POTD: Reiger M1889 Manual Repeating Rotary Magazine Pistol
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a really neat one-of-a-kind prototype Austrian pistol. This is the Reiger M1889 Manual Repeating Rotary Magazine Pistol. Much like the Bittner that I just covered in brief this is a “ring-trigger” manually operated pistol. The especially interesting aspect of the Reiger M1889 is that it uses a rotary magazine. The rotary magazine is not the same in the way you think of a 10/22 magazine but imagine if you could remove the rotary magazine from a Savage Model 99. There is a sheet metal cylinder or rotary magazine that is inserted into the magazine well on the side of the gun. Operation of the gun is simple yet complicated if you are used to guns of today. You would move the ring forward which would cock and open the bold and upon moving the ring rearward the bolt would shut and pressure on the trigger would fire it. You can imagine this would actually produce rapid fire if the user was used to it. Most likely this prototype never saw production for the same reason most do not. It was expensive and complicated and rapid fire was not as valuable back then as it is today.
“Predating semi-automatic pistol designs, this repeater functions through the use of a ring lever that is manually pulled backwards to move the bolt forward, indexing the internal six round rotary magazine one position and chambering a round. At the rearward most point of travel, the stand alone trigger is bumped, releasing a striker operated center fire firing pin contained inside the bolt. After firing, the ring lever is then manually pushed forward to move the bolt backwards and eject a spent case. This pistol functions similar to a Schulhof pistol from the same time period. Adjustable front and ramped sliding rear sight. Completely unmarked. The right side of the frame has a sliding door that reveals a removable sheet metal constructed skeleton frame six round rotary magazine with cylinder indexing grooves on its rear. Rear mounted sliding safety below the bolt, operated by pushing it to the left in order to block the rear end of the bolt, which locks the bolt in the closed position. If already cocked, the safety will also enter a catch under the rear of the protruding firing pin. Moving the safety to the right allows for full operation. This pistol can be found in the Austrian book, “Vom Ursprung der Selbstladepistole” (From the Origin of the Self-Loading Pistol) by Mötz & Shuy pages 102 and 103. Provenance: The Clive Cussler Collection”
Lot 554: Prototype Reiger M1889 Manual Repeating Rotary Magazine Pistol – Documented Prototype Reiger M1889 Manual Repeating Rotary Magazine Pistol. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/82/554/prototype-reiger-m1889-manual-repeating-rotary-magazine-pistol.