Lugers in Thailand: The Siamese Artillery Luger

In 1936 and 1937, Siam purchased a batch of several hundred new Luger pistols for the Bangkok Police, including 100 long-barreled lP08 Artillery Lugers. These were new production gun, but made with surplus WW1-era barrels, sights, and stocks. The Siamese serial numbers range from 3450v to 3553v. The guns are standard Mauser production, all dated 1936, similar to the purchases by Persia and Turkey around the same time. The one distinctive marking on the Siamese contract are local rack numbers added to the back oft he frame some time after World War Two – a circled lion’s head emblem and a 3-digit Thai number (this example translates to #278). Those rack numbers are not exclusive to the 1936 Lugers, as they are also seen on other pistols in Bangkok police service.


  1. It is very hard to tell but here are some of the words, phonetically in Latin characters,

    Line 1 has: puen = gun
    Line 3 has: mai lek ti 2525 = number of something 2525
    Line 5 has: may.yaw 2588 = April 1945

    I would like to get one of these actually….it is very interesting.

  2. I do not believe the story of uppers and lowers being mismatched for shipping. I don’t think any such thing ever happened. The quantity was relatively small, and the guns were closely inspected on arrival; a VERY detailed sales list was prepared, and used to solicit collectors. Odin International, a company formed by Tom Nelson and Burt Zwibel, who bought the pistols in Thailand, understood very well the importance of matching numbers, and had ample time and incentive to reunite any misassembled guns. I examined many of these as they were being prepared for sale, and to the extent they could be re-matched, they were. The difficulty was that the lot did not include all the guns that the Thais ordered, and over many years they themselves mixed them up, lost or scrapped some, etc. IIRC, the survivors were found stored outdoors, under tarps. The Thais had offered them to Interarms, who inexplicably passed them up. M

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