SOLD FOR: $2826
Make: Waffenfabrik Mauser, Oberndorf
Model: Mauser C96; Standard Pre-War Commercial
Year of Manufacture: Circa 1900-1914, C&R
Caliber: 7.63mm Mauser
Action Type: Semi-Automatic Short-Recoil Pistol with an Internal Magazine fed by stripper clips.
Markings: The top of the back-strap features the serial number “220191”. The right side of the frame is marked “WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER / OBERNDORF A. NECKAR”. The locking block is marked “191”. The sear is marked “191”. The rear of the lock-mechanism frame is marked “220191”. The hammer is marked “191”. The rear of the bolt is marked with a double crowned “u” and “191”. The bolt-stop is marked “191”. The front-left portion of the barrel extension is marked “220191” over a double crowned “U”. There is a “M” at the bottom of the barrel in addition to several marks. The top of the chamber ring is marked “WAFFENFABRIK / MAUSER / OBERNDORF A/N”. The interior of each grip is marked “191”. The magazine floorplate is marked “812”; the floorplate is the only non-matching component.
Barrel Length: 5.5”
Sights/ Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed by the muzzle. The rear sight is a tangent leaf marked 50-1000 inclusive in increments of 50mm up to 500 and then increments of 100mm up until 1000.
Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The grip panels are two-piece serrated wood. There is a lanyard ring fixed to the butt-strap. The grip panels have light-moderate handling marks, nicks and scuffs. The serrations remain mostly sharp. Overall, the grip panels are in Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is some light erosion concentrated in the grooves. On a scale of 1-10, the bore rates about 8/10 as a C&R. Many military and C&R eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide until the 1960s.
Overall Condition: The pistol retains about 75% of its metal finish. There are some light-moderate handling marks, nicks and scuffs on the gun’s metal surfaces. Notably, there is routine wear along the leading edges and some scattered superficial oxidation. Some markings are slightly faded, but most remain clear. The screwhead is lightly tooled and remains serviceable. Overall, the pistol is in Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The rear of the frame is slotted for a shoulder stock. The barrel extension fits snuggly to the frame. 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 and Accessories: There is an included black leather holster.
Our Assessment: At the end of the 19th century semi-automatic handguns were being adopted by most major powers. Germany was at the forefront of this firearms revolution, a number of prominent designs coming from the relatively young nation (it took its modern form in 1871 following the Franco-Prussian War). Among the most iconic was the Mauser Model 1896 (remembered as the C96), designed by the Feederle brothers (Fidel, Friedrich and Josef) whom were close associates of Paul Mauser, the owner of the famous German arms manufacturer, and they all worked at Mauser’s experimental workshop. They developed a number of prototypes over the course of the early 1890s before finally perfecting what would become the C96 in 1896. A number of variations of the design were produced by Mauser over a production cycle that would last over four decades; most featured a 10 round fixed internal magazine that was loaded via stripper clips. Most C96s were chambered for the 7.63x25mm cartridge and a number were later also chambered for 9mm Luger rounds (several other chamberings exist as well, but these are the two most common by far). Mauser’s design was adopted by the German military and the company secured a number of contracts with various powers to sell the weapon to their armed forces; this included the Ottoman Empire, Italy, Persia and Austro-Hungary. The gun saw extensive use during WWI and was still in service during WWII with the Wehrmacht to a much more limited degree.
This particular specimen falls into the range of the Standard Pre-War Commercial C96 pistols, made in the years preceding the First World War. The gun’s parts are almost all matching except for the magazine floor-plate, the finish is still largely intact, the action still functions smoothly and the bore is surprisingly well preserved. This is one handgun that historical firearms collectors will not want to miss out on!