The Schnellfeuer, or Model 712, was Mauser’s answer to the Spanish production of selective fire C96 lookalikes. Just over 100,000 of these pistols were made by Mauser in the 1930s, mostly going to China (although some did see use in other countries, and also with the SS). They use 10- and 20-round detachable magazines, and are almost all chambered for the 7.63mm Mauser cartridge. Rate of fire is about 900-1000 rounds per minute.
One of the urban legends that has grown up around these guns is that Chinese soldiers would hold them sideways, and use the recoil to fire in a horizontal arc. This does work, but is a pretty crude way to use the gun. Without the attached shoulder stock, it is much better left on semiauto. With the stock, it makes a surprisingly effective and controllable submachine gun.
Thanks to TFBTV for the opportunity to shoot and film this very cool gun!
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The Austro-Hungarian Standschutze Hellriegel debuted in 1915. Today the automatic, light firearm is something of a mystery.
The prototype blended pistol-caliber ammunition with the firepower of a machine gun, making it one of the first weapons which could be considered a “submachine gun.”
That much, we know. The rest is … conjecture.
The images in this story come from an Austrian archive, where they all fall under the title “Maschinengewehr des Standschützen Hellriegel.” The photos are dated 10.1915 — presumably meaning October 1915 — and show what appears to be a test-firing of the weapon at a shooting range.
The archival entry indicates that the weapon was named after someone with the second name “Hellriegel.”
“Standschützen” may refer to the designer being a member of the Austro-Hungarian reserve force, the Standschützen, whose mission was to defend the Austrian states of Tyrol and Vorarlberg.
The Standschutze Hellriegel may have been developed for this corps or by a member of it.
Read the Remainder at War is Boring