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The Vault

Slow Motion Schwarzlose 1908

I am getting high speed footage of a bunch of interesting pistols right off the bat now that I have my Edgertronic camera, and one that has been on my list ever since I first shot it was the Schwarzlose 1908. It’s a very fast action, and my initial attempts at high speed a year or two ago didn’t turn out well.

Now, however, I have much better gear for this:

The initial footage is at 2000 fps, and then I sped it up to 3500. At that point it is starting to get a bit dark (the Arizona desert sunlight will need an artificial boost if I am to record at any higher of a frame rate, but you can get a pretty clear view of what is happening. It’s awfully crowded inside that action, and I’m really surprised that I haven’t had it malfunction on me. Counting frames of the video gives me a total cyclic rate of 0.024 seconds per shot, or (in theory) 2500 rounds per minute. Wow!

11 comments to Slow Motion Schwarzlose 1908

  • It IS cool footage! So glad you have these new “toys” so you can better document all these Forgotten Weapons.

  • Richard

    You are right! Very cool footage. I have been interested in firearm mechanisms for a long long time and I had never heard of a blow forward action. Thanks.

    • TomTB

      I wonder if there is ANY advantage to a blow forward action, let’s say with a modern damper mechanism to absorb the slide closing? (What is the opposite of recoil, coil?)

      • Hrachya H.

        A longer barrel (at given OL) is an advantage. Also lack of reciprocating slide can be an advantage … well, in theory … I mean it can let to design higher grip.

        However, I think with more powerful cartridges (say 9x19mm) this design will need some kind of locking mechanism (being chambered in .25acp it doesn’t need one).

  • Martin T

    It almost looks like the spinning casing is in hover mode in the first shot from the top. Very cool footage.

  • Hrachya H.

    Amazing video !!!

  • Very interesting from an armorers perspective. It appears that the cartridge that is loading moves slightly rearward toward what would previously been called the bolt-face, now the frame-face (?) as the chamber & feed-ramp are forcing it up from its magazine. Will have to replay & view many times. Very cool stuff. Thank you.

  • guy

    What’s the strength of the magazine springs on this pistol? Are they crazy hard to load?

    That second round seems to jump up *really* fast, though that may just be the ‘geometry’ of the action.

  • Michael Schumacher

    May I pose a request?
    with the photos (and video) in the initial posting showing burning powder in almost every possible opening of the breech, I’d really like to see a Savage 1907 being fired at a high frame rate. I wonder when unlocking really starts – might give quite a few ‘insights’ …

  • ahil925

    Awesome. I’ve been wanting to see this gun in slow motion for awhile, but not I’m left with more questions.

    In the cut-away pictures of the 1908 it looks like the cartridges feeding from the magazine would be caught up at the rear of the shells on the frame of the pistol. In the video it looks like the shells are jumping foward and running up the feed ramp to clear the frame overhang. It looks like momentum is keeping the cartridges stationary while the pistol recoils backwards.

    Could you post a video or a description of how a cartridge is fed from the magazine to the breech face? Is it possible to slow feed a cartridge(snapcap) by riding the barrel/slide?

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