Nickl Prototype M1916/22 Pistol at James D Julia

Josef Nickl was one of the chief R&D designers at Mauser after the Federle brothers, and one of his pet projects was a rotating barrel military pistol developed from the Steyr-Hahn M1912 pistol. He built a number of prototypes of it while at Mauser, but the company never put it into production because of a combination of patent concerns and wartime contracts for other weapons. Eventually Nickl was able to arrange a contract for it to be produced at Brno, where it would become the CZ24 and then CZ27 pistol. This particular one is a larger example, in 9x19mm.


  1. Wow. Considering some of the oddball side-arms adopted during the War, this weapon seems to be a solid contender. IF it had been produced, I’d have picked it over a Ruby or suchlike.

    • According to Ezell in HOTW, about 2,700 of the Brno-built version in 9 x 19mm were built, basically identical to this one except for the sideplate inscription not saying “Mauser”. They were followed by about 18,000 Vz.22 versions in 9 x 17 SR (.380 ACP).

      There are sure to be some still around today, and like you, I wouldn’t mind having one in either caliber.



  2. This pistol is “Hammer” version of Joseph Nickl’s “Striker firing” Mauser 1910/14 Models. Disconnector, Trigger Lever/Sear, Safety Lever, Slide Stop and Magazine Catch Constructions and mountings are same whereas Barrel Mounting form is changed for the sake of short recoil locked breech action with low barrel axis and slim, compact shape features resulted in figure of “Rotating Barrel Lock”. Nickle’s way of Rotating Barrel Construction is most copied form of this kind of breechblock closures including today’s Beretta and Chinese NP42 samples. Application differs from others with a removable cam block dismounting with barrel in field stripping.

  3. Eon, According to “Mauser Pistolen: Development and Production, 1877-1946” by Weaver and Schmid, 2008, there were only 10 prototype of the Brno 9×19 pistols manufactured, all for Czech army testing. There was no contracts nor production of the Vz.22 in 9×19. The only Brno prototype example I’m aware of is on from the same Dr. Geoffrey Sturgess collection that the one known Mauser m16/22 example comes from.

  4. What a good looking piece, it would look perfectly modern today, and I’d certainly prefer one to a Remington R51. What a shame it never made the cut, I feel the Czechs made a mistake there, especially as they ended up with the clunky VZ38, which no-one seems to have a good word for.

  5. Ian, where have you found a vz.24 chambered in .32 mentioned at 3:54?
    The vz.24 or Pi-24, as it was known in the Czechoslovakian Army, was always in .380 – it was ONLY the vz.27, a Police nor Army weapon, that was chambered in .32. You’re damned right about locking being redundant in both of these chamberings, but there were no .32-caliber vz.24s that I heard of…

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