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Pistol Testing Phase: specifications and requirements


The tests were completed in specific steps or phases to examine the qualities of the different pistols, as follows:

  1. Pistol description, disassembly and reassembly of the weapon by the person presenting it.
  2. Speed of shooting – for each pistol, two series of 50 shots were fired.
  3. Precision of shooting– Three series of 30 shots, at a distance of 50 metres.
  4. Endurance – 400 shots with the same pistol, without cleaning it or refreshing it.
  5. Powder and lubrification variations. Test of the pistol with more powder than usual, then less, with parts of the breechblock completely dry (no grease), then greased with rancid hardened oil.
  6. Tests with dust and water – 50 to 100 shots, after the gun having gone through road dust, and also after the weapon had been put through water.
  7. Penetration tests – against 0.8mm thick metal sheets.
  8. Speed – measure of the initial speed, 5 shots per weapon.

The tests lasted three days. After each of the steps were performed with one of the pistols, the commission members would gather and talk about their notes, which were eventually added to a final report.

In order to stay as fair and accurate as possible toward each of the pistols, the commission decided to use a grading system, each particularity being attributed points, ranging from 1 to 4, which were:

  1. Basic design of the pistol
  2. Solidity.
  3. Weight.
  4. Dimensions.
  5. The shape of the pistol, taking into account the ease with which the weapon can be carried, and the facility in handling the weapon.
  6. Resistance to dust and water.
  7. Pistol working design, in regular situations, without grease, greased with rancid oil, with dust and water, with reduced powder-loaded bullets.
  8. Advantages and disadvantages of the ammunition loader, loading the pistol shot by shot, and unloading of the weapon.
  9. Breechblock position (open and closed) while the loader (magazine) was empty.
  10. Automatic loading of the hammer.
  11. Security system.
  12. Shooting speed.
  13. Ease of aim, smoothness of the trigger, shot precision, kick.
  14. Penetration power.
  15. Disassembly and reassembly of the pistol.
  16. Cleaning of the pistol.
  17. Loader design.

Depending on the importance of the point being tested, the grade was multiplied by a coefficient ranging from 1 to 3.

Points-scored for the pistols tested…

From the test phase, the Borchardt-Luger received the most points, well ahead of the other pistols. The final classification was:

  1. Borchardt-Luger,
  2. Roth,
  3. Mannlicher,
  4. Bergmann, Mauser.

Next: The Decisions of the Pistol Test Commission >> 1,2,3,4,5,

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