BSW Prototype Gas-Operated Pistol (Video)

In 1936 or 1937, the BSW company (Berlin-Suhler Waffenwerk) produced a small number of prototype pistols for German Army trials. These trials were eventually won by the Walther P38, and for good reason in this case. The pistol BSW submitted was a gas-accellerated blowback design, with an aluminum frame, stamped slide, 13-round magazine (in 9×19), and double-action-only shrouded-hammer firing mechanism.

I had the opportunity to try shooting one of the 3 surviving examples of this pistol thanks to the generosity of a reader named Steve (thanks, Steve!). This is one of those cases where it seems that the trials board evaluating guns made the right conclusion – this pistol was finicky to disassemble, quite large, and had harsher than normal recoil because of its light weight, high bore axis, and blowback mechanism. Its 13-round magazine was a nice touch, but one of very few positive elements in the gun.


  1. What designer want achieve with slide serration near muzzle rather than opposite end?
    I am aware that Browning’s Colt M1902 automatic pistol also has serration like this, but in later models this was dropped in favor of serration on opposite end.

  2. I don´t know what´s the point of having an accelerator lever in this pistol. It seems that they were tinkering around with the action of this prototype. A true gas actuated locking lever is a more plausible concept, but perhaps it didn´t performed well enough actually. Who knows? A slide serration near the muzzle would make sense to tip down the lever with index and thumb and then rack the unlocked slide, IMHO.

    • I think that’s what you originally did, they angled the cut in the lever to engage the slide piece thus / towards the muzzle so the slide would catch it and pull it up towards the barrel- Locking it, then the gas would unlock it… However to chamber a cartridge initially you would need to actuate the lever manually, then they figured that was a hassle and essentially just had the slide snag on it to slow it down during blowback negating the need for the gas port, but they perhaps thought it would aid in terms of reliability however superfluous this maybe.

  3. What a confusing approach. Design seems very simple as the gas actuating lever delocking the slide and barrel engagement. But, what enables to retract the slide freely. There should be a motion factor just working when the gun in firing position. It may be a small gas piston under the chamber forcing the gas lever remaining in locked position and when the bullet leaves out, it should be needed a so called “Accelerator” to quicken the unlocking action.

    • hi Strongarm

      I am going thru your notes again and it seem to me that they are unrelated to each other (unless I do not reed ten right) as you react to other contributors. Also it looks that this may have been your first observation.

      My interpretation why this works while, as you correctly state because the port is at muzzle, is the fact that even after bullet is out, there is still residual pressure which lasts couple of milliseconds. This is apparently enough to get things going. Most likely, theories aside, this was developed by trial and error.

      • Hi, Denny,

        You are right. A working specimen of very different concept made me thought on various paths to find an optimum approach about how it would be possible with existing elements and l wrote somethings unreleated.

        According to my limited knowledge, this pistol is made with an intention of gas impingement unlocking and manually actuating the unlocking lever to retract the slide for initial loading the chamber. Horizontal serrations at lever’s front and slide serrations near the muzzle enabling simultaneous actuation of lever and slide also confirm this. There should be neither a static friction concept nor an inertial hesitation presented in the concept. As you know, Static Friction works best with different metal types and hardened steel, a must for heavy working contact surfaces, should be one of the worst. What German Designers had not counted per se, is the leverage lenght and mass of gas release arm which would swing downwardly at instant of discharge through inertia. By means, the very small contact surface of locking bar in front of muzzle section of slide, would slip off from the lever’s opposite and releases the slide before the time which designers computed. The pistoi Ian fired may have a broken teeth on the lever and the pistol can be manipulated easily by this cause. Accerelation might be thought for quicken the slide for getting use of residual gas pressure by cause of unlocking gas obtained very near the muzzle with a short barrel. But with this existing configuration of gun, it functions to open the barrel’s back earlier than expected. The mass of slide seems to manage to work in blowback system and high felt recoil should come from the fact of this working manner with no bumper element. In short. This sample gun is a defected one working in accerelated blowback operation and German Staffs chosen the P38 were quite right.


  4. German designers loved kinetic locking mechanisms, so that the gun would lock when the slide moves back fast, until the gas mechanism removes the locking catch. If moved slow the slide could move the lever out of the way for easy racking.
    Of course that required a precise interaction of angled pieces for the desired effect, and the prototype might just have lost that precise alignment(or someone in the last 80 years took a file and straightened out that edge to smooth the operation).

    • Brilliant finding. At instant of firing, the lever tends to keep its state against to the recoiling and muzzle rising gun as pressing the locking bar tightly against to its over angled upper cut, therefore, halting the slide backward travel, and when the slide manually retracted, the lock bar rides over the rear sloped mini lug without getting contact with upper sharp angled surface.

      • I think it just snags like you said the R51 does, and sort of agreed with, the gas thing is niether here nor there, I reckon it’s a remanent of the original design, that actually locked but you needed to manually operate the lever initially, a bit like that pistol we said could have a strong spring because it broke open, a manual thing…

    • Mu, I think you are right. A blowback-operated pistol in 9mm has no need for an accelerator, especially when it uses a lightweight aluminumm frame. I also believe that they wanted the lever withstand the sudden force during firing, and allow the shooter to retract the bolt without actuating the lever.

    • I believe that you are substantially correct. My quibble is with the fast/slow slide speed argument. I would substitute a high/low pressure argument. Because the rear of the slide bar makes contact with the gas lever lug above the gas lever pivot point, it can push the gas lever down only if there is low friction. Under high pressure from firing the friction is too great and the slide bar wants to force the gas lever up.

      Ian clearly demonstrates the accelerator function. IMHO the magazine probably needs a stiff spring to overcome the transition between double stack and single stack. With a full magazine stripping of rounds might benefit from a little extra slide speed.

      • I recall a locking system called the “Blish lock”. It was used on the Tommy gun until it was deemed superfluous, and uses a locking piece that mus t slide down a steep angle to release the bolt.

  5. I don’t understand the mechanism. Is a DE-accellerator not a more logical part than an accellerator as a means to dampen the force of the recoil?

  6. Unless I’m severely mistaken, an owner or observer of this firearm could probably determine the function of the gas lever by weighing the slide and the force of the action spring. From this point comparisons could be made with the same components of other existing 9×19 blowback firearms. Several rounds of the same brand and type of ammunition could be fired through each in order to observe differences in case deformation, for example. Taken together I think a pretty good idea could be reached of the likelihood of the BSW operating as a blowback or even accelerated blowback firearm.

    I’ve read that the slide on a Hi-Point C9 weighs a little more than a pound, at an overall similar weight I’m guessing the slide of a VP70 is right up there as well (and that’s with a stiff action spring). Presumably, if the weight of the slide and spring on the BSW are significantly less than either of the above mentioned known blowbacks, then the BSW should (from the looks of it) be operating successfully because it is using some sort of locking or delaying system. My guess is with Mu on this one.

    Ian, can you comment on your impression of the weight/resistance of these components? Or would an accelerator somehow overcome the pressure issue?

    • It’ll be thirty five years or so since I handled a VP70, and it was a huge thing, slide weight was definitely more into the SMG than in the pistol range.

      Incidentally, spring force does very little in terms of keeping the breech from opening, that is essentially down to the weight of the bolt or slide.

      Spring force does have a role in decelerating the bolt or slide after it has opened.

  7. As others here have stated, the system seems to be a gas-actuated delayed blowback relying on kinetic “adhesion” (the inability of metal surfaces to slide over each other instantly when subjected to sudden impulse force) to delay breech opening until pressures have dropped to a safe level in the chamber and barrel. In many respects, it parallels the action of the VG 1-5 carbine in objective, if not necessarily in operating pattern.

    The lever-piston arrangement seems to have been borrowed from John Browning’s 1897 pistol patent, and the Colt 1895 “Potato Digger” machine gun, also designed by Browning. Of course, these were true locked-breech weapons, as opposed to delayed-blowback types.

    The double-stack-to-single-feed magazine was typical of SMGs of the period, notably practically every German design up to MP38/40 and even the British Sten. And of course the P-35 High Power pistol. As for this one’s rather odd version, the Llama Omni 9mm automatic pistol of the 1970s used a very similar magazine design. IIRC, it wasn’t noted for reliable feeding.

    The double-action-only trigger system seems to be an analogue of that of the Czech Vz.38 service automatic in 9 x 17 SR (.380 ACP). It was noted for that same sort of long reset plus a notably heavy trigger pull. It’s worth noting that while the Wehrmacht took all the other Czech small-arms they could grab after the Annexation, the Vz.38 was foisted off on the local police in the occupied territories. The Wehrmacht (and SS) may have been fanatical, but they weren’t stupid.

    Ezell in Handguns of the World shows one of these pistols on p. 429 in the chapter on German handguns from 1894 to 1945. The left-side view shows the frame-mounted (1911-type) magazine catch, the frame-mounted (distinctly 1893 Borchardt-like) safety catch right behind it… and a very Walther P.38-like lever up on the left rear of the slide.

    Exactly what that lever is for is a pretty good question. I’m inclined to suspect a straight, single-purpose hammer drop to render the pistol safe after stripping and reassembly. It also might function as such to allow Condition Two carry without using the frame-mounted safety, but that seems superfluous on a DAO.

    In fact, I don’t see any real reason for it to be on the pistol. I couldn’t see if the one Ian was examining had such a slide-mounted lever. If it doesn’t, that could indicate that somebody else didn’t think it was needed, either. Or that it was added because someone else (like maybe the Heerswaffenamt) did think it ought to be there. Who knows?

    BTW, the one Ezell shows does not seem to have a serial number. Does this one?



    • Manual Safety on DAO is definitely superfluous; yet, when comes to military version, it appears over and over. Why is that?

      I applaud such solution as on SIG 320 where is omitted even usual passive trigger safety. Striker drop safety on partly pre-cocked gun is enough.

  8. This pistol reflecting the German genius , seems a sample of delayed blowback automatic. The gas actuated lever in front of the trigger guard, looks working as a pendula at instant of firing. It has a hook shaped cut in its front with a up and backward slope at the front and a small bevelled lug at the rear. Locking bar in front of muzzle section of slide, is located within this cut with its rear being in front of small bevelled lug and capable to ride over it with rather slow backward movement of slide which happens during manual traction. When the pistol is fired, instant muzzle rise gives lever a pendulum motion as contacting its up and backward sloped cut with the front of locking bar, and since its pitch being so acute for continuation of lever downward swing, its motion slows temporarily until gas pressure coming from the barrel gas port accelerates it. In short, big front slope works during firing and small bevelled lug works during manual traction.

  9. Are you guys sure the gas lever is there to “accelerate” the slide? If yes, from the (by the way excellent) explanation in the video I could not determine how that should work.

    My impression is that the flat stud near the front of the gas lever is intended to engage the crossbar near the front of the slide and -lock- the slide during the shot. When the bullet passes the hole in the barrel, the gas lever is blown downward, the stud on the gas lever gets out of contact with the crossbar in the slide, and the slide is blown backwards by the residual gas pressure.
    If my theory is right, there must have been an arrangement to pull down the gas lever before the slide could be manually retracted.

    Anyway, thanks a lot to all who make this video of an extremely rare pistol possible.

    • To me it seems plausible that it could be fully locked breech gun that unlocks as you describe. Whether it actually is, I am not totally convinced. The acceleration happens after the slide becomes unlocked. As the portion of the gas lever that makes contact withe barrel is driven downwards, the angled cam at its rear makes contact with the forward part of crossbar of the slide which drives it rearward. The portion of the gas lever I am talking about is the bit that appears triangular in profile at the very front, top of the lever.

  10. It seems to me that the “accelerating lever” could pose a problem when firing this pistol through a vehicle gun port, which I think at the time was considered a significant part of the pistol’s combat role. Might that have been a factor in this weapon’s rejection?

    • Probably. Although the reason for the P.38’s revolver-like barrel was that it would fit through a pistol port while a full-length slide might not. This problem was corrected on the PzkwIII and later tanks by making the ports big enough to accommodate the front sight assemble of the Erma MP38/40 SMG.

      That odd folding ‘bar’ under the barrel of the Erma SMG is actually a hook to keep the barrel from being pushed back through the port by recoil. 9mm slugs ricocheting off the inside walls of the turret are not a comfortable thing to have in your tank with you.

      Several Soviet handgun prototypes of the same period also have “revolver-like” barrels for the same reason. The 1939 Korovin, Voyevodin, and Tokarev prototypes all were to a proposal specifying the ability to be fired through a pistol port just like the 1895 Nagant revolver could be. Operation Barbarossa abruptly ended the project.



      • Can anyone think of a way to improve this design? I would suspect that it would fare badly in mud. If I could alter the design, I’d exchange the gas lever for a rotating locking piece close to the trigger guard such that there would be no chance for dust or dirt to foul up the works near the muzzle. Or do I have it backwards?

          • I see it as a sort of Volkspistol idea, and reckon it was originally conceived as locking mechanism which you had to manually disengage to rack the slide- But by the time they really needed Volkspistols, they’d moved on to using gas itself to retard the action, rather than it actuating a lever.

          • If you went with a manually operated lock, as alluded to elsewhere on this thread, you could construct a Vp using the Walther manufacturing method but using less metal for the slide, presumably the lever could be made structurally sound with less material than say an extra layer of weight for the slide, manually operating the lever wouldn’t matter for a Vp.

        • You might be able to make a pistol with a very low bore axis using this method “I’m saying the hypothetical locking method with the cut in the lever to engage the slide being shaped thus / towards the muzzle” if you attached the lever to the trigger guard. Imagine if the barrel protruded forward of the slide for the port, and you went for a sort of Steyr m40 ergonomic layout the barrel with the spring around it could run almost above the trigger. It would perhaps look odd, with limited practicality, and you would need to manually drop the lever to chamber a round but I bet it would be an accurate target pistol with the rear sight almost on top of your hand.

          • One of those “Race guns” in .38 Super, fixed barrel, lowest possible bore axis… You could put most of the slides mass on it’s sides, what’s not to like.

          • Locks open on an empty, closes automatically on reloading, save having to rack the slide and thus depress the lever again.

        • Also one example of Voyevodin automatic pistol was given as a gift for Stalin:

          (second photo from bottom), text on pistol:
          For Narkom of Defense of USSR
          comrade Stalin,
          [i can’t read this part] 1942.

          text on grip:

          (Narkom is abbreviation for народный комиссар mean People’s Comissar, equivalent of American Secretary)
          (IOZ is abbreviation for Ижевский оружейный завод i.e. Izhevsk plant, manufacturer of this firearm)

          • Reading in PV description:
            “Автоматика его работы была основана на принципе короткого хода ствола со ствольной коробкой.”

            …sounds understandable, but what was the actual lock-up? Tilting link, rotary bolt? It looks not bad and not that heavy either. Kind of Lahti-sh. It looks really beefy though.

  11. The gas actuated lever in front of the trigger guard is forced up to lockat the first recoil impulse just like the cocking lever on a Spanish JO. LO. AR Pistol. then unlocked like a Colt Potato digger. Is that it?

  12. This is weirdest of pistols I have seen yet. After seeing this none of what I thought of can stand term “unique”. :-))))

  13. BTW, the alleged competitor, being Walther P38, as much as it revealed a completely new way of pistol design, had also its share of snags. Most notable, of course as with its successor Beretta 92, the frame strength issue due to lock lever cuts. But, they solved it after all; as Germans usually do.

  14. Interesting design, the term “accelerator” I took to mean, it’s function was like that of the Pedersen pistols cartridge moving back- To start the rearward movement of the slide. But with the slide being able to move with the lever up, I thought well it would blowback anyway. You could imagine the lever as a lock, if the slide couldn’t move when said lever was up, but you’d need to drop the lever to chamber the first round. Hmmm, that Pedersen lark slows the slides rearward movement after initiating it’s movement as is my understanding. So given this lever can move downwards freely under light spring pressure, perhaps it is there to snag on the slide to slow it’s rearward momentum down. Thats why you can cock it without lowering the lever, the shaped surfaces on the slides bar thing that engages the levers lug enables it to snag momentarily providing more delay than via blowback in order the slide doesn’t need to be as heavy.

    Anyway it’s another method of locking/delaying afixed barrel pistol, oh… If you hold a pen between two fingers and tip one end down, the other end tips up, perhaps that end jams into the frame under the recoil spring in a manner which allows the slide to pass it in that position. Sort of a toggle, straight- Locked, tilted- Broken, so unlocked.

    • So the delay, the snag if you will, isn’t merely the resistance of the levers spring being overcome, it’s the tilty’ness of the bar out of the frame type thing.

      • If that’s the case then, the gas operation is redundant really. I mean, the lever would drop anyway. Odd design, I wonder if they tried to make a locking version originally somehow i.e. That was operated by gas, trying to figure out how you might do it while keeping to the same sort of configuration of a fixed barrel. Some sort of spring loaded sleeve, around the slide, that covered the end of the lever, gas exits the port pushing it foward therefore off the end of the lever allowing it to drop. Er… Locked because the slide sits in the levers lug, the lever being attached to the frame, and the lever can’t drop free of the slide at that point. On the return, hmmm… No that wouldn’t work, how would the sleeve slot over the lever again… Tap, tap, tappity tap… The sleeve is around the barrel which would protrude from beneath the slide by say an inch, no same problem, rotating sleeve- Cut for the lever, rotates around it “monkey tennis”

        • I mean, even as an “accelerator” it’s defunct, wouldn’t it just blowback in the current configuration i.e. The shape of the levers lug, and corresponding rounded lever engagement bar thing in the slide.

      • I think originally they shaped the cut out in the lever and corresponding slide piece to act as more of a lock with the lever having a stronger spring, and you had to depress the lever manually to rack the slide hence the gas port to drop the lever in this “locked” configuration to automatically drop the lever. But they dropped that idea, when they thought it would operatate as a blowback but with the snagging action acting to slow the slide down rather than using a heavier slide.

        • If you angled it, in the manner the author suggested / that way towards the muzzle, the rearward movement of the slide would pull the lever up towards the barrel not away from it therefore locking it… Maybe it worked, but having to depress the lever to rack the slide was deemed a tad bothersome, somewhat crude like.

  15. It’s a slide decelerator, during blowback operation. Originally it was a lock, you manually operated initially, that’s my 2 pence.

  16. I’ve always thought a .22lr Spencer might have a niche, said niche being- Before getting your children a lever action Henry, bit slower possibly safer as a consequence, given one has to cock the hammer manually, in regards the adverts, It’s hardly a bb gun.

  17. In considering the shape of the gas lever lug, or catch, it should be shaped as it is. If it were sloped forward and not rearward as it is, the slide would have to move forward for the lug to clear the slide crossbar as the gas lever is driven downwards. This is easier to see, if you imagine a greatly exaggerated forward slope, maybe an inch or so. There is no way the lever would clear the slide without a similar inch or so movement of the slide forward. Trying to move the slide forward while it is recoiling just wont work. Similarly for a vertical catch. Because the top of the catch is located above the pivot point, it must move forward as the gas lever is lowered, at least until it reaches the same height. The correct shape to not force the slide forward is an arc with the pivot point at its center and a radius determined by the distance between the pivot and the forward base of the catch. Even if the front face of the catch leans backwards, but not this much the slide must move forward to clear as it unlocks. The slide crossbar is machined to match, otherwise it would act as a cutting tool as its edge makes contact with the catch as the lever turns. Basically what I am trying to say is that as the gas lever unlocks from the slide, it should not force the slide forward.

    As a side note, the gas port on the barrel looks similar to an upside down compensator. It has to add to muzzle flip.

    • “In considering the shape of the gas lever lug, or catch, it should be shaped as it is. If it were sloped forward and not rearward as it is, the slide would have to move forward for the lug to clear the slide crossbar as the gas lever is driven downwards” I thought of that myself bp an hour or so ago, what if the lever went upwards a bit… It doesn’t look like it does, because the end seems flush with the port “actually that wouldn’t help” Hmmm, if the lever was sloped forward and say therefore this would cause said clearance issue you allude to, what about it was straight would it drop clear or still cause a possible forward movement of the slide. Mind you, what if there was some forward give in the slide it wouldn’t need to be that much for the lever to snap clear perhaps. I am not saying there is mind, I don’t think the gas thing does anything though currently I don’t understand the design, I can see the levers current shape allowing the slide to snag on it therefore decelerating the slide a bit while permitting free movement. But given you can rack the slide, what does the gas do it would blowback anyway.

      • I think you’ve answered some of my additional points actually in your last reply, well I still don’t get what the gas does.

        • It seems like a delayed blowback (locked?) with a bit too much delay. The gas operation makes sure it opens with some residual pressure left, and the accelerator tries to assure positive cycling.

          • Possibly… I reckon the design was supposed to lock though originally still, personally.

            When the lever is manually dropped, I can’t actually tell what moves the slide… That buffer thing seems to lift up a bit but I don’t see how it moves the slide back about a centimetre currently, also the spring around the barrel must stop against something other than the front of the slide because of the gas lever thing, must be above and behind the ledge that engages said lever, maybe it’s a rectangular box that stops the spring also.

          • The slide racks though normally, after catching the lever and pushing it down so that’s what would happen during blowback…

          • There isn’t a front of the slide he he, the ledge thing is part of a sort of box which the spring stops against presumably… The buffer seems to lift a bit when the lever moves, maybe it moves up and back compressing the spring so if the spring sticks to the said box thing that pulls the slide back.

    • Maybe the shape of the slides ledge thing which engages the levers notch means it wouldn’t push it forward, if said shape was of a corresponding angle.

      • If it was a round bar in the slide, and a U shaped notch on the lever would that fall away in a manner that allowed it to clear… I can see this forward movement thing, tut… Tap, tap, tappity tap. Say the slide has moved back a bit in order to engage the ledge of a shape which could act as a lock, there would be forward play in the slide then i.e. Back to it’s original position, now obviously the main force is coming back so pushing it forward doesn’t seem right, but that blast of gas might do it, the gas is high pressure it has to leave maybe it stops and even reverses the rearward movement of the slide momentarily.

          • The front serations in the slide, could indicate they envisioned you racking it from the front… Why would you do that “I know you can, but there’s usually two sets of serations” one set sort of suggests do it there, which would make sense if you had to depress the lever initially to rack the slide.

          • Here’s something else, when you tip the lever now manually it pushes the slide back hence the use of the term accelerator, but a blowback wouldn’t need one which this essentially is in it’s current configuration. But if it was locked, a long time comparatively i.e The port is right at the end of the barrel almost maybe the slide would appreciate a shove after the lever has depressed enough to unlock because this itself would take time in relation to the lever snapping free aforesaid “if that’s what happens”

          • It’s interesting anyway, now why did they drop the “hypothetical locking method” because of the manual lever part, or reliability, perhaps both.

            I Kind of think this system could enable a locked pistol to be made with a really low bore access and it’s a fixed barrel, so I hope it was hypothetically just the lever being a hassle.

          • Clues show that, this pistol was built with an option that the lock lever would stand still like a rock during firing and would be depressd manually to clear the backward path of slide for manual tracking. But the mass and long leverage of this part did not let its intended mission and, during experiments, since the locking lever could hold the slide bar wıth a very narrow contact face through inertial downward swing, the upper line of locking face sheared off as converting the pistol to a freely slide manuplating version without need of manually depressing the lock lever for manual traction of slide. Ther were not automaticaly changing lever holds during manual and in firing slide backward motion. Just an unexpected and uncomputed happening. Aftermath, the pistol’s nature was highly strong that managed to survive its life in accerelated kind of simple blowback action. IMHO.

          • Is the buffer moving up against the spring when the lever drops, sort like a break pad…

            I can’t tell what else could move the slide other than the buffer thing, the block above the lever towards the chamber which seems to move up when Ian pulls the lever down.

            Like a break on a bicycle almost.

          • It’s what you said isn’t it, metalic resistance sort of- A brake. Wouldn’t a lock via the surface on the lever being shaped thus / be feasible then, sheer stress or something… Couldn’t it overcome the rearward movement with a forward one, no?

  18. Strongarm, I find this gun fascinating. My interpretation of how it works is incomplete, and may be entirely wrong. You always make good points that are worth considering. Prototypes frequently change as the designers gain a more detailed understanding of their guns actual working, as opposed to how they thought it should work. 9mm blowback pistols have mostly been a desirable goal, but usually turn out heavy to keep from opening too soon. My question is why a blowback with an accelerator? Just my 2 cents. I should probably write IMHO after all of my posts because I just comment on what I think I see.

    • The buffer moving against the spring, is a brake. When the lever drops, the buffer lifts, maybe it hits the spring and slows down compression… I say this because other than the buffer thing moving up and contacting the spring how could it move the slide.

        • Because the snagging of the slide on the lever wouldn’t be that much of a break on it’s own actually, I did think that given the levers relatively weak spring.

    • Thanks bp, l think, accelareting in simple blowback is meaningless. In BSW pistol, it seems as happened unintentionally after lever lock lug shorn off. As known, dwell time in blowback and recoil actions begin earlier before gas operated actions. Since this pistol initialy was thought as gas actuating lock release and the barrel was relatively short for keeping enough residual gas for healty cycling and the gas port was very near to muzzle, accelareting might be thought to close that gap. But when the gas locking turned to simple blowback after locking teeth shorn off and by cause of the natural dwell time priority of later, the accelareting effect began to work with simple blowback resulting to open the action much earlier than initialy thought and built. This pistol, with current configurations, is a real confuser for serious firearm researchers. Again, IMHO.

  19. The lever under the serrations on the slide at the front, has serrations on it and it’s paddle shaped to match the width of the slide… At one point, they tried a lock via manually dropping the lever £1* on it.

    *= Valid for no more than one bet.

    • The braking idea is quite good if it was a Volks pistole, less slide weight, possibly less complicated to make than a p38 locked gun.

      • Early idea for one, if you will, developed out of trying to make a lock, which wasn’t the best lock… But may have worked, and may still in a different configuration.

        • If it doesn’t work as a lock though “reliably” the gas delay is better Steyr gb thing with hindsight, but it was quite good at the time, a brake- Delay.

  20. I just think the difference in friction between the slide crossbar and the catch has to vary a lot between manually operating the slide and under full recoil. Sort of like the difference between grabbing something with your fingers or a vice. When Ian retracts the slide it goes well, not greased glass, but well. Watching frame by frame, it goes fairly smoothly, but as the lever is forced down it jumps around and blurs which shows the resistance/friction in moving the lever down. When squeezed under recoil it has to be much harder to do. IMHO.

    • What moves the slide then, when he pulls the lever… I didn’t know what imho meant, but in imho… It’s the buffer acting upon the spring, up-back, the spring must stick to the slide via it lodging in the 3/4 box thing the underside of which engages the lever.

      • In my humble opinion, when the lever is pulled down, the cam on its forward part makes contact with the top forward edge of the slide crossbar. The cam forces the slide rearwards in order for the lever to continue down. This happens after the catch is forced down out of contact with the slide crossbar.

          • Ah, the front \ shaped surface on the lever pushing the slide back is keeping the part of the slide that contacts the rear \ shaped suface of lever in contact with it… Simultaneously, the shapes work together- The slide isn’t just riding over the rear \ part against spring resistance it’s trapped by the front \ for the time taken to ride over it. Er, the lever can’t ride over it until the part of the slide which engages the lever has reached the top of the rear \ because the front \ is longer if you will while both shapes are going that way V i.e down.

            Think I know what I mean, he he.

          • The part of the slide which engages the lever must fit between both \ \ shapes exactly, but the front \ is higher, so when both shapes are going downwards the rear is held in the front of the slides bit, \_ by the front \ therefore the lever isn’t just being prevented from lowering by the resistance of it’s spring.

          • That’s why you can rack the slide, it functions just like in firing, the delay is the time it takes for the slides lever engagement piece to free itself from said shaped surface.

            A mechanical lock in essence, I think.

          • Hmmm, aye… The slide moves back and soon as it does the lever is moving, until the slide engagement piece breaks free via the above i.e The slides lever engagement piece traveling between the two shapes until the slide has moved back and the lever simultaneously down to the point were the slides lever engagement piece has reached the top of the levers rear \ shape thus freeing said piece from the rearwards and downwards motion, the gas forces this to happen as the lever is straight, replicating you pulling the slide i.e Starting the motion.

          • Probably a design vulnerable to frost, hence making it easier to drop the lever manually incase it sticks when you try and rack the slide.

          • The accelerating is an unintended consequence, of this design well certainly undesirable even with a buffer. But I reckon it is locked, until gas moves the lever simultaneously moving the slide, even if you can rack the slide because you can move the slide by tilting the lever. Instead of the barrel moving back and tilting, the slide moves back and the lever tilts. The barrel tilting releases the slide, but on this the lever does, the piece in the slide is the locking piece and the shaped surfaces in the lever are the cut outs in the slide that ususlly the barrels locking piece would fit into on say a 1911.

          • Although I did read that, that Finnish luger type lookalike m40 is it wanted an “accelerator” as a de-icer, if you will.

          • Tap, tap, tappity, tap… Mind you, I think I hit on something there in regards the shapes, the shapes working together to create the amount of travel and travel equals time, and time can be thought of as a delay so a lock in away I mean gun locks aren’t door locks are they- Gun locks, lock and open. More surface area also for that adhesive metal thing to transpire, the shape thing I was on about. I should probably try and compose what I am going to say more then post it, but I don’t know what I am going to say until I do he he.

          • Did P38’s etc have a problem with freezing, I mean Russian winters are famously cold… Maybe the paddle lever thing is an ice breaker, leverage like if you can’t rack it… And the accelerator is again something to do with sub zero temperatures, would Aluminum and steel be less frost resistant or more than steel on steel.

        • The lever drops lower when firing than Ian pulled it when stripping it I think… The lever is straight, perhaps the slide does just snag enough then on the levers cut out even though the lever can move and then the slide needs a shove by the shape of the other part of the lever towards the port, a metalic adhesion kind of snag making it more sticky than you’d think “well than I would think” to slow the slide down, right down presumably then give it a jolt.

    • And to me, it indicates it’s the shapes as alluded to above. The primary function caused by said shapes isn’t to accelerate the slide, but to keep the slides engagement piece stuck between them until the lever drops enough freeing said piece as aforementioned. If the forward surface on the lever was straight, the only resistance to blowback would be the angled slide piece hitting the so angled \ piece on the slide and thus dropping the lever via overcoming the resistance of it’s spring. Instead the slides rearward movement is retarded for the time it takes to lower the lever to the point were the piece is freed, and that given the not particularly substantial slide must make the difference between it and a blowback only pistol in terms of delaying the slide long enough for the bullet to exit safely.

      • If the lever was 12″ high for example, the movement of the slide and lever would keep them together all the way to the end of the slides rearward travel and then they’d return together due to the shapes \ \ with the slides piece in the middle. On the actual gun, this motion is replicated for a small amount of rearward slide travel, due to the rear \ being smaller than the front \ meaning the slide is effectively stuck to the lever, the delay is the time taken in dropping the lever which presumably is equivalent to the barrel of a 9mm Browning hi power for example moving back a bit until it tips inmho.

        • I’m 98% certain now after “awhile” and I’ll tell you why, the gas blows the lever out of the way, to stop it from returning prematurely under spring pressure, the action happens via blowback prior- The slide moves before gas hits the lever, that’s the delay, the gas is timing for the return.

          • If the port was blocked it would work like racking it, but, would it, the lever is straight, now the surface that makes the slide go back when you pull it down might actually not let go of the slides piece properly without the gas during firing metalic adhesion or something.

          • Spring pressure would be pushing the lever up, perhaps it may snag to much without the gas in otherwords the force required to cycle it would be lost, they are probably quite precise timings etc. If the front surface \ didn’t move past the point allowing the slide piece to pass the rear \ see… It wouldn’t work- Momentum would be lost, as the bullet would have hit the target.

          • You’d think it would, as you can rack it, but maybe not… And that’s 99% which is that, out he he.

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