POTD: Rare Schouboe Model 1903 Semi-Automatic Prototype Pistol
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have the interesting Schouboe 1903 in .32 ACP. These showed up in the later 1890s in Denmark as a potential military firearm. They quickly were retooled to use a .45 caliber cartridge (which RIA incorrectly states as .45 ACP below). I wanted to talk about this pistol today because that .45 caliber cartridge is an interesting story in itself. It was inscribed on the handguns as 11.5mm. This .45 caliber cartridge weirdly enough used a bullet with a wooden core. This was not due to the nature of these pistols, but rather to others. Those others were Danish military pinfire revolvers converted to centerfire which could not handle a heavy hot payload. This resulted in this particular .45 wooden core bullet traveling at speed around 1,600 FPS, but having pretty wimpy stopping power.
“This is a very fine example of an extremely rare “long barreled” prototype Schouboe Model 1903 semi-automatic pistol. This long barreled version is very rare with only a few actually know or seen. The Schouboe pistol was invented and patented by Jens Schouboe in 1903 and was a straight blow back design with an internal hammer, exposed barrel, short slide, chambered for the 7.65mm Browning cartridge (.32 ACP) and was manufactured by Dansk Rekylriffel Syndikat (DRS), Company. This company was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1896 to manufacture semi-automatic rifles. The company is best known for making the Madsen light machine gun and later for the LAR assault rifle. The pistol has a relatively unique design in that it employs the recoil spring in the upper portion of the slide giving it a fairly unique shape. It was very well made and reliable, but note that it did not sell well. It is estimated that few were made between 1903 and 1908. This pistol has no serial number or proofmarks and it only marked on the left side of the slide with: “Dansk Rekylriffel Syndikat/Kobenhavn”. The bottom of the magazine is numbered 289. It has fixed sights, bottom release magazine button with stamped sheet metal grips with impressed checkering. This model was eventually replaced with the later Model 1907 and then the Model 1910 in 11.7mm (45 ACP).”
Lot 1522: Dansk Rekylriffel Syndikat 1904 Pistol 7.65 mm auto. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved January 25, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/66/1522/dansk-rekylriffel-syndikat-1904-pistol-765-mm-auto.