By Randy Rick

The Austrian 11mm Gasser Army Revolver M1870


Gasser Austrian Army Revolvers, Models 1870 & 1870/74

The firm of Leopold Gasser was situated in Vienna, Austria. Leopold was born in 1836. His father Johann Gasser was also a gunsmith, as was his son Johann. Leopold started his work employed by the gunsmith Josef Scheinigg whose daughter Leopoldine he married before starting his own firm in 1870.

The 11mm Gasser Army Revolvers fired a cartridge that was origonally used in the Werndl carbines. Double Action. Serial numbers up to 60,000 for the M1870 continuing up to 145,000 for the M1870/74. The M1870 had an iron frame, while the M1870/74 had a steel frame. Some M1870/74's carried the stamp GussStahl (steel).

The cylinders typically carried stamps:

		(crown)
                  LG          
                  70           
             serial number

Where LG = initials of Leopold Gasser or JG = Johann Gasser (son).
      70 = last 2 digits of the year, 70 or 71 etc.

On the front part of the frame sustaining the barrel (left) one finds the
inscription:

		L. GASSER
                  WIEN
              serial number

On top of the frame in front of the cylinder one finds:

           	      T
	      Double Headed Eagle
                     870         (the year 1870, etc)


On the frame, left side, in front of the trigger guard, one also finds the
serial number.

On the frame, left side, behind the trigger, one frequently finds a unit
designation. Example:  13TD/458 which stands for the 13th Train Division,
weapon number 458.

Commercially sold guns would have the stamp, on the right of the frame
infront of the trigger guard:
                            L. G.
                     (apple with arrow)
                        SCHUTZ MARKE

Fluted cylinders are seen on commercial guns.

A small number of M1870/74 revolvers were made by Thomas Sederle in 1881 and 1882.

Other Austrian military proofs such as Wn-eagle-year, or HV-year, or LW-year may be seen on these revolvers.

The Navy version of the M1870 used a wedge to retain the front of the frame instead of a thumb screw.

A scaled down version of the M1870/74, the 9mm, the Infantry-Officer Gasser-Kropatschek is also found.

Gasser made Montenegrin revolvers are common.

There are numerous other Gasser, Sederle, and Gasser-Kropatschek revolvers which are detailed in the fine book by Schuy (German Text). This book has been available at IDSA Books, tel 937-773-4203.