11.3mm GASSER 1870 "Montenegrino" revolver
G e n t l e m e n
I have really enjoyed your fascinating and based on solid technical and historical knolwedge discussion on www.gunboards.com
concerning the antique and massive 11mm Gasser Montenegrin revolver. As I'm also a great fun of this awkward, huge and "ugly" (according to "Guns & Ammo") - yet technically innovative for its time and 100% solid - antique revolver, I hereby attach some photos of my recently aquired antique 11.3mm GASSER Mod. 1870 "Montenegrino" (or Montenegrin) revolver. It has been produced by cast steel (so-called: "GUSS STAHL") in 1870 by "Leupold Gasser Waffenfabrik" in Wien (then capital of the Austrohungarian Empire) and bears a very low S/N (i.e. #175#) which indicates early 1870 production. Its barrel's diameter measures 11mm and it bears a 23cm barrel and a 6 chambers' revolving turret, suitable for the 11.3mm x 51Rmm (Long) Montenegrin B.P. ammo, having a rim diameter of 11.5mm. As the 11mm GASSER Montenegrin revolver was invented by Leupold Gasser, whom was also granted the related patent in 1870, its main manufacturer has been the "Leupold Gasser Waffenfanrik" which was later transformed to "Rust & Gasser Waffenfabrik" (i.e. the company that produced later the better known antique 8mm Rust Gasser Mod. 1898 8 chambers' revolver up to the end of WW I). Due to huge orders for the 11mm Gasser Montenegrin revolver issued to "Leupold Gasser Waffenfabrik" not only by the civilians and Armed Forces of Montenegro (King Nikolai of Montenegro was one of the main stockholders in "Leupold Gasser Waffenfabrik" and is well known for issuing a one-of-a-kind legislative decret according to which each adult male citizen of Montenegro was obliged to bear at least 1 Montenegrin revolver with him anytime!!!), but also by the rest of the Balkan (Serbian, Greek, Bulgarian, Ottoman and Austrohungarian) Armies of the pre-WW I era, Gasser was unable to undertake all orders for Montenegrin revolvers and thus has been obliged to allow the production of Montenegrin revolvers to various well known and unknown Belgian and French gunmakers like Francotte, Lefacheux etc. This awkward situation has led to a total poduction of more than 200.000 - 220.000 (based on mere estimations) 11mm GASSER Mod. 1870/1874 "Montenegrino" revolvers by Leupold Gasser, Rust & Gasser, Lefacheux, Farncotte and many more small and unknown Belgian gunmakers for both civilian and army use up to the end of WW I. Under these production circumstances it can be easily understood why the 11mm Montenegrin ammo can only be typified under one of the following ammo categories: a) 11.2mm x 29.5mm, b) 11.3mm x 51Rmm, c) 11.3mm x 36Rmm, d) 11.75mm x 36mm "Short Montenegrin" and e) 11.75mm x 51mm "Long Montenegrin". The 11mm GASSER Mod. 1870/1874 "Montenegrino" revolver saw extensive military action during WW I mainly by the Autrohungarian Armed Forces (it has been issued as standard sidearm to the cavalry troopers) and it's also well known for being used not only by the mexican rebels under Pancho Villa's guidance during the US/Mexican war of 1916 (Pancho Villa bought by a famous american firearms' dealer of the early 20th century a confiscated by the US Governement firerams' load of more than 5.000 11mm Montenegrin revolvers that was going to be delivered in South America by sea and which had been previously modified in .44 S&W Russian CAL.), but also for the assassination of the King George I of Greece by a mad man firing 3 shots against the King in October 1912, a few days after Thessaloniki's liberation by the Greek Army during the 1st Balkan War. The 11.75mm x 51Rmm Montenegrin round is loaded with B.P. ONLY
(always remember that the frames and barrels of the 11mm GASSER Mod. 1870/1874 "Montenegrino" revolvers are made of cast steel - the so-called: "GUSS STAHL" - based on obsolete late 19th century production methods) and is able to deliver a 312 grain lead bullet through its 23 - 24cm long rifled barrel to long distanced targets with excellent accuracy and slightly lower stopping power in comparaison to the .45 Long Colt. Shortened and trimmed .45-70 brass hulls seem to be the ideal base for producing handloaded 11.3mm Montenegrin B.P. ammo, but .44 S&W Russian and .44 S&W Special along with .45-50 Peabody brass is also a good base for reloading experimentation. Ready to fire 11mm Montenegrin B.P. ammo can be ordered by "STARS AND STRIPES AMMO" but is also occasionally available on firerams' auctions. Upon request I could post some very interesting links on this intriguing large bore and massive antique revolver, also to give you some tips on reloading the various configurations of the 11mm GASSER Montenegrin round which has been declared as obsolete ammo in US since 1986 according to the 2nd Amendement. I'll be glad and anxious to read your future comments on my posting...