FIREARMS PROFILE: Laumann 1891 early "self-loading" pistol

Laumann 1891, with the action closed and ready to fire

The Laumann 1891 is a very early repeating pistol by Josef Laumann in Austria, it fired a 7.8×19mmR cartridge ( also known as the 8mm Schönberger ) loaded from a 5 round en bloc (Bullet clip, straight gangsta). It is considered by some to be the first semi-automatic pistol, but was most likely by the Salvator-Dormus 1891 pistol.

Laumann 1891 with the action open

The Laumann 1891 has an interesting mechanism. It uses a 5-round Mannlicher-style en-bloc clips . The Laumann pistol has a ring-shaped lever on the bottom of the action which is pulled back to close the bolt. This makes it similar to a blow forward semi-auto action, with the exception that it is partly manually operated. When the ring-shaped lever is pulled all the way to the rear the trigger is pulled and fires a round, when the ring lever is released the spent case is ejected. The large round button on the side of the pistol is used to eject the en-bloc clip.

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