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German blank pistol

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Ian, May 25, 2003.

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  1. Ian

    Ian Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    My uncle picked up an interesting German gas/blank pistol from a friend in the CIA, and he's looking for some more info on it. Ideally, he'd like to find someone else with the same type of pistol, so he can see if the Agency modified his at all. Anyway, here's what he knows about it so far:

    The maker is "August Schuler in Suhl". The logo is a stylized "A S S".
    Searching on the web, all I found by this maker is a couple of fancy sporting shotguns from about 100 years ago.

    The fellow I got it from sent me this info, translated from "The German Encylopedia of Firearms":
    "Starting and teargas pistol, by August Schuler in Suhl. Selfloading pocket-pistol, for a completely rimless cartridge. The pistol has neither chamber nor extractor. Ejecting the spent case takes place via gas pressure. Usable as a starting pistol with color cartridges or with gas cartridges as a self-protection weapon. Before 1939 built in two versions - 6 or 10 shots. Length 100mm. Weight 270 grams."

    It appears that the cartridge for it would be very close to .25 caliber, and the overall length about 1 inch. I'm guessing mine is a 6-shot version.

    The action is interesting: pulling the trigger causes the slide to move back. If you pull the trigger far enough, the slide is released and slams forward (rather hard!). The firing pin is *fixed* to the inside of the rear of the slide. There is a 'port' carved into the left side of the inside bore, where it would meet the front edge of the cartridge - I suspect this is the ejection mechanism (gas pressure would push the case out sideways). The magazine is fixed in the grip - it loads thru the ejection port. There is a spring-loaded magazine follower. There is a safety lever on the left side, with German markings for 'safe' and 'fire'. When the safety is on, the slide is pushed back slightly, which keeps the firing pin out of the way for loading. There is a plate protruding from the right side, just under the ejection port - presumably to protect the hand while firing.

    There is a stamp on the bottom of the grip strap that is shaped like a shield, and has "SUHL" in it, along with an image I can't make out. Near the stamp is a marking that says "M.33" (perhaps model of 1933 ??). Also near the stamp is a pair of X's, that is "XX". This is *possibly* an Agency marking, to mean 'experimental'. I have an early-production agent radio that also has XX markings. I would very much like to know if this "XX" marking appears on other known Schuler guns. The underside of the front edge of the barrel has a 2-digit number (35 ?). The grips have the "A S S" logo. No other markings.

    Everything is steel, except for the plastic grips, and the trigger which is made of a non-ferrous metal (aluminum??). The barrel has a smooth bore, roughly 25 caliber. Sighting down it, there
    is a slight 'contraction' in the middle section of the barrel - that is, it becomes slightly narrower in the middle, by a few thousanths of an inch.

    Attached is a picture.
  2. David A. Bazinet

    David A. Bazinet Member

    Dec 25, 2004
    August Schuler Pistol


    I read your letter on The High Road today concerning your August Schuler pistol. I have the same gum that you describe. It was left to me by an uncle that served in WWII. He got the pistol on a battlefield and it has been in our family since. I have electronic photos of the pistol. Send me a personal email address and I will send them to you.

  3. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Those German blank/gas pistols are pretty common. They were made from around the 1920's up through the post war period and may still be in production. They came about because of German gun laws restricting ownership of normal concealable firearms. While sometimes called "starter" pistols, the actual purpose was defense; a blank could frighten an attacker or the tear-gas from a gas cartridge could cause coughing or irritation to the eyes. They were often advertised in the US in the back of sporting and men's magazines, usually with blurbs like "no license needed" or "can be mailed directly to you". They sold for around $9.

    I suspect that the connection with the CIA, if any actually existed, was a matter of someone picking up the little gun for a personal collection. I can't see any possible use an agent could have for such a gun, or any reason the CIA (or any other governmental agency) would purchase or issue them.

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