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Bavarian Lightning: The 1869 Werder Pistol

This is a lot in the upcoming February 2020 Morphy Field & Range auction.

Adopted by Bavaria in 1869, Johann-Ludwig Werder’s breechloading rifle was a brilliant piece of engineering, offering an automatically ejecting falling-block system with a remarkably high effective rate of fire and a wonderfully modular system of parts. Removing a single screw releases the entire breech and fire control system as a self-contained unit for easy maintenance and servicing.

The Werder was made in rifle, carbine, and pistol form, with the carbines and pistols chambered for an 11x35mm short cartridge (340 grain bullet over 66.4 grains of black powder), while the rifle used an 11x50mm cartridge (386 grain bullet over 66.4 grains of black powder). The rifles saw a relatively short service life, as attempts to convert them to 11mm Mauser (11×60) were plagued by problems (the Mauser cartridge being substantially more powerful than the original Werder cartridge). The pistols and carbines were not converted in this way, but left service at the same time that the rifles did.

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