WWI Mauser C96 Broomhandle Red Nine 9mm Semi-Automatic Pistol & Rig, C&R

SOLD FOR: $8235

LSB#: 230523EB006

Make: Mauser

Model: 1896 9mm Military Contract

Serial Number: 59514 (The serial number range for this model was from 1 to about 141000.)

Year of Manufacture: 1917-1918

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 “59514”, 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 “9514” with a double crowned “U” and the top of the bolt stop is marked “9514”. The right side of the frame is marked “WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER / OBERNDORF A. NECKAR”. The rear face of the frame is marked with “59514”. The rear face of the hammer is marked with a “S” stamped over the top of a “N” (New Safety-Introduced in about 1915) and “514”. The rear of the lock frame is marked “59514”. The action block is marked “9514”. The sear is marked “514”. The top of the magazine floorplate is marked “9514”. The inside surfaces of the grips are stamped with the number “59514”.

Barrel Length: 5 1/2”

Sights / Optics: The rear sight is a “V” notch 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.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece walnut with 27 grooves and a large “9” burnt into both grips and filled with red paint. 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. The grips have minor handling wear with a few light nicks and scratches. The serrations are well defined. There are no chips or cracks. The grips are in Fine-plus overall condition.

Type of Finish: Blued, some small parts are Fire-Blued and some are In The White.

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is mostly with sharp rifling. The is no erosion in the bore, but there is some stubborn copper fouling. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 9 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 94% of its metal finish. Most of the balance is minor finish loss consistent with holster wear, primarily on the barrel. There are some scattered light nicks and scratches, most on the left of the barrel extension. The action shows operational wear. The grip screw is tool marked with a strong slot. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol rates in Fine condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. 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. 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 wooden shoulder stock/holster, a leather holster for the stock, a wooden handled cleaning rod and a spare magazine spring. The shoulder stock/holster has a non-matching number on the mounting bracket. There are some scattered nicks and scratches, but no chips or cracks. The holster is 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 the spare magazine spring. 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 “HOHMANN & SOHN / KAISERSLAUTERN / 1916”. The holster has scattered light wear, some spots of more notable wear at corners and intact stitching.

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 (not serialized to the pistol) and a leather holster for the shoulder stock made by Hohmann & Sohn of Kaiserlautern in 1916. The pistol is about Fine condition with 94% of its original finish remaining. The bore is great shape, especially given its age, and the mechanics are strong. There were only about 141,000 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, not to mention the hard times of post-war Germany. This is a rare pistol that is sure to be of interest to the serious collectors. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California -Bud

WWI Mauser C96 Broomhandle Red Nine 9mm Semi-Automatic Pistol & Rig, C&R
WWI Mauser C96 Broomhandle Red Nine 9mm Semi-Automatic Pistol & Rig, C&R