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Georg Roth’s company in Austria presided over a wonderful variety of interesting handgun development, and this is one example of that lineage. Roth’s licensed or purchased the patent for this pistol from its inventor, Wasa Theodorovic, and turned it over to his engineer Karel Krnka to develop (I’m simplifying this). The design used a long recoil action and a rotating bolt, elements which would later find their way into the designs of Rudolf Frommer, who worked at FEG where the Roth pistols were manufactured.
About 80 of these Roth-Theodorovic-Krnka pistols were made, with no two quite the same. They were in a constant process of development and improvement, and this (serial number 77) is one of the very last ones. It exhibits a quite refined fire control system with single and double action modes as well as a decocker. It is made yet more interesting by the addition of a grip safety, which does not appear to be a factory element. Instead, it appears to be a design patented by Tambour and installed by a contemporary gunsmith. Tambour safeties were put in a number of other types of guns at the time, including Mannlicher 1901/1905 pistols.
Frommer 1901: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-CXrytOS0E
Roth-Theodorovic-Krnka 1895: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1VJCOrSOA8
Roth-Steyr M1907: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baUTYMPsh9M
Roth-Steyr M1907 Slow Motion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-G_WiK6J3o
Roth-Steyr M1907 Shooting Match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xvCNEUnT4Y
At Forgotten Weapons I think the most interesting guns out there are the most obscure ones. I try to search out experimental and prototype weapons and show you how they work, in addition to more conventional guns that you may not have heard of before. You’re much more likely to find a video on the Cei Rigotti or Webley-Fosbery here than an AR or Glock. So, do you want to learn about something new today? Then stick around!