The Borchardt-Luger History

by Paul Regnier

Borchardt-Luger number 6, Swiss trial of 23rd November 1898, and  1st May 1899, in Thun. Picture shows Toggle GL, magazine GL, documents and original Swiss patent.

Borchardt-Luger number 6, Swiss trial of 23rd November 1898, and 1st May 1899, in Thun.
Picture shows Toggle GL, magazine GL, documents and original Swiss patent.

The Birth and History of the 1898 Parabellum

The Borchardt-Luger pistol is without a doubt one of two survivors of the Swiss tests performed on November 23rd 1898, and on the 1st of May 1899.

A first temporary patent (no.17977) was issued for this pistol in Switzerland, on the 3rd of October 1898, and a second final patent was delivered on January 2nd 1899, before the final tests conducted on the Borchardt-Luger, against the Mannlicher, in May of 1899.

To fully understand the history of the Borchardt-Luger, we need to go back to the beginning of the 1897 tests performed for the Swiss army commission. Presented by Georges Luger himself, the B model was severely criticized because of its excessive weight, its lack of balance (centre of gravity), and especially because of its large size, which made it impractical as a war weapon.

Georges Luger quickly noticed all of this, and as soon as he got back to Berlin, he committed himself to correct the pistol, which would eventually become later the famous Borchardt-Luger, a brand-new weapon.

Next: Principal Ideas of Georg Luger >>