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Steyr 1893 Gas-Seal Trials Revolver

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Today we are looking at a pair of Steyr 1893 trials revolvers. Only about 100 of these were made, primarily for Austro-Hungarian military trials. These two are early pattern examples, with Pieper-type gas seal systems in which the cylinder is cammed forward upon firing and an extra-long cartridge case bridges the gas between cylinder and barrel. This slightly increases muzzle velocity by eliminating the gas leak at the cylinder gap, but it does so at the cost of extra complexity and a very poor trigger pull.

In addition to that system, the Steyr 1893 features a tip-out cylinder and central ejector, which would make reloading quite rapid for the time. It held 7 rounds of 8mm ammunition (a gas-seal 8mm cartridge). A later version of the gun replaced this with a fixed cylinder and an Abadie loading gate system. Neither of these would be adopted, and the Rast & Gasser model 1898 would be chosen instead.

Interestingly, one of these two revolvers has a Nazi-era German civilian proof on the cylinder, suggesting that it was sold on the commercial market in Germany during that time, and thus required proofing. The majority of these revolvers have no proofs, as they were never sold commercially by Steyr.

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