Mauser C78 "zig-zag"

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Note the prominent "zig-zag" pattern where the revolver got its name
Mauser M78 open
Mauser C78 Revolver, 1st solid frame Model

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 mm to 11 mm and had a six-round, zig-zag-grooved cylinder, hence the name of the revolver.

The original C78 zig-zag revolver had a solid frame and loading gate. It was developed for the 1879 German trials to provide the first German military handgun to fire modern brass cartridges and to replace the earlier needle-fire and pinfire revolvers.[1] It performed well in the trials but was rejected for being too complex to manufacture. It was Paul Mauser's first handgun design.[2]

Later, the design evolved into a top break, and a swinging cylinder design and also include a solid frame rifle version. 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.