The latter part of the 19th Century saw the revolver as the standard military side-arm in Europe and elsewhere. With giant strides made in weapons technology during those years, various military powers put a lot of resources into equipping their armies with the latest designs in rifles and artillery, but the side-arms were in many instances overlooked and when one was introduced, it was almost obsolete as soon as it was issued to the troops. In the late 1890’s, European designers like Louis Schmeisser and later Theodor Bergmann, Karel Krnka and Georg Roth started development of semi-auto handguns for military use to replace the revolver, as did Gabbett-Fairfax in England and Frankford Arsenal in the US. The efforts by Roth and Krnka led to the 8mm Roth-Steyr M.1907 being the first self-loading handgun being adopted by a military power.

The 9mm Steyr was an Austro-Hungarian development designed by Karel Krnka around 1910 and was a further evolution of the M.1907 design. Chile was the first country to adopt it as the Steyr Model 1911. The year after it was adopted by the Austro-Hungarian and Romanian Armies as the Steyr M.1912. It was called the Steyr-Hahn because it had an external hammer and was a recoil operated pistol as opposed the earlier M.1907 which was a striker fired pistol, similar to the modern-day Glock. With the German take-over of Austria in 1939, many M1912’s were modified to fire the 9mm Luger. (Erlmeier, Brandt Ref. 139).

Moss, J. – The 9x23mm Rimless Pistol Cartridges



The FAMAE headstamp was by Fábricas y Maestranzas del Ejército, Santiago, Chile. The Ф O M Y  40 headstamp was by FOMU (Fabrika Oruzja I Minicje at Uzice) Yugoslavia


The 1943 / P / 9 / A / headstamp was by Pirotehnia Armatei, Romania. The SB P headstamp was by Sellier & Bellot Prague