Knoble automatic pistol
Country of origin

United States of America


William B. Knoble

Year(s) designed


Production began

1905, 1907

Production ended


Number built

Less than 20

Weapon type



.22 Long Rifle
7.65×21mm Parabellum/.30 Luger
.45 ACP


Short recoil, toggle-locked, single- or double-action (.30 Luger, .45 ACP)
Blowback, single-action (.22 LR)

Magazine/Cylinder capacity

8-round detachable box magazine

The Knoble automatic pistol is an American pistol.


The Knoble automatic pistol was designed in 1905 by William B. Knoble, an American gun designer based in Tacoma, Washington (and an unsuccessful one at that). A sample of the pistol chambered for the .45 caliber trials ammunition was later submitted to the 1907 US Pistol & Revolver Trials; on the day of the trials, Knoble himself was not present to showcase his weapon, and the weapon was instead showcased by an expert employee of the Springfield Armory. After some careful examination by the army, the weapon was found to be so crudely made, which caused the testing committee to immediately drop the weapon from the trials. The comments left by the testing committee are as follows:

Cquote1 A careful examination and several efforts to fire these weapons showed that they were so crudely manufactured as to render any test without value, smooth working being impossible. It was therefore decided that these arms would be given no further consideration by the board. Cquote2

Design Details

The .45 Knoble pistol consisted of 59 parts. The .45 and .30 versions of the Knoble operated using the short recoil principle with a toggle-lock action similar to the Luger P08, while the .22 caliber version of the Knoble used a simple blowback action. The floorplates of the magazines were contoured and were designed to fit flush with the angled grip.

Similar to some pistols, the Knoble has a heel magazine release. All versions of the Knoble had a cavity in the pistol grip; it is not known what the purpose of the cavity is for, but it is assumed that the cavity is to allow users of the Knoble to see whether there is a magazine loaded, but in retrospect, the cavity would be somewhat useless as one could just look down at the grip or feel the bottom of the grip to see if there is a magazine loaded. The .22 and .30 caliber Knobles lack a trigger guard, while the Trials .45 caliber Knoble has one.

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