The Rast & Gasser 1898 was an innovative and well thought out service revolver that was used by the Austro-Hungarian army in WWI, and due to the high quality and reliability it also saw service with other armies in WWII.
The main design follows the same concept as the Nagant revolvers, with a rugged and nearly indestructible action. The Gasser design incorporates the so called Abadie system, which disengages and locks the hammer while loading. This allows the shooter to turn the cylinder one chamber at a time by simply pulling the trigger, which facilitates quick reloads and eliminates a lot of the fumbling associated with traditional loading of revolvers with loading gates.
The most noticeable feature is the hinged side plate, which allows the user easy access to the action. By pressing the rear portion of the trigger guard forward, you can swing it forward, which in turn unlocks the side plate for cleaning and maintenance.
This particular revolver bears a 1917 Vienna proof mark, and was more than likely in use with the Austro-Hungarian army. It is in very good mechanical condition, and the action is strong and positive. The gun is very clean and all the hand fitted parts are matching, so it can be disassembled and reassembled very easily.
The Rast & Gasser revolver is a true masterpiece of engineering and old school craftsmanship, and it will make a very nice collectible for anybody who appreciates the quality of old firearms manufacturing.