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1896 Bittner: The Most Beautiful Steampunk Pistol

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One of the very last, most common, and best looking of the Austrian manually operated pistols is the Bittner. Designed by Gustav Bittner in 1893 and going into production in 1896 (the known examples were proofed in 1897 and 1898), I think the Bittner is just about the most beautiful pistol I have seen. Several hundred were made; possibly as many as 500. They were produced for the civilian market only, with an option for a fancy presentation case. The Bittner was the last gasp of the manually operated pistol, as successful self-loaders like the C96 Mauser were being introduced alongside it.

Note that the numbers often found on the bottom of the barrel are not serial numbers – they are Vienna proof house sequential numbers. The actual Bittner serial numbers are stamped on the inside of the frame, visible only after removing the side plate.

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