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Pistols for Royalty: the Mannlicher 1900 Standard and Magnificently Engraved

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The model 1900 was a transitional pattern of Mannlicher pistol, intended to be an improvement over the somewhat clumsy and underpowered Mannlicher 1896. Only about 250 of them were made, with an eye towards military contracts (which they were unable to secure). The 1900 pattern has a large manual thumb safety on the left side, and requires a screwdriver for disassembly. The 1901 pattern would improve these features by replace the disassembly screw with a spring-loaded lever and moving the safety to the rear of the slide. However, Mannlicher had several Model 1900 pistols magnificently engraved and presented to European royalty in his efforts to win military adoption of the design. Today, we have the examples presented to Sultan Abdul Hamid II of the Ottoman Empire and Wilhelm II of the German Empire, as well as one slightly lesser example given to one of Abdul Hamid’s adjutants.

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