“Ideal” Holster/Stock for the Luger


Most automatic pistols of the early 20th century were offered with shoulder stock options, and the Luger had more than most. Probably the most interesting one I am aware of is the Ideal Holster Company’s design, which was patented by one Ross Phillips of Los Angeles. Phillips applied for his patent in 1901, and had it granted in 1904. The design uses a set of special grip panels with metal locking surfaces in them in conjunction with some very clever angular geometry to allow the stock to be easily attached and detached when in the short position, but lock tight and secure when the stock is extended to shooting length.

Not many of these Ideal stocks exist today, and it seems that the idea was not commercially viable – or at least it was too expensive to become popular. All of the known examples are marked “Patents Pending”, which would suggest that all manufacture predates 1904, when the patent was granted. Most likely only one batch was made, and they took too long to sell to be deemed worth continuing to manufacture. The company did also offer this type of stock for colt and S&W revolvers, although those are also very scarce today.

Note that the pistol in this video is being sold by Rock Island as a separate lot from the stock, and the stock does come with a set of the requisite special grip panels.


  1. That is cool! If I ever find myself back around 1901, I will have to try and get one.

    The same concept could be used today. (Probably not work too well on polymer frame pistols however).

    Sadly, I am sure the same results would occur, though.

  2. I think the main thing that doomed the Ideal stock was that most shooters weren’t too keen on cuddling those nasty-looking steel “blades” up to their shoulder. In my experience, Parabellums in 7.65 or 9mm don’t really kick all that hard, but there’s the psychology involved to consider; it just looks like it would be uncomfortable.

    Also, most people buying a Parabellum back then were probably using it to replace another handgun, and felt no need of a gadget to try to covert it to a “carbine”. The general opinion in those days was summed up in Elmer Keith’s Three Laws of Gunfighting;

    1. Have a gun.

    2. Never bring a knife to a gunfight.

    3. Never bring a pistol to a rifle fight.

    If a shoulder stock turns a decent pistol into an indifferent carbine, it also doesn’t do anything to change its ballistics. If you want rifle performance, you need to get an actual rifle, not a pistol with a “higher education”. This is the main reason that shoulder stocked pistols have never really been popular anywhere that a rifle could be had.

    China between 1900 and WW2 was an example of this. Warlord armies used a lot of stocked Mauser C/96s, and Spanish Azul, Royal, and etc. copies not because they preferred them, but because there were trade restrictions on selling them actual rifles, as a result of the Boxer Rebellion. Which largely got started in the first place because Germany was selling the Dowager Empress’ army up-to-date, brand-new 7.9 Mausers, and they were quietly giving them to the “Righteous Order of Harmonious Fists” as part of her grand plan to drive “foreign devils” out of China. Germany wanted to be the sole power there, and was counting on her winning without them being “offically” supporting her. (Shades of Operation Fast & Furious.)

    It sort of backfired on all concerned, especially the Dowager Empress and Kaiser Wilhelm II.



    • The Mauser C96 acts more like it would need the stock attached, as it is pretty large and muzzle heavy. And no matter how the Boxers tried, there is no way to use martial arts to defeat rifle bullets from half a soccer field away!

      • The Boxers had the same delusion as the Zulu impis at Isandhlwana and Rorke’s Drift two decades earlier; that their “tribal magic” would render them bulletproof. When it came to actual fighting, though, they went at it with rifles, pistols and edged weapons like (reasonably) sensible people.

        The siege of the legations failed because when the relief columns arrived at the end of the famous “55 days at Peking”, the Dowager Empress held the actual Chinese army back to try to avoid being pegged for starting the mess to begin with. The various army groups (American, Austro-Hungarian, British, French, Italian, Japanese and -surprise!- German) made short work of the Boxers- and then the various nations involved held the Dowager Empress’ government responsible anyway.


        Germany at least managed to avoid being openly blamed for the mess. As for the Dowager Empress, instead of reading about nothing but the glorious history of China, she should have looked up European history. Notably the dukes of Burgundy, specifically the last one, Charles the Bold (1467-77), in reference to one Tommaso Portinari and one Lorenzo di Medici. If she had, she’d probably have figured out that Wilhelm was going to leave her in the lurch if things went south, as they in fact did.

        (You can find that whole gory story in Chapter Eight of Connections by James Burke.)



    • The special grip plates for the Ideal holster stock were actually stamped steel with a thin wood veneer screwed on top of them. The stock’s “hooks” locked into recesses in the stamped-steel parts. That was the only way to make the system work.

      Note that the Webley & Scott self-loading pistols in 9 x 20SRmm Browning or 0.455in Webley Self-Loading had a single V-type recoil spring under the right (wood or Bakelite) grip panel, in a setup analogous to the later Beretta 950 Jetfire .25 ACP, which had such a V-spring on each side. Unlike the petite’ Beretta, the Webleys invariably cracked their right grip panels in short order due to that large and very strong V-spring.



  3. Thanks Eon, but todays polymer technology stays far superior than yesterdays thermoset composites. Bakelite and ebonite of those days were all fragile. lf a Webley pistol were equiped with polypropilen grip plates, it would be still
    usable today.

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