Umarex have recently released a CO2 replica of the iconic P08 “Luger”, as part of their growing Legends series.
- Weight: 1.79 lbs (0.81 kilos)
- Length: 8.86 in (22.5 cm)
- Material(s): Full Metal (plastic grips)
- Power Source: 12 g CO2 cartridge (non-blowback)
- Calibre: 4.5 mm steel BB
- Capacity: 21 shots
- Barrel Design: Smooth-bore steel
- Trigger: Double Action Only (strike fire)
- Safety: Thumb (left-side)
- Sights: Fixed front (post) and rear (v-notch)
- Velocity: Up to 410 fps
Real Steel Background
Popularly (though incorrectly) referred to as the Luger, the Pistole Parabellum 1908 is a toggle-locked recoil-operated semi-automatic pistol. The design was patented by Georg J. Luger in 1898 and produced by German arms manufacturer Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) starting in 1900. It was an evolution of the 1893 Hugo Borchardt designed C-93. The first Parabellum pistol was adopted by the Swiss army in May 1900. In German Army service, it was succeeded and partly replaced by the Walther P38 in caliber 9mm Parabellum.
The Luger is well known from its use by Germans during World War I and World War II, along with the interwar Weimar Republic and the post war East German Volkspolizei. Although the P.08 was introduced in 7.65mm Parabellum, it is notable for being the pistol for which the 9mmP (also incorrectly known as the 9mm Luger) cartridge was developed. Original examples are still sought after by collectors both for its sleek design and accuracy. Thousands were taken home by returning Allied soldiers during both wars, and are still in circulation today.
The actual brand name “Luger” has been owned by Stoeger since 1924. They imported/produced .22LR and 9mm real steel versions.
Given its popularity it’s not surprising that there have been many airgun replicas of the P08. The most noteworthy would be the Schimel P-22/GP-22 produced between 1949 and 1954 and the America Luger produced between 1956 and 1958.
More recently, KWC in Taiwan have produced anumber of versions. Their 2013 catalogue lists two models currently available : The KMB-41DHN 4.5mm CO2-powered non-blowback airgun with 21 shot capacity, i.e. the Umarex Legends P08.
And the KCB-41DHN 6mm gas-powered blowback with a 15 shot capacity. The KCB-41DHN has a full-size drop-out magazine as it doesn’t have to accommodate a 12g CO2 powerlet.
Packaging & Presentation 3/5
The P08 comes in a cardboard box with the standard format Umarex multi-language owner’s manual.
There are no additional accessories. The magazine is already in place, within the pistol grip. The packaging is nothing especially fancy but it does the job. If you are planning to display the pistol you might want to consider using a holster or case.
Visual Accuracy 8/10
The overall external appearance of the pistol is very faithful to the original, with a lot of attention to detail. The plastic grips are black which is not period correct but they still look good. There is even a lanyard bar moulded into the frame at the back of the pistol.
It’s worth considering ageing the paint finish to give the P08 a more vintage look, as demonstrated in this video … http://airgun-explorer.tumblr.com/post/59482637026
Functional Accuracy 6/15
The lack of a working toggle and blowback functionality is without question the most disappointing aspect of this replica. After all, these are the most defining features of this pistol. The toggle itself is a separate piece and not moulded into the frame, but it doesn’t retract at all.
Also, the 21-shot drop-out magazine is not full-size. This is quite common on CO2 pistols but definitely detracts from the authenticity of the replica. The field strip lever is non-functional and just moulded into the frame. There is a working thumb safety with two positions: safe and fire.
The P08 feels nicely balanced in the hand and easy to point on target. It weighs slightly less than the real steel. CO2 is loaded via the left-side grip and the tightening screw is covered by the magazine butt-plate, a welcome feature that gives a more authentic look.
The absence of blowback means that the pistol has decent performance, coming close to the advertised 410 fps. And the moving barrel design means that the CO2 usage is efficient, providing well over a hundred shots from a single 12g CO2 cartridge. The moving barrel design, however, is also one of the biggest drawbacks of the pistol. The double action only trigger pull is moderately heavy due to the strike fire (moving barrel) mechanism and this can affect accuracy. Care is needed to keep the pistol on target and find a rhythm that keeps your shots as consistent as possible.
The fixed sights also limit your options and you will need to correct your point of aim to adjust for distance and/or wind.
Quality & Reliability 12/15
As a replica the detailing is good and the full metal design gives the pistol a solid feel with decent weight. I’d compare the build quality to other KWC items such as the GSR, Jericho, SP2022, M84; perhaps slightly better. Though some of the seams from the casting moulds are a little too noticeable for my liking. The moving barrel design is CO2 efficient and reliable in operation.
Overall Impression 8/15
As much as I like the Umarex Legends P08 it’s not going to be one I shoot all that often. I think it works as much as a desktop/presentation case model as it does an actual plinker.
General Summary 59/100
Although this model ticks many boxes, the lack of blowback is its biggest shortcoming as the toggle/slide is the defining feature of this particular firearm.
However, given that I only paid €80 (£67) posted, I think the price is fair for what you get (the airsoft 6mm ‘Legends 08 Para’ retails for around double this). So I’d be happy to recommend it at this price point. If not for a shooting pistol, then just as a classic WW2 era ornament.
- Authentic looking replica of a WWI/II classic
- Good performance and CO2 usage
- High shot capacity
- Full metal construction
- Good value for money
- Non-blowback (non-functioning toggle/slide)
- Moderately heavy trigger (due to moving barrel)
- Non-adjustable sights
- Magazine isn’t full-size
Review by Vyand