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Josef Schulhof was an Austrian who decided to leave his farm and work in firearms design. He moved to Vienna and received his first firearms patent in 1882. He would go on to design and manufacture a small line of manual repeating handguns through the mid and late 1880s, until his death in 1890. This particular example is an 1884 model, type IIa. It uses a toggle lock much like the Winchester series of rifles, and a tubular magazine which runs down into the grip and is loaded via a gate under the chamber. The “II” refers to Schulhof’s design improvement of making the actual trigger a separate part from the ring trigger (on the type I they were integrated together). This allowed for a more controlled trigger press, and better practical accuracy. About 50 of these 1884 pattern guns were made, and they include several different type of magazine, including a rotary magazine on at least one example and an en bloc clip on at least one other.
Needless to say, these pistols failed to spark any serious military interest, and were also never produced in series for the commercial market. Still, they remain an important link in the development of self-loading handguns.
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