Steyr M1912 machine-pistols?

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Steyr M1912 machine-pistols?

Post by Sawpatin » 01 Jan 2020 22:49

I've heard that during WW1, a machine-pistol version of the Steyr M1912 was developed. The only information I know about this firearm is what wikipedia states:
During World War I, a machine pistol version of the Steyr M1912 called the Repetierpistole M1912/P16 was produced. It used a 16 round fixed magazine loaded via 8 round stripper clips, a detachable shoulder stock and a rather large exposed semi-auto/full-auto selector on the right side of the frame above the trigger (down = semi & up = full). Rate of fire was about 800 to 1000 rounds per minute. It weighed about 2.6 pounds. Introduced in 1916, it is considered the world's first machine pistol. Only 960 M1912/P16 were made. ... _M1912/P16

A production run of 960 is quite small, and I was just curious if anyone knows whether any of them were actually issued into military service, or what was done with surviving examples after the war? I'd be curious to learn a bit more about this particular version of the M1912 pistol.

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Re: Steyr M1912 machine-pistols?

Post by Get_Em_Puppy » 10 Sep 2021 21:52

This is an old thread but I thought I would provide some information for anyone that stumbles across this page in the future.

The M.12/P16 machine-pistol was conceived at the end of 1915 by Major Franz Xaver Fuchs of the Standschützen-Bataillon Innsbruck II. The project seems, at least initially, to have been a small-scale venture for that specific battalion. 50 trial guns (with standard 8-round magazines) were made and delivered to Innsbruck II in February 1916. The magazine was subsequently extended to 16 rounds as a result of feedback from trials ("P16" stands for "Patrone 16" or "16 bullets").

Outside of being issued in small numbers to Standschützen-Bataillons and Kaiserjäger regiments, there is not much reliable information on the number of M.12/P16s manufactured and issued during World War I. The available evidence suggests they were exclusively issued to Tyrolean troops and were never distributed on the Eastern Front. Some sources claim 5,000 were ordered on the request of General von Hötzendorf himself, but I don't know if this actually true. Similarly there are also reports that an inventory taken in Tyrol in 1918 reported some 9,873 M.12/P16 machine-pistols in issue. The actual number of guns produced seems uncertain as only a handful have survived today and are all low serial numbers (sub-1,000 range). Thomas B. Nelson estimated about 900 made.

There's also rumours that these guns continued to be used in the post-war period, i.e. claims that Engelbert Dollfuss was assassinated with an M.12/P16, and that the German commando unit "Brandenburgers" used M.12/P16s rechambered in 9x19mm and fitted with silencers. I have never seen evidence for either of these claims.

On a trivial note, it was not strictly speaking the first ever machine-pistol as full-auto conversions of the Borchardt and Mauser pistols had been tested prior to World War I.

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Re: Steyr M1912 machine-pistols?

Post by Hans1906 » 11 Sep 2021 10:02

Interesting topic, some photo material on this russian website:

Link: ... terov.html

German designation would be "Reihenfeuerpistole / Schnellfeuerpistole".
Machine Pistol

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