The Pistole Parabellum—or Parabellum-Pistole (Pistol Parabellum), commonly known as just Luger or Luger P08is a toggle-locked recoil-operated semi-automatic pistol. The Luger was produced in several models and by several nations from 1898 to 1949.
The design was first patented by Georg Luger. It was meant to be an improvement of the Borchardt C-93 pistol, and was initially produced as the Parabellum Automatic Pistol, Borchardt-Luger System by the German arms manufacturer Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM). The first production model was known as the Modell 1900 Parabellum. It was followed by the “Marinepistole 1904” for the Imperial German Navy.
The Luger was officially adopted by the Swiss military in 1900, the Imperial German Navy in 1906 and the German Army in 1908. The Luger was the standard service pistol of Switzerland, Portugal, the Netherlands, Brazil, Bolivia, and Bulgaria. It was widely used in other countries as a military service pistol and by police forces. In the German Army service, it was adopted in a slightly modified form as the Pistole Modell 1908 (Pistole 08) in caliber 9×19mm Parabellum. The Model 08 was eventually succeeded by the Walther P38.
In 1897, after the success of the Borchardt C-93, the first semi-automatic pistol, the Swiss military began to look for a semi-automatic pistol to replace their issued pistol, the Ordonnanzrevolver 1872. Georg Luger, working for the German company Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken, provided the Borchardt-Luger design, which during Swiss military trials, was found to be more accurate and reliable than competing designs such as the Mannlicher M1901 and Mauser C96. 20 examples of the Borchardt-Luger were sent to Switzerland in 1899, and after a revision to reduce its weight, was adopted the following year as the Ordonnazpistole 1900. The Luger remained in Swiss service until 1949, when it was replaced by the SIG P210.