Dreyse 1907 Slow Motion Video

The 1907 Dreyse is an early automatic pistol whose design is attributed to Louis Schmeisser. It saw fairly extensive use by the German military during World War I, and was also used by various German police organizations into the early 1930s. Overall, nearly a quarter million were manufactured.

It is a simple blowback action chambered for .32 ACP (7.65mm Browning), and not particularly comfortable. It has an awkward grip angle, awkwardly-short distance from grip to trigger, and top-heavy balance.


  1. I like this kind of video a lot. It had been in past one of tools I used and it is definitely helpful in understanding of what is going on.

    Relating to that, and I do not want to sound picky, some better lighting/ focus conditions would help as this was mentioned by someone before already. If I may, I’d suggest a light background (like Bristol cardboard sheet) right behind observed object.

    Thanks for presentation!

  2. Apart from different look. this pistol has several unusual features;

    -for an unknown cause, the recoil plate of breechbolt was made seperate and located in its place with a rotating movement as secured and aligned at there by the extractor of being a simple leaf spring.

    -Firing is made by a striker which cocks during forward travel of brechbolt against to the recoil spring similar to the current striker firers.

    -The upper part of pistol containing, barrel, recoil spring and breechbolt contents is hinged and breaks up pushing a latch sidewards at rear of receiver for take down. To prevent accidental discharges, this latch has an upward lug working in connection with cocked striker.

    -Initial production had an escaping kind of disconnecting mechanism getting use of the front bottom of the sear to kick off the trigger bar upward, since trigger and sear enagements are obtained through an upward movement as opposite of usual downward of most of the other examples. After a few thousands of samples, a separate disconnector
    was added pushing the trigger bar upward being in connection with working breechbolt.

    -There were several variations and later ones had strikers reaching to full cocked position through trigger action similar to the some of current striker firers.

    -By cause of breechbolt location, gripping serrations are cut at the front and this may be first in that field.

    -Pistol works in simple blowback system. The company made a 9mm Parabellum version a few years later, working in the same manner with a very powerfull return spring engaging with the breechbolt via a hinged top plate, only on its down position. This is for the user to retract the slide for loading or unloading the chamber with a minimum of force free from very powerfull return spring. The concept prooved itself unreliable and deleted after a very short run of production. However the same approach was used later,by Smith and Wesson in 1918 to survive the .35″ pistols in ,32″ACP to support the very light breechbolts against to the recoil of that round, but this too failed.

      • Nearly best text written about that pistol in the net. But author seems made a mistake in descpibing manual retraction of slide since there should be no striker spring resistance during backward travel of slide. It should occur when the slide being on forward, going to “on battery” situation.

  3. Thanks for this. My Dad left me one of these, complete with a 1915 dated holster & spare magazine. I’m 65 now and this was my first pistol. Of course, I still have it and will be passed down inside the family.


  4. One of my favorite “Ugly Guns”. It and the Browning/FN 1900 have to rank near the top for ugly. Second only to Japanese Type 94 probably.

  5. I love mine! It shoots well, and very accurate. probably my most talked about gun, along with my P-38 with Nazi markings.

  6. How are these to shoot? Safe? Have read a few things about them becoming unhinged while firing. Any truth to this? Are they reliable, good shooters or tend to have issues? I enjoy ww1 history and very tempted to get one. Thank you.

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