Sold For: $25,025.00
Model: 1896 9mm Military Contract
Serial Number: 50939 (The serial number range for this model was from 1 to about 141000.)
Year of Manufacture:1916-1917
Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Action Type: Single Action Semi –Auto with Internal Magazine
Markings: The top of the barrel chamber is marked “WAFFENFABRIK / MAUSER / OBERNDORF A/N”, the left shoulder with “50939”, the left side with a double crowned “U” and the right side with a Crowned “Script I” Army acceptance mark. The top rear of the bolt is marked with “939” and the top of the bolt stop is marked “0939”. The right side of the frame is marked “WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER / OBERNDORF A. NECKAR”. The flat on the underside of the barrel is marked “K”, “k”, “S”, “O”, “Z” and “8”. The barrel just in front of the flat is marked with a six-pointed star and “W”. The rear face of the frame is marked with “50939”. The rear face of the hammer is marked with a “S” stamped over the top of a “N” (New Safety-Introduced in about 1915). The bottom of the trigger guard is marked with a script “N”. The inside surfaces of the grips are stamped with the number “50939”.
Barrel Length: 5.5”
Sights / Optics: The pistol is mounted with a “V” notch rear sliding elevator sight with markings from “50-500” that is pinned to the barrel extension. The front sight is an inverted “V” notch fixed to a rectangular base on the barrel. A piece of brass in the same overall shape as the sight has been inlet into the rear face of the sight.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are walnut with 32 grooves and a large “9” burnt into both grips and filled with red paint. The grips have a lacquered finish. The “9s” are well formed and appear to be done at the factory. (References show that the grip grooves changed from fine (32) to coarse (23) through production, and that grips in the 57XXX to 71XXX serial number range used 27 grooves. Also, “field” nines appear to be below SN 50,000 while “factory” nines appear in the 70,000+ range. There are several light scratches and a few tiny dings in the smooth areas. The edges of the grooves are mostly sharp, with heavy wear at the bottom of the “9” in the right grip and a few small dings below the grip screw in the right grip. The grips are in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: The pistol is blued. The safety and extractor have a fire blued finish and the bolt, lock frame and hammer are “In The White”.
Finish Originality: The pistol may have been refinished. We don’t see obvious signs of refinishing, but the finish is of higher quality than we have seen on previous examples.
Bore Condition: The bore is gray with light wear in the rifling. The is light erosion scattered throughout the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 96% of its current metal finish. There are wire wheel marks under the finish of the barrel, barrel extension and magazine. There is thinning on the underside of the barrel and on the edges of the barrel extension, bolt stop, and frame. There are several light handling marks under and in the finish of the barrel and barrel extension. There is a ding in the top of the bolt at the back of the extractor. The knurling on the push-button release on the rear sight slider is sharp, the serrations on the hammer are sharp, the serrations on the bolt show light to moderate wear and the safety serrations are sharp. The grip screw is sharp and the markings are clear. Overall, this pistol rates in about Fine condition as possibly re-finished.
Mechanics: The rear of the frame is slotted for a shoulder stock and the bottom of the grip has a boss for a lanyard ring, with a lanyard ring installed. The barrel extension is tight to the frame. This pistol has a New Safety that requires the hammer to be pulled back slightly while the safety is engaged. The action functions correctly. 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: This pistol comes with a lanyard ring, a wooden shoulder stock/holster, a leather holster for the stock and a wooden handled cleaning rod. The shoulder stock wood has an oak colored satin finish and the metal parts are blued. The butt is hinged and has a spring-loaded release via a button at the right rear. The front of the stock has a lug for attaching to the stock of the pistol with a spring-loaded latch, and the upper tang of the lug is marked “0939”. The hinge shows a few spots of pinprick surface erosion. There are multiple drag lines in the stock with several small dings and a few bruises. The stock is in about Very Good condition. The holster is dark brown leather with a large pouch for the wrist of the stock at the bottom of the holster with a small pouch for a cleaning rod on its front face. The bottom pouch is connected to a round strap at the top of the holster with a wide strap that has a pouch for stripper clips with its own flap. There is a long strap sewn to the back of the holster that folds over to the front, securing the shoulder stock in the holster, and fastening to a large steel stud on the round strap. The round strap also holds a small loop with a flap for securing the top of the cleaning rod. The back of the holster between the two belt loops is marked “ARN HOFFMAN / BERLIN / 1916”. There is a jagged drag line down the rear of the lower pouch and a few light handling marks in the holster. The stitching is intact. Overall, the holster is in about Fine condition. The cleaning rod is finished In The White with spiral grooves to hold a patch. There is rust showing in the grooves and spots of solid erosion on the shaft. The handle is dark with oil staining and shows a few dings. The cleaning rod is in about Very Good condition.
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, thus creating three variants of the 9mm pistols: those with no marks on the grips, those with factory “nines” and those with “nines” added in the field. This pistol is a 9mm Military Contract with factory burned “nines” in the grips. The serial numbers are all matching, including those stamped into the grips, and the pistol has the correct “New Safety” and an Army acceptance mark on the right side of the barrel extension. The pistol still has its lanyard ring attached to the butt, and to complete the package for the discerning collector, it comes with a wooden shoulder stock/holster serialized to the pistol and a leather holster for the shoulder stock made by Arn Hoffmann of Berlin in 1916. The pistol is about Fine condition with 96% of its current finish remaining. It may have been refinished, we don’t see any obvious signs, but the finish is of higher quality than we have seen on previous examples. The bore is gray with light wear in the rifling and very light erosion scattered throughout the bore. There were only about 141000 of this model made, with a little less than two thirds having factory marked grips, and one can only guess as to what number survived the trench warfare of WWI. This is a rare pistol that is sure to be of interest to the serious collectors.