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From the History Books Historical

Rare Nazi Belt Buckle Pistol Chambered in .22 LR

by S.P. Fjestad   |  June 7th, 2012 24

Some advanced Nazi-era collectors are automatically attracted to this rare engraved belt buckle pistol. The aluminum Nazi Army eagle has been affixed to the traditional Germanic acorn and oak leaf engraving pattern on the steel buckle.

While this esoteric belt buckle technically qualifies as a firearm, most collectors would view it as more of a novelty item than anything else. It continues to prove that almost all original and bona fide items from the Nazi era remain very collectible, and not just to gun collectors.

The recorded history of these unique WWII Nazi SS marked belt buckle .22 LR pistols is that they were invented and designed by Louis Marquis, who originally came up with this concept while interned in a WWI POW camp. As both an engineer and an inventor, Marquis refined his original design, and in 1943, reportedly received an order to make several examples for Heinrich Himmler to be used by high ranking SS officers in case they were captured.

The ingenious operating mechanism used a spring loaded and hinged belt buckle that flipped up when ready for use. This exposed the four 1¾-inch barrels, and when the two levers on the bottom were depressed, the entire barrel block swung out. The four “triggers” are located on the right side, allowing the user to fire each barrel separately. Note the top barrel in the image with the buckle is not cocked, as evident by the exposed spring and the cocking rod not visible on the top right hand side. This particular example was manufactured by an unknown maker and is marked “BLN” and “BLN.-44-SS”. The various parts and components have also been marked with serial number 2, and all of them are matching. Also, several of the smaller parts have a small Waffenamt “eagle” over the proof WaA865.


Unique four barrel mechanism operates by a spring loaded, pivoting barrel block. The triggers are the serrated levers on the right side. Note that the top barrel is not cocked in this image.

While very unique and collectible, most existing samples were not officially sanctioned, and were made on a custom order basis by unknown parties/manufacturers. Eye appeal and rarity are certainly the two primary components in this gun’s overall desirability factor. The full coverage Germanic oak leaf and acorn engraving pattern with the Nazi Army eagle affixed on top is a huge plus for any Nazi era collector.

So what’s this belt buckle gun worth? A lot more than you might originally think, especially when its rarity factor is taken into consideration. Less than 10 have been documented, and they are too complicated and expensive to fake. At the recent April 20-22 RIA auction, this unique item gaveled for $20,700, including the 17.5-percent auction premium. It’s worth noting that a person who might have interest in such a unique novelty item may not care about firearms, and are only focused in bona fide artifacts from the Nazi era.

Images and information courtesy of Rock Island Auction Company. For more from S.P. Fjestad, check out his blog at

  • Greg J

    Quite the quagmire- something so amazingly intricate & ingenious, yet so horribly ugly & horrific………

  • guest

    @ Greg: Oh boo hoo, it has a swastika on it, grow up.

  • guess

    I never understood the S***T talking people do online. If you don't do it in person why do behind a screen??

    • Levi

      I actually do speak my mind in person

  • guest

    Contrary to what the article says, I'm betting one of the two bottom levers releases the cover to pop open, and the other one releases the barrels to swing out.

  • Bill

    Looks like something James West would have used on the old Wild Wild West t.v. show !

  • Alan_T

    My Uncle Bud was a sargent of a machine gun squad and was captured at the Battle of the Bulge . Bud spent the rest of WWII interred in a Nazi POW camp where he nearly died from starvation and disease . My uncle was supposedly a world – class violinist before the war and while he never played or drew or painted again , I did see example of his work that my grandparents kept . He was so good , his drawings looked like photographs , but as I say , he never did that again after his liberation either . I was also acquainted with other men , who like my uncle were prisoners in Nazi POW camps . When I was growing up . I saw the photos that my best friends father took when his outfit liberated Bergen – Belsen , you talk about hell on earth , that was it ! While it may be a novel and fascinating piece , I have a hard time warming up to anything with Nazi regalia on it .

  • SemperFlyBoy

    Amazing German engineering! If this thing shot 45 ACP they might have won the war. Or…maybe not.

  • 16 gr 296

    Didn't Mattel have a cap firing belt buckle derringer in the 60's?

    • Alan_T

      Yep , they sure did 16 gr 296 , I had one . It was a single shot , that fired a plastic bullet from a spring loaded cartridge with a " greenie " stick on paper cap . You operated it by pressing out with your belly against a spring behind the buckle that caused the single barrel derringer to pivot out and fire .

      • old vet

        I remember those. The caps were called stick'm caps if I recall. About this buckle though, imagine, trigger happy and nervous GI confronts German officer, officer is ordered to surrender- instead of raising hands he fumbles around with belt buckle which is obviously overly bulky.guess ending.

        • old vet

          Oh, yeah- the cartridges were Shoot'n'shells.My folks were still finding the plastic bullets in the heating ducts and such, for years.

          • Alan_T

            Yeah …….. good times , good times vet ! I really wish I still had mine vet , but my mother gave it to one of the neighbors kids or somebody ( sigh ) .
            I didn't have it and I don't know if it was made by Mattel ( " If it's Mattel , it's SWELL ! ) or not but there was also a toy derringer that was the same idea except that it was in the crown of a cowboy hat . Thinking about it , it's probably a good thing I didn't have one . After getting smacked on top of the head by a metal toy gun a few dozen times when the spring released by accident , I'd of been even goofier than I am now ! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          • Guest

            Got a mental image of you getting whacked on the head LOL

        • Alan_T

          Considering the buckle fires .22LR and it would have been about waist level on the G . I . , If he actually managed to shoot the G . I . , he'd have been one sorry Nazi officer by the time by the time the troops got done with him , vet ! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          • Col. Korn

            Actually, the Belt buckle gun was only meant to be used against being captured by Russians. The Russians almost always shot SS prisoners of war and so, the devise was issued to Officers on the eastern front.

            Occationally though, since it was a chick item to have, an officer here or there would glom it even though they were stationed elsewere and so, we have the examples being sold at auction now.

            There is not one single incedent where a German ever used one of these against an American or Brit, but dozens of examples where they were used against the Russians. This is because the Americans and Brits were known for the humane treatment of Prisoners. Course, once in a while, ifn we got pissed off enough, we’d blow there freakin heads off…..word.

            Your Obt. Svt.
            Col Korn,
            Chief O’ Mayhem in the Great WW-2 (And the Cold War)
            Now Chief O’ Security, Sanitation (And the Complaint Dept.)
            OXOjamm Studios.

        • Guest

          Alan says you got a new grandkid Old Vet? congadulations

  • Antonio

    Amazing piece of history. Ironic that the inventor has a French name?

    • Alan_T

      Life is full of irony , Antonio ……..

    • James Longstreet

      Not Ironic at all actually. Most people don’t realize that a large amount of the French population sided with the Germans in WWII. Many were happy to see National Socialism come to France and the Germans were very polite to the ethnic French. The only people that the German National Socialists were not so nice to were the people they felt did not belong in Europe.

    • James Longstreet

      Not Ironic at all actually. Most people don’t realize that a large amount of the French population sided with the Germans in WWII. Many were happy to see National Socialism come to France and the Germans were very polite to the ethnic French. The only people that the German National Socialists were not so nice to were the people they felt did not belong in Europe.

  • Alan_T

    Oh ….and vet , congratulations on grandkid # 6 ! ! !

  • old vet

    10 17 12 Number 6 finally here! 9lbs 6oz. Did not name Alan or after me.

  • kell490

    Curtis Whiteway talks about 2 of his men that captured a SS death head officer who had come from Dachau 3B concentration camp who attempted to use the belt buckle gun on 2 of his men he was able to stop him before the officer fired it. Video link is here

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