Springfield Armory Museum - Collection Record

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Maker/Manufacturer:ROTH, GEORG
Date of Manufacture:C 1912
Eminent Figure:
Catalog Number:SPAR 1047
Measurements:OL: 23.1CM 9 1/8" BL: 12.9CM 5 1/8" 2.25 lbs. empty.

Object Description:

Manufactured by Osterreichische Waffenfabrik Steyr, Steyr, Austria - Standard Austrian M07 "Roth-Steyr" semi-automatic pistol. Short-recoil operated. Unusual design in that the front of the bolt is hollow and encloses the barrel breech. When fired, the barrel recoils and rotates 90 degrees before the bolt is released to move rearward. 4-groove rifling, right hand twist. Blued with ribbed walnut grips. Fixed sights. Has nonremovable magazine with a capacity for 8 rounds. Muzzle velocity 1100 fps. Accurate range of 75 yards, maximum range of 1500 yards. Weapon weighs about 2.25 lbs. empty with muzzle velocity of 1090fps. Native: Repetier Pistol M07.Cartridge 8x18.5mm Roth-Steyr. Cartridge weighs about 115 grains and is full jacketed. Approximately 90,000 manufactured from 1907 to 1925.

Frame: WAFFENFABRIK STEYR. 13858. WN 9 - military proof mark, applied by the Austrian government arsenal in Wiener-Neustadt.
Grip: 8.D.R./ 85. E

Exhibit label: "ROTH-STEYR 8 millimeter - Officially adopted by the Austro-Hungarian cavalry in 1908, the Roth-Steyr became widely distributed throughout the Balkans and appeared in considerable quantities in those areas during World War II."

Notes: First self-loading pistol to be adopted by a major power. Adopted by the Austro-Hungarian cavalry in 1908. Also used by early Austro-Hungarian pilots, where it became known as "Flieger-Pistole." Used to some extent by the Italian Army in WWII, and is alleged to still see service in the Balkans.

"This weapon was orignally designed for use by cavalry. The recoil of the weapon ejects the empty case and strips a new cartridge into the firing chamber as in other automatic pistols. However, it does not cock in the regular fashion. The striker is drawn back and released to fire the cartridge by pulling the trigger, exactly as in hammerless revolvers. This makes the weapon safe to handle but difficult to shoot accurately." - Smith

"Georg Roth, Vienna, Austria-Hungary. Best known as an ammunition manufacturer, Roth was also instrumental in assisting Karel Krnka. Consequently, his is customarily attached not only to the Krnka-Roth long-recoil firearms, but also the Roth-Sauer and Roth-Steyr pistols. Among the patents for 'automatic firearms' granted to Roth in the USA were 616,260 and 616,261 or 20 December 1898; 634,072 of 24 September 1901. Roth (with Krnka); and 681,737 of 3 September 1901. Roth died in Vienna in 1935....
The Repetierpistole M.7 was adopted in 1907 for the Austro-Hungarian cavalry regiments. Some of its features originated in a patent granted in 1895 to Wasa Theodorovic, but the basic recoil-operated locking mechanism is usually attributed to Karel Krnka. Krnka-*Roth pistols were tested throughout Europe from 1898 onward, until the perfected version was issued for field trials with the Common Army in 1905-1906. The resulting M. 7 pistol was claimed to embody important advantages as a cavalry weapon particularly in the isolation of the trigger system from the auto-loading action to reduce the possibility of accidental firing. However, the guns were complicated and expensive. Although substantial quantities were made prior to the First World War, in Steyr (marked 'STEYR') and Budapest ('FGGY'), they were superseded by the Steyr-Hahn." - Walter

Hogg, Ian & John Weeks. MILITARY SMALL ARMS OF THE 20TH CENTURY. 6th Ed. DBI Books, Inc. Northbrook, Il.
Smith, W.H.B. A BASIC MANUAL OF MILITARY SMALL ARMS. Military Service Publishing Company. Washington, D.C. 1945.
Walter, John. THE GREENHILL DICTIONARY OF GUNS AND GUNMAKERS. Stackpole Books. Mechanicsburg, Pa. 2001.

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