Bergmann No. 2 / 1896

The No.2 was Bergmann’s first offering of a civilian pocket pistol, introduced in 1896 alongside the larger-framed No.3 and No.4 pistols. It was chambered for a truly anemic 5mm cartridge, using a simple blowback system simplified from the first Bergmann-Schmeisser design. It used a 5-round Mannlicher-style en bloc clip, and early examples did not actually have extractors. This was changed fairly quickly, however. The most notable factory option was a folding trigger, which was only available on the No.2.


  1. I notice there’s a new format.



    Thank you.

    Power-wise, the 5mm Bergmann is listed in the 6th Edition of Cartridges of the World as having a 34 or 37-grain FMJ at 600 F/S, for about 30 FPE. Power-wise, that’s about equivalent to the old .22 BB cap or CB cap, with 20 to 30-grain bullets leaving at around 770 F/S.

    It’s not much, but don’t forget that even a BB Cap slug will kill if it hits a vital spot. I just wouldn’t count on either one to get through a heavy coat or etc.

    In self-defense shooting, which is what the Bergmann pistol was intended for, I’d aim for the attacker’s eye.



    • “I’d aim for the attacker’s eye.”

      From a casual observation, it would appear that a very high percentage of one-shot kills by police-issue “non-lethal” weapons were from a direct hit in the eye.

      • Does this mean that even .22lr rat-shot to the eye at bad breath range will result in a most horrific demise?

        • A .22 LR high-speed into the eye socket will generally go right through the back of the bony socket and on into the brain, like most higher-powered rounds will. There’s a reason it’s called the “cranio-ocular” shot.



        • You can kill with a pointy stick, so yeah, don’t shoot somebody thinking it’ll just tickle. Now the question is, will it keep your victim from killing you back. If you’ve got a sharp pencil and your opponent has a lead pipe, maybe you’re at a disadvantage.

    • “In self-defense shooting, which is what the Bergmann pistol was intended for”
      Now, I’m not sure about that, I would say that it might be rather novelty item – like mechanical toy – considering available revolvers of that time. Something like later Kolibri automatic pistol and ERIKA automatic pistol – both impressive small, but of dubious value in self-defense use.

      • And, it should be that in Germany few years later, .25 automatic pistol becomes popular and manufactures starts “arms-race” to make smaller automatic pistols firing .25 Auto cartridge, see for example HELFRICHT automatic pistol (photos):
        data: caliber 6,35mm, length 110mm (barrel 50mm), capacity 6, mass 300 g, year of introduction 1921
        Also notice peculiar ejection port (2nd photo from top in link)

  2. The new Forgotten Weapons site looks very nice — assuming you recover from the shell-shock caused by the front page’s nuclear payload of bandwidth. 🙂

    My favorite was of course the original F.W. site. It could be said that I’m a big fan of “the ’90s” — the 1890s in gun design and the 1990s in website design. 😉

  3. Dear Mr. McCollum

    thanks for all the interesting videos
    Gaggenau is the hometown of Th. Bergmann, were he had his original Company (the Car Plant still is there). VCS stands Valentin Christian Schilling of Suhl, a company that did manufacturing for/under License of Bergmann. If you had a firearm to be made, it was obvious wich of the towns to choose ;).

    MfG. Warthog

    • In fact in some Deutsch text Suhl is dubbed Waffenstadt Suhl
      According to following manufacturers started in Suhl:
      J. P. Sauer & Sohn
      C. G. Haenel
      following started in Zella-Mehlis (near Suhl):
      Carl Walther GmbH
      Lothar Walther
      Röhm GmbH
      Hans Schmeisser

  4. On the gauge designation on the barrel:
    Many aristocratic states make for many aristocratic feet.
    (general metrication was in 1871…old habits)

  5. Nice work on the site update Ian (and friends). The ‘What I’m currently reading’ is an interesting inclusion, wondering about Very early April there. Thanks for showing the cases in the video too.

  6. The 5MM Bergmann was supposed to stop fights in an urban setting, not necessarily kill people. We are so overcome with stopping power today. In Europe back then people were walking around in suits with sword canes with a very strict caste system in place…the firearm of the urban gentleman was for threatening and chasing obnoxious people off, not for putting them in the ground. Although I will never be able afford to ever own one of these personally, it would be fun to at least have a 3d model. Are there any detail drawings/plans for the Bergmann No. 2?

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