Austro-Hungarian Steyr Pieper Pistols



7.65mm Steyr-Pieper SelbstladPistole Model 1908

This pistol is also referred to as the 7.65mm Model 1909

Approx. 60000 were manufactured by OEWG Steyr 1909-1911 and 1919-1929
Type: automatic pistol (blowback)
Chambering: 7.65mm Auto (7.65x17mm) (.32acp)
Length overall: 162mm [6.38"]
Weight unloaded: 630g [22.2oz]
Barrel: 92mm [3.62"] rifled 6 grooves, rh
Magazine: 7-round detachable box

Originally intended for commercial sale, this pistol was built to the patents of Nicolas Pieper of Liege, Belgium. This was an unusual blowback pistol with a tip-down barrel. The barrel was retained with a pivoting bolt and it was held by a thumb-latch barrel-locking mechanism. The recoil-spring rod ended in a hook engaging a lug on the slide, disengaging automatically when the breech was raised.
The Steyr gun differed from the Pieper pattern in the following minor details: The angle of the pistol grip was increased, the grips were attached with 2 screws instead of 1, the barrel was lengthened, the rear sight was revised.
This was a favorite private purchase pistol for Austro-Hungarian Military officers and Police departments.
Manufacture was started in 1909 and suspended in 1911. Some historians claim that manufacturing continued until 1914, but we have no examples reported with manufacturing dates during 1912-14. Maybe those historians' confusion comes from the fact that there are 1911 manufactured pistols, which were accepted in 1914 by the Landwehr. Manufacturing resumed in 1919. They reused some parts already pre-manufactured, so serial numbering and dates are overlapping. Manufacturing continued until 1929. Some historians claim that manufacturing continued until 1939, but we have no examples reported with manufacturing dates beyond 1929.

The pocket version of this Pistol is the Steyr-Pieper M1909

The Legend on the left side of the receiver: 'OESTERR. WAFFENFABRIKS-GES. STEYR' and on the left side of the barrel: 'PAT.No.9379-05 u No.25025-06'. A 1910 dated pistol has a 3rd Patent number here 'No. 16715-08', however several other samples show this 3rd patent number on the right side of the pistol.

The Legend on the right side of the receiver: 'N. PIEPER PATENT' and on the right side of the barrel: 'NPv' (a Nitro-Proof mark) and further forward: 'PAT.No.40335'. Both grips have the 'OWG' logo and 'STEYR'.

This pistol was manufactured in 1911 and LandWehr accepted in 1914. Military acceptance marks are not common.


Post-War 7.65mm Steyr-Pieper SelbstladPistole Model 1908

Post-War pistol with the new Austrian 'STEYR' logo grips, but the slide-grip area is similar to the pre-war version. The left and right side legends are similar to the pre-war version except 'MADE IN AUSTRIA' was added after 'STEYR' on the left side of the receiver.

Post-War 7.65mm Steyr-Pieper SelbstladPistole Model 1908/34

Due to some problems experienced with the original 1908 slide, a more heavy duty slide was designed, which was used to replace old slides. A hard rubber recoil buffer was also added at the back of the new slide. Once the updated slide is installed on the M1908 it become the M1908/34.
This photo shows a 1928 dated pistol, has original style grips, but it lacks both left and right side legends. Some sources indicate these pistols were manufacured until 1939, however no post-1929 dates were reported/confirmed yet
A 1921 dated pistol with post-war 'STEYR' marked grips. There are no legends on the '08/34' slides.

1930's Austrian State Security Police issued pistols were marked with 'SW' (Sicherheitswache Waffen) [Bundespolizei] on the rear grip strap. Based on the SW numbers research, approx. 8000 pistols were marked this way.

Nazi marked Steyr M1908. It is very rare.


Pictures courtesy of Darrell Goss, Dennis Kroh and J. Cooper

Manufacturing Date - Serial Numbers Data

There is a significant inconsistency between overlapping serial numbering and manufacturing dates. The 1919-20 dates indicate pre-WW1 manufactured pistols / parts assembled post-WW1.
1910:  14087 - 20835
1911:  23960 - 42053 (some military accepted Lw14)
1912:
1919:  36832 - 48687
1920:  37131 - 43406
1921:  41356 - 48361
1922:  50476 P - 53550 P
1923:  51991 P - 56983 P
1928:  50034 P - 59200 P
????:  59628 P (Nazi marked)
1929:  60100 P

SW Numbers Data

SW 154 - SW 8069


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