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  Dreyse & Collenbusch needle fire

Dreyse model 1883 BABY Reichsrevolver with double trigger, ejector and safety

Dreyse target pistol

  pistols and revolvers made before 1899. In 1864 Nicolaus Dreyse was knighted and later made weapons show with von = von Dreyse  / v. Dreyse.

The measurements are in Rheinische Zoll (= Prussian, German Inches). Those are about 10% bigger than British Inches. The metric system was introduced with the Convention in 1875.

from John Walter's book, The Rifle Story, page 48

the push button safety under the cocked hammer

13 on barrel

13 on cylinder

Patent on ejector housing

Dreyse model 1883 BABY Reichsrevolver with double trigger, ejector and safety matching serial # 13, caliber 9mm / .380. Dreyse made only very few Baby Reichsrevolver, and this is the third I encounter in my 52 years of collecting. A 3⅜" barrel with fixed front sight and on left side in front of the # the same P one finds in Patent, Patent stamped on ejector, officer's revolver styled  double triggers and ejector, additional a frame-mounted safety behind the hammer that. This safety needs to be retracted before the hammer can be cocked.  Rear of the cylinder is matching numbered 13, and  all visible small parts, including the screw heads and grip escutcheons are marked with matching 68. Finely checkered wood grips, each secured with a central screw and escutcheon. The major parts finished with a high polish blue. Circa 50% original bright blue with fading of small parts, fine bore with easily discernible rifling, perfect manual mechanics.
One of the most difficult to find Dreyse revolvers.    

Cal: 0,35 12 Gran Pulv:




the needle

inspection stamp

Dreyse Needlefire Double Action Revolver
serial #5215, caliber .38 Prussian, those are about 10% bigger than British Inches, 4" swamped octagon barrel with v. DREYSE  SÖMMERDA on top flat,  very good bore which shows strong rifling but with  a few very light pits. The metal surfaces on this very rare revolver are an overall bright pewter gunmetal patina showing remnants of light oxidation and near overall light pinprick pitting. On  the left and right of frame showing light engraving which continues on to the bottom of the frame, bow of the guard and the trigger guards front extension. The right side of the frame shows the caliber and load marking "Cal: 0,35"-12 Gran Pulv". The checkered walnut one-piece grip rates very good as well with minor dings and handling marks from the years,  the lanyard loop is intact. The cylinder is numbered to a different gun however it fits and times very well, A extremely rare loading lever is included, numbered "5555". The revolver with the seldom surviving needle functions well mechanically and is a very interesting and very rare piece of firearms history.    


revolver with attached loading lever

Cal: 0,35 12 Gran


in cocked position needle visible between lock and cylinder


Scarce DREYSE needlefire revolver with attached loading lever

serial# 5409. Caliber .35″ German = circa .38” American. Dreyse made relatively few needle fire revolvers, and not many survived the wars. This example has a 4″ octagonal barrel with an adjustable front sight and a fixed rear sight. The top strap reads v. DREYSE SÖMMERDA. The serial# 5409 appears within a light scroll on the left side of the frame while the caliber designation “Cal: .35″-12 Gran Pulv”, again with scroll highlights, is on the right frame. It is covered by the attached loading lever which is the first time in 50 years of collecting I see it present. A “Sch” is stamped on the front of the frame, partially covered by the cylinder pin lever. Additional light scroll is on the rear of the receiver and under the trigger guard that was originally case hardened. The grip has fine wraparound checkering that extends to the strap. At the base is a robust non-rotatable lanyard ring. Function is double action only. Approximately 80% bright original blue with spotting and fading, particularly on the barrel and front strap. High edge wear and cylinder line as would be expected from mild use. Most of the case coloring has faded from the trigger guard that is now toned to a pleasant gray. The single piece grip with bright original varnish and sharp checkering. The usually broken needle is still intact.  Mechanically perfect. Overall a very attractive, high condition Dreyse Needle fire with the extremely rare mounted loading lever that should please the most discriminating collector. Additional, unlike common revolvers this one has a device on the right hand side to keep the base npin in place.

PROVENANCE: Ex-Visser collection. ex collection of Dr. Geoffrey Sturgess.

The scare revolver is sold.


















Fabr. v. N. Dreyse / fabricated by Nicolaus von Dreyse made needle fire pistol, serial 2018, for loading the left side lever is pushed down opening the breech. 6½" octagonal barrel with dovetail front sight and maker's inscription on the right. the barrel is brown with a little oxidation, the grips are fine, the breech can be pulled backwards.
A rare pistol in very good condition.  






action closed







action open for loading







number 7163
M M proof,
normally used for Marine = Navy





Cal. 0,34"
6 Gran Pulver






N. Dreyse, Sömmerda,
1850's needle fire salon pistol, serial # 7163,
cal. 0.34 inches and "6 Gran Pulver",
6¾" octagonal barrel with front sight. One the barrel are proof stamps M M in gothic letters. Half-stocked with channeled grip, furniture typical vine engraved. After pushing part of the action backwards it is possible to lower the right hand side lever to open for loading. After closing and pushing the breech in position there is the holder of the needle looking out reminding of being loaded. With the pull of the trigger the needle hits the paper cartridge. Scarce pistol.
A similar pistol is pictured in Lugs' book Handfeuerwaffen, # 385.
Fine condition









The revolver shows on the left side in front of the cylinder 3 stamps which are the proof of the Prussian acceptance

1. revisions stamp "crown with single letter M"
2. Prussian Eagle as proof of the power test by the military
3. RC with crown = revision control








Dreyse needle fire revolver, serial # 11066, military caliber 0.39 Rheinische Zoll, 4½ Cent. Pulver /powder. On the bridge is the stamp F. V. DREYSE  Sömmerda. Dreyse was knighted in 1864, meaning since this time he can add the word "von" in front of his last name, also proof that the revolver was made after 1864. The military accepted revolvers are rare, and the highest number is 11100. This one is in fine condition and very rare,    sold

just for your information:
Your Dreyse needle-fire revolver with troop marking G.L.G.26 (not G.E.G.26.) has been bought from Prussia in 1880 and was in use with the Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz Land-Gendarmerie. So the marking is to be read as Großherzogliche Land-Gendarmerie Revolver N°26.
source: Adalbert Mila; Uniformierungs-Liste des Deutschen Reichs-Heeres und der Kaiserlichen Deutschen Marine, Berlin, 4. Auflage 1881.
U. L.

Thank you!




v. DREYSE, serial # 5232, caliber 0.35 Zoll needlefire, probably the only known cased revolver


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