Today, I would love to talk about the “Million Dollar Luger” as a weird gun. When I first heard that the U.S. Army actually considered a Luger for review in 1906 I was blown away, for them requesting test guns from a different country, but obviously the person who contacted the Luger had a taste for style. For me, coming from German Decent I have fallen in love with the style of the Luger, and the history behind it, but to find out that they actually made some in .45 ACP blew me away. As it turns out, a very very small number of them were made, and some indications report less than six, as stated by a former plant worker for Luger, and even recently a carbine version was discovered. Good luck getting your hands on these, as a majority of those known to exist have found their way into museums around the world…..they get all the good stuff. So, let us explore the history and weirdness behind the “Million Dollar Luger”.
photo courtesy of icollector.com
THE HISTORY OF THE .45 ACP IN A LUGER
In 1906, the U.S. Army did lots of ballistics testing as reports from the field showed the famed 38 caliber revolvers just didn’t do the job during the Philippine Insurrection. When the Army did its testing, it was said that they used deceased human bodies, and even cows, and I am sure today that would be the front page news for months. It was from those tests that told the Army that the next service pistol needed to be in at least a 45 caliber. Well, at this time, the famed 1911 didn’t exist, and there was few manufacturers that could meet the Amrys need for a semi auto 45 caliber sidearm. So, 5000 rounds of .45 ACP was sent to the manufacturer of the Luger, from the Frankford Arsenal in 1906, and the first .45 ACP lugers were finished in early 1907. On March 28 1907, two of the Lugers arrived at the famed Springfield Armory for test, serial numbers 1 and 2. Number 1 was the one used in testing, and sustained quite a beating, and number 2 was meant as a back up in case number 1 went down. Number 1 is believed to have been destroyed after testing due to the intense beating it took during the trials, and has never been found. Number 2 on the other hand went up for auction in 1989 and sold for 1 million dollars, only to be put back up for auction in 2010, and be sold for a little bit less than half of what it did in 1989. Well, we all know where the Army finally ended its search for the new sidearm, the infamous 1911, of which I am proud to own one from the second World War, a true work of art. But, what if the Army bought the Lugers instead, how do you think that would have changed the course of history? Leaves you with something to think about, as for me, I am playing the lottery just to own one of these rare works of art.
feature photo courtesy of taurusarmed.com