For sale on Sunday: the Million Dollar Luger pistol

Georg Luger did not enter the world of gun design until relatively late in his life. The surgeon's son held respectable roles as an accountant and manager, but his early skill as a marksmen drew him into the best known role.

In 1894, then in his forties, Luger offered a handgun to the US Army. The design - Hugo Borchardt's rather than Luger's own - was rejected for several reasons based around its bulk and the detraction from accuracy caused by bad balance in the weapon.

Luger took these criticisms as a challenge, and took to designing his own Pistole 'Parabellum' (literally 'prepare for war' from the Latin saying si vis pacem para bellum - if you wish for peace, prepare for war).

Million Dollar Luger 1907
The surviving Luger from the 1907 trials, bought for $1m in 1989
(Click to enlarge)

The design was adapted for the US Army trials of 1907 (delayed from 1906) to take .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) rounds as required by the trial regulations. Luger brought two of the pistols to America personally, but despite performing well his company withdrew it at an early stage.

Only one of the two Lugers used in the trials is known to have survived. With the number '2' stamped in its side it gained the moniker of Million Dollar Luger in 1989 when bought by Indonesian billionaire Yani Haryanto.

Now it has returned to sale at Greg Martin Auctions in a sale set to conclude this weekend. The one of a kind piece has already attracted a bid of $370,000 and will sell on Sunday March 14.


Image: Greg Martin Auctions

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