SOLD FOR: $2554.01
Model: 1896 9mm Military Contract “Red Nine”, Police Re-Work
Serial Number: 40487
Year of Manufacture: Ca. 1916-1918
Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Action Type: Single Action Semi –Auto with Internal Magazine
Markings: The top of the barrel at the chamber is marked “WAFFENFABRIK / MAUSER / OBERNDORF A/N”, the left shoulder with “40487”, the left side with a crowned “U” and “1920”, and the right side with a Crowned script letter Army acceptance mark. The top rear of the bolt is marked with a crowned “U” and “0487”. The right side of the frame is marked “WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER / OBERNDORF A. NECKAR”. The flat on the underside of the barrel has inspection marks including “M” and a six-pointed star. The top of the bolt-stop is marked “0487”. The rear faces of the lock frame and frame are marked with “40487”. The rear face of the hammer is marked “487”. The inside surfaces of the grips are stamped with the number “40487”. The bolt locking block is marked “0487”. The magazine floorplate is marked “0487” on the inside. The lock frame stop, sear arm and sear are each marked “938”. The frontstrap is marked “S. Wi. 140.” (Wiesbaden Schutzpolizei).
Barrel Length: Approximately 4” (100mm)
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade integral to a rectangular base fixed to the barrel. The original rear sight was removed in the re-work, replaced with a fixed “V”-notch in-line dovetailed to the top-rear of the barrel extension.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece serrated walnut panels with a large “9” cut into both grips filled with red paint. The grips have light-moderate handling wear. There are notable dings on the right panel toward the bottom with fewer, less severe marks on the left panel in the same area. There are some other scattered light marks. The serrations are generally well defined, they show more wear toward the bottom on each panel. The right panel has a chip-loss and a crack at the top-front. Overall, the grips are in about Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Refinished, likely original to arsenal refurbish. Some small parts have been force-matched to the pistol’s serial number, also likely done during the re-work.
Bore Condition: The bore is light gray with sharp rifling. There is light erosion scattered through the bore with infrequent minor pitting.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 90% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges, most notable at the leading edges of the barrel and frame-rails. There is handling wear in the grip areas and there is wear on the bottom of the trigger guard and floorplate including scratches and scuffing. These worn areas show discoloration from oxidation. The frame has spots of wear on each side behind the trigger. There are some other scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is scattered light erosion under the finish, most notable on the right of the magazine well. There is a distinct line around the barrel just behind the front sight. We have seen similar on other re-works, it appears to have something to do with the relocation of the front sight when the barrel was shortened. The screw head is tool marked with a strong slot and shows oxidation. The markings range from clear to worn, but legible. Overall, this pistol is in about Very Good condition as re-worked.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The barrel extension has very minor play to the frame. We did not fire this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The Broomhandle Model 1896 Mauser is certainly an interesting looking firearm, and the “Red Nine” variants are the most distinctive of any pistol made. During WWI Mauser had two contracts with the military, the first for 7.63mm pistols and the second for 9mm pistols. It soon became apparent that two nearly identical guns with dissimilar ammo was not a good idea. In December 1917, a decision was made to burn a large “9” into the grips and fill them in red paint, with those already issued to be similarly marked in the field. This pistol is a 9mm Military Contract with the left of the barrel extension marked “1920”, an indication that this pistol remained in service under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. As part of compliance with the treaty restrictions, the barrel was shortened to 100mm. The rear sight was also replaced with a fixed notch. We have not been able to determine if the rear sight was replaced as part of compliance with the Treaty or if police simply weren’t expected to need to use their sidearm to shoot anything 500 meters away. While the treaty strictly limited arms production, the Germans did refurbish and update those arms they were permitted to have in service. This example was issued to the Wiesbaden Schutzpolizei, and at the time that region would have been occupied by first the French and then the British as part of the Allied occupation of the Rhineland following the end of the Great War. Most of the serialized parts match, though there are some internal parts which do not match and the follower appears to be a standard C96 follower, not a 9mm specific part. In Very Good condition, this pistol has about 90% of its new metal finish, a decent bore and strong mechanics. This is an uncommon and historically significant pistol that is sure to be of interest to the serious collectors. Please see our photos and good luck!