Georg Luger

Georg Luger

Georg Luger, 1906
Born Georg Johann Luger
(1849-03-06)March 6, 1849
Steinach am Brenner, Tyrol
Died December 22, 1923(1923-12-22) (aged 74)
Berlin, Germany
Nationality  Austria
Occupation Accountant, Firearms designer
Notable work Parabellum pistol
9×19mm Parabellum cartridge
Home town Vienna, Austria
Spouse(s) Elisabeth Josefa Dufek
Children Georg Franz Luger
Julius Wilhelm Bartholomaeus Luger
Friedrich Alexander Georg Luger

Georg Johann Luger (March 6, 1849 December 22, 1923) was an Austrian designer of the famous Luger pistol and the 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge.

Early life and military service

Georg Luger was born in Steinach am Brenner, Tyrol to Dr. Bartholomaeus von Luger, a surgeon. After Georg's birth, his family moved to Italy, where Dr. Luger taught at the University of Padua. Georg grew up with Italian as his second mother tongue and finished Grundschule (primary school) and Gymnasium (university-preparatory school) in Austrian Padua. After graduation, his parents sent him to Vienna, where he studied at the Wiener Handelsakademie (Vienna Commercial Academy), the predecessor to today's Vienna Business School.

In October 1867, Luger volunteered for military service as a Reserve Officer Cadet with the 78th Infantry Regiment. He was promoted to Cadett-Corporal (Officer Cadet Corporal) on June 1, 1868, and to Faehnrich (Ensign) on October 1. Luger's good marksmanship brought him to the attention of his superiors, he was sent to the Austro-Hungarian Military Firearms School at Camp Bruckneudorf, where he soon became an instructor. There, his interest in automatic loading systems began. In 1871 Luger was promoted to Leutnant der Reserve (lieutenant) and moved to the military reserve.


Luger married Elisabeth Josefa Dufek in 1873. He moved to Vienna with her and they had three children (in order):

Luger's first son, Georg Franz, became a civil engineer and joined his father in military weapons development. His second son fell as a Hauptmann d.R. (Reservist Captain) in World War I on the Galician front in 1915.

After the military

After leaving the military, Luger worked as an accountant and later in the management of the Jockey Club, one of the top social meeting points in Vienna.

He met Ferdinand von Mannlicher in about 1875 and the two collaborated on rifle magazine designs, which seemed to awaken a latent talent for design within Luger.

In 1891 Luger was employed by Ludwig Loewe & Company (of Berlin, Germany) and gradually became a consultant designer.

In 1894 he was sent to demonstrate a Hugo Borchardt-designed weapon, manufactured by Deutsche Waffen und Munitions Fabriken (DWM) (which had evolved from Loewe after its founder's death), to the US Army. The Army rejected the pistol, but from criticism he received, Luger improved it, creating the Parabellum pistol (commonly called a Luger). This pistol was a success for both Luger and DWM.

Luger's contract with DWM was cancelled in 1919 and he successfully sued them over patent royalties. However Luger had lost all his savings by this time.



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