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The Vault

Borchardt automatic pistol

The Borchardt was the first commercially viable self-loading pistol. It was designed in 1893 by Hugo Borchardt, based on the toggle lock mechanism used in the Maxim machine gun that had been recently developed. It used a 7.62 x 25mm cartridge dimensionally identical to the later 7.63 Mauser round, but a bit more lightly loaded. The piece had an overall weight of 2.5 pounds. It was tested by a number of military forces, but not found suitable by any – it was simply too early of a design to be robust enough for military service.

Georg Luger was an employee of the firm producing Borchardt pistols (DWM), and refined the principles of the Borchardt to produce the iconic Parabellum pistol several years later.

Photos

Photos of a Borchardt pistol (click to download high-resolution copies)

Manuals

Borchardt C93 Manual (English)

Borchardt C93 Manual (English)

12 comments to Borchardt automatic pistol

  • Mike Cotter

    I inherited a Borchardt hangun from my father with the name System Borchardt Patent and other words including the word Berlin. It was given to him as payment for a debt in 1962. The provider said he took it off the body of a dead German Officer in WW I.
    I would like to get ammuninition and also the stock that is shown in the site pictures.
    This handgun is in working order and is the most accurate handgun of the four that I own.

    Can anyone suggest where to get ammunition or the stock?

    • Bill S.

      What you’ll need is basically .30 Mauser (Broomhandle ammo) LIGHTLY loaded similar to a 30 Luger round. The Borchardt ammo evolved into the Mauser and later 7.63 Tokarev round. Do Not try either Mauser or Tokarev rounds in your gun! You’ll have to ‘roll your own’. Probably next to impossible to find original ammo, probably cost more than gold. Email me at: wsmalley@citlink.net if you have questions.

  • Rich B.

    Does anyone have the repro manual for the Borchardt???

  • exactly ¡¡¡¡ this is a rare manual and a very expensive early pistol, i only see the american patent but never the booklet, the files in the website named “landofborchardts” doesn´t have a download option, you only see the pics with low resolution, in other forum one original manual cost US 1,500 ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡
    best regards from southamerica
    percy olivas

  • [...] first weapon that had a detachable box magazine appears to be the Borchardt C93 pistol, on the market in 1893. It was a recoil-operated, locked-breech weapon with the eight-round [...]

  • hernanday

    Just to clarify, is this an a fully automatic pistol or a semi automatic pistol, I see conflicting information all over the net as to whether or not this is the first full auto or semi auto hand gun?

  • Loyd M

    Any chance of a disassembly and/or firing video?
    Are there even rounds for this beast anymore?
    Or can 7.63×25mm Mauser rounds be used?

  • Brody

    If a PPSH-41 was loaded with this ammo, I imagine a cyclic rate upwards of 2000 rpm, given the low bolt thrust. If anybody has experience with this feedback would be appreciated.
    -Young Gun Nut

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