Actions & Mechanisms

One of the great and interesting aspects of the Scheibenpistolen or ClassicTarget Pistols is the use of so many types of breech-mechanisms or locking actions which were used. It is interesting to see how the makers more than 120 years ago, invented copied and often improved on existing models. Many of these actions were also used in their rifle-counterparts. Quite often the same maker used different systems depending what the buyer- or market requirements. A lot depended on new ideas from other countries and travelling gunsmiths. This was at a time before the internet and many of the techniques learned than are still in use today.

Flobert – The Hammer lock mechanism with secured barrel

With the Hammer lock the hammer not only fires the cartridge but also functions as the locking mechanism. Usually this Hammer mechanism fires only very low powered cartridges. The heavier recoil of a larger and more powerful cartridge could cause serious damage.


One of the most popular systems used in Salon pistols (indoor shooting) and low powered Scheibenpistolen is the FLOBERT system. Invented by the Frenchman Louis Auguste FLOBERT (1819-1894) who designed and patented his system whereby the hammer actually fires the cartridge and forms a lock at the same time. They were very popular and easy to produce. The mechanism is basically a weak action but adequate for the low powered FLOBERT cartridge – only.

The barrel is released by puching the large release button on the left hand side. This unlocks the barrel catch inside which releases the whole barrel and inturn tipps-up in a forward motion, ejecting its empty cartridge and exposing its empty chamber. A cartridge is loaded, the barrel locked back into frame, the hammer cocked and once again: its ready to fire. The Swing-out mechanism are found when the barrel moves in a horizontal and lateral manner to the breech. These have both internal as external hammers as well.

These very popular Kipplauf (or Tip-up) actions are found on many types of pistols with both exposed external or concealed internal hammer often with an internal striker.

Other Locking systems

This section will give an overview of some of the different modern locking systems or locks for fixed barrel systems. The locking devices or action are classified according to their specific type into several groups.

Here are a few of the better-known groups: