Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have an absolute marvel of pistol technology in the late 1890s, the Schwarzlose Andreas 1898 Pistol. This pistol is often held in such high regard because its competition at the time was on a separate lower level than this pistol. It had rotating locking lugs, used a modern cartridge, and utilized a removable grip magazine. That all being said this should have been a more popular gun, right? Not exactly. The Schwarzlose Andreas 1898 was expensive to manufacture, was awkwardly shaped, only held seven rounds of ammunition, and had a cocking knob at the back. These were chambered for the 7.63×25 Mauser cartridge which is known today as 30 Mauser.
“Although the Schwarzlose pistol was not one of the most successful pistols, the uniqueness of the design was actually revolutionary and could almost be considered a prototype with very few ever manufactured. The functioning of this model is based on what is termed a rotating bolt mechanism and is actually very similar in design to the current M16 series of rifles, only 110 years earlier. This pistol has a one-piece rotating bolt/upper rear receiver that has four locking lugs around the bolt head itself. The breech end of the barrel is also machined with four matching corresponding locking lugs. When a cartridge is fired, the pressure of the cartridge actually drives the barrel slightly rearward which in turns pushes the entire bolt rearward to start the unlocking sequence. This rearward movement allows the bolt/upper receiver to extract and eject the cartridge. The rear of the receiver has a small lug pinned in place in the center that fits into a race-way or track on the underside of the bolt that actually rotates the bolt itself, as it moves rearward.”
Lot 3489: Schwarzlose Andreas 1898 Pistol. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved January 12, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/61/3489/schwarzlose-andreas-1898-pistol.