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A Gasser revolver displayed at the Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Kiev.
|Place of origin||Austria-Hungary|
|Wars||World War I (limited use)|
|Manufacturer||Leopold Gasser Waffenfabrik|
|Variants||Long and short barrel versions|
|Specifications (Long barrel version)|
|Weight||1.3 kg (2.9 lb)|
|Length||375 mm (14.8 in)|
|Barrel length||235 mm (9.3 in)|
|Feed system||6 round cylinder|
The M1870 Gasser was a revolver chambered for 11.3×36mmR and was adopted by the Austro-Hungarian Cavalry in 1870. It was an open-frame model, with the barrel unit attached to the frame by a screw beneath the cylinder arbor. The arbor pin was screwed into the barrel unit and fitted into a recess in the standing breech. The cylinder was gate-loaded from the right side, and a rod ejector was carried beneath the barrel. A unique safety bar will usually be found on the right of the frame, below the cylinder. This carries pins which pass through holes in the frame to engage the lock mechanism. Slightly retracting the hammer allows one of these pins to move inward, preventing the hammer moving forward again when released. The pistol can thereafter be carried safely when loaded. Pressure on the trigger withdraws the pin from the path of the hammer before firing. The M1870 Gasser became the Austro-Hungarian cavalry revolver. It chambered a long 11.25mm centerfire cartridge which had earlier been used in Fruwirth carbines.
The Gasser-Kropatschek M1876 was adopted by Austria Hungary in 1876 as a refinement of the 1870 Gasser design. Instigated by Alfred Kropatschek, the changes being principally a matter of reducing weight by reducing the caliber to 9mm.
Montenegrin "Gasser Pattern" revolvers
The title 'Montenegrin Gasser' covers a variety of six-chamber large calibre revolvers. In 1910 King Nicholas I of Montenegro proclaimed that all male citizens were the Militia and had a right and a duty to own a Gasser Pattern revolver. The standard issue in the Montenegrin military was the Austrian Gasser Model 1870 in 11.2mm which became known as the Montenegrin Gasser. The sudden demand was met by producers in Austria, Belgium and Spain. Montenegrin revolvers originally appeared as open-frame models, similar to the Austrian Gasser M1870 and usually in 11mm nominal (11.3mm actual) calibers. Single and double-action locks were used, grips were often in ivory or bone, engraving and gold inlay work was common, and the predominant impression was one of weight and bulk. Later Montenegrin revolvers offered hinged-frame construction, with Galand cylinder locks and a self-extracting mechanism. Most are marked 'Guss Stahl' (crucible cast steel frame), 'Kaiser's Patent' and similar phrases.
Later Gasser Models
Genuine Austrian Gasser products are marked 'L. GASSER PATENT WIEN' or 'L. GASSER OTTAKRING PATENT', and often carry the Gasser trademark of a heart pierced by an arrow. Gasser also produced revolvers for the commercial market. The Gasser-Kropatschek, for example, appeared with fluted cylinders instead of the smooth-surfaced military pattern. He also produced the 9mm 'Post & Police' solid frame non-ejecting double-action revolver, with a hexagonal barrel. A commercial version of this gun was also made, generally offering better finish. There was also a commercial version of the open-frame M1874 in 9mm, and a 9mm hinged frame self-extracting model with the Galand double-action lock.
- "Gasser Revolvers Austro-Hungarian Army Weapons". Hungariae.com. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- Geoffrey Boothroyd, The Handgun, Bonanza Books, 1970, p.271, p.273, p.275.
- "Gasser Kropatschek Revolvers Austro-Hungarian Weapons". Hungariae.com. Retrieved 19 December 2014.