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M1879 REICHSREVOLVER

The 10.6 mm Model 1879 Reichsrevolver was adopted in 1879 by Germany. The makers name is inscribed on the left side in an oval below the cylinder. All the parts including screws and grips are serial numbered to the gun. The revolver is rust browned. Although replaced by the P08 in 1908, many remained in service or were reissued to second line troops during World War I.

Following is a summary of 45 unit marked M1879 Reichsrevolvers reported in Noll’s “The Imperial German Regimental Marking”

M 1879 manufactured by GEBR. MAUSER & CIE; 4 reported with dates of 1880

M 1879 manufactured by F.V. DREYSE; 10 reported with dates of 1881,1882,1883

M 1879 manufactured by S&S, V.C.S., C.G.H.; 31 reported with dates of 1881,1812,1883, 1888, 1893

The unit markings are distributed as folllows: 28 artillery, 8 munitions columns, 4 cavalry and 5 other.

References:
Adanek, “Pistols of World War I” 2001
Chamberlain, Faithful Soldiers of the German Empire the Modell 1879 and 1883 Deutsche Armeerevolvers article in Gun Collectors Digest
Noll “The Imperial German Regimental Marking” 1998
Walter, “German Military Handguns 1879-1918" 1980
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Figure 1. M1879 Reichsrevolver, serial number 2655. It has a graceful appearance topped off by a reinforcing band at the barrels end (commonly termed cannon barrel).





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Figure 2. M1879 Reichsrevolver, serial number 2655 dated 1881. All the parts including the grips and screws are numbered to the gun. It bears a test proof on the left side of the barrel. The manufacture is indicated by the S&S, V.C.S., C.G.H., Suhl in an oval. It signifies the collaboration of Spangenberg & Sauer, V.C. Shilling & Co., and C.G.Haenel all of Suhl, in the manufacture of this revolver.





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Figure 3. M1879 Reichsrevolver, serial number 2655. Right side.





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Figure 4. M1879 Reichsrevolver, serial number 2655. Bottom of grip showing a 9.H.4.11. unit marking. It signifies the 9th Hussar Regiment, 4th Eskadron, weapon number 11.




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Figure 5. M1879 Reichsrevolver, serial number 2655, shown with its World War I battle history. During World War I the 9th Hussar regiment battled with the 30th Infanterie Division, 7th Cavalry Division and the 7th Cavalry Schutzen Division. It fought on both the Western and Eastern Fronts during World War I.





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Figure 6. The 9th Hussar Regiment at mobilization(August 1914) for World war I.






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Figure 7. Members of the 9th Hussar Regiment on the Eastern Front reading orders and maps trying to determine where to go next. The Hussar on the right is wearing a horn, a bayonet and a flare gun(??) or is that a part of the horn??


Jan C Still
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Nice one Jan, I will get one of these after a while, think they "start" the Luger collection off well. Interesting to see a unit marked one like that, easy to see if in a rack.
 

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Many M79s refurbished by refinishing dull blue for issue during WWI. The cylinder pin release lever is a weak point (the extension snaps) and some will be found with the lever head neatly slotted (usually down the center of the last two digits of the SN found on the lever, so the numbers are not obscured), making it into a screwdriver slot; this is evidently a common field repair... sometimes the stub of the extension is dressed off as well.
BTW: It is John Walter, not WaltHer...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
C. Brown
"BTW: It is John Walter, not WaltHer..."
correction made. Thanks for the correction.
Jan

Jan C Still
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Hello Jan,
please forget my first post. It was sent erroneously.

It is the first time that I see the issue date stamp on the right side of the maker's marking. And I have seen a lot of them. The correct place was, according to the instruction, below the small lever (securing the cylinder pin) in front of the cylinder.

Remark:
The Reichsrevolvers should be studied under the aspect of the kingdom which purchased the particular revolver. To list the pieces in conjunction with the gun factories makes no sense and delivers confusion.
Each of the 4 kingdoms was reponsible for the purchase and issue of its arming.
For example, Bavaria had 3 suppliers for their M/79, Saxony only 1.





Heinrich
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Heinrich
Studying the Reichsrevolver according to Kingdom (Prussia, Bavaria, Wurttemburg, or Saxony) sounds like an excellent idea. However, the number produced by each manufacture is also of great interest. As such information is a matter of tabulation and statistics, presenting both sets of data probably should not cause confusion. Am I missing something here?

It would be interesting to know which manufacturers supplied which state (Kingdom).

Jan


Jan C Still
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ADDITIONS TO BIBLIOGRAPHY

This bibliography IS NOT comprehensive.

Walter Behrens, Der Reichsrevolver von Miller u. Greiss und seine Kontrahenten, in DWJ 3/1986

Roland Edelmann, Die Reichsrevolver, in DWJ, 1968/69 (in 8 parts)

Heinrich Harder, Gemeinschaftswerk: Lieferungen des Revolvers M79 an Preussen, in DWJ, 1/1999

Heinz Lehner, Übergangsmodell Reichsrevolvers Typ 1879/83, in DWJ, 1972 [use with caution]

Rolf H. Müller, Geschichte und Technik der europaischen Militärrevolver. Bd.1 (of 2), Schwäbisch Hall, 1982

Hans Reckendorf, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Handfeuerwaffen des Königreiches Preussen, Dortmund, 1994

--, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Taschen und Tragweisen von Faustfeuerwaffen in Preussen und im Kaiserreich, Dortmund, 1994

--, Die Faustfeuerwaffen der Königliche Bayerische Armee, Dortmund-Schonau, 1981

--, Die Handfeuerwaffen der Königlich Preussischen und der Kaiserlichen Marine, Dortmund-Schonau, 1983

-- Die Militär-Faustfeuerwaffen des Königreiches Preussen und des Deutschen Reiches, Dortmund-Schonau, 1978

Henri Villemin, Reichsrevolver Curiosa, in GAZETTE DES ARMES, no. 168

PROCUREMENT

Makers contracted with different kingdoms at different times; Navy (and probably Colonial weapons) were contracted through Prussia by the appropriate ministries; I suspect those used by the Reichsgendarmerie were also contracted through Prussia or drawn as required from Prussian inventories. I'm not sure how Police procurement worked.

Military procurement was proportional to the size of the army of a particular kingdom; in descending order of size: Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, Wurttemberg. Within each kingdom's procurement distribution was proportional to the number of classes of personnel authorised revolvers and the numbers and sizes of the units involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
C. Brown
Thanks for the information.
Jan

Jan C Still
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Here are pictures of Reichsrevolvers made by S&S, V.C.S., C.G.H:

M1879 Bavarian Contract Serial No. 1
M1879 Bavarian Contract Serial No. 2
M1883 Bavarian Contract Serial No. 1

Bob Adams

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Download Attachment: m83-1.jpg
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Lanyard loop has been removed from the M83. It does have regimental marks, but will have to post that later. The two Model 1879 revolvers do not have regimental marks - which is a bit curious. Maybe just unissued? ..or in a museum? Who knows?

Bob Adams
 

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Hello Jan,

here the requested information:


M/79

Consortium Suhl: Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony

Franz v. Dreyse: Prussia, Bavaria

Mauser: Bavaria, Württemberg

M/83

Consortium Suhl: Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony

Franz v. Dreyse: Prussia, Bavaria

Mauser: Württemberg

Gewehrfabrik Erfurt: Prussia, Württemberg
All these have Prussion inspection stamps. Who of both had ordered can only be determined by the unit marking.
 

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interest in the P 08 automatically leads on to the Rechsrevolver and that´s why all these contributions are so valuable. If only German law allowed me to own one!

Patrick
 
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