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Old July 11, 2015, 08:32 AM   #1
armedleo
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Question: So, who developed the striker fired concept? First striker fired pistol?

We know about John Browning and his 1911. But who came up with the striker fired concept? Why? Who manufactured the first striker fired pistols?
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Old July 11, 2015, 09:01 AM   #2
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Probably Hugo Borchardt.
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Old July 11, 2015, 09:16 AM   #3
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I believe the first American striker-fired pistol was the Savage 1910. It has what looks like a hammer, but it only cocks the striker. It was also has the first American double stack magazine, holding 10 rounds of 32acp.
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Old July 11, 2015, 08:47 PM   #4
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The Colt Vest Pocket, a Browning design, came out in 1908, but Browning's Model 1900 and other striker pistols were before that in Europe.

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Old July 11, 2015, 08:53 PM   #5
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Wait. It wasn't Al Gore?
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Old July 11, 2015, 09:05 PM   #6
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I think the earliest example of the partially re-cocking striker action (what a lot of people think of when they use the term "striker fired") would be the Roth-Sauer from the first decade of the 20th century.

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Old July 11, 2015, 10:01 PM   #7
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IIRC, the Roth-Steyr and Roth-Sauer both came after the FN-Browning Model 1900, and certainly after the Borchardt of 1893. There were early manually operated pistols with strikers (Passler-Seidl, 1887), and by 1900 there were several auto pistols including the successful Borchardt and Luger as well as the Browning.

Also, IIRC, Glock claimed to have studied the Roth-Steyr in designing his firing mechanism, which operates on the same general principle of a partially cocked firing pin.

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Old July 11, 2015, 11:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
IIRC, the Roth-Steyr and Roth-Sauer both came after the FN-Browning Model 1900, and certainly after the Borchardt of 1893. There were early manually operated pistols with strikers (Passler-Seidl, 1887), and by 1900 there were several auto pistols including the successful Borchardt and Luger as well as the Browning.

Also, IIRC, Glock claimed to have studied the Roth-Steyr in designing his firing mechanism, which operates on the same general principle of a partially cocked firing pin.
Yes the Roth-Steyr and Roth-Sauer both certainly came after quite a few striker-fired pistols. What I think they pioneered was the partially re-cocking striker.
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Old July 12, 2015, 09:37 AM   #9
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The Luger was an early striker-fired semi-auto.

Wikipedia says the Luger was "an evolution of the 1893 Hugo Borchardt–designed C-93", and that the C-93 was the first mass-produced semi-auto pistol (not just the first striker-fired pistol). Wiki also says that Georg Luger was an assistant to Borschardt, and contributed to its design.

The Luger was first used by the Swiss Army in 1900, and later adopted by the German army in 1908.

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Old July 12, 2015, 08:50 PM   #10
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I am unable to find any references to any semi auto striker fired pistol before the Borchardt C93. It may be that the C93 was the first striker fired pistol.

And while the C93 might be considered the first mass produced semi auto (different folks have different numbers for what constitutes "mass production", one I standard I have heard is 5,000 units.) The C93 was not common, I think only a few thousand were made, but that could be enough I suppose.

The appellation of "first successful (or commercially successful) semi auto is usually given to the Mauser C96 aka Broomhandle, which is not a striker fired pistol. The C93 might be the first mass produced, but the Mauser 96 was a commercial success (for a time, anyway), and many, many, many more were made than Borchardts.
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Old July 13, 2015, 01:02 AM   #11
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Nobody has mentioned the 1910 - 1914 pocket Mauser. That was opne of the best.
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Old July 13, 2015, 07:56 AM   #12
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The thread was on the first striker-fired pistol; the Mausers came late, in the same period as the FN Browning 1910 and 17 years after the Borchardt.

As of now, the 1893 Borchardt appears to be the "winner". I can find nothing earlier and certainly it was the first mass produced auto pistol of any kind. Even if earlier ones existed, they were on paper, not in steel.

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Old July 13, 2015, 09:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grey.ghost
Wait. It wasn't Al Gore?
Wasn't he the one who claimed he could stop the oceans from rising? No wait that was barack obama. Actually, I believe both said this.
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Old July 13, 2015, 11:35 PM   #14
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I think Obama had his throne set in the sand and commanded the ocean tide to stop and not wet his shoes. It worked and the sand around him remained dry. Of course, he did that in New Mexico.

Back on topic. After the Luger and the Glock, one of the most successful striker fired pistols ever was the 1900 Browning with something like 700,000 made. Yet due to the Colt-FN agreement, the gun remains almost unknown in the U.S. The very clever design uses a single spring for both the slide and firing pin.

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Old July 14, 2015, 06:06 AM   #15
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Everyone knows gaston is the only maker of striker fired guns (some even argue Glock is the only gun manufacture) so the answer has to be Glock. All those others are just pretenders that predate Glock.
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Old July 14, 2015, 04:04 PM   #16
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I have a "LeFrancais", a total waste of .25 ACP ammo, 7 round magazine, DA only striker fired. 1914
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Old July 14, 2015, 09:04 PM   #17
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The LeFrancaise was also made in .32 ACP for police use. Like the .25, it was not only striker fired but used a tip-down barrel for loading/unloading the chamber. The slide is almost impossible to pull back. One story is that French police were forbidden to carry a round in the chamber, so the .32 version had a loop on the bottom of the magazine in which a round was kept for quick loading.

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Old July 16, 2015, 02:09 AM   #18
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So the external hammer-fired semiauto pistol is a more recent, more highly evolved design?
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Old July 16, 2015, 02:54 AM   #19
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And the LeFrancais was also made in 9mm Browning Long.

Quote:
So the external hammer-fired semiauto pistol is a more recent, more highly evolved design?
Not really; External hammer fired pistols also date back to the 1890s with early Mauser and Mannlicher designs, as well as early Browning prototype pistols.
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Old July 16, 2015, 06:29 AM   #20
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Wasn't Maxim's machine gun design of late 1800s? Wasn't it striker fired?
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Old July 16, 2015, 07:19 AM   #21
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Borchard implemented the striker fire in the last iteration of the Sharps rifle, and emigrated back to Germany to refine the mechanism in that odd looking automatic pistol which was the precursor to the Luger I believe.
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Old July 17, 2015, 08:11 AM   #22
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Borchardt's Sharps rifle was preceded several years by the striker fired Martini-Henry, adopted in 1871.
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Old July 17, 2015, 08:54 AM   #23
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If you go to non-semi guns, the striker mechanism dates back at least to the Dreyse needle guns developed in the 1830s. Don't know if any of today's inline muzzle loaders have historic originals that predate that.
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Old July 17, 2015, 06:20 PM   #24
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One of the challenges with developing self loading pistols was the low pressures and bulk generated by black powder ammo. This wasn't really overcome till smokeless powder arrived.

Hiram S. Maxim, an American, took out patents in 1884 on one of the first automatic rifles employing recoil to self load. It was a modified Winchester lever gun. It worked and proved recoil could be harnessed to operate a self loading long gun. But the gun was overly complicated for the time and possibly anytime. Not a striker but a hammer.

Maxim then developed plans for a striker fired pistol that was quite revolver looking except for the magazine in front of the trigger guard. He never built it as he could find no interest in it from manufacturers in the late 1880s.

He patented a striker fired pistol of blowback design with Louis Silverman in 1896. The patent was a British one. Models of the gun were built in 7.65 Borchardt, 8mm Schonberger and 45 Webley. These were powerful rounds for a blowback and the Silverman-Maxim gun solved this by having gas ports. The gun resembled the Whitney Wolverine at first glance. This latter may have scared off some manufacturers and it never reached full production. Maxim and Silverman went on to get 4 patents on machine guns together.

Not the first striker fired but it shows the idea and concept of striker fired guns was a common one and not unusual.

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Old July 17, 2015, 07:15 PM   #25
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It oughta be said that in the 1880s and 1890s the Europeans and particular the Austrians and Hungarians were leading the way in self loading pistol design.

In the 1890s the Austrian Archduke held annual pistol trials where anyone who was anyone showed up and tried out their designs. Frommer, Borchardt, Schwarzlose, Browning, the Mausers, Bergmann, Mannlicher, Luger and many others attended. Would have been a thing to see.

Strikers were first employed in rifles. Most developments in pistols trickle down from rifles.

Striker fired guns were a part of the mix (hammer and bolt being the others) but no special status or mention of them was made.

I looked through the indexes of Ezell's "Handguns of the World", Smith's "Pistols and Revolvers", Boothroyd's "The Handgun", Smith's "Small Arms of the World" and Pollards "History of Firearms" for references to striker fired pistols or any references to strikers. Only Ezell has a spot in the index and he mentions them first in connection to the early designs for what became the Hi-Power.

In the text of each book strikers are mentioned as part of the designs from the beginning of rifles and handguns but they have no spot in the indexes. This is not a mistake or oversight. Strikers and hammers have been a feature of handgun design but not an important enough one on their own to merit separate references in the indexes.

Until about 4 or 5 years ago there were no "striker vs. hammer" discussions.

Same is true of old gun magazines and books. I can't recall ever reading a single article debating the merits of one vs. the other. Certainly beyond 5 years ago or less. Plenty of debates on sa vs da/sa vs dao, 1911 vs. M9, 1911 vs. Glock, etc. But till a few years ago no debate on striker vs hammer. Zero discussion on which a shooter preferred. It's a very recent discussion.

I'm not sure why that is but it certainly is.

When Glock came along it was that it had a polymer frame and the trigger mechanism that were discussed. That it had a striker was not new (the H&K P7 was around) and not it's most important feature.

At any rate strikers have been around for awhile.

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