Mauser “Zigzag” Revolver Patent Model and its Unique Cartridge

The Mauser brothers’ first handgun was the single shot C77, which they quickly followed with the C78 “zig zag” revolver, so named for the cam grooves on the circumference of its cylinder. What we are looking at today is the patent model submitted for the brothers’ patent on the hinged-frame version of the revolver. It has a number of variations from the later production model. Most significantly, it is chambered for the original Mauser revolver cartridge, which was a scaled-down version of the 11mm Mauser rifle round – bottleneck and all. After the German military expressed a preference for a straight-wall cartridge Mauser changed the design, and only a very few revolvers were made for that first round. We also have an example of the cartridge itself to show you, which is as rare as the revolver.

Thanks to the Liege Arms Museum for access to film this for you! If you are in Belgium, definitely plan to stop into the museum, part of the Grand Curtius. They have a very good selection of interesting and unusual arms on display. Further thanks to the Paul Mauser Archive for helping to arrange this filming! The Archive is a wealth of information for researchers, and make sure to check out the recent book on Mauser coauthored by Mauro Baudino and Gerben van Vlimmeren:



  1. I no longer receive the daily email with a link to your (or ANY of my subscribed channels) videos.
    Have you seen your number of views drop? THIS is why….
    YOU guys need to complain to youtube!
    They don’t give a shit about US.
    I don’t use a phone to watch youtube. And, I don’t want my phone going of all day long getting ‘push’ notifications.

  2. Glad to see the zig-zag’s function demonstrated in the older video. Does the Webley-Fosbery use groove depth the same way?

    I can’t help thinking that ‘finger burner’ would have been the nickname if the gun had been adopted.

    • Assuming the intended user wore gloves, the danger of instantly burning his hands would have been greatly reduced. I could be wrong, but cavalry generally don’t ride bare-handed.

  3. I’m like “meh” when any other historian gloves up.

    However, when I see Ian in gloves, I know before he says a single word that he has something special.

  4. I like the design…drop all six empties in one stroke (Webley ejects them upwards) and the ringed latch foropening thegun…
    SHADES OF c96 Large ring Hammer???
    As others have said, When Ian gets his cotton gloves on , we are in for something special.
    Doc AV

  5. This is definitely an extremely interesting plot.
    For millions of owners of the patent model Mauser Zig-Zag. Those who want to make sure that they have the original, and not one of the billions of forgeries released worldwide.
    But, perhaps, it would be nice to show, if not the guts, then at least how the extractor works?.. 😉

  6. Random shots

    1. “11” mm vs 10.55 mm, imperial and Post-Imperial Germany normally gave artillery calibers in cm and small arms in mm, both rounded from actual to nominal caliber. Thus “8mm Mauser” is actually 7.92mm and all 15 cm weapons were actually 14.94 cm. Post WW2, Germany got with the program and adopted the NATO standard (Yes, there’s a STANG on nomenclature)

    2. As an old soldier, knowing the abuse military equipment is subject to, I have to admit I shudder when I see a break open revolver, my mind screaming “Weak Point!” Maybe swing out is equally weak, and nobody is gonna pound somebody’s skull with a pistol in cavalry combat, but I am reassured by the solid frame

    3. The Army bought about as simple a revolver as possible. Thinks I, Over engineered…In a German weapon…Surely you jest!

    • K is probably C in German, when ranky. And that G35 was kinda ranky, albeit it was fair early… In terms of design… “Not genius, type of thing” eh, really.

        • Now I suppose if you had a billion pound supercomputer and you typed in everything from here, in “Computer speak I presume” said machine may well number crunch… “Computer speak, I assume” it will churn out, something with less mistakes I.e. It will say don’t do this, do that etc; so as to speed it up*, which is why Japan, Russia, U.K, Germany U.S.A, France, China… Doubtless China is no included in the usual suspects of WW1 type world f-up brigade, usual suspects want them.

          Problem being they will likely think thats a retarded use of my big brain; die, usual suspects. So that was another waste of ten trillion quid for world supremacy.

          “Thats another fine mess you’ve gotten me into”

          I haven’t got Covid antibodies if I had it, after 9 month out of interest; I hope there is some “memory” cells, as otherwise I can see what all the fuss is about with folk who don’t drink and smoke; I mean I was ill last year.

          Ill, aye… Not Plague type ill. But ill. Bats you know spend alot of time upside down; may have said that before “to do with blood clots” Many branded kait… No closer though otherwise to a cure, if I find one I will certainly let you know.

          • *= Not always of benefit probably= Arsehole humans start such a botch as WW1; computer indicates how to make it worse, hardly progress.

          • Deaths are right down compared to infections in March etc like; so thats good, maybe its clocked we aren’t bats etc and changed. Or far more were infected originally… Which is quite likely, anyway… We’ll find out shortly; cold soon, if the deaths stay down clearly lots more had it last time it was cold and thus hopefully thats that. And we can concentrate on anti biotic resitance etc.

          • Of course it could have been “flu” of whatever iteration. Could… Be paying for one of those jabs this year, I can tell you; don’t want that again/both at once. You first for the covid jab like; see if your head falls off etc, medical research you saved many lives. True. Likely.

          • It wasn’t man flu- Are you not interested in my ailments? I’ve got this boil, right under… No! Fair enough, he he.

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