Gasser M-1870

     Notes: A relative of the M-1898 below, the M-1870 stood out not only for being one of the biggest black powder revolvers, but for it’s sheer size and caliber – one commentator on the Internet called it “the BFG of the 1870s.”  (You do have to know the computer game Doom to understand that reference…)  And the round it fired was huge, but also slow – 213 meters per second – some crossbow bolts fly faster.  The M-1870 acquired a nickname as the “Montenegrin Gasser;” in Montenegro and Bosnia, it was considered macho to carry the big M-1870, and in Montenegro at the time, every adult male was required to own a sidearm.

      Like its descendant, the M-1870 was atrocious from an ergonomic standpoint.  Loading was though a gate on the right side, and it has the same Abadie-type safety, and a double crossbar safety has to be pushed in to fire.  In addition, it has sort of a firing pin safety – pins move forwards after each shot, locking the cylinder, and pulling the trigger again releases the cylinders.  The M-1870 can therefore be carried loaded and safe, but it means that the trigger pull weight is heavy.  There is no automatic shell extraction or ejection, and stripping and reassembling the M-1870 is complicated.

     In many details, the M-1870 is almost the same as the M-1898. Barrels come in at 4.57 inches or a huge 9 inches. 

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

M-1870 (4.57” Barrel)

11.25mm Gasser

0.85 kg

5 Cylinder

$259

M-1870 (9” Barrel)

11.25mm Gasser

1.3 kg

5 Cylinder

$304

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

M-1870 (4.57”)

DAR

2

1-Nil

2

6

Nil

8

M-1870 (9”)

DAR

3

1-Nil

2

5

Nil

20

 

Rast & Gasser M-1898

     Notes:  This weapon was originally built for the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1896.  It served with Austria until late in the 1920s, leaving production shortly after World War 1 in 1919, and with the Italians until the end of World War 2 (they had been given to the Italians as part of World War 1 reparations).  Today, they most common place to find them are the Balkan states, as they were shipped in large numbers during World War 2 to Greek Partisans.  The Rast & gasser was also used by some second-line units and police units. There were also some civilian sales in Europe, but the Rast & Gasser was never able to break into the British or US market, and in those countries few collectors have them now.  In a time when military revolvers were falling by the wayside, increasingly replaced by automatic pistols, the Rast & Gasser was basically obsolete at its introduction; the poor power of the 8mm Gasser round didn’t help sales to other countries.

     The Rast & Gasser has angular lines, including a pistol grip which is ergonomically unsound; the Rast & Gasser does not have anything near natural pointing qualities.  The Rast & Gasser uses an unusual Abadie-type safety, in which the opening gate is opened, and this disconnects the trigger from the hammer and keeps the hammer locked (whether back or forward).  The loading gate on the right side of the cylinder hinges back for loading or unloading.  There is no sort of automatic shell ejection.  The Rast & Gasser uses a 4.8-inch barrel, and uses a fixed V-notch rear sight and a front sight blade in the shape of an inverted V.  Trigger pull length is short, but trigger pull weight is heavy; because the trigger pull length is so short, the heavy pull weight does not detract from accuracy.  The finish is usually blued, and the grips are of checkered walnut. At the heel of the butt is a large lanyard ring. For cleaning or repairs, the entire left side plate is hinged and swings open, exposing most of the working parts.  The trigger guard is pulled down and rotated forward to remove the side plate.  The left side of the grip can also be readily removed for maintenance of the mainspring.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Rast & Gasser

8mm Gasser

0.94 kg

8 Cylinder

$143

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Rast & Gasser

DAR

1

Nil

1

3

Nil

8