Knoch Needlefire Pistol

This is a handmade, single shot needle fire pistol (zündnadelpistole) made by a German gunsmith named A. Knoch in Munich in 1850. I have been unable to find any documentation about the man, but the gun is an interested example of the needle fire system that existed as one of the intermediate technologies between the percussion cap and the self-contained metallic cartridge. This example is in unfortunately rough condition, but on disassembly we can see how everything was supposed to work.


  1. “K.B. PRIVILEGIERT” most probabaly stands for Königreich Bayern P…, that is privilege granted by the Kingdom of Bavaria. Meaning a patent granted for the design. The date is thus most probably not the date of manufacture, but the date of the patent.

    Interesting and well made pistol it looks like. Makes me wonder if the design could have been adapted to use a hammer and cap to ignite the paper cartridge instead of the pinfire needle breaking every few shots taken?

  2. I think this period with needlefire pinfire capping breech loaders and even Paulies cartrige ignited by compressed air to be one of the most interesting periods in EUROPEAN firearms development
    Trust the americans to stick with and perfect the rimfiire and centrefire cartriges or did they just learn from french and german mistakes

  3. Not one of, and not only european(btw XIX USofA was probably more european than Europe itself).
    IMHO it is most interesting period(ex equo with forties to sixties of XX century).

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. SayUncle » Gun Porn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.