Gasser M1870

The M1870 Gasser was a revolver chambered for 11.2x29.5mm 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 an 11.2mm centerfire cartridge usually called the '11mm Montenegrin', a long cartridge which had earlier been used in Fruwirth carbines.

Despite being outdated, it was liked among Austrian Storm troops during WWI for its stopping power.

Gasser M1870
Class Manportable
Type Handguns
Manufacturer Leopold Gasser
Origin Austria-Hungary
Country Name Origin Year
Austria-Hungary 1870
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Austria-Hungary 1870 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Leopold Gasser 1870 View

Gasser-Kropatschek M1876

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. The title 'Montenegrin Gasser' covers a variety of six-chamber large calibre revolvers. They originally appeared as open-frame models, similar to the M1870 and usually in 11mm nominal (11.2mm 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 models offered hinged-frame construction, with Galand cylinder locks and a self-extracting mechanism. Most are marked 'Guss Stahl', 'Kaiser's Patent' and similar phrases. Genuine 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.

Type Revolver
Place of origin  Austria-Hungary
Service history
In service 1870–1898
Used by Austria-Hungary
Wars World War I (limited use)
Production history
Designer Leopold Gasser
Manufacturer Leopold Gasser Waffenfabrik
Produced 1870–?
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)
Cartridge 11.2x29.5 mm 'Montenegrin'
Feed system 5 round cylinder
Sights Iron sights

End notes