Unblinking Eye
                                   Erma "Luger" KGP 68A


Field-Stripping the Erma “Luger” .380 Model KGP-68A

by Ed Buffaloe

Erma KGP 68 A
Erma KGP 68 A
“Erma” is a contraction of Erfurter Maschinen und Werkzeugfabrik, later known as Erfurter Maschinenfabrik B Geipel GmbH., or simply Erma-Werke, originally located in Erfurt, Germany.  The company was known early-on for making a .22 conversion for the P-08 Parabellum pistol, and during World War II they made the famous MP38 and MP40 submachine guns.  After the war and the division of Germany, the company was reconstituted in Munich-Dachau.

In 1964 Erma began production of the EP-22, a blowback- operated .22 rimfire pistol that resembled the famous P-08 Luger Parabellum pistol.  At least one online source indicates that production was discontinued in 1969, though Ian Hogg states it was in the early ‘70s.  In any case, in 1968 Erma began production of the delayed-blowback KGP-68 in both .32 and .380 calibers.  The U.S. Gun Control Act of 1968 required the addition of a magazine safety, and the new designation for the guns became KGP-68A.  An updated version of the .22 was made with the designation KGP-69.  Late production guns were designated KGP-22, KGP-32, and KGP-38.  The KGP-68 was also rebranded as the Beeman MP-08.  Erma-Werke went bankrupt in 1997.

For a brief time the Spanish company Echasa (Echave y Arizmendi) made a copy of the EP-22, which was known as the Lur Panzer.  It is very scarce today.

I bought the gun illustrated here at the Austin gun show for a friend who had asked me to keep an eye out for one that was reasonably priced.  There wasn’t much information available online about the gun, and it took us a long time to find instructions for field stripping it, so I thought folks might find it useful if I were to publish instructions and photographs.

Please click on any photograph to open a window to a series of larger images and complete instructions for field stripping and reassembly of the KGP-68A .380. My understanding is that the .22 version field strips in the same way, but I haven’t been able to examine one in person to verify it, so there may be minor differences.  I have never seen the .32 version of this gun, but it should be identical to the .380.

Check the chamber

1.  Remove magazine and check that the chamber is empty.

Note positions of components

4.  Note the positions of the firing pin guide rod and the recoil spring and guide rod assembly, then remove them.

Reinstall recoil spring

7.  To reassemble, fit the firing pin, spring & guide rod, as well as the recoil spring assembly, back into the gun.

Remove locking bolt

2.  Press on the rear of the gun and remove the locking bolt.

Remove slide and barrel

5.  Remove the barrel/slide from the frame.

Insert toggle pin

8.  Carefully align the toggle holes and the hole in the firing pin guide rod and reinsert the toggle pin.

Remove toggle pin

3.  Pull the toggle back and expose and drift out the toggle pin.

Remove firing pin

6.  Remove the firing pin.  The components may now be cleaned and lubricated.

Insert locking bolt

9.  With the toggle closed, press on the rear of the slide/toggle assembly and reinsert the correctly aligned locking bolt.


2005 Standard Catalog of Firearms, by Ned Schwing.  KP Books, Iola, WI:  2004.
Dictionary of Guns and Gunmakers, by John Walter.  Greenhill, London:  2001.
German Handguns, by Ian V. Hogg.  Greenhill, London:  2001.

Copyright 2008 by Ed Buffaloe.  All rights reserved.

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