Third Party Press

LZA Küpper Luger observations


Baby Face
Staff member
I've been looking at Küpper depot Lugers recently and thought I would compile some of my observations here before I forget them. These may be helpful if you looking at one. If you don't know about these, see mrfarb's post here:

Briefly, these are depot assembled Lugers put together from armorer spare parts (all of Mauser manufacture) sometime between late 1941 and late 1944 at Luftzeugamt 1/VI Küpper-bei-Sagan (or Sagan or Sagan-Küpper).

There are a few distinct ranges known:

1000Kü through roughly 1330Kü: These show the "large" SN font on the receiver, frame, and some of the larger parts (toggle, sideplate, etc.). The grips will have a small SN font stamped inside with all four digits. Around 1330Ku to 1350Ku it appears that there is a transition to the "small" SN font. I have not measured one, but it looks like the dies are maybe 0.5mm smaller or so. Magazines are usually black Bakelite with etched SNs. Some aluminum ones are around, but they are rare and often have LZA inspections which is a bit unusual.

1350Kü through roughly 3100Kü: "small" SN font on all parts. Grips will now have a very large SN font with all four digits.

Kü3100 through roughly Kü4700: The "Ku" is now a prefix and the guns are now all large font everywhere including the grips.

I have not seen any below 1000Kü, which is very odd IMO. Some of the books show pistols outside these SN ranges, but all I can find are either fake or likely misreported (prefix instead of suffix).

Its an open questions if these are simply blocks of SNs that managed to survive the war, or if this is the entire range of production/assembly. These breaks are very neat and very coincidental, so I am beginning to suspect this is it, at least for LZA Küpper. Its a bit strange that the large font disappears and then comes back, though. I also find it difficult to believe that other LZA were not building P08s out of parts. We know at least two other depots (probably Erding and Jüterbog/Finow) built a minimum of 20,000 K98k between them. Erding, at least, appears to have fixed damaged P08s also and would have had large numbers of spare parts around.

Examples of the "large" and "small" fonts (and the two grip variations) used at Küpper are attached.


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No War Eagles For You!
Staff member
Great info! I really like the idea that these could have been assembled at other locations, making the Kü more of an inspection of the finished pistol. Well done!

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