Mauser C78 "zig-zag"

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Note the prominent "zig-zag" pattern where the revolver got its name

The Mauser C78 zig-zag was a single-action revolver manufactured by Mauser during the late 19th century. It was chambered in calibers from 6 to 11 mm and is fed from a six-round grooved cylinder, hence the name of the revolver.

The original zig-zag revolver had a solid frame and loading gate. It was developed in 1878, and was the first German military handgun to fire modern brass cartridges. It replaced the earlier needle-fire and pinfire revolvers.[1] The C78 was designed for the 1879 German trials to provide the first metallic cartridge handgun. The design evolved into a top break, and a swinging cylinder design and also include a rifle version. It performed well in the trials but was rejected for being too complex to manufacture. This was Paul Mauser's first handgun design.[2]

In 1886, an improved 9 mm version with a hinged frame was introduced.[3]

In 1896, the C78 was replaced by the semi-automatic Mauser C96 "broomhandle", but many of the older revolvers remained in use until after World War I.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schmid, Walter; Weaver, Darrin (2008). Mauser Pistolen: Development and Production, 1877-1946. Collector Grade Publications,Canada. p. 340. ISBN 978-0889354517. 
  2. ^ "Mauser C78 'Zig-Zag' Revolver". Retrieved 11 March 2017. 
  3. ^ "Mauser Zig-Zag". Retrieved 11 March 2017. 
  4. ^ Myatt, Major F. (1989). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 19th Century Firearms: An Illustrated History of the Development of the World"s Military Firearms During the 19th Century. Tiger Books International; New edition. ISBN 978-1855010277.