Found this gem on Instagram @axis_and_allies45

This is an extremely rare example of a Luger P08 “Nachtpistole” (Night pistol) that was used by Hitler’s personal Leibstandarte-ϟϟ security detail. Decades ahead of its time, like many Nazi inventions, the Nachtpistole was not only beautiful, it was also practical. Mounted under the barrel was a small flashlight. This would be relatively simple had the battery behind the flashlight not been connected to the brass hardware on the grip plate, only turning on the flashlight when the pistol was handled and the skin conducted the electricity.
Aside from its odd functionality, it was an exquisitely built sidearm. Based on early P08 designs, the Nachtpistole featured a grip safety, walnut base plates on the magazines, and was chambered in 7.65x21mm Parabellum instead of the much more common 9x19mm.
Only two Nachtpistoles are known to exist with one being sold for $184,000 in 2012 and the other residing in a museum in Germany. ——————————

 



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  • Riot

    Okay, that is pretty cool.

  • c4v3man

    This is why TFB/the internet is so great. Odd inventions are the best inventions. The amount of electricity to conduct would be radically less nowadays with LED’s. Standardized weapon lights would be pretty nice on pistols designed for carry.

    A quick google search turned up that the flashlight was actually more of a torch that used flammable material. That seems possible, however they claimed it could also hold chloroform or some toxic gas, which makes that particular article seem made up. Could we get a more in-depth article on this particular piece? With only 2 in existence I can see how this would be rough, but if TFB is ever in Germany, this would be a fantastic article subject. Perhaps the museum in Germany would be willing to provide some insight?

    • A bearded being from beyond ti

      There appears to be some sort of fuse attached to the torch.

    • Ken

      Maybe a carbide lamp? I’ve never seen one made that small though. They do produce a fairly bright light.

    • Gary Kirk

      Perhaps they could “shine a little light” on the subject…

  • Bob

    I want one. That’s just crazy right there.

  • Andrey Martim

    This is beautiful. Albeit the design was flawed. Using the “skin to conduct eletricity” would shock people with open wounds, also, probably a glove couldn’t be used with the gun (The glove thing is me taking it off my butt).

    • Francisco Machado

      The DC voltage wouldn’t be high enough to produce a perceived shock. Open your car hood – lick your thumbs (to improve conductivity) – press them down on opposite poles of your car battery. There’s probably 500 – 600 amps available there, but twelve volts is too low for you to even feel anything.

      • Andrey Martim

        Even with an open wound on your hand?

        • Francisco Machado

          Try it with a flashlight battery, which appears from the shape of the device is what’s used – wet your finger, place it against one end, touch the other to your tongue. If it’s a good battery, there will be a slight sensation, a slightly bitter taste. It’s how people test to see if a battery is dead – no sensation. Far from enough to discourage use of the gun. I’m not going to wound myself to test it, but I suspect you wouldn’t feel anything. Voltage is potential – analogous to pressure in water. 1.5 volts isn’t a lot of pressure – it can’t push much amperage through your body.

  • Fruitbat44

    That is a pretty cool looking bit of kit – yes, the Nazis were a bunch of evil bastards, but it’s still a cool looking bit of kit – I suspect the reason it was in 7.65mm rather than 9mmP was the limits imposed by the Treaty of Versailles which prohibited Germany from manufacturing military arms.

    • Anonymoose

      They stopped caring about that after the Nazis came to power, so maybe it was a modified Luger from the Weimar era or before.

      • Cymond

        Maybe there was an issue with 9mm recoil and the light.

        • Edeco

          Hmmm, maybe… must’ve had a filament back then, and if it were too thick it would be slow to light up.*

          *electricity isn’t really my specialty.

          • Cymond

            *Definitely* a filament back then. Oh I’m not mistaken, a thicker filament would need more juice to reach the same brightness. All a filament I’d, is basically a resistor that gets white hot. If it’s thicker, it might not resist as much (not as hot, dimmer).

            Maybe I’m wrong. Electricity isn’t my specialty, either.

      • Fruitbat44

        True that the treaty went out the window when the Nazis assumed power. But the Nazis/Hitler were players on the political scene well before Hitler became the Fuher.

        • Anonymoose

          But they wouldn’t have fancy-shmancy things like this before then…

          • Fruitbat44

            Hmm . . . I will admit to this being speculation. Maybe someone with more definite knowledge could give a definite date for it being in service. It was a guess as to why it might be in 7.65mm rather than 9mmP, and also the brass work on it looks more ornate – steampunky one might say – than the more utilitarian look one would expect from wartime production. Anyway just my thoughts on it.

          • Anonymoose

            I don’t know, but it could also be that they were used to using 7.65 and just didn’t care about 9mm as much at that point in history. Remember that .380 versions existed concurrently with most of the service handguns chambered in .32 (Beretta 1934/5, PP, HSC, etc), but the Germans and most other European militaries and police forces always seemed to favor the weaker .32.

    • Oregon213

      The Treaty of Versailles put very few restrictions on small arms. The Germans manufactured lots of guns in 9mm even before Hitler came to power.

      The only restrictions were on the total number of military weapons to be in possession of the military, and prior to Hitler the Weimer Goverment’s military never even came close to reaching those limits due to low budgets.

      This is 100% a pistol made long after anyone cared about the Treaty of Versailles.

      If I had to guess, I would say they went with 7.65 because this is a working prototype. Early model P.08 model just backs that up more. I’d bet that this came as close to Hitler’s personal guard as it did the front lines… just some story made up about a weird gun.

      • jcitizen

        I seem to remember heavy machine guns were restricted, and that was why the MG34 was developed – they called it the “universal” machine gun, which seemed to placate the inspectors. The fact that it was a light machine gun by allied standards didn’t hurt.

    • Francisco Machado

      7.65mm was a common caliber in early Lugers, not later date manufactures when most of them were made.

    • desertcelt

      Used to live next door to an old German who was in SS Leibstandarte. He had been a panzer grenadier and was wounded and captured by the allies in 1945. He brought by a Luger P08 for me to clean and admire. He told me stories of the Eastern Front.

  • kingghidorah

    $184,000? I could buy 368 Glock’s for that!

    • Harry’s Holsters

      Yeah but once you’ve got them time to buy something else!

    • Squirreltakular

      Or 3 Salient Arms Glocks.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    This should have been in Indiana Jones the Last Crusade.

    • Blake

      …and Inglorious Basterds…

  • Gorilla Biscuit

    I’m wondering how this add on affected the function of the pistol.

    • Reef Blastbody

      Not much, if at all. The barrel is fixed to the slide, and the entire unit reciprocates when firing. Military Arms Channel recently posted a video of Tim shooting his Weimar era 7.65 Luger, and got some high speed footage of the toggle mechanism in action.

  • German space magic in the 40’s.

  • Cymond

    Here’s the original auction listing info. If
    It has a lot of detailed info, basically the next best thing to a Forgotten Weapons episode.
    http://www.rockislandauction com/viewitem/aid/55/lid/1589

    • Cymond

      Copy-posted for those who don’t want to fix my link:

      Description: This is an excellent example of an extremely rare Hitler Guard Luger pistol with 4 inch barrel, DWM scroll on front toggle link and crown “N” proof on left side of receiver and bottom of barrel. It has the rare grip safety with “T” serial number range and correct wood base magazine with full checkered walnut grips. Gesichert marked safety in lower position. The right side of frame above the trigger is stamped with a crown and larger “S” proof. The pistol comes with a unique and very unusual precisely machined anodized brass flashlight made to slip over the end of the barrel with about 3/4 inch ears that fit over each side of receiver and rest on receiver rails. This flashlight has its lens directly below and aligned with the axis of the bore with a battery pack in a rectangular base at rear with a clip attachment for a wire to plug into a brass socket that is connected to a brass plate at top front of right grip. There is another brass plate riveted in place at bottom of right grip, all of which are connected with brass plates fitted into milled recesses inside the grip so that when a person grips the pistol the skin conductivity makes a connection and illuminates the flashlight. It is believed that the flashlight and battery pack were carried separate from the pistol, probably in its own leather pouch. In Peter Hoffman’s book “Hitler’s Personal Security” he mentions the existence of these 30 cal. Night pistols with tracer ammunition and flashlight used by an RSD officer in constant patrol around the Fuehrer’s bunker. Consignor states that the only other known of these rare flashlight pistols is on display in a military museum in Germany. Also in this lot is a special configuration, black leather holster that has an extra wide opening flap on the rear side that exposes the pistol butt and trigger, obviously so the user could unholster his gun quickly. Inside the flap has a narrow tool pocket. On the front edge of holster, in its usual position, is the spare magazine pouch containing an extra wood base magazine. The back of holster is unmarked with the unusual flap marked “D.R.G.M.” and the spread winged eagle with crossed rifles over “AKAH”. This is the only example of this pistol, flashlight and holster know to ever be offered at public sale making it one of the most rare of all Lugers and accessories. Consignor also states that these were acquired by a GI while he was in Germany. To our knowledge, this is the only one currently in private hands.

  • Graham2

    Neat looking device but I’d have used the grip safety as the light switch myself. It would have saved a lot of work!

  • Jim

    Fascinating!

  • Leigh Rich

    Germans were advanced

    • Keyser Soze

      They still are

  • nick

    Very nice to see one of these!. Thanks TFB , more of the same please!

  • Rock Island Auction

    For those curious…

    This is our photo from when we sold this incredible Luger back in 2012. The Instagram account lists its realized price correctly at $184,000.

  • Reinhard

    Two FYI’s: first, Leibstandart translates most closeley to “Life GuArd” Regiment. Most European armies had one. England still does. Prior to the “Machtergreifung, assumption of power, in January 933, The SS (Shuetzstaffel, or defense echelon) functioned as a body guard unit for party leaders. Afterward it became part of the Verfuegungstruppe and other regiments were added. Hitler’s bodyguard unit became the Begleit Kommando and would have been so named at the time this arm was issued.
    Second, the P-06 was also 9mm Parabellum. It was the Navy version, who adopted it before the army (P-08). The numbers indicate the year of manufacture. Aside from the acceptance stamps, the obvious difference between the P-06 and P-08 is the barrel length. The navy version has a 6inch barrel, the army 4 inches. The 7.62 MM is the original caliber. After Germany lost the First World War, a clause of the Treaty of Versailles required Germany to rebarrel all its military pistols with the 7,62 MM barrels. During the Weimar Republic, Police were routinely issued Parabellum pistols in 7.62 mm