Blow Forward Action Schwarzlose 1908

Photo (C) Leg Volk

Ian McCollum (Forgotten Weapons) acquired an Edgertronic camera to capture the fast action of his Schwawrzlose 1908 pistol. He never understood how it functions until now. Slowed down enough he could see how the action works. It is pretty interesting how it picks up the next round. I like his analysis: “It looks like it is on the knife’s edge of not working right”

According to the owner:

The initial footage is at 2000 fps, and then I sped it up to 3500. At that point it is starting to get a bit dark (the Arizona desert sunlight will need an artificial boost if I am to record at any higher of a frame rate, but you can get a pretty clear view of what is happening. It’s awfully crowded inside that action, and I’m really surprised that I haven’t had it malfunction on me. Counting frames of the video gives me a total cyclic rate of 0.024 seconds per shot, or (in theory) 2500 rounds per minute. Wow!

Featured photo by Oleg Volk
For more information on the gun here is the wikipedia article.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • Arreo

    “A guy”? How about Ian McCollum of ForgottenWeapons? Someone you’ve had guest post on this blog?

    • Ian is, in my opinion, one of the greatest and hardest working gun-writers in the nation. He has written several posts for us and I hope to see that continue. Nicholas’ job is to source info from the net to post for you guys and I guess his interests have not taken him to Forgotten Weapons. We don’t all communicate as well as we should sometimes!

      • dan citizen

        Neat write up, I kind of assumed the source as there TFB frequently features FW material. I’m just really glad to have found this neat write up on the schwarlose.

        I think people are making too much of a big deal over not attributing the source of a video/quote.

        People should relax, enjoy the read, and assume the error will get fixed once brought to the staff’s attention.

        To immediately assume the cause is some Snidely Whiplash type scheme is a little much, rather than what occam’s razor tells us is likely to be a mere overlooked detail.

        • Which is what I did after seeing what was done. Guys really do need to chill. Nick hasn’t been here a really long time and his interest lie in a totally different area.I appreciate the common sense comment.

          • Savor

            If his interests lie in something else, then find someone else to post about this stuff. And how come every time a writer on TFB bombs, which is quite often, you guys defend the writer? There’s always some excuse, they are new to this, they were traveling, it’s not their area of expertise, etc. It’s pretty lame that you, Phil, defend these writers instead of insuring that they do a better job posting a quality article.

          • What I said was a straightforward explanation. He is new to this. As far as working on improvement it would be wrong to assume Steve and I aren’t working on just that. We also work with the new writers. For someone to get better in any job you have to teach, correct and encourage them.
            There are times when a writer does need to be defended. We don’t have a lot but we do have some pretty hyper-critical readers at times.

        • Kip Hackman

          As we should have “assumed” Robert Farago would fix the articles he ROUTINELY peppered with other people’s content, frequently without proper attribution? Sorry, but things should be approved by a higher up before it goes out, especially when someone is writing about something that isn’t their specialty. Please don’t let this place become like TTAG. Good on you guys for fixing it, yes, maybe it was an honest mistake, but this is why articles should be approved. You guys don’t post more than 20 articles a day so I don’t see why someone can’t proofread before it goes out.

          We give TWO people two separate keys for nuclear missiles so an “honest mistake” can’t happen. Lets shrink that down to a smaller scale here.

          • Kip it was an honest mistake. I normally read and edit them all but there are times one is posted at a time of the day I’m not online.

          • J.T.

            Then the post should be delayed until an editor (you or Steve) can look at it. Every post should be reviewed and approved by an editor before it is ever posted.

    • Nick’s interest lies in current military weapons. I changed it to reflect who it was.

  • bbmg
  • Doug

    Arreo, you beat me to the punch! Some guy indeed!

  • crisara772

    A GUY? man i dont want to be mean with you but that guy is one of the most representative figureS in the online gun comunity, Ian McCollum, the founder of forgotten weapons and he is pretty much an authority regarding exotic weapons and historical firearms.
    He even has some articles in this blog… i sugest you to correct the article to give this great man an special mention.

  • Rabies

    This is just ridiculous, TFB has posted articles written by Ian.

  • aweds1

    Looking at the front strap, is that a safety or squeeze cocker like a HK P7?

  • Bruce

    Attribute to Forgotten Weapons. I come here for news, not for content theft. Fix it.

    • Take a different tone Bruce. You get a lot further letting me know about it rather than giving orders. Nobody stole anything——

      • Bruce

        Noted, I can go else where. TFB has gone downhill lately.

        • Komrad

          Ian is a TFB contributer.
          and TFB hasn’t gone downhill.

        • That’s entirely up to you Bruce. You should know by now how I /we feel about people being civil to one another and the way you phrased your comment was anything but. I really don’t ask a lot but that is one area where I must insist people adhere to the rules. It’s not hard to do.

        • dan

          Spoken like a true 10yo, gets in trouble and on his way to the time out corner throws in one more little jab.

  • Annika R

    Hehehe. Yup. Pretty much what everyone else said.

  • wetcorps

    Come on… Even if it is an unknown channel, you could at least put its name somewhere in the article 🙂

  • stephen

    Yea its just ‘a guy’ with an electronic camera… seriously?

    I mean, come on TFB, you put a link for an advertisement for an electronic camera but don’t put a link for Ian McCollum’s site Forgotten Weapons?

    Seriously don’t be ‘that guy’.

    • It wasn’t a link to advertise the camera. We don’t know anything about who advertises with TFB unless we see the ad at the top or side of the page like everyone else.

  • Limonata

    While the an Edgertronic camera may be comparatively inexpensive to other options, since it is 5K without lenses, this would have to wait until I win the lottery. Otherwise, that is very cool! Such a cool observation and enhanced with that camera.

  • Dale

    How about instead of “A guy,” “he,” “his,” “according to the owner,” you use words like “Ian” or “according to Ian at ForgottenWeapons.”

    Plagiarism that is this blatant is insulting to the content’s owner, as well as the reader. And it really is incredible, as stephen said, that a link was only included for the camera, which, to my understanding, was purchased by Ian from donations from his viewers.

    Maybe use a method like Ian to make more money for things you need, instead of stealing content to create add revenue. Was this really supposed to be something showing a unique firearm, or just an ad for a camera? Lots of stuff on TFB are already basically ads, but this is much more concerning.

    • In no way shape or form is this plagiarism. It’s a mistake plain and simple.

      • Dale

        Plagiarism does not have to be intentional.

        Also, a quick google search of plagiarism gave me this definition: “an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author” (

        The lack of accreditation is what is of concern, not the author’s intent.

        I know that now, the point seems moot, since a correction has been made, but journalism, as in all cases of the written word, demands integrity, for it utterly depends on the author’s word, in all senses of it.

  • Austin

    TFB is really slipping. Your Facebook page has been poorly sourced garbage for some time, but I was hoping the main site would maintain some basic journalistic standards. As someone who’s been following this blog since the 8th or 9th post, I’m very disappointed.

    • dan citizen

      In what way?
      Do you dislike the schwarloze?
      Strongly anti blow-forward?

      I’m curious in what way this article showed a lack of basic journalistic standards?

      • Austin

        A cursory review of the other comments would indicate to the astute reader that when posted, TFB failed to credit the article to Forgotten Weapons, referring to the author, Ian McCollum, as “a guy” and providing no links to the source material, but making sure to link to the company producing the high-speed camera. The article has since been corrected, but I stand by my original comment. I’m fairly sure that citing sources and crediting other authors is one of those things that would qualify as a basic journalistic standard.

        • He made an error Austin pure and simple. You know it will be corrected as soon as I see the problem.
          Nick wasn’t trying to steal content or anything so sinister–just an honest mistake.

    • Austin this is making an honest mistake into something it’s not. What should have happened is one person email me or make a comment about the error. There’s no need to pile on which is what’s happened here. Heck I’m going to find and correct it first thing in the morning anyway.
      TFB isn’t slipping. A fairly new writer needs time to adjust to the way TFB does things. It also takes time to widen a persons knowledge base when “Forgotten Weapons” isn’t their primary area of interest.

      • dan

        Seriously Phil, you have explained your side of things, good enough. I wouldn’t waste my time explaining it to everyone that comes along fails to read the previous comments and wants to look like the hero by calling out your serious infraction.
        You boys at TFB are doing just fine and if anyone has a serious legitimate complaint they can always exercise the option to go elsewhere or if they really are smarter start a rival blog. And I think we all know how that will work out.
        Keep doing what you are doing and correct the mistakes when you find them.

        • Thank you Dan. You know I used to just post a response once and found that people didn’t read all the comments and made the same comment I’d already answered. I sure don’t like posting explanations several times over and it is indeed time consuming. I think it is time to reply once.
          We appreciate the support!

  • Oleg Volk

    I wouldn’t mind a byline for my photo either…

    • Done—

      • Oleg Volk

        Thank you.

        • Sure— Just to pass along a bit of info Nick is still learning and hasn’t been writing here that long.It was nothing intentional. Sometimes a post will be scheduled after I call it a night which is about 2am. I go back and check things over first thing in the morning and fix them like today and this post. I’m pretty much a stickler for giving credit on articles, photos etc.
          Anyway I was more than happy to correct it..:-)

          • MP

            Sometimes incompetence and malice work out to the same end result.

          • Explain?

          • J.T.

            I think he is trying to say both will hurt the site’s reputation. That even if it was accidental, it still reflects badly on TFB.

  • jamezb

    That’s not just another guy, that’s. Son of a gun writer Ian McCollum, the host of , a premier gun blog heavy on technical information about r as rarely seen weapons.

  • I have always wanted a blow forward pistol.

    • dan citizen

      Me too!

    • 1leggeddog

      The action itself is interesting.

      I wonder if the movement of the slide going forward actually works for lowering recoil.

      I was going to write that i don’t think they’ve kept up this action in modern times but i THINK i recall seeing one of those competition .22 pistols using this, you know the ones with the huge wooden grips?

      • Ian McCollum

        On the contrary, the slide moving forward increases the felt recoil. It generates an equal and opposite force pushing backwards (Newton’s law), which combines with the recoil force generated by the bullet. As a result, the felt recoil is greater than a blowback or other typical action.

  • dan citizen

    4 picatinny rails and a sig arm brace and we could see the schwarlose achieve new popularity.

    • wetcorps

      And a barrel shroud that goes up so you have something to C-clamp!

  • dp

    I see discussion of ‘improper sharing’ below bit pointless. I believe that sharing in respectful manner promotes, does not hurt, one’s interests in firearms be it current or historical. FW is doing excellent job in their field of interest and TFB has IMHO the right to pass the message and inform (with quoting the original source of course).

  • AJ187

    I’ve never heard of this gun, its method of operation or the website the content originated from. I think it’s cool. Thanks for turning me on to it Nic and TFB.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      AJ, I’m glad you found out about FW via TFB. There are many firearms websites nowadays that do a good job disseminating factual information, enough to make it difficult to avoid information overload. Personally, I have found that one reasonable way to obtain the hard information you need is to carefully pick a handful of reliable primary sources that cover the range of areas of interest you might have, and focus mostly on these while making excursions into other websites as and when a subject catches your interest in order to maintain some balance of perspective.

      For example, I use Forgotten Weapons ( historical and vintage firearms ), TFB ( modern firearms and accessories ) and Weaponsman and ( socio-political and military analyses ) — among others — to cover a wide spectrum of firearms and battlefield-related topics, while gathering a lot of additional information on a host of other sites ranging from those dedicated to a single basic marque or even individual model of firearm, to those that successfully integrate a broad spectrum analysis of any given number of firearms and their impact on, and interaction with, human society and history. Please bear in mind that there will often be some overlap among websites, eg., FW often covers socio-political and military analyses in conjunction with a particular weapon’s impact on history, and that individual contributors often comment or present articles on one anothers’ sites. It’s a wonderful interaction that greatly increases our collective knowledge of the subject.

      • We’re pretty close in our choice of sites to obtain information. besides TFB I use FW. I was one of those who signed up for SOFREP before it even went live. I enjoy the military side and like you the socio-political aspects that affect the world and the use of the world’s militaries. The current situation in Ukraine is a prime example which I find interesting both from a historical viewpoint as well as it’s effect on current events around the world.

  • 1leggeddog

    You all should do like i did at a blog i used to write:

    When ever you write an article, you put it online for review by the other writers before it gets approved to be visible by everybody. simple mistakes like this or double (or triple posts) of the same thing are easily avoided that way.

  • Cymond

    For more videos of weird pistols, including both table-top reviews and shooting videos, check out Youtuber “LifeSizePotato”
    (I have no idea how he chose that name)

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Cymond, this is very interesting and informative — thanks so much for sharing!

      It also got me thinking — if it hasn’t already happened, some sort of collaboration among Ian McCollum ( FW ), Othais ( TFB ) and “LifeSizePotato” on these lines covering unusual and historical firearms might not be too far-fetched in enhancing the common knowledge pool.

      • That’s a very interesting idea. We could certainly cover a lot of interesting guns with this type of cooperative effort.

    • Which end do you point with Cymond–LOL!

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    Ian did a wonderful job raising the money for the Edgertronic camera by posting his appeal on, and garnered a lot of support in the process ( a few dollars per person from a lot of people quickly adds up ). Is TFB in a position to do the same for special projects, or is the mandate here a bit different? I strongly supported the FW Edgertronic project, and would do the same for TFB to the best of my ability if a similar need arose.

  • Annika R

    Ok Ian’s name and website has been added but the content of this write up is still inaccurate. “He never understood how it functions until now” is false. I’m not saying this with the intention of being rude or “un-chill”, I just like to see news sources getting it right as much as possible. Especially when the inaccuracy being presented could be perceived as unflattering in nature, and makes up a rather large percent of the piece.

    He never understood how it functions until now.
    He never understood how it functions until now.

    • Annika R

      Woops sorry about the quote repeats, that was a technical error on my part.

  • Gentlemen, I have personally apologized to both Ian and Oleg. This won’t happen again.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Phil, Steve, et al., good on you all! You stepped up and made necessary corrections with good grace, and have shown exemplary patience. I LIKE this place!!

  • Cornelius Carroll


  • uisconfruzed

    That’s a bizarre action, I seems counter intuitive.