Schoenberger-Laumann – second semi-automatic
Internal Schonberger 8mm diagram
In the early 1890s, Joseph Laumann re-designed his 8 mm repeater pistol (operated by a ring lever) to function as a blowback-operated semi-automatic, with a delaying system. He was soon joined by Schoenberger, who is usually credited with having transformed the repeater pistol into a true semi-automatic. The earliest Austrian patent to cover self-loading function was dated Nov. 25, 1891, supporting the Model 1892’s title as the “second” semi-automatic pistol. As with the Laumann repeater, cocking was via a large lever that attached to the frame by the trigger. The gun loaded from the top by a special charger that was released by depressing the checkered button on the right side of the receiver. The safety/bolt release was just above the tang. Very large and awkward, it is estimated that fewer than 35 were completed, with production halted after its rejection by the Austrian military in 1896.
It was made by the Osterreichische Waffenfabrik at Steyr. It has a 5-inch barrel and is chambered for a bottle-necked 8 mm. cartridge with cupro-nickel or steel-jacketed bullet, and is loaded by a charger of typical Mannlicher practice which falls through the bottom of the magazine when the last shot is fired.