Schouboe Automatic Pistol

In 1903, Danish engineer Jens Schouboe began developing an automatic pistol for the Dansk Rekylriffel Syndikat in Copenhagen (later to become the Madsen company). He made the guns in both .32ACP and also in a proprietary Danish .45 caliber based (I believe) on the centerfire conversion of Denmark’s 1867 pinfire revolver. The .45 cartridge used a wood-cored bullet of only about 55 grains weight, traveling at some 1600 fps. Schouboe’s pistol was a simple blowback design with a shrouded hammer and 6-round magazine (10 round in the .32 caliber models).

About 400 or 500 Schouboe pistols were made between 1903 and 1917, but never in a true mass production series. Every known example differs in small details, in addition to the existence of three major patterns (1903, 1907, and 1910, plus potentially a 1916 model). Today we’re going to look at an assortment of Schouboes across this developmental timeline, including two presentation models and one with a holster stock.

Forgotten Weapons

Schouboe Automatic Pistol.jpg

Jens Theodor Suhr Schouboe patented his original semi-automatic pistol in 1903. It was a simple blowback design with an unusual wood core projectile with a metal jacket. By 1917 in the production of these weapons had ceased.


The Schouboe pistol was originally designed in 1903 as a pocket pistol chambered in 32 ACP. In 1907, Schouboe developed a 45 caliber version of the pistol for entry in the 1907 US pistol trials. The trials requirements included the pistol being 45 caliber. The Schouboe was direct blowback, so it could not handle the energy of a traditional 45 caliber cartridge. To get around this, Schouboe made the bullets have a wood core with a metal jacket so that the bullet would be light enough that it could be fired out of the pistol and the pistol would eject safely. The pistol was rejected for not having sufficient wounding ability.

Production history
Designer Jens Theodor Suhr Schouboe
Designed 1903
Manufacturer Dansk Rekylriffel Syndikat
No. built less than 1000, Serial numbers 1-524 with 1-100 being experimental
Mass 1,2 kg
Length 25 mm
Barrel length 150 mm

Caliber 11.35mm
Action Simple blowback
Muzzle velocity 488 m/s
Feed system 6 to 10 rounds


11.35 mm Schouboe ammo.jpg

The 11.35 mm Schouboe or .45 Schouboe was an experimental centerfire pistol cartridge produced in 1902, used by the Schouboe Automatic Pistol. The lightweight bullet was a steel jacketed wooden plug with an aluminum disk protecting the base. Muzzle velocity was 1600 feet per second. Accuracy was poor, and the blowback pistol chambered for this cartridge was unsuccessful.


11.35 mm Schouboe ammo Headstamps.jpg


Madsen: Danish Weapons Manufacturer

John Pedersen



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