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WWII MAUSER C96 WITH STOCK AND LEATHER HOLSTER

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WWII MAUSER C96 WITH STOCK AND LEATHER HOLSTER

The C96 is a semi-automatic pistol that was manufactured from 1896 to 1936 in Germany. It was one of the first semi-automatic pistols to see widespread use. It was also manufactured in direct or modified form in Spain and China in the first half of the 20th Century.

The main characteristics that distinguish the C96 are the integral box magazine in front of the trigger, the long barrel, the wooden shoulder stock which can double as a holster or carrying case, and a grip shaped like the end of a broom's handle (which earned it the nickname "Broom handle" in the English-speaking world). The Mauser C96 can be considered one of the first personal defence weapons (PDWs), as its long barrel and powerful cartridge gave it superior range and better penetration capabilities than most other standard pistols. There were many variants of the C96, notably the so-called "Bolo" version with a shorter barrel and smaller grips (which was manufactured after German handgun manufacturers were required to conform to Versailles restrictions on pistol barrel length). The Bolo earned that name due to the fact that the Bolshevik government of the Soviet Union in 1920s placed large orders for that model. There were versions with detachable magazines varying in size from 6 to 40 rounds (instead of the integral magazine seen on most pre-1930s versions), and models such as the M712 Schnellfeuer ("rapid fire") machine pistol from 1932 that was capable of fully automatic fire. All versions were made to use detachable shoulder stocks that doubled as holsters. A small number of carbine models with wooden stocks, wooden fore grips and much longer barrels were also manufactured.

During World War I the Imperial German Army contracted with Mauser for 150,000 C96 pistols chambered for the 9 mm Parabellum. This variant was named the "Red 9" after a large number "9" burned and painted in red into the grip panels, to prevent the pistols' users from loading them with 7.63 mm ammunition by mistake. Of the 150,000 pistols commissioned, approximately 135,000 were delivered before the war ended. This was the only time in which the C96 was ever used officially by the German army. The Mauser C96 was sold commercially worldwide; Winston Churchill favoured it, and used one at the Battle of Omdurman and during the Second Boer War. The pistols saw service in various colonial wars, World War I, the Spanish Civil War, the Chaco War, and World War II, among other places.

Your comments:

  • As a point of interest, The C96 Mauser became the basis for Han Solo's blaster in the Star Wars Movies. The movie prop people added various gizmos and dodads to make the gun look futuristic, but it is still recognizable!
    .......... Ken Romm, Sedona, Arizona, USA, 7th of February 2017

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