By Lars Dalseide | January 30 2013 12:35

Austro-Hungarian Roth-Steyr pistol recovered at Battle of the Bulge

World War I era Roth-Steyr M1907 8mm pistol donated to the National Firearms Museum

Fairfax, Virginia - According to officials at the National Firearms Museum, roughly 99.99% of the guns in their collection are the product of donations. Some are the latest in firearm technology, some are novelty items and some are relics of days gone by. An example of the latter, is the Roth-Steyr M1907 8mm pistol donated by an Ohio family.

"It's a fantastic example of where great stuff comes in from members who want to pass along history," said Senior Curator Doug Wicklund.

The Roth-Steyr M1907 was first manufactured back in 1909. With just under a hundred thousand produced, the 8mm pistol had an effective range of 75 meters and a ten round magazine.

"This gun was recovered from a German Officer by Sargent Paul Edward Savage of the U.S. Army during the Battle of the Bulge," Wicklund explained. "What you have to understand is that this was a second line gun. The 9mm Luger was the standard. So by the time of the Battle of Buldge rolled Sgt. Paul Savage, who recovered a World War I era Roth-Steyr M1907 8mm pistol during the Battle of the Bulge around, 1994 to 1945, the Germans were in desperate states and bringing whatever guns they could to fill in the gaps."

The effectiveness of using a World War I era 8mm during a World War II battle was limited given the lack of ammunition. But that doesn't have any bearing on their excitement upon receiving the gift. Especially given it's unique striker system.

"The Roth-Steyr M1907 embodies a striker fire system that we see in today's GLOCK pistols. So it's kinds of interesting to see what was invented in World War I is just as popular today.

"The technology came back. History repeats itself, and so does gun technology."

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