POTD: The Unwanted Austrian Pistol – Steyr 1912
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Today we have a photo of one of my favorite guns that I own. This is a Steyr Model 1912. Sometimes this gun is referred to as a “Steyr Hahn” or “Steyr Hammer.” The Steyr Model 1912 has an interesting history in that it became a whole country adopted handgun very quickly, but was originally rejected. The Steyr Model 1912 was submitted for the Austrian military trial and rejected. When World War One began the Austrian government still found themselves without an official handgun besides the now outdated black powder revolvers. They needed something decent and better yet something homegrown. The possibility of import or export was pretty unlikely and at the very least not very efficient. So, the Steyr 1912 and its 9×23 Steyr cartridge were adopted.
You may see similarities to the Colt 1911 in the Steyr, but in truth, its design features stem from three total other handguns of the time. It has the same front locking wedge as a lot of early Colt handguns like the 1902. It has the same style of spiraling/twisting barrel lockup as the Roth-Steyr 1907. It has the same “slide” serrations and lanyard loop as the Mannlicher 1907. So, basically the Steyr 1912 has nothing at all to do with the Colt 1911 other than it was influenced by the same pistols that proceeded the 1911.