Luger Hold-Open

Luger Hold-Open

By Numrich Gun Parts Corporation, Posted in Ask The Gunsmith, Handgun
December 08, 2019

I am having trouble with a Luger pistol that was given to me by a relative. From what I understand the bolt is supposed to lock back after the last shot. Mine will do that. The problem is that the bolt will not lock back when the magazine is not in the gun. There is no gunsmith in this area, so I am on my own. Can you help?


There is no problem with your Luger. The hold-open latch is pushed into position to block the movement of the breechblock by a button on the right side of the magazine. The button is attached to the magazine follower. As the follower rises, the button moves up, eventually contacting the button of the hold-open latch. When the last round is fired in the magazine button will push the hold-open latch up far enough to block the forward movement of the breechblock.  If the magazine is not in place, there is nothing to activate the hold-open latch.

NOTE: The following content first appeared in Shotgun News in 2010. It is from a featured section titled Ask the Gunsmith, where readers were able to submit their questions to master gunsmith Reid Coffield.