Home page
Close This Window
Article created: August 28, 2009
Article modified: December 4, 2009

1936 German instruction manual on how to shoot pistols & revolvers

Text Resize

Click here to increase text size

Click here to decrease text size

It may only be once in a lifetime that a firearm is used seriously, but then everything depends upon whether it is reliable and one is trained in its use. This statement is at the bottom of the inside title page of the subject booklet.

Featured is a very rare, never published until now, rather large 7 inch x 5 inch, 28 page commercial booklet by Julius Lorentz, printed in Munich, Germany in the late 1930s entitled: "Anleitung zum Pistolen und Revolver Schießen und anderes mehr!" or "Instructions on how to Shoot Pistols and Revolvers and much more!" The most interesting aspect of this booklet is the cover page that shows a man shooting a Parabellum pistol, which is an identical copy of a rare 1904 printed Swiss postcard which is none other than Georg Luger himself, the inventor of the Luger, who most likely attended or participated in the 1904 St. Gallen shooting festival. This picture was first seen on a Swiss postcard with the caption, in three lines:


The extremely collectible post card featured is part of the LOB collection with the reverse side showing evidence of being pasted in an album. The glue on the back side of the PC is very hard, not the usual softer type of glue utilized from post WW II, probably a form of Hide Glue, the type used both here and abroad in this period.

These particular "official" post cards with Georg Luger's likeness were issued to celebrate the 1904 St. Gallen Eidgenössisches Schützenfest or Swiss Federal Shooting Festival. The back side of this very rare post card has print text in three languages; German, French and Italian with a special circular seal that states that the design of this particular post card was officially approved or accepted by the 1904 Swiss Federal Shooting Festival St. Gallen "Decorations committee". This is a committee that all worlds' fairs and other festive events usually have. They approve programs, advertising, sale items, etc.

The Decorations Committee was amazingly, one of no less than fourteen committees involved in the 1904 St. Gallen Swiss Federal shooting festival. The entire festival program was printed on the back side of a very interesting award certificate or "Festival Card No 026286". Pictured is another LOB example of a 1904 St. Gallen shooting award card for the 300 meter event Anerkennungs-Karte or Recognition Card. For more examples of Swiss shooting award certificates and related post cards go to the Swiss Accessories directory.

The Swiss shooting festivals were such an important event, not only in Switzerland but in the case of the 1904 St. Gallen also a European event, involving the printing of literally thousands of post cards and award certificates and gifts of all kinds including a coined commemorative medal, enclosed in a rarely encountered case of which, interestingly, the medal was also used as currency. The 1904 St. Gallen Federal shooting festival was, indeed, quite a major occasion as a large 8 inch x 5 inch format, promotional booklet was also published, titled: "20 Ansichten von St. Gallen und Umgelbung – Zur Erinnerung an das Eidg. Schützenfest 1904" or "20 Views of St. Gallen and its surroundings - In commemoration of the 1904 Federal Shooting Festival." The cover of the promotional booklet shows an artist’s Ariel view rendering of the entrance of a rather large exhibition hall of which a 1904 St. Gallen post card photograph, taken at ground level, shows the entrance of the exhibition hall.

The prior Swiss shooting festival was held in 1901 Luzern and before that in 1898 Neuchâtel. So a post card depiction of Georg Luger at the peak of his popularity would be appropriate for the 1904 time frame and additionally in the middle of the Swiss army contract, with barely one half of the first contract production delivery of the Ordonnanzpistole 1900 to Switzerland. Being politically correct Luger is pictured shooting an Ordonnanzpistole 1900 as identified by the Swiss disc magazine. The picture of Luger conveys or portrays the sport as a gentlemen’s activity, and the theme is repeated in other Swiss post cards, Shooting Award Certificates (Schützenverein/Ehrenmeldung) as late as 1946.

Note the close held, almost doubled arm Georg Luger firing pose of the 1904 St. Gallen post card vs. the full arm's stretch target shooting pose as shown in the 1931 Swiss shooting certificate, was not used in the era as the arm was typically bent almost double, as shown in the 1904 Luger pose, and the sights held little further from the eye than with a stock.

The Georg Luger picture on the circa 1936 manual cover, used by the subject booklet printer or print house, was probably copied from one such 1904 Swiss postcard and is a "caricature" or rendering of Luger. Georg Luger actually used one of these "official" 1904 St. Gallen Federal Shooting Festival postcards with his likeness and penned a note to his son Georg Luger, Jr. in Berlin while on a 1907 visit to Switzerland.

The picture selection for the subject booklet cover is unusual as, at first glance the booklet would appear to be a Swiss publication, yet the manual was printed in Germany and the contents do not refer to anything Swiss. There is one page dedicated to Ballistics which covers and pictures the 7.65 471 Parabellum round and the 9mm 480C Parabellum 08 round.

The booklet is commercial and deals with general safety and shooting instructions for the pistol and revolver, although it may be associated with the 1936 Olympics, being printed in 1936 or later as the „Olympia 36" Erma automatic Sport Pistol is featured on page 23.