POTD: Bernard Mueller Prototype Model 1895 Semi-Automatic Pistol
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a very interesting early pistol prototype. This is the Bernard Mueller Prototype Model 1895 Semi-Automatic Pistol. The 1890s were full of weird and cool-looking autoloading pistol attempts. The most notable successes of this timeframe would be pistols like the Borchardt C93, Mauser C96, and the FN 1899. This bernard Mueller 1895 Pistol falls right in the middle of all of that. It was chambered for some sort of 7.5mm cartridge since the Swiss were partial to that bullet diameter at the time. It is straight blowback and an almost p[voting action. Similar to the Mauser C96, a stripper clip is inserted and the bolt is held open by the clip until it is pulled out and the action closes. Looking on the inside, the bolt is a long curved shape that travels rearward into the grip. I personally imagine this was not a super pleasant shooting gun since the bolt rocks into the grip like that.
“This is a very rare example of a very early Swiss prototype Model 1895 pistol developed by the Swiss designer Bernhardt Mueller. There is very little information known on this pistol, but it was an early attempt at developing a semi-automatic pistol. The only marks are on the right side of the upper area of the frame “Pat. B. Mueller Zch. 1895”. This very unusual pistol uses a direct-blowback type action with a swinging breechblock that actually moves in an arc inside the frame. It also uses a very heavy robust hammer that also swings in an arc, which strikes the firing pin in a downward glancing blow versus a straight inline hit. It has a conventional revolver style grip, somewhat similar to the Swiss 1882 revolver. The interesting aspect of this model is that it uses a “split” frame type action similar to the Japanese Type 26 revolver. There is a large hinge on the front of the frame, and a large retaining screw on the right rear end of the frame that holds the action together. Once you remove this screw the left side of the receiver swings open, exposing all the internal components. It has a 4 1/4 inch barrel with a barrel banded front sight base that has the same overall configuration as the early Swiss Lugers. The rear sight is actually a simple notch in the top rear section of the frame. It loads via stripper clips through the top of the pistol; however, there is no internal follower or spring, so it might use a small clip like an early Bergmann or Steyr. On page 71 in the book “Arms and Armament of the Swiss Army from 1817″ by Reinhardt and Rhyn there is another different Model 1902 semi-automatic pistol also credited to Bernhard Mueller. A very rare and interesting early Swiss prototype pistol.”
Lot 2637: Swiss – Rare Early Swiss Bernard Mueller Prototype Model 1895 Semi-Automatic Pistol with Split Frame Design. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved December 26, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/75/2637/swiss-.