The Gasser & Rast Model 1898 service revolver was a handgun utilized by the Austro-Hungarian Army at the turn of the century. The design was rather unorthodox in its use of a right-angled pistol grip which made firing the gun anything but comfortable. Nonetheless, the type soldiered on and was, for the most part, a conventional pistol. Hardly an ergonomic masterpiece, the pistol proved serviceable and was used in number with Austro-Hungarian forces in World War 1. Additional users included the Kingdom of Italy and the nation of Yugoslavia. The type survived long enough to see some limited use in World War 2 as well, its production numbers surely dictating its reach. Some 180,000 to 200,000 Gasser & Rast M1989 pistols were produced during a period spanning 1898 through 1912 out of the Leopold Gasser Waffenfabrik facility of Vienna.
The Model 1898 was chambered for the 8mm Gasser cartridge and these were fitted into an eight-round cylinder. The cylinder was situated within the frame of the gun with a bridge overhead and trigger group below it. The pistol was categorized as a double-action type meaning that the trigger pull actuated the firing action, hammer (from a fully cocked position) and rotation of the cylinder. The barrel was naturally fitted ahead of the cylinder element with an extractor rod below. Cartridges were loaded and extracted individually. The hammer spur was easily noticeable at the rear of the frame. The firing pin was, however, not connected directly to the hammer and sat within the frame aft of the cylinder. As mentioned previously, it was the right-angled pistol grip design that lent a unique look to the pistol for it sat nearly vertical in the hand and fitted with a grip pattern. The curved trigger unit was set within a thing trigger ring. A loop was fitted under the pistol grip base for a connecting strap. Sights were provided and were of fixed iron in design.
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