Landstad 1900: A True Semiautomatic Revolver By: Ian McCollum



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The Landstad Model 1900 is a magazine-fed, semiautomatic revolver designed by Norwegian Halvard Folkestad Landstad, who lived in Kristiana (now called Oslo). He designed the gun on his own dime, and presented it to military trials in 1901, which it failed miserably. The gun has a six-round detachable box magazine of 7.5mm Nagant cartridges, a two-chamber cylinder, and a simple blowback action. Its firing cycle is to chamber a round from the magazine into the bottom cylinder chamber by manually cycling the action. The trigger is a long double-action type which rotates the cylinder 180 degrees so the cartridge is in line with the barrel and releases the striker to fire the round. Upon firing, the bolt cycles open, extracting and ejecting the empty case, rechecking the striker, and chambering a new round from the magazine into the bottom of the cylinder.

The purpose of this overly complex system was to provide a semiauto action which did not ever leave a live cartridge under the striker, in the name of safety. Only one example was made, and its bolt broke after just 5 or 6 rounds fired. It was repaired almost immediately, but the Norwegian military had was not interested in further development, and nothing more came of the program. A few years later in 1908 Norway would institute a more serious semiauto pistol trials program which led to adoption of the Kongsberg 1914 (a slightly modified Colt 1911).

Thanks to Jan for allowing me to disassemble and film this one-of-a-kind piece for you!