Borchardt – first locked breech and detachable magazine pistol

Hugo Borchardt

Hugo Borchardt designed his namesake pistol while working for a Hungarian arms company. For a variety of reasons, the manufacturing rights were assigned to Ludwig Loewe & Co. of Germany, then a major manufacturer of military rifles. Although the pistol was outside of Loewe’s usual venue, the firm felt that its contacts would surely facilitate a military contract. Unfortunately, Loewe was wrong. While it was true that the Borchardt was chambered for the powerful 7.63 mm Borchardt cartridge, functioned with a reliable toggle-locked mechanism (locked breech), and had a convenient safety and a push-button magazine release, the gun was extraordinarily ungainly, especially without the detachable shoulder stock. It made no difference that the pistol and stock were attractively packaged in attaché-cased sets with four matching magazines, a dummy magazine, cleaning implements and an instruction booklet. The answer from every government was still “no.” After repeated suggestions that the gun be redesigned to a more compact form, Borchardt got angry, refused and turned the project over to Georg Luger. In the meantime, Loewe assembled about 1,100 Model 1893s before handing the production to Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM), which completed fewer than 2,000 pistols, bringing the total number of Borchardts to about 3,000 guns.

Video regarding Borchardt Model 1893

Video using computer animation to depict Model 1893 in operation