Original Imperial German M1879 Reichsrevolver by Franz von Dreyse - Serial 48

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is one of the great romantic era Imperial German Army Revolvers, with a great worn look. The M1879 Reichsrevolver, or Reichs-Commissions-Revolver Modell 1879, was a service revolver used by the German Army from 1879 to 1908, when it was superseded by the Luger. The Model of 1879 was issued with a 7" 10.6mm x 25R mm Barrel, which sported a rather fancy ring to the muzzle. In 1883 they introduced a shorter barrel version that had only a 5" barrel, the M1883. Although the design was dated, the weapon was extremely robust, and they were still used through World War I. The M1879 is referred to as the "cavalry model" and the M1883 as the "officer's model," by collectors, which were not official designations.

These revolvers were single action only and were fitted with a robust safety lever on the left hand side of the frame, which functions differently depending on hammer position. If the hammer is in the fire position, the safety locks the hammer completely. If in the half-cock position, it locks the hammer there, facilitating reloading of the revolver or removal of the cylinder. They also have a very robust ring on the bottom of the grip, for securing the revolver to the uniform, however this example has had it removed.

There were made by various different makers, and this example is marked on the top of the frame with F. v. DREYSE SÖMMERDA, for Franz von Dreyse, the son of the famous inventor and firearms manufacturer Johann Nicolaus von Dreyse. The father and son had started a gun factory in Sömmerda, Prussia together, which Franz continued after his father passed in 1867, until his own passing in 1894.

Our Revolver bears all serial number 48 on the barrel nocks form, cylinder, under the grip, and on the cylinder axis pin. Due to the condition of the metalwork, most of the usual imperial proofs are not visible, however it is possible that this was a private purchase item. Normally the maker name would be on the right side of the frame, but we see no evidence that it was ever marked there.

The finely checkered grips are in excellent condition, and the bore has clear lands and grooves, with just a bit of oxidation in places. This suggests that most of the wear on the gun is from age and poor storage, not from service. The revolver functions properly, with good indexing, and the safety works as well, though the lever itself is a bit loose.

In full working order, very substantial and a great example of a solid German design. Ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: circa 1885
Caliber: 10.6×25mmR
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 7 inches
Overall Length: 14 inches
Action: Single Only
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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