What is the best combat gun

The combat pistol
or drawn flare gun Z


Among the extremely interesting weapons that were used on the German side in World War II, the so-called combat pistol deserves special attention, although it was used very effectively and not exactly produced in small numbers, this small one is "Miracle Weapon"never became very well known and is still surrounded by secrets today

Technical specifications:

Description: Combat pistol (rifled flare pistol Z)
code ayf = Erma Waffenfabrik, Geipel GmbH, Erfurt
Year of manufacture:
27 mm (26.65 mm)
Weight empty:
745 g
Overall length:
425 mm
Total height:
155 mm
Greatest Thickness:
35.5 mm
Barrel length:
155 mm
Chamber length:
35.6 mm
Length of the drawn part:
119.4 mm
Number of trains:
Field diameter:
26.9 mm
Field train diameter:
27 mm
Width of the trains:
7.1 mm
Width of the fields:
8.3 mm
Direction of twist:
Number of cartridges:
rigidly locked drop barrel, Hand clamp (S.A.)
Handle scales:
Z on the left



The exact date of introduction could not be determined, at least some details could be determined that are very informative, firstly, the pistol, which was manufactured by the company Erma-Waffenfabrik, Geipel GmbH, Erfurt (code = ayf), bears the date of manufacture 1942 , secondly, on March 25, 1942 under the number D 7900 a "Leaflet for testing the flare pistol Z and the special ammunition Deutpatrone Z, message cartridge Z, parachute light cartridge Z"appeared, this leaflet was considered a secret item, was"For official use only"and was published by the High Command of the Army, Heereswaffenamt, Office Group for Development and Testing in Berlin, so it should be certain that this pistol was tested and used for the first time in 1942

since there is no relevant literature of the time such as "Army technical ordinance sheet", "Collection of dispositions of the army's weaponry", "Directory of Army Regulations"and other manuals find a reference to this weapon, it can be assumed that its existence has been kept fairly secret, this is also evident from the fact that, for example, the explosive cartridge was delivered in cardboard containers bearing the noteDo not let it get into enemy hands - destroy if the enemy is in danger!"In fact, the combat pistol was a very universal and effective weapon, although it only differed from the conventional flare pistol of the same pattern by a Z stamped on the left side. and signal ammunition in caliber 4 (26.65 mm), but also a number of other cartridges specially created for this weapon

1 = run
2 = cock
3 = cock bolt
4 = locking lever spring
5 = pivot pin
6 = frame
7 = signal pin
8 = hole for clamping claw
9 = striker bar with striker spring
10 = handle shell screw
11 = left handle shell
12 = - right grip shell
13 = deduction,
14 = trigger bolt
15 = locking bolt
16 = locking lever with locking latch
17 = locking lever bolt
18 = trigger guard



The reason for the creation of a rifled flare gun is likely to be found in the increased use of Russian tanks in 1942, the Russian colossus had recovered from the concentric attack of the German troops and benefited from its best ally, "Father Winter 1941", to be able to send huge quantities of his nimble T34 tanks into action again, in the course of the countermeasures one in Berlin probably came up with the idea of ​​the cheap to manufacture flare pistol, which had a rigid barrel lock due to the drop barrel lock, with a rifled barrel to be provided and equipped with special ammunition

As already mentioned, all other parts of the pistol itself were identical to the normal flare pistol, but while all cartridges of the normal flare pistol could be fired from the drawn pistol, the cartridges of the combat pistol did not fit into the barrel of the flare pistol because z. B. the explosive cartridge at its thickest point had a diameter of 28.4 mm as opposed to 26.25 of the normal flare gun

taken from: Waffen-Revue No. 2 pp. 265 - 284, Karl R. Pawlas