This is a unique and interesting German proofed .22 rimfire target pistol. It uses a simple blowback slide, which locks open after each shot. It is striker fired, with a 12-inch barrel and a quite nice trigger. The top of the receiver is marked “Alk” in a fancy script engraving, and also has a partially legible line that was probably the location of manufacture (only “BURG” is legible now). I don’t know anything about the history of the gun, but it strikes me as probably a one-off creation by a mechanically inclined target shooting enthusiast.
Q&A Video, November 2015
November 6, 2015 Ian McCollum Needlefire, Paper cartridge, Percussion, Revolver, Semiauto pistol, Video 17
I believe that action would be considered “Half Automatic”.
Being a rimfire, I understand why you didn’t dry fire it, but If you put an empty case in it or a snap cap, I would like to know if the trigger is as good as I imagine. With that much quality work, I can’t imagine the gunsmith that produced it would be satisfied with a poor quality trigger.
Keep up the good work.
Looks like it might be a gunsmith project that was made from some left over parts of another firearm. The front sight appears to be a commercial part and the serial numbers could be from a donor gun. It could also be a ‘meisterstueck’ piece that trainees make to show that they have learned the trade of gunsmithing.
it is a so named .22 lfr Scheibenpistole Made for precision singleshotfire. manufactured around 1910 till 1925. Built by the manufactury “BURG” … The trigger ist a precision hunting type you find especially on german hunting rifles, or german military sniper rifles from the 1780s on…
It is quite likely, that ALK stands for:
August Lüneburg, Kiel.
He was a Gunmaker, active from the 1910s to the 1960s.
I think that the guys over on YouTube who’re accrediting this to ALK, or August Luneburg of Kiel as a source are on to something. My guess is that this represents a really low-numbers production item for someone who did subcontract work for them.
The art-deco logo ALK on the piece is probably something that could be located on a registry somewhere in Germany, likely from during the interwar years.
There used to be a deal in Germany where they’d have shooting ranges in beer gardens; they called the single-shot .22 pistols ‘pub’ or ‘Beer Hall’ pistols, and I think this was likely something made up for that market. Most of the ones I’ve seen before have all been single-shot Martini-style actions with similar grips, barrels, and sights to this one, so maybe this is a more modern interpretation for that purpose?
Just guessing. I’m sure that there’s an expert out there who can tell us more.
According to a comment on the YT video, ALK stands for ‘August Lunenburg, Kiel’. This pistol is said to have been quite popular in the pistol stage of modern pentathlon pre-WWII.
When searching on the web, ALK seems to have been both a gunsmith and a military outfitter, specially for naval officers. You will find parlor pistols, drillings, edged weapons with this mark.
Kirk has already explained the basic facts.
The former gunshop of August Lüneburg in Dänische Strasse of Kiel still exists and today is a very nice restaurant (at least when I last visited Kiel a number of years ago). One could easily walk to it from the railway station.
The gun mechanism was also used in an ALK .22 rimfire semiautomatic rifle.
the screw under the trigger, with two slots(not Phillips head pattern) suggests adjustable pull weight for optimum accuracy. The Germans built a wide variety of parlor and indoor range guns and may have had specific loads for different shooting competitions.
Ian, see Arms of the World: 1911 ALFA Catalog (reprint 1972). I used to have a copy, years ago. I remember the Alk target pistol being it. Unfortunately, I don’t still have the book to find the page.
Splendid design. Looks like a fun shooter.
I could see a potential market in handguns and rifles for this same quick-firing single shot action. But only at the low budget entry level, and at the high price high quality ends of the market.
“(…)potential market in(…)rifles for this same quick-firing single shot action(…)”
Apparently Winchester tried to do so in 1950s which resulted in Model 55
but it was not success, as production lasted just few years.
The Winchester Model 55 is a much cruder action. An open-bolt firing single-shot rifle. I’m not surprised at its lack of commercial success.
ALK was a gunmaker in Kiel Germany founded by August Luneburg in 1891. The company made target pistols and the Rhode small bore rifle, the first German semi/ automatic 22 rim fire rifle. The firm is still in business at Danische Strasse 22, Kiel. Your pistol has the first and second proofs used prior to the late 1930’s so was probably made in the ‘20s or 30s. There is a three volume series Alte Scheibenwaffen detailing the very popular single shot competitions in Germany from the 1890s to WWll. The long rifles were beautifully made and engraved and you should explore some of them on Forgotten Weapons.
I have one of these in the form of a rifle. The gun is marked as being manufactured by Waffenwerke Kiel. God help me if I ever lose the magazine.