In the early 1900s, the inventor of the toggle lock mechanism of the famous P08 pistol was experimenting with adapting his firing mechanism into a self-loading rifle for the German military. The 1906 rifle design was patented in Britain and was chambered for the standard German 7.92 mm cartridge. The action had been considerably strengthened to cope with the more powerful rifle ammunition, as well as modified to allow for loading from stripper clips.
Records show that the designer intended to submit his semi-automatic rifle to the world's militaries, but little is known as to why only a few prototypes were produced. It was examined by the German Ordinance department who were interested, but it is probable that a combination of relatively high complexity and the cost of mass production were the reasons why the 1906 self-loading rifle never got adopted by any armed forces. Although it would have most likely performed successfully, perhaps it was too much ahead of its time.
Many armies of the world were experimenting with, and intending to field semi-automatic rifles well before WW1, but none of them would widely adopt such weapons for many years.
- The Codex erronously features a picture of a Selbstlader M1916 instead of a Selbstlader 1906.