The EUSTA Model P7 and P9 Pistol,
The author Karl Pawlas lists the EUSTA P9 in his Pistolenatlas, issue no. 9 but, since these are essentially only data sheets for the respective weapons, the manufacturer name "Schieder-Werk" was the item of greatest interest. With a bit of research work I was able to find an article by Horst Eckstein and David Schiller, “Eine unbekannte Größe” in the magazine VISIER for February of 1996. The information presented in the current article is essentially based on the VISIER article, plus my own research on the – still existing – company Schiederwerk GmbH, and my observations of the specimen at hand.
History of Schiederwerk GmbH
Today's Schiederwerk GmbH was registered as a mechanical workshop by Karl Schieder in Nuremberg on July 21, 1919 and at that time it produced telecommunications systems for the Deutsche Reichspost and the Deutsche Reichsbahn as well as telecommunications accessories. During World War II, the factory was destroyed by bombing raids and – after an interim relocation to the town Marktredwitz – the factory was rebuilt in Nuremberg from 1948 onwards. In addition to telecommunications technology, the company offered overvoltage protection and monitoring, along with testing technology, as new lines of business in the 1970s. According to the company’s own information, Schiederwerk GmbH is today a leading supplier of customer-specific power supplies.
One might think this an uninterrupted and clear line of more than 100 years of company history if there were not also firearms production which was an equally flourishing line of business of the then Karl Schieder KG until the early 1970s. One must understand that the restart of the company after the war, in 1948, was successful due to the company’s broad portfolio of telecommunications technology, metal products, and cigarette lighters. With Schieder’s manufacturing expertise, the step to firearms construction in the late 1950s through the early 1970s was natural. Schieder used the trade name EUSTA for their manufactured goods.
Those who deal with western weapons such as derringers, revolvers and pistols may have held a Schieder product in their hands without knowing it (e.g. "Lord" and "Lady Derringer" in .22 short, or a EUSTA air pistol). Very few people would have connected Schieder with these products. This relative obscurity of Schieder is perhaps also due to the fact that they mainly produced for the U.S. market and did not put the Schieder trademark or company logo on their weapons.
With U.S. import restrictions resulting from the Gun Control Act of 1968, Schieder KG recognized by 1970-1971 that the market for inexpensive utility and leisure guns was drying up. The German Weapons Act of January 1973 did the rest and Schieder got out of the weapons business by 1975 at the latest. Most production documents were destroyed. The EUSTA models P7 in 7.65mm Browning and P9 in 9mm short were created around 1969, only produced for a short time in very small numbers, and disappeared from the market by 1970-1971. A prototype pistol in caliber .22 long rifle is also known.
The EUSTA P7 and P9 pistols have a simple blow-back action as many other cheap pistols of that time, such as those from the German companies Reck and Röhm. However, for a pocket pistol the EUSTA is relatively bulky and is similar to larger models such as the Walther PP, Ortgies or Mauser HSC.
The EUSTA is a striker fired, single-action, blow-back pistol. The sear is controlled by a three-armed trigger bar located on the left side under the grip. This trigger bar is reset by an attached coil spring. The trigger bar is depressed by the slide and thus decoupled from the sear until the breech is completely closed. The barrel of the EUSTA is firmly connected to the frame and is exposed at the front. Similar to the Menz Liliput pistols, the breech is guided over a dumbbell-shaped locking piece at the rear of the frame. This construction is well known from other pistols of the time, such as the Reck P8. The locking piece is under spring pressure and held in place by a pin on the right side. This pin can be reached through a hole in the slide. If one presses the pin, the locking piece jumps backwards out of the slide which can be easily lifted off the frame. The saftey lever, mounted on the left side above the trigger, acts directly on the trigger, locking it in position.
The grips are quite voluminous and attached to the frame with two screws. In the middle of the left grip there is a diamond-shaped emblem with the EUSTA logo. The sights – rear sight and front sight – are narrow and high, which one needs to get used to.
The finish is painted deep black. The magazine has three slits on the side for checking the number of rounds.
The slide inscription on the left reads:
EUSTA Mod.P9 Cal.9mm short W. Germany
EUSTA Mod.P7 Cal.7,65 mm W. Germany
The pistol was delivered in a plastic box with a green insert and instructions.
Production numbers of the EUSTA pistol are unknown. However, only a few hundred pieces are likely to have been made.
Copyright 2023 by Dr. Stefan Klein. All rights reserved.