A One-Off Wonder – 22LR Converted Luger Pistol with Forgotten Weapons

After the first two World Wars, Lugers were plentiful. Highly sought after by troops, the weapons made it back in droves to the United States where they were a commodity for some time before gaining the status us an uber-collectors item today. Given this, a poor (or fortunate Luger, depending on your perspective) was used as the base for a one-off 22LR conversion.

Stating life as a 9mm combat handgun, noted colorado gunsmith Axel Peterson went through a nearly “frame off” restoration to make the weapon. As one would expect, the barrel is sleeved with its diminutive bore cousin, but from there things go literally off the rails.

While the grip, mainspring, and a few others items are kept, much of the handgun is swapped for custom fabricated or repurposed components. Notably, the hammer is from a 1911, but little else is recognizable from the outside. Removing the toggle action, the upper portion of the handgun is a cammed tilting break-action for loading a single round of rimfire. The weapon features a manually operated extractor and adjustable rear sights, indicating this was for high-accuracy functions.

If this little bit of engineering interests you, the weapon is available for sale at the upcoming James D Julia auction. One can find details here and with Ian’s overview from Forgotten Weapons below:





Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • iksnilol

    Axel was a crappy gunsmith. In Norway,.22 Lugers aren’t exactly rare. They got functioning toggles and mags.

    Like, seriously, Axel, get your crap together. This is worse than bubba.

    • Edeco

      yeah, Lugers aren’t my department, but I was thinking, especially if going single shot, there had to be a way to use the toggle. And if not, what’s the point? It’s like neutering the Luger.

      • iksnilol

        It’s basically a hackjob.

      • ostiariusalpha

        Eliminating the toggle allows the barrel to be longer without having to add to the gun’s overall length. This keeps the muzzle weight down and boosts velocity compared to a straight conversion, which makes for a flatter trajectory that benefits the target shooting application of the pistol. The gun seems to function as intended, so I’ll refrain from judgement on the build quality or whether it was necessarily a good idea to start with.

        • Edeco

          Hmmm, yeah, I’m usually in about the top 5% of long barrel fans, and in any case if that’s what the maker wanted, mission accomplished. But I can’t picture it. I mean, performance would be so limited either way, to me the main event is that it’s a Luger, which is undermined by losing the toggle.

  • Looks like the author meant to type “abortion” instead of “wonder.” I blame autocorrect.

    • iksnilol

      I’ve seen dying cancer patients that’ve wilted away that looked better than this.

  • Rick O’Shay

    Wow. A polished turd would look better than that.

  • Phillip Cooper

    It’s for auction?

    I’ll give them $50… and that includes FFL transfer fees and shipping.

    final offer.

  • Nicholas C

    Ermawerke 22 anyone?

    • Just Say’n

      Or just a Ruger Mark IV….

  • SP mclaughlin

    It’d be a good gun for kids, I guess.

  • Wait– “After the first two World Wars…”?

    WHAT HAVE YOU HEARD?

    • crackedlenses

      They wiped everyone’s minds….

  • Phil Elliott

    I have a Stoeger Luger in .22 that works well, just have to keep it very clean. Toggle works. Also had an Erma, baby Luger in .380, wish I had it back!

    • Cymond

      You must have the world’s only
      reliable 22lr Stoeger Luger.
      Mine can’t feed 3 rounds in a row, except it runs great with Aguila SSS, for some reason.

      • Phil Elliott

        Chamber must be kept really clean, and might try sharpening up the top mounted extractor.