In 1879, the Imperial German Federal
Government (Deutsches Kaiser Reich) decided to introduce a common Army and Navy
Revolver for four different Armies, the
PreuÃŸen, Bayern, Sachsen and WÃ¼rttemberg. This model is an Officer's model, as
noted by the checkered grips, and manufactured by the Suhl consortium (Valentin
Christian Schilling and C.
G. HÃ¤nel). The 'GF' beside the serial number on the barrel lug indicates that
it was accepted by the Bayerische Gewehrfabrik Amberg. The backstrap is marked with the Regimental Identifier: "BLFM 8.35. B.4.A.7.72", which identifies it as the Bavarian 4th Artillery Regiment, 7th Company, Gun# 72.
It has a 4-1/2" barrel with fixed sights, double and single action. The
caliber is 10.55mm (sometimes called 10.6) and is comparable to the Russian
.44. The crank on the left side acts as the safety for the weapon, securing the
base/cylinder pin and additionally blocking the hammer from cocking. The bluing
has faded but is still visible on the revolver, significant bluing on the
cylinder. All serial numbers are crisp with minimal wear marks on the piece.
Lanyard ring is present and checkered grips are crisp as well. As with most
German-made guns during the 1800s, EVERY PIECE has a stamped part number.
Weapon is in perfect operating condition...but it is recommended to have the
weapon inspected by a gunsmith before firing live rounds.
Rarity: While M1879s were for service use, the officers had to buy their own arms. Most of the officers came from well-to-do families and wanted a better finish, checkered grips, with a variety of double action revolvers, and because private property there are no unit stamps. These models are pretty rare, and Hans Reckendorf in his book Die MilitÃ¤r-Faustfeuerwaffen des Deutschen Reiches wrote after diligent research: "for 200 troop issued revolvers one finds one officer's model."