The Bittner was made in Austria, beginning in 1896, and chambered for the proprietary 7.7mm Bittner cartridge. As the guns were serialed internally, an issue overlooked by most authors, production numbers have been cited from a low of 500 to a high of nearly 3000. Part of the confusion relates to the markings under the barrel, that reflect the pistol’s sequence in Vienna’s proof house. This one, that was not disassembled, was numbered 1688 and dated 1897. As true for all Bittners, it is chambered for the 7.7mm cartridge and has a 6” largely octagonal barrel, round where it meets the receiver, with a matted top surface. Fitted with a fixed bi-concave front sight and a cursive rear sight graduated from 50, 100, and 150 meters. The top of the receiver is marked with the Austrian eagle. The right side of the receiver “PATENT BITTNER” over the encircled trademark. Virtually all components of the pistol were color case hardened except the barrel that was originally browned and the sights that were fire blued. A checkered walnut insert is in the forend. Checkered walnut grips secured with a single transverse screw. At the base is a lanyard ring.
A wonderful and all-original example of a Bittner repeating pistol, one of the last and most recognizable of its genre.
VG -EXC original condition with the barrel retaining most of its original brown finish. The case hardening has begun to fade with greying and spotty oxidation as carefully photographed. Expected thinning in areas of contact, particularly the front and backstraps. Comparable condition wood with staining and handling marks, a small chip missing from the right panel near the lower screw. Repeater action is crisp, with a strong return spring. Bright bore with deep rifling. A very nice example of a rare and classic repeater pistol, Europe’s counterpart to the Volcanic, whose brief production set the stage for the more modern semiautomatics.