RIA: Bergmann 1896 / No.3 Pistol

Bergmann was one of the reasonably successful yet relatively unknown manufacturers of early automatic pistols. Originally a delayed blowback patent purchased by Bergmann, the design was refined and simplified by none other than Louis Schmeisser into the 1896 Bergmann, in three different calibers (5mm No.2, 6.5mm No.3, and 8mm No.4). Its evolutuion would continue into a locked-breech design using the more powerful 9x23mm cartridge and the later variations would see use as late as WWII.

If you would like more information on the No.3 Bergmann, have a look at my more extensive article on it.


  1. Thanks Ian. As always– excellent presentation.
    Nice interesting defensive pistol.
    For the model you displayed (#4 I think?), what is the availability of ammunition and clips for it.
    Easy or hard to find as well as expensive?

  2. You could probably make them out of 7.62×25. With the help of a lathe if necessary to take a fraction off the rim.

    Getting the clips might be more of a challenge though…

  3. Beautiful piece of history. While the en-bloc clip was probably not a good idea (exposed underside invites mud), the concept of a relatively fast reload (compared to loading a revolver without moon clips or half moon clips) was a good idea for semi auto handguns. Nobody wants to fiddle around with individual cartridges in the dark.

    Or am I wrong?

  4. Regarding the “278” and “611” markings – reader Bob Taylor posted the following comment in your article on the Bergemann Number 3:

    The numbers 611 and 278 indicate the bore diameter of the 5 m/m and 6.5 m/m barrels measured according to the gauge system, wherein the number of lead spheres of the diameter of the bore indicate the gauge. That is, a 5 m/m bore has the same diameter as a lead ball that weighs a 611th part of a pound.

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