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A Luger Understudy

A Luger Understudy
The Umarex Legends P.08.

The ever-growing world of action air pistols has been joined by a terrific spittin’ image of one of the all-time classic handguns. Introduced by Umarex USA, the pistol is an amazingly real-looking copy of the legendary Luger P.08. Marketed under the Umarex Legends line of world-renown handguns, the P.08 on test is a potent CO2-powered BB shooter mimicking the looks of the real Pistole Parabellum .08.

The name Luger, however, is nowhere to be found in the Umarex catalog or on the pistol itself, no doubt due to the fact the Stoeger company owns the rights to the Luger name. However, the model designation P.08 is universally recognized as Georg Luger’s genial creation.

The Luger P.08 has long been a favorite among handgun collectors and shooters everywhere. The pistol’s slim, graceful lines plus its superb balance and pointability are well known. Initially, the Luger was adopted as the official sidearm of the German armed forces and was also issued to German police. It was replaced as a general-issue military sidearm in the late 1930’s, as the Wehrmacht replaced it with the Walther P-38. However, the Luger continued to see extensive use during WWII, and it became a much-prized war trophy for American GI’s.

The Umarex P.08 is basically an exact look-alike of the real Luger. Just about all physical dimensions are very close to those of the real thing. Even the weight of 1.8 pounds approaches the 1.9 pounds of the 9mm P.08.

Construction of the BB P.08 is cast zinc alloy with a painted glossy black finish imitating the original blued steel most convincingly. The plastic grip plates are checkered plastic.

Shooting power is provided by one standard disposable 12-gram CO2 capsule. The latter fits in the grip by popping off the right grip plate. The realism goes so far as to adorn this BB shooter with a beefy rectangular bar on the rear of the receiver to attach a lanyard cord. Even the German word “Gesichert” is plainly impressed in the left rear of the receiver, as in the real centerfire P.08. The safety catch also pivots as in the real McCoy. When engaged, the manual safety disengages the trigger. Incidentally, the latter is made of plastic.

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The Umarex P.08 (above) duplicates the weight and “feel” of the
real 9mm Luger. The 12-gram CO2 capsule (below) fits in the grip.
The black plastic grip is easily removed for service.

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The magazine has capacity for up to 21 standard steel .177 or 4.5mm BB’s.
The BB magazine slides down out of the grip.

Unlike the real P.08, the Umarex BB copy incorporates a double-action trigger mechanism. No problem, since this pistol is not supposed to mimic the operation of the real P.08. In fact, the ubiquitous toggle of the Luger is a non-moving part of the pistol’s construction, although it’s so well done it could fool many folks into attempting to cock the pistol. I guess it would be too much to expect to have a CO2-powered blowback copy of the Luger.

The drop-free metal magazine can hold up to 21 BB’s. These can be fired rather quickly at a muzzle velocity of approximately 410 fps. During my tests I found I could empty approximately six and a half full magazines with each CO2 capsule. The power level of this BB P.08 is well in the realm of many popular CO2 BB pistols and plenty for drilling tin cans or even a marauding mouse. Accuracy was adequate for casual recreational use, especially since the sights don’t help much, as the rear sight in particular also imitates the shallow V of the original Luger.

The Umarex Legends P.08 offers stunningly realistic looks and a “feel” sure to please any Luger aficionado. Another point in its favor is this pistol’s retail price of just under $70. This price gets you a real handful of a pistol that can easily pass for the real Luger P.08.
By J.I. Galan

Legends P.08
Distributor: Umarex USA
7700 Chad Colley Blvd.
Ft. Smith, AR 72916
(476) 646-4210
http://gunsmagazine.com/company/umarex-usa/

Caliber: .177″ (4.5 mm)
Ammunition: Steel .177 BB’s
Magazine Capacity: 21
Mechanism: Double-action-only
Power Plant: 12 gram CO2 cartridge
Length Overall: 8.5 inches
Weight: 24 ounces
Barrel: 4.6-inch smoothbore
Sights: Fixed front and rear
Price: $73.30

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