The Borchardt was the first commercially viable self-loading pistol. It was designed in 1893 by Hugo Borchardt, based on the toggle lock mechanism used in the Maxim machine gun that had been recently developed. It used a 7.62 x 25mm cartridge dimensionally identical to the later 7.63 Mauser round, but a bit more lightly loaded. The piece had an overall weight of 2.5 pounds. It was tested by a number of military forces, but not found suitable by any – it was simply too early of a design to be robust enough for military service.

Georg Luger was an employee of the firm producing Borchardt pistols (DWM), and refined the principles of the Borchardt to produce the iconic Parabellum pistol several years later.


Photos of a Borchardt pistol (click to download high-resolution copies)


Borchardt C93 Manual (English)
Borchardt C93 Manual (English)

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