The Lercker machine pistol was developed by an Italian gunsmith named (predictably) Lercker. He worked for Beretta, but also had his own shop, where he designed this pistol.

Lercker machine pistol
Lercker machine pistol (click to enlarge)

What makes this design unusual is that it’s chambered for the .25ACP cartridge, and the gun fires from an open bolt. This is rather inconvenient for a handgun, as it means the bolt/slide must be locked open before a shot can be fired, and that’s definitely not a good way to carry a sidearm. There is no hammer or striker; the bolt has a fixed firing pin and the sear is clearly located up in front of the trigger:

Lercker machine pistol frame
Lercker machine pistol frame – note the sear up front, and the safe-semi-full selector lever on the left side of the frame above the trigger guard

Of course, the utility of a .25ACP machine pistol with a 20-round magazine and 1200rpm rate of fire is also pretty questionable. The Lercker doesn’t even make a nod at utility with a shoulder stock.

The date of manufacture of these pistols is unclear; Ian V. Hogg writes that they were made in the 1950s, while the Arms Museum in Terni (Italy) that has this one on display says it was made in the 1960s. The number made is also subject to some dispute, between 150 and 500 in total before they were all seized by the Italian police. Roberto Allara was able to examine one in Terni, and sent us the photos you see here. We have the rest of his excellent pictures in the gallery below, showing disassembly of the piece.


In addition, the Beretta Museum has two prototype Lerckers in their reserve collection:

You can download a zip file of all of these photos here.


  1. The open bolt blowback thing is a bit of a hindrance, but if you want to really ruin someone’s day up close, this little beastie looks like she’ll do it. Perhaps a “Micro PDW” prototype? Or an ultimate assassin weapon. Neat looking gun!

      • 25ACP generally has about the same penetration as 22lr, depending on the load. 25ACP fmj sprayed across your torso will kill the shit out of you.

  2. That is a fully automatic Hi-cap pocket pistol. Why can’t they make a 22 pocket pistol that holds 20 rounds in the mag? Seems like it would be easier because the diameter is much less than 25… Ahh…. But you can’t double stack 22 can you. 🙂

    This is a brilliant design and a weapon so dangerous it made the Italian government ban a small caliber pocket pistol. Think about it… Double stack 25 acp…. If anybody made a another 25 cal that could hold more than 20 rounds and functions reliably, you better believe i’ll be carrying that.

    • Sounds like the Kel-Tec PMR30 would be the right sidearm for you. It’s a semi-auto handgun, calibre .22 magnum with a factory 30(!) round magazine and from what I’ve heard it’s as reliable as a rimfire gets. Plus it shows that you actually can double stack rimfire rounds in a handgun magazine.

  3. funky weapon! a fairly concealable machine pistol.yes 25s will make them mad but im betting this one would termite you to death kind of like a vz61 scorpion.

    in a free society we could arm the ladys with this and be sweeping rapist parts off the street a week before they got the message.

  4. Hi tim there is a .22 magnum pistol that holds 30 rounds per magazine. This is being advertised just now as a light weight option as the losded gun and a spare loaded magazine weighs the same as a loaded 30 round AR magazine. So how dose 60 rounds in a light weight option sound

  5. now, it had a shoulder stock, barrel extension option, and 1-200 round beta mag, it may be a bit more practical. as for a 20 round mag at 1200 rpm, then you may wanna carry about 20, as each mag is effectively one shot.

  6. Think Doc Savage had a “Horn gripped .25” machine pistol, could that have been an inspiration? Single shots probably worthless but an emergency full auto mag dump would stop an attacker. “Course then you do an open bolt reload… I think for military pilots this could be a “Bail Out Gun”. Interesting design.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Worlds first pocket machine pistol
  2. Lercker machine-pistol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.