33 Comments

  1. I remember seeing pictures of Australian periscopes from galipoli attached to the rifle. But one of those 20 round magazines with a periscope on the rifle would be pretty awesome.

    • Possibly, but it’s more likely a 10.6 x 25Rmm “Reichsrevolver” M1883;

      http://images-02.delcampe-static.net/img_large/auction/000/081/163/021_001.jpg?v=1

      The rounded butt without a bottom plate distinguishes it from the earlier M1879, which also has a longer barrel;

      http://www.horstheld.com/1330.JPG

      Like the Colt M1873 Single-Action Army aka Peacemaker, both are six-shot single-actions, which have hammer-mounted firing pins and do not have rebounding hammers. So the thumb safety on the left frame wall (which locks the hammer at the half-cock) is a vital necessity if you want to carry it loaded “clear around”. I suspect that like American soldiers armed with the .45 Colt M1873, most German troopers issued one carried it with five rounds in the cylinder and the hammer down on an empty chamber.

      While officially obsolete with the introduction of the M1900 Parabellum (Old Model) and the P.08 (New Model), there just weren’t enough pistols to go around in either World War, so not only were the M1879 and M1883 issued to troops in the trenches in WW1, they were still being issued to second-line and support units in WW2. In fact, DWM did its last run of Wehrmacht-contract 10.6 x 25Rmm ammunition in late 1944. Since no other weapon ever used that round, it’s pretty obvious that Reichsrevolvers were still in inventory, and very probably still “barking and biting” somewhere on the Western or Eastern Fronts.

      Mind you, while they may have been antiquated, they launched a 258-grain .41 caliber lead bullet at 670 feet-per-second, for 257 foot-pounds, or about the energy of a .38 Special 158-grain “police load” of the 1930s. Not exactly a Magnum, but it wouldn’t be any great pleasure to stop one.

      cheers

      eon

      • I can see the shape of that revolver eon, at the rear. Only this hasn’t got a cylinder, and the barrel is to fat.

        • Think our obsolete calibres are marked for destruction, the Police have just caught some idiot selling them to “gangsters” converted apparently, .44 Russian aside.

          Why didn’t he just make new ones, save our antiques, he was supposed to be an “expert” and if you are, making guns isn’t exactly difficult is it really.

          I wouldn’t have bought one, simply make a Sten. “But don’t, as it’s illegal” the Police will melt down our historical guns if they could.

        • Flintlocks everything, even beautiful ones “anything perceived as being remotely a threat to them, wearing top body armour, helmets, with thermal sights on modern machine guns” all ten of them, to prevent a revolution amongst the peasantry armed with pikes and matchlocks.

  2. Who’s who then? The fellow with the Pickelhaube on is holding a staff of some sort, and only appears to have three pouches on his belt without the shoulder yoke thing attached perhaps containing rounds for what I think is a flare pistol. The chap with the peaked cap isn’t wearing the yoke thing either, the flare pistol tucked in the belt doesn’t look particularly secure. Suggesting he has just chucked it on for the photo probably been sat in a bunker given it isn’t dark also, maybe the pouches look wonky also maybe they hung the flare gun belt over a door. I think the peaked cap chap is an officer and the flare gun fellow a Sgt of some description. These two have medal ribbons, the others don’t so they are probably quite new. Nobody has the WW2 style helmet on, so what year is this when did the extended mag come out?

    • Oh September 1916, I was going to say it was earlier… When did the WW2 style helmet come out, out of interest?

    • I opened the photo in Paint Shop, enlarged and lightened it. It does appear to be a flare pistol. The chamber area appears to be octagonal. With the picture lightened, all three look much younger, like their late teens or early twentys. the one in the center appears to be holding a crudely whittled walking stick. really interesting photo.

      • I don’t want to be a nitpicker, but there is no need to enlarge it in PS. You can click on it and get the full resolution scan, which is already 2 601 × 1 770 pixels. The scan also seems to have captured all the resolution the original negative has.

        The handgun is a flair gun for sure, there is little doubt about. It does not seem to have a rotating cylinder and the barrel is much too thick for a revolver. The men are definitely fairly young, but the mustaches make it more difficult to estimate their age. The only one without a mustache is the third one from left, who is also looking upwards, and he looks the youngest to me, but that might very well be the lighting and the lack of facial hair.

          • Yes, unfortunately spelling correction does not catch homophones. I try to remember that flare is the correct spelling… Although, like you implied, a personal flair gun would sometimes be useful as well.

  3. On a slightly more light-hearted note ( in spite of the obvious and terrible nature of trench warfare during that period ), the third young fellow from the left has an expression on his face that seems to say, “Oh God, here we go again” ( although I am sure the photographer just happened to catch him at the wrong moment when they were posing for the shot ) :).

    • If you look “deep” into his eyes though, that sort of nonchalance belies a real fear, a forlorn sense of hopelessness, pointless really, which in away is encapsulated by “oh no, here we go again” if you look at some of the pictures of “body piles” assembled for burial in WW1, you can almost sense a sort of “fuck this” about them, floating above them almost… A kind of shared, semi permanent lingering, a feeling of despair which somehow after death was captured on film supernaturally almost. In some of them, you almost feel as if they are stood over their own bodies sighing I think.

      I will show you an example “not trying to be depressing but I honestly think it’s there” have to find it, but it was particularly pertinent in regards the above.

      They were like a pile of cans for recycling, in essence.

      • Pdb, I agree. I have always said that war is the most self-destructive, unproductive and soul-destroying collective activity that Mankind could possibly engage in. True despair and fatalistic hopelessness are but two terrible by-products of war, and the poor fellows from all sides — who were basically consigned as cannon fodder in the trenches to satisfy the vainglorious ambitions and idiotic, misdirected nationalistic pride of others — were very much subject to these, and more.

  4. My great grandfather left germany in 1910. Apparently coming from Frankfort a former free city he did not like the kaiser.He had 2 reich revolvers according to my grandfather and when canada brought in handgun laws in the 1920’s? he got rid of them
    In the souvenirs my wifes grandfather(officer in french artillery) brought back from the ww1 were 4 cartriges which I believe are for the reichrevolver

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