View Full Version : Swiss M1882 Revolver

October 31, 2012, 09:15 AM
So, I've been wanting a Swiss M1882 double-action revolver for some time now, even though the ammo is archaic and hard to find. I found an early one (hard rubber grips) that was in excellent condition, so I bought it.

This revolver is an amazing piece of Swiss engineering. The machining that must have been done to create one of these is unbelievable. For example, just the octogonal barrel, the front sight blade which is rather intricately formed, and a latch for the ejector rod, appear to have been machined out of one solid piece of steel. Every part is serial numbered and stamped with a Swiss Cross - hammer, trigger, frame, barrel, ejector rod, cylinder pin and most of the internal parts. There are other markings that I will need to learn more about.

I hate to say this, but I thought one really nice example of the Swiss M1882 would be enough for me.....these Swiss revolvers could become addictive!

Any other thoughts on the M1882 would be welcomed.

Mike Irwin
October 31, 2012, 09:22 AM

I have half a mind to ban you for violating a very simple TFL tenet...



Those are what, 7.5, correct? Someone is still loading the ammo for these... RWS maybe, or Fiocchi.

October 31, 2012, 09:39 AM
Sorry! Pictures will be coming!!!

November 1, 2012, 08:02 AM
I tried to take some detailed photos of some of the things that impressed me about the M1882. I love the way you can access the internals by simply unscrewing the large "captured" screw on the left side of the pistol - the sideplate is hinged and simply swings open to give you access to the clock-like mechanism. This particular M1882 was manufactured by SIG (stamped under the grip). I am still trying to research the date manufactured, but I believe that it was made in the early 1890's.


Mike Irwin
November 1, 2012, 08:26 AM
That thing is in pretty sweet condition for a gun that old.

what did you have to give for it?

November 1, 2012, 10:34 AM
I paid $650 for it. This was a little more than I wanted to spend on this particular gun, but given the condition and the fact that it is the earlier model with the hard-rubber grips, I felt it was a fair price.

I'd been searching for one of these off and on for years. Most of the M1882 Revolvers I find have the wooden grips, which were later productions and produced over a longer period of time. Finding this particular version in this kind of condition was a real treat. Condition aside, I really like the quality and refinement of the action for a revolver made around 1890.

James K
November 1, 2012, 08:10 PM
Americans don't like to admit it, but the Europeans were way ahead of us in DA revolver development in the 19th century. While the ammunition was relatively weak (compared to .45 Colt or .44-40), the guns were well designed, well made, and much better suited to mililtary service than a Colt SAA or S&W Schofield.

Compare the time and effort required to clean or replace a part in that gun to the same job in a Colt or S&W. And the Swiss were not the only nation to adopt that kind of system; the Swedes, Russians, and French used similar revolvers. The Russian Nagant revolver, much disparaged here, was actually very much in line with contemporary military thinking in sidearm design, though no other country adopted its unique gas seal design.


November 2, 2012, 07:58 PM
That is a very fine looking M1882 you found. Far better than most I have seen, I think that one was worth the money.

Mike Irwin
November 3, 2012, 07:34 AM
"Americans don't like to admit it, but the Europeans were way ahead of us in DA revolver development in the 19th century."

Yep, but we caught up. :)

November 3, 2012, 12:53 PM
My pictures really don't do the gun it's justice. I've been trying to figure out why it looks like there is "rust" on loading lever and hammer. There is no discoloration at all on any of the parts. In fact, the loading lever is highly polished and throws off some glare. In any event, I just couldn't pass this one up, being in the condition it is in.

I wish the Swiss made a larger variety of revolvers and semi-autos. They really have to be the world's best craftsmen. I don't know what purpose the easy-access, hinged plate serves - I just think the makers wanted an easy way to show off the internals, sort of like a clear caseback on a swiss watch.:D

November 3, 2012, 02:30 PM
"While the ammunition was relatively weak" might explain why the US stayed with single actions for so long.

James K
November 3, 2012, 05:41 PM
The ammunition was weak because the armies using those revolvers didn't need anything more powerful, not having to fight Afghanistan tribesmen or Native American warriors who didn't seem to know that they should just fall down if they were shot like "civilized" white soldiers.

I have no doubt the revolver designs would have been scaled up for use with the .45 Colt or any other "powerful" round had that been thought necessary.


Mike Irwin
November 3, 2012, 10:57 PM
"The ammunition was weak because the armies using those revolvers didn't need anything more powerful, not having to fight Afghanistan tribesmen."

Doesn't particularly explain the French, though.

They fought some damned nasties in their colonies, but their revolver rounds were pitiful.

James K
November 4, 2012, 12:07 AM
True. Only the English used what we would call "big bore" but their loads were pretty weak even by the standards of the black powder era (a .455 bullet at 570-600 fps).


Mike Irwin
November 4, 2012, 07:20 AM
The Mle 1873 revolver fired an 11mm round that was definitely a big bore.

Only it was a 98 pound weakling even compared to the British rounds of the time.

November 5, 2012, 09:49 AM
Not that I have any intention of doing this, but it would be interesting to know just how far you could push the M1882 with modern ammunition. My guess is that it can handle a good bit more pressure than what it was intended to handle.

Bob Wright
November 5, 2012, 02:28 PM
That firing pin alone looks lethal!

Bob Wright

November 5, 2012, 04:57 PM
That firing pin alone looks lethal!

Yeah, I had to laugh at that - there's quite a bit of spring tension behind it too! Maybe they had problems with tough primers back then???:D

November 7, 2012, 08:11 PM
That is cheap for such a fine looking revolver. I'm gonna start looking for them.