after they started using mostly Makarovs (which iirc the ENDF still uses), but I doubt Ethiopia just put a bunch of pistols into storage even if they were dated.

    Also I’ve seen a P38 on RTI, so there might have been some of those too (which is neat to think about since West Germany would have used the similar P1 at around the same time).

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