Left side view showing: chamber loaded and all parts at rest.
Rear elevation showing arrangement of cartridges in magazine.
When the grip on the breechblock-slide is released, the recoil spring expands and thrusts forward on the head of the slide to drive it forward. The feed surface on the bottom of the breechblock face of the slide hits a cartridge in the top of the magazine and forces it into the firing chamber. The extractor through action of its spring transmitted through the buffer pin snaps the head of the extractor into the extracting groove in the cartridge case. The hammer is held back by a sear member called in this design the "trigger catch,5
If it is desired, any time the hammer is down in this weapon and the safety is off, the hammer may be pulled back by the thumb for cocking exactly as in a standard revolver. The advantage of this is that when the firing chamber is loaded, while a straight pull-through on the trigger will fire the arm, thumb cocking the hammer when there is time affords a lighter and smoother trigger pull, permitting better aiming for the first shot.
Preparation for firing with the safety applied. When the thumb safety is applied, the pistol is loaded for firing exactly in the same manner as when the safety is off. However, when the breech slide moves forward, the hammer cannot remain cocked. It will travel forward safely with the slide to closed position.
The hammer in moving forward cannot strike the firing pin. When the safety is turned, the cam surface on the safety shaft working against a cut in the firing pin suitably machined, pulls the firing pin further inside the breechblock away from the blow of the hammer, and raises its rear. Thus, when the safety is applied, a cylindrically shaped lock on the firing pin enters a hole in the breechblock which positively prevents the firing pin from moving in its longitudinal direction.
It is impossible to cock the hammer when the safety is on because the shaft of the safety locks the trigger catch (a sear-type member), As the slide is pulled back, it of course thrusts the hammer back and rotates it to the rear compressing the mainspring. However, as the safety is in the breechblock section of the slide, its shaft automatically depresses the trigger catch during forward motion, thereby preventing the hammer from staying at cock. This trigger catch is shaped as a lever.
The value of this system is that it is possible to load the firing chamber by pulling the breechblock-slide back over a loaded magazine with absolute safety. When it is not intended to use the arm immediately, the safetv should be applied before the chamber is loaded. This device serves the further purpose, moreover, of permitting the hammer to be safely lowered on a loaded chamber. In the typical hammer-type automatic pistol, lowering the hammer on a loaded chamber can be dangerous, for if the hammer slips it may fire the cartridge. If the pistol is the enclosed hammer (called "hammerless") type, it is impossible to lower the hammer on the firing chamber when loaded in most designs. (The Sauer Model 38 Pistol is an exception to this rule).
With this type of construction, when the chamber is loaded, the arm may be safely uncocked by merely pushing down on the thumb safety lever. This will (a) withdraw the firing pin within the breechblock away from the face of the hammer stroke, (b) lock it securely against longitudinal motion, and (c) then depress the trigger catch to let the hammer fall safely against the face of the breechblock slide.
The gas pressure forcing back against the head of the cartridge case as the arm is fired, transmits the blow sharply to the face of the breechblock against which the case head rests. The breechblock-slide starts back in its guides in the receiver. The extractor carries the empty cartridge along with it until it hits the ejector and is thrown out the ejection opening in the right side of the slide.
This rearward motion of the slide compresses the recoil spring, cocks the hammer and compresses the mainspring as already outlined. As the slide moves back, the smooth face on its left rear bottom surface rides over and presses the interruptor down. (When the slide is closed and the arm ready for firing, the tip of the interruptor is nested in a notch in the underside of the slide on the left.) This pulls the trigger sear away from the appendage of the trigger catch. The trigger catch, thereby freed from trigger contact, prevents the firing of more than one shot. Pressure of the trigger catch spring forces the catch into the hammer holding it in cocked position.
The recoil spring carrying the slide forward after the completion of its rearward stroke, takes the top cartridge from the magazine and chambers it.
The extractor claw enters the groove of the cartridge case and the extractor protrudes about 1 mm outside the surface of the slide. This protrusion may be seen or felt. It is a positive indication that the firing chamber is loaded.
When pressure of the trigger finger is released momentarily the trigger spring moves the trigger forward and remakes contact between the interruptor, the trigger sear, and the trigger catch. Thus a pull on the trigger is transmitted to release the trigger catch, (or sear) from its grip in the hammer and permit the firing of the next cartridge.
This process is repeated automatically whenever the trigger is pulled. When the last cartridge has been fired, the magazine follower catches the breechblock and holds it fast. Thus the slide remains in rear position to indicate that the pistol is empty.
As the empty magazine is withdrawn, the ejector swivels into the place of the magazine platform to prevent forward motion of the breechblock-slide. Inserting a loaded magazine, then drawing the breechblock back far enough to free it from the ejector, will permit it to be released and to be drawn forward by the recoil spring to chamber a cartridge ready to resume firing instantly.
Both these operations are performed manually. When the thumb of the right hand pushes the ribbed extension piece of the safety lever upwards and forward, a red spot is uncovered on the side to indicate that the safety is "off."
When the ribbed extension piece covers this red spot, the safety is "on." Note that the hammer cannot be kept cocked with the safety on as already described, and that the pistol cannot be disassembled until the safety is "off."
Push the magazine catch and withdraw the magazine. Then pull the slide back to eject a cartridge, if any, in the firing chamber. Put the safety in "off" position. Cock the hammer. Then put the safety "on" again. Take the pistol in the left hand and with the thumb of the left hand press down the barrel catch or holder in the front of the triggerguard and at the same time with the right hand push the slide forward and remove it by lifting it off. Holding the slide in the left hand, with sights down and muzzle outwards, with the thumb and index finger of the right hand press the rear end of the barrel about 3 mm forward and then remove it together with the recoil spring by an upward lifting motion.
When the safety is "off" and the hammer is uncocked, this pistol cannot be disassembled. To attempt it will be to injure it. This is important to remember if you own one of these arms.
When reassembling this pistol, follow the dismounting procedure in reverse order. First, put the safety "on" and cock the hammer.
Then insert the barrel and the recoil spring around it with a slanting forward motion into the slide. Hold the receiver in your left hand and put the slide (with the barrel and recoil spring in place in it) on the receiver guides from above with light pressure so that the front guide studs on the barrel fit into their corresponding recesses in the receiver. (Retract the breech a trifle and then push forward to make sure it locks.
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