Dieselpunks

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The pocket pistol to some evokes images of cheap, dangerous handguns that often are more deadly to their handlers than opponents. However, well made pocket pistols was one of the strong suits of the firearms giant Mauser during the first decades of the 20th century.

Mauser produced a series of pocket pistols the Model 1910, 1914 and 1934 designed to be slipped into a waistcoat or in the case of the Mauser WTPI and II, a pistol so small it fit in a vest pocket.

The Model 1910 and its decedents was a simple direct blowback pistol with a fixed barrel. That fired the reduced power of ammunition of the smaller .25 and .32 ACP rounds, two calibers that remain common chambers in pocket pistols. Look at the silouette of the 1910 series, you will see a slight protrusion beneath the muzzle. That latch could be twisted to begin the disassebly process of the fixed barrel and slide. Initially, the Model 1910 was known as the "side latch" because disassembly was achieved by a small lever on the frame above the trigger guard.

The Model 1910/14 was chambered in .25 ACP in a nine-round magazine. The Model 1914 put .32 ACP rounds down range. A brief run of 200 Model 1912 pistol's were made chambered in 9mm. However, its believed the success of this more powerful round and pistol combination was killed by the outbreak of World War I. All Model 1910/14/34 pistols were used by German forces through both World Wars.

Smaller still was the WTP I and II. The acronym WTP is German "Westen Taschen Pistole" for vest pocket pistol. The two inch barrel and six round .25 ACP capacity of the WTP series maintained the tradition of compact size that continues today. Weighing about 10 ounces loaded, the WTP was slightly heavier than a roll of quarters.The WTP I was the first post-World War I pistol produced by Mauser and was successful. The WTP II (above) was less pletinful due to the start of World War II, but did show up in the hands of Occupied Frenchmen. The ergonomics of the WTP made it functional in hands large or small.

 

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Tags: 1910s, 1930s, Mauser, Weapons of War, germany, handgun, pistol, pocket pistol, vest pistol

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Comment by Mark R. Holcomb on March 26, 2013 at 5:31pm

In  West  Virginia, one  of  the worst shootouts was perpetrated at Cannelton Hollow in  1911,  with a similar pistol  by  Colt. At least  ten  people will killed in that fire fight.

Comment by Salim Farhat on May 21, 2012 at 11:58am

I remember there was a website that was loaded with obscure handguns from the 1910's and 20's, including several Walther pistols that you've never heard of. Sadly it has gone off line for many years. I wish I had the pictures of those guns still.

Comment by Dan G. on April 27, 2012 at 10:36am

A handy little gem for the well dressed lady or gent to take along to that next rather ~ questionable ~ dinner party.

Another great article, Jake!

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