Military Review

Pistol with improper automation system Steyr M1908

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At the beginning of the twentieth century, pistols almost completely ousted revolvers from the market weaponsBy proving that most of the shortcomings inherent in early models, you can easily get rid of. However, the full “capture” of the world was still far away, many preferred revolvers as reliable, safe and at the same time always ready for use. It was at the beginning of the twentieth century that designers were looking for a scheme of automatic weapon operation that would satisfy the highest demands both in terms of reliability and in terms of the work resource, the usual appearance of the pistol was created. But what to say, in fact, a modern pistol in its now familiar form has appeared just then and since then little has changed, except for materials and small nuances. It was at that time that most of the interesting models were produced, which are remarkable by the decisions of the designers, and the designers at that time were developing weapons, and not just copying the same thing wrapping them in a new wrapper. It is with one of the rather simple, but at the same time interesting pistols that we will meet in this article. It will be about the gun developed by Nicholas Piper, the production of which was engaged in the Austrian company Steyr.


Like any designer, Piper wanted to create a weapon as convenient, cheap and reliable as possible. Apparently for this reason, one of the most common ammunition 7,65x17 (.32 ASR) was chosen at that time. Perhaps if the munition was chosen more powerful, the weapon would even be adopted by the army or the police, but since this cartridge was more suitable for the civilian market, and in the military environment they had long been eyeing more powerful ammunition, the weapon found its place in the civilian market. However, this gun was used by the Austrian police later, but as a personal weapon of the police, and not as a service weapon. As a matter of fact, Piper himself did not plan to create a pistol for the army, first of all the idea was to create a weapon fairly compact and lightweight while maintaining the normal length of the barrel and this gunsmith succeeded. A lot of attention was also paid to the ergonomics of the pistol and many still consider it one of the leading comfort in retention and use. Although, on the other hand, ergonomics is very, very individual and that it is convenient for one person, it is not always convenient for another, although on the whole the angle of inclination of the handle and the arrangement of the controls seem to be well thought out. The release of weapons was adjusted by Steyr after several minor improvements. So the length of the barrel, and accordingly the length of the weapon, were changed, the aiming devices were reduced (in vain), the method of fastening the pads on the handle was changed. It is also mentioned in some sources that Steyr removed the bolt delay, but if you look closely at the patent, it is not there, maybe it appeared already after receiving the patent by Pieper, in any case, it would not have prevented this weapon in view of the relatively small magazine capacity.

Pistol with improper automation system Steyr M1908The appearance of the gun is not quite usual and familiar in comparison with modern samples, which is not surprising, because at that time the designers were not tied to any canons and rules, but created them themselves. Immediately striking is the small thickness of the weapon, although at the expense of individual protruding elements the weapon is still not as flat as it seems. The designer was able to achieve a small thickness at the expense of not quite the usual layout. The fact is that, conditionally, the gun can be divided into three parts: A barrel with a return spring, a frame and a bolt that seems too small and light even for such a weak cartridge. But everything works perfectly and without any complaints, but the details are a bit lower. The controls are quite familiar, that what, and the designers did not have to reinvent it. The release key is closed by a rather large safety clip, which allows the gun to be used in hands protected by gloves. The safety switch is located on the left side of the weapon frame. The switch itself is made quite small detail, which is not in favor of the dimensions of the weapon due to the overlays on the handle and the tides on the frame itself. The location of the fuse switch by modern standards is not the best, since you cannot remove a weapon from the fuse with your right thumb while holding the pistol. Also on the left side of the weapon is a lever that locks the hinged block of the barrel and the return spring, that is, a lever for disassembling the weapon. Unlike the fuse switch, this element is made quite large. Considering the fact that they were far from being used so often, it could have been made more compact. Gun sights are the usual unregulated sight and front sight and do not stand out in any way. Also not the most successful control, in my opinion, is the lever of fixing the weapon shop, which is located on the back side of the pistol grip. There is an assumption that if the shooter has sufficiently large palms, he can easily press this lever by accident, which will lead to the removal of the magazine. Since the axis of the barrel is located below the axis of the return spring, the designer had to make a window for ejection of spent cartridges in the frame of the pistol. This window is located on the right side of the weapon, it is large enough so that the sleeve flies out through it steadily and with a whistle. We should also mention the convenience of reloading weapons, which is actually absent, since the bolt itself is very small, respectively, and the area with the texture for the grip when the bolt is pulled back is small. And although, in general, there are no special problems when the bolt is retracted, it will be difficult to perform this action in the same thick gloves, despite the fact that the notch on the bolt is deep enough. Pads on the arms of the weapon are thick, made of black plastic. If you look from the position of compactness, you can consider thick lining as a significant minus, if no “but”. This “but” lies in the fact that the gun has many other protruding elements increasing its overall thickness, so that the thick plastic of the handle linings in a particular case can only be viewed positively, since it is precisely thanks to the plates that the retention of the weapon is quite comfortable. As mentioned earlier, the axis of the barrel of the gun is located below the axis of the return spring, for this reason, the muzzle does not look quite usual. The one on whom the weapon will be aimed will see the hole in the barrel, and above it the cap of the bolt that holds the return spring in its channel, preventing it from escaping beyond the weapon. Immediately it should be noted that the load on the cover of the return spring channel is minimal.

Now let's try to figure out how it all works. In view of the fact that a rather weak ammunition is used in the pistol, the automatic pistol is built according to the free-bolt scheme. However, the designer applied several not quite standard solutions in his weapon, making it unique in its own way. First of all, you need to pay attention to how the bolt, which is light enough even for such an ammunition, interacts with the return spring. The return spring itself is located above the barrel, a guide passes through it, which at one end has an abutment to compress the spring, and at the other end a peculiar hook that the bolt clings to with its protrusion. It is noteworthy in this all that the automatic system of the pistol is working “incorrectly”. So instead of the fact that the powder gas gave only the initial energy of the gate, which he would have retained due to its mass, they completely accompany the whole process of reloading the gun. So, when fired, the powder gases push the bullet forward, and the bolt through the sleeve back, when the sleeve is completely out of the chamber, it is ejected through the right window to eject the sleeves. What is remarkable is that the shutter does not even have an ejector. The shutter itself, despite its low weight, is still moving for a short time on its own, continuing to compress the return spring and reaching its extreme rear position. After that, under the action of a return spring, the bolt returns to its original position, picking up a new cartridge from the magazine. Naturally, such an operation of the automation scheme does not give positive results in shooting accuracy, because the designer decided to compensate for this drawback using a non-standard layout. The main advantage of the layout of the parts of this gun is that the barrel axis is lower than in the weapon models we are used to, as a result of this the return will exactly hit the shooter’s hand, although it’s strange to talk about recoil for the .32ACP cartridge, it seems but it seems not. It is also important that due to this design, the mass of the moving parts of the gun during the shot is minimal, which, in turn, has a positive effect on the accuracy of shooting. As a result, the "minus" overlap several "pluses", and since this is not about mathematics, the weapon in the end result was quite accurate. Immediately it should be noted that with a more powerful ammunition such a trick would not work.

The positive qualities of the weapon include its high accuracy and comfort of firing, for which you need to thank the well-thought-out ergonomics of the pistol grip, and the low-power cartridge and the layout of the weapon. The weight and dimensions of the weapon are also an undeniable advantage. So, the gun weighs only 630 grams with a 162 millimeter length and a 92 millimeter barrel length. Non-standard solutions in the design of weapons can also be attributed to positive features, but there is more positive for the development of firearms in general, rather than the specific positive features of this model of weapon. In addition, the ease of maintenance of the weapon is highlighted separately, since an incomplete disassembly of the pistol for cleaning is quite simple and at the same time all parts of the pistol remain in place, which is only a plus when cleaning the weapon in field conditions. So if the cartridge in this pistol was “stricter”, this sample would surely interest the military and one country would not do.

The negative qualities of a gun are much more. First of all, it is not the most powerful ammunition, which at that time, although relatively popular, was quickly survived by more effective and powerful cartridges. The second minus is the design of the weapon, which was such that making the weapon cheap was almost impossible. High requirements for fitting parts, quality of metal and so on affected the price, making it quite large. In addition, we must not forget that the automatic pistol worked "wrong", which means it was possible to observe increased wear. Returning back to the automatic weapons, it should be noted that many interesting solutions that have a positive effect on the characteristics of the gun were introduced only to compensate for errors in the design of the weapon. And although the end result is quite good, all the same, as they say, the sediment remained.

After its appearance, the Steyr M1908 pistol was produced until the beginning of the First World War, after which its production was stopped. It was renewed only in 1934 year, although the weapon received a modified shutter, heavier with the ejector, respectively, and the automatic weapons began to work like a human. Basically, weapons were popular in the civilian market, one was used in limited quantities by the Austro-Hungarian police, and subsequently by the Austrian police. In addition to the full-size model of the pistol, a compact M1909 model was also created, which was distinguished not only by its dimensions, but also by the ammunition used (.25ACP). This gun was even less effective, but retained all the features of its older brother. But about this weapon in the next article.
Author:
Photos used:
weaponland.ru
22 comments
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  1. avt
    avt 13 August 2013 09: 41 New
    +2
    A long time ago that the author did not indulge in delights. laughing +
  2. sub307
    sub307 13 August 2013 10: 52 New
    +1
    Amusing design.
    1. Timeout
      Timeout 13 August 2013 10: 58 New
      0
      Piper was a great inventor, he has enough pistols with original solutions.
      PS Cyril with a return to VO! Creative vacation?
  3. bunta
    bunta 13 August 2013 11: 13 New
    +2
    If the automation was "wrong" it would not work. wink

    Compare the 7,65 × 17 and 9x17 sleeves. The first mass is almost three times more. With more power of the second cartridge. That is, the transverse tensile strength of the first cartridge is much higher. And if so, then you can take a lighter shutter and a smaller spring wink . But it would be interesting to look into the chamber, on the subject of Revelli's grooves. The authors of the article and the gun - respect. hi
    1. Timeout
      Timeout 13 August 2013 11: 23 New
      +1
      There are no grooves, the chamber is ordinary.
      1. bunta
        bunta 13 August 2013 12: 06 New
        0
        Quote: Timeout
        There are no grooves, the chamber is ordinary.

        Thank! Where did the information come from?
        1. Timeout
          Timeout 14 August 2013 02: 14 New
          0
          I had to hold such a ganshaw.
          1. Timeout
            Timeout 14 August 2013 02: 25 New
            0
            Here is another photo found, the model 1908/34 under 32 AKP chamber is clearly visible.
  4. bazilio
    bazilio 13 August 2013 11: 50 New
    +2
    With the return of Cyril.

    It seems to me that the fate of the gun was predetermined not only by the cartridge used, but also by its design. Of course, the fact that its design was not very competitive became known much later. Still an interesting instance.
  5. Pablo_K
    Pablo_K 13 August 2013 15: 31 New
    0
    I wonder what the shooter will do in the event of a misfire, because there is no ejector.
    But in general, the design is interesting
    1. bunta
      bunta 13 August 2013 16: 51 New
      +2
      Quote: Pablo_K
      I wonder what the shooter will do in the event of a misfire, because there is no ejector.


      There is an inspector there. When the barrel is broken, it works like in a hunting rifle.
  6. alex-cn
    alex-cn 13 August 2013 15: 35 New
    0
    Thank you to the author, well done, I have not seen such a scheme in any directory, again I dug up a miracle. but why the cartridge is 32 automatic transmissions, it seems that this cartridge always went as Browning No. 2, or what I confuse. and a Belgian piper, if it’s the same piper that made excellent shotguns.
    1. Timeout
      Timeout 14 August 2013 02: 15 New
      0
      Under 32 automatic transmissions, this is already a 1934 model.
  7. The comment was deleted.
  8. Mister X
    Mister X 13 August 2013 20: 25 New
    +1
    Thanks to Kirill for the excellent article.
    I became so interested that I dug something else and decided to share the info.

    Between 1908 to 1914 and 1321 to 1939? about 60 000 copies were produced.
    Of these, about 8000 for the Austrian police.
    Trunks for the police were distinguished by the presence of the marking “SW”: Sicherheitswache Waffen.
    Marking was applied on the back of the handle, above the magazine eject button.
    1. Mister X
      Mister X 13 August 2013 20: 26 New
      0
      Judging by the number 11 - it was produced in 1911
      The number 14 indicates the year of adoption.
      The abbreviation “LW” stands for LandWehr:
      2 line-up military reserve category and secondary military units in Prussia, Germany, Austria-Hungary

      1. Mister X
        Mister X 13 August 2013 20: 28 New
        0
        Post-war pistols designated 1908 / 34
        Judging by the serial number - it was produced in 1921
        Of the visible changes - the shape of the shutter, a notch on the shutter frame and the pattern on the handle.

        1. Mister X
          Mister X 13 August 2013 20: 29 New
          0
          Judging by the stigma (figure 28) - it was produced in 1928.
          The increased bolt and notch, but the handle is like on pistols of the pre-war pr-va.
          1. Timeout
            Timeout 14 August 2013 02: 27 New
            0
            And also the caliber 32 automatic transmission!
            1. Mister X
              Mister X 14 August 2013 17: 52 New
              0
              Quote: Timeout
              And also the caliber 32 automatic transmission!

              It was originally designed for 7.65mm Auto (.32ACP) cartridges.

              If you were sealed up and had in mind the Pipper pistol under the caliber 25ACP -
              we are talking about the Steyr-Pieper M1909 ladies' pistol under the caliber 6.35mm Auto (.25ACP)
              and Cyril will write about him in the next article.
              1. Timeout
                Timeout 15 August 2013 07: 43 New
                0
                I apologize! The post was for a riot, from the fact that 7.65 and 32 AKPs are the same cartridge. The browser on the tablet is buggy ....
  9. Revolver
    Revolver 13 August 2013 21: 17 New
    0
    The toy is amusing, but obviously not for trenches, but for the city. The window for ejecting the cartridge case as if asking to pour sand or mud there (which is enough in the trenches), and after that it is useless until you clean it. Even to put the opponent on the head with a hilt, unlike Luger or Nagan, will not work - it is lightweight and small.
  10. aversun
    aversun 18 September 2013 23: 48 New
    0
    Quote: bunta
    But it would be interesting to look into the chamber, on the subject of Revelli's grooves.

    Revelli grooves are only needed in systems where sleeve extraction may be difficult, they supply gas between the chamber wall and the sleeve and facilitate extraction. Probably, the TC means transverse grooves, which increase the friction of the sleeve with the chamber wall and prevent the early extraction of the sleeve.