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Mystery Reichsrevolver

1879 Views 10 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Petereye05
I recently picked up what I think is some sort of officer's or commercial reichsrevolver. It's all-matching, consortium/Suhl, S/N 221, and has a very fine fire-blue finish. There are no unit markings, and in fact, the only other markings I can find are the "S." stamps under each full serial number stamping (barrel, frame behind barrel, and frame under cylinder), a small german script "D" in the curved area between the rear of the trigger guard and the butt, two small "S" characters on the bottom of the octagonal flat of the barrel and a "10.55" on another flat. Aside from some speckling in the bluing, it's like new. It also does not have a lanyard ring, and does not appear to have ever been equipped with such. I initially thought it might have been removed and the whole thing reblued, but after talking to a couple other collectors, I don't think it's been refinished. Any idea what I really have?

Also, any idea where I can get the new book on these beasties? I was tempted to order directly from the distributor's website, but thought better of it.


Download Attachment: rr2.jpg

Download Attachment: rr3.jpg
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Please post an additional close up photo of the left barrel side in front of the cylinder.
Is the place under the grip, there where usually the loop for the ring is, of bar gray metal or blued?
Are there any crowned markings? A photo would also be usful.

You can order the book directly from the DWJ book sales department.
Payment is very easy by credit cards.
email: [email protected]
Tel. 79539787430
Fax: 79539787882
Please ask for the shipping charge.

I think, they speak English. Your order will be welcome.

It's a rather difficult job to tell something only based on photographs.
But let me try it.
This Reichsrevolver is an inspected Saxon officer's revolver. The S. under the serial no. and the remaining inspection markings indicate this fact.
The first picture shows that on the left upper frame side, directly in front of the cylinder, some material has been filed or ground off and treated with cold blue (?). In other words, the proofmark is no longer visible.
The missing Saxon proofmark is a entwined combination of the capital letters A and R, indicating Albert Rex, King of Saxony.
Please look to the rear face of the cylinder and you should find also the regular proofmark, if not it is also ground off.

The loop of the lanyard ring is really machined off. The thin marking is on one side the final inspection stamp (Gothic capital letter with crown) and on the other side the Supervisor inspection stamp, in this case the same as used for the pressure overload test (A and R entwined). Only Saxony used the same marking for the proof as well as for the Supervisor inspection stamp.
The other 3 kingdoms used a particular punch.
The small markings behind the trigger guard are quality inspection markings during the production in the factory. They have directly nothing to do with the official inspection by government inspectors.
More details are pictured and described in my book.
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Ken and all the other US collectors,

You can get the book, I think at the beginning of February, in USA from Bob Adams.
Please look to his homepage.

Your Bavarian M/83 is a regular army model. The letter added to the serial number is not a S but a B , written as a capital letter of the old German script.
The reason for this suffix was very simple: due to the parallel production for the different customers (in this case kingdoms) the revolvers have to be marked to avoid confusions. Each ministry of war has ordered their quantities with layed down serial- numbers. You can imagine would it means to have thousands of parts as work in process in the production.

Saxony had consequently used the suffix S (in this case it is a S) on all orders. This system works quite well but not in any cases. I have seen a Bavarian M/83 officer's revolver with matching serial numbers but with a Saxon marked barrel. The similarity of both letters is rather big and this deviation was overlooked by the inspector.
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