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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have come into ownership of 4.5" barrel revolver. Know very little about these firearms. Would appreciate any help in identifying unit with which it may have seen service or ??? Some identifying marks are as follows:
* lower left frame, below cylinder window: reading from left, "85", then "29" on screw head, then "7929", then, inside an elliptical shape, "F. V(?). DREYSE" arching across top and "SOMMERDA" in reverse arch at bottom.
* markings on rear of backstrap appear to be: reading from left or top, "43.A.4", then, in numerals only about half to 2/3 as tall, "119.", then, in once again larger and obviously manually stamped characters, "57. R. (or P. or K.)"and then smaller, "3.1." and perhaps a faint numeral beyond the "1". An attempt has been made to "X" out each of these last 5(or 6), manually stamped characters. Down near the lanyard ring stud an illegible letter appears, under a crown, with the crown closer to the stud. An illegible stamping appears on the forward side of the stud, as well.
* on left barrel flat, just in front of cylinder, "7929", then on intermediate sized octagonal area, a spread eagle shape and "7929". On next flat up, "10,55", inscribed as if it were intended to be read from rear of revolver.
* on bottom barrel flat, intermediate section, inscribed as if it were meant to be read from rear of upside-down revolver, "4" and then what appears to be a Gothic "B", out near forward end of smaller, octagonal barrel section. Toward rear of this flat is a very small but deeply stamped "JW" over what looks like a Gothic "Y".
*on underside of frame, in front of triggerguard, Gothic "D"? under a crown.
*cylinder is serial numbered on rear face and has another marking in that area. Chambers are numbered on cylinder exterior.
*all parts, including external screws and grip panel screw escutcheons have matching serial numbers.
*functions fine; no heavy use evident
*smooth stocks
*base pin appears to never have been blued
*lanyard ring is present
*retains much of original finish
*bore is excellent
*shoots great with .44R BP loads using 240 gr cast bullet
*loading gate and its hinge screw or pin, and spring? is missing

· Registered
963 Posts
Welcome to the forum.
-You have a nice Reichsrevolver M/83.
-made by the Franz von Dreyse arms factory in Sömmerda, Thuringia.
-serial- no. 7929
-your revolver was issued in 1885 (85 below the cylinder)
-29 on most parts are indicating the last two numbers of the serial- no.
-10,55 means the real field to field diameter of the bore.
-near the stud you will find two markings: the final inspection stamp. Gothic letter with a crown and the "Superrevisionsstempel" FW with crown.
-the stamp in front of the triggerguard is an inspection stamp.
-the markings under the barrel (upside down) are factory inspection markings.
-the eagle in front of the serial no. as well on the rear face of the cylinder indicates Prussian proof.
-43.A.4.119 means: Feldartillerie- Regiment no.43, 4th Batterie, Waffe 119
The Regiment was stationed in Wesel at the river Rhein, 30 miles from the village where I live.
-to identify the other unit mark, please make close up pictures if possible. (as well of the revolver!)
-the loading gate is a hard to get part. The spring and the hinge screw is no major problem.
-the revolver was in service during the whole WWI.

-BP loads are o.k. Do never use smokless powders!
I hope this helps.

Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Heinrich, Thank you very much for the detailed information. Your reply has whetted my interest to the point I think I'll try to learn more about these nice old guns.

I've always appreciated fine German craftsmanship and if my R'revolver is representative, these old gals won't disappoint. My family tree reveals an admixture of Scots-Irish, Cherokee and German blood which adds to my interest. My Bach family migrated here in the 18th Century, but traces back to Freudenberg near Siegen, somewhere east of Bonn, as I understand it.

I'll try to post some pics tonight. I suppose you mean other backstrap markings when you refer to "other unit mark".

My compliments to all of you who make this a wonderful, educational board.

Thanks again, Rich

Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Download Attachment: Reichs.JPG

Heinrich, Looks like I need to upgrade my photo capabilities. Had no luck at all with close-ups showing unit #s, etc. Hope this shot of the whole revolver proves decent. Will try again soon with a better camera.

Thanks, Rich

Discussion Starter · #6 ·
r_t_, The condition is indeed pretty good; the action is tight and the bore is really good. So far, though, no luck locating a loading gate. However, have been focusing on recent (since WW1) owners and it now appears that this old handgun may have an unusual history attached to it. I'll post the story, along with better pictures, if more proof can be found.
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