9-mm Pistol M12 Steyr

The following report on the Austrian 9-mm M12 Steyr Pistol was published in Foreign Military Weapons and Equipment, Vol. III, Infantry Weapons, Pamphlet No. 30-7-4, Department of the Army, 1954.

9-mm Pistol M12 Steyr

Austrian 9mm M1912 Steyr Pistol

This Austrian pistol, of pre-World War II design, has been widely used in Austria and the Balkan countries. Although resembling to some extent the U.S. Colt caliber .45 pistol in exterior appearance, the M12 has loading and locking arrangements of unique design. The muzzle velocity and range of the cartridge used are considerably higher than normally found in other pistols of this caliber.

This pistol fires the 9-mm Steyr cartridge, which is approximately one-fourth inch longer than the 9-mm parabellum (or Luger) cartridge. Many were converted to fire the 9-mm parabellum cartridges by Germany during World War II. The Steyr cartridge will not function in the weapons that fire the parabellum cartridge. The weapon is loaded from the top by stripping cartridges from a clip into the integral magazine. It employs the recoil principle, with return action caused by a forward tension of the recoil spring. The trigger must be pulled for each round fired and the receiver is locked open when the last round is fired.

Salient recognition features are: (1) Thumb safety on left rear of receiver; (2) elongated lanyard hook underneath the pistol grip; (3) exposed knurled hammer; and (4) the clip guide on top of the receiver.


Diagram Austrian Steyr 9-mm M12 Pistol M1912


System of operation   Recoil, semiautomatic
Caliber9-mm (cal. .354 in)
     Unloaded524 g (1.1 lb. aprx)
     Loaded585 g (1.2 lb. aprx)
Length over-all216-mm (8.5 in)
Length of barrel127-mm (5 in)
Feed device8-round magazine
     FrontAdjustable blade
     RearFixed V-notch
Muzzle velocity360 m/s aprx. (1200 fps aprx)
Effective rate of fire   8-10 rpm
Effective range   70 m (aprx 75 yd)
Ammunition9-mm Steyr cartridge


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