Hubertus Air Pistols
Hubertus Air Pistol - large frame.
With thanks to Mick Shepherd of www.micksguns.com for these pics.
With thanks to Chris for these pics:
The following pics courtesy of Leonardj.
With thanks to Tim of timdysonairguns.co.uk for these pics:
A rare Hubertus .177 Calibre Air Pistol manufactured between 1925 and 1935. This is a push barrel spring piston single shot pistol modelled on a pre war German Semi Automatic pistol and is the large frame version with a rifled barrel
It has an unusual cocking method. Firstly the barrel is pushed in until it engages the sear, the circular collar is then pulled back the barrel then drops down allowing the rear of the cylinder to be exposed. A pellet is then inserted and the barrel pulled back out fully the cylinder tilted horizontally and the collar re engaged by pushing it forward to secure the cylinder. The pistol is then fired in the conventional manner.
This particular pistol is in excellent overall condition and retains most of its original blueing apart from a few areas on the cylinder where it has worn. It is clearly marked ‘D.R.G.M Hubertus Germany’ on the left side of the action and has the serial number ‘4430’ stamped also. The wood grips are in excellent condition with no cracks or splits.
It is fully functioning and is fairly powerful.
A excellent example of a scarce pre war air pistol</i>
Video of Hubertus pistol
With thanks to Steve for this video.
Rescuing a Hubertus pistol
With thanks to Matt.
The Hubertus air pistol is an interesting and unique design, made in Germany from the late 1920s to mid 1930s. It is cocked by pushing the barrel in like a pop out (Gat type) air pistol but the whole compression cylinder then hinges open to provide access to the end of the barrel for loading. The compression cylinder is then closed and the barrel pulled back out to prepare it for firing. Although not especially rare, they tend to fetch quite high prices in good condition and so although I was keen to get an example, it wasn’t something I was looking hard for.
This Hubertus was offered to me in a somewhat abused and neglected state. It had evidently been rusty at some point and a previous owner had removed this with a small abrasive wheel or similar, leaving marks over the whole surface. The hinge lug has snapped off the frame and a bolted repair had been attempted - but not very successfully. The original barrel was missing and the hole in the front of the compression cylinder had been drilled out to take a larger diameter length of .22 barrel, pretty much breaking through the sides of the front on the compression cylinder.
A sleeve was machined up to fit the enlarged hole in the end of the compression cylinder to reduce it to the 9mm it should have been, and silver soldered in place. The barrel was then machined to a close sliding fit. A slot was milled through the front of the frame where the lug used to to be and a new lug was machined to fit and then welded in place. Once the weld was filed back the repair was invisible.
The whole gun was sanded extensively to remove the worst of the grinding marks and pitting, taking care not to remove the engraved markings. It was not prac to clean back to polished steel but it was taken back far enough to get a much better finish. I decided to have a go at rust bluing to re-finish this pistol. I initially tried an ammonium chloride based rusting solution but in spite of extensive cleaning I struggled to get a good uniform rusting with this method. I eventually resorted to a hydrochloric acid fumed method. All parts were cleaned in soapy water, cleaned again with acetone and then pickled in dilute hydrochloric acid. They were then hung up in sealed plastic cerial container with a few ml of hydrochloric acid in the bottom and left for 24 hours.
The next day they were boiled to turn the rust black and then buffed with a fine wire carding wheel to remove the lose material. This was repeated three times which gave a good uniform finish. The finish was quite silvery initially but once wiped over with oil gave a nice satin black finish. The pistol is now back to working condition and I’m very pleased with how the repairs went, especially the finishing. I will probably make a .177 barrel to go with it at some point but that might have to wait until some of the other ongoing projects are completed.
Hubertus owner's instructions
Hubertus small frame pistol (serial no. 581, 'Jung' marking, Beeman Collection)
Pics copyright Rock Island Auctions.