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Umarex P08 Luger

The original pistol and history

The “Pistol Parabellum” more commonly known as just the Luger or Luger P08 is a toggle-locked recoil-operated semi-automatic pistol. First patented by Georg Luger, it was produced in several models and by several nations from 1898 to 1948.

The Luger is well known from its wide use by Germany during World War I and World War II. The pistol is a common sight in fiction, especially in works set during World War II, but it has made appearances elsewhere. The name Parabellum comes from the Latin phrase, Si vis pacem, para bellum “If you wish for peace, prepare for war.”

The Luger has a complex toggle-lock action that uses a jointed arm to lock, as opposed to the simpler slide actions of many other semi-automatic pistols, such as the M1911. After a round is fired, the barrel and toggle assembly travel roughly rearward due to recoil, both locked together at this point. The toggle strikes a cam built into the frame, causing the knee joint to hinge and the toggle and breech assembly to unlock. The barrel strikes the frame and stops its rearward movement, but the toggle assembly continues moving, bending the knee joint, extracting the spent casing from the chamber, and ejecting it. The toggle and breech assembly then travel forward under spring tension and the next round is loaded from the magazine into the chamber. The entire sequence occurs in a fraction of a second.

The P08 “Luger” pistol

TV & Film

Being an instantly recognisable and very popular firearm, the P08 appears in hundreds of films and tv series. Some of my favourites include Bourne Identity, The Dirty Dozen, The Eagle Has Landed, Goldfinger and Where Eagles Dare. The Professionals (tv series) featured a rare long-barrel Luger in one episode.


  • Calibre: 7.65 x 21mm parabellum or 9 x 19mm parabellum
  • Capacity: 8 rounds
  • Weight: 875g
  • Length: 222mm

The CO2 Replica

Umarex pulled it off again with yet another fantastically accurate replica in the P08. The action is every bit as intricate as the original, the toggle blowback motion is identical and internally it is every bit as complex.

It can be field-stripped in the same way as the firearm can, drop the release catch, remove the side plate and slide the top off. The safety is identical, it is very positive in use. The crescent shaped trigger is another distinctive feature of the P08.

Cocking the action for the first shot is accomplished by pulling back on the round knuckle buttons at the top, this cocks the hammer and loads a BB from the magazine into the breech, all further shots are semi-automatic and it will fire as fast as you can pull the trigger.

The Umarex P08 left side
The Umarex P08 right side

The magazine holds both the BB’s and the 12g CO2 cartridge, this makes for added realism when loading or reloading. Filling with BB’s is easy on the P08, the CO2 is locked with a screw at the end of the magazine.

The drop-out magazine

The toggle action will lock back when the magazine is empty, shown below, from here you can either load a full magazine and pull the toggle back to load the first round or eject the empty magazine and pull the toggle back when it will relax back to its down position, the hammer can then be released without firing.

The action locks back when empty

The Umarex P08 also comes in a cheaper non-blowback version but the realism for this pistol is all in that wonderful motion and it would be pointless to not have it. Accuracy is excellent, it is one of the most accurate replicas I have and is good for around 6-12yds as usual. This is a large pistol but fits in the hand well it is also one of the only pistols I have that will run the CO2 almost dry at which point the toggle action suddenly stops working and can sometimes leave a BB in the chamber – this will need removing manually, I usually stop when the blowback action starts getting a little soft which is easy to spot.


  • Calibre: 4.5mm BB
  • Capacity: 20 rounds
  • Weight: 820g
  • Length: 217mm
  • CO2 Usage: 50-60 BB’s