J A Kuchenreuter in Regensburg
J A Kuchenreuter in Regensburg.
See also this entry for pics of two other Kuchenreuter spring pistols:
John G, author of The Encyclopedia of Spring Air Pistols said on the airgunbbs.com: "These pistols were made by the famous German gunmaker J.Adam Kuchenreuter in the early 1800’s, and only a handful are known. He was one of the long line of famous Kuchenreuter gunsmiths, and although better known for his superior quality firearms, he did dabble in airguns, including bellows air rifles, and these parlour pistols. He had two sons and five journeymen working for him at one stage, so he may not have made these guns personally. His skills were in great demand, and in 1853 he was appointed as Royal gunsmith to King Maximilian.
The pistol, like all his others, is of outstanding quality, and although it would have been very expensive in its day, its power would have been low and only suited to shooting darts at short range. Presumably this suited attitudes at the time, and it would have been more of a rich man’s toy, used to entertain guests and engage in wagers on long winter evenings. Over short ranges the achievable accuracy would have been excellent.
The mechanism is very unusual, in that the spring used to drive the piston is a V-spring located on the outside of the pistol, in the fashion of a flintlock pistol, and the spring is cocked by the hammer, also emulating the action of a fljntlock pistol. The movement of the hammer on firing was then transmitted to the piston by an offset link. Because of the limited mechanical advantage , the spring needed to be relatively weak, hence the low power. Although the piston travel is quite short (about 4 cm), the swept volume (about 28 cc) is still reasonable, thanks to the relatively large cylinder diameter. The swept volume is actually larger than that of the original Webley Mark 1 pistol (about 22 cc).
Other features of the pistol include a single set trigger, which can be set to hair trigger sensitivity if desired, and a sliding barrel for loading. (Some Kucheneuter pistols use an alternative “slide and tip” loading principle.)
The pistol is extremely ornate and every external metal surface, including screwheads, has been engraved, so trying to duplicate this is going to be a challenge. The walnut stock is finely fluted."
With thanks to John M for these pics.
Kuchenreuter spring pistol c.1840
Pics copyright Hermann Historica.
The auction blurb was:
"Windpistole mit Schlagpumpensystem, Johann Adam Kuchenreuter, Steinweg bei Regensburg um 1840
Brünierter, achtkantiger, glatter Lauf im Kaliber 10 mm, durch einen Entriegelungshebel an der Unterseite des Vorderschaftes zum Laden nach vorn verschiebbar, gravierter Sicherungshebel. Auf der Laufoberseite eingeschobenes Korn und höhenverstellbare Kimme sowie Signatur "I. ADAM KUCHENREUTER". Druckzylinder aus Messing mit Randgravur, Schlossplatte und Hahn mit feiner Rankengravur. Stecherabzug (defekt). Nussholzhalbschaft mit gravierter, eiserner Garnitur. Brünierung fleckig und berieben, Schaft mit kleinen Bestoßungen im Bereich direkt hinter dem Druckzylinder. Länge 51 cm. Johann Kuchenreuter (1794 - 1869) war Hofbüchsenmacher der Fürsten von Thurn und Taxis. "