Dreyse Reichsrevolver Model 1883 (Officer / Infantry Model)
Six-Round Single-Action (SA) Service Revolver
The Model 1883 Reichsrevolver was essentially the Model 1879 produced to a higher officer standard and fitted with a shorter barrel assembly.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Introduced in 1883, the Model 1883 Reichsrevolver served as a standard-issue sidearm with the Imperial German Army until 1908 when it was eventually replaced by the classic Luger 9mm semi-automatic handgun. The Model 1883 was a follow-up and improved form of the earlier Model 1879 Reichsrevolver, better engineered with a shortened barrel by Johann Nikolaus von Dreyse's company. The pistol saw service from the late 1800s into the 1940s and, because of their availability, the line was used in both World War 1 (1914-1918) and World War 2 (1939-1945) to varying degrees where they proved themselves reliable weapons despite their age and plainness.
As a revolver, the Model 1883 utilized a six-shot rotating cylinder chambered for the local 10.6x25mmR German Ordnance cartridge. The handle grip was ergonomically curved with the trigger ring underslung and the hammer left largely exposed. The cylinder component was featured at the center of the gun's arrangement, the frame being completed as solid for additional in-the-field robustness. The ejector rod was positioned under the barrel in the usual way, the barrel itself protruding some distance ahead of the gun's frame. Iron sights were positioned along the top of the frame. A loading gate was present along the right side of the frame to assist in loading/reloading the weapon while the cylinder could be either completely removed from the gun or an external ejector rod used to clear spent shell casings. A lanyard ring was typically seen under the grip handle for attaching the weapon to a uniform. The firing action was of Single-Action (SA) which meant that the hammer had to be cocked manually for each round fired, the hammer dropped through management of the trigger.
The Model 1883 is named the "Officer's Model" by some due to the earlier Model 1879 being named the "Cavalry Model" or "Trooper Model" - differentiating the two similar designs by name. Physically, the Model 1883 carried the short barrel length (5 inches to 7 inches).