WWI Mauser C96 C-96 Broomhandle Red Nine 9mm Semi-Automatic Pistol, C&R

SOLD FOR: $5,225

LSB#: 231117KW058

Make: Mauser

Model: 1896 9mm Military Contract

Serial Number: 34464 (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

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 blade fixed to the front of the barrel.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are walnut with 33 grooves and a large “9” in both grips filled with orange paint. The grips appear to have had the 9s applied in the field with the serrations showing inside the number markings. Also, “field” nines appear to be below SN 50,000 while “factory” nines appear in the 70,000+ range. The grips have light handling wear with some scattered nicks and scratches. The serrations are well defined. There are no chips or cracks.

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: Original. Serialized parts are matching with the exception of the sear which is marked “463”, possibly a factory error.

Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with sharp rifling. The is some scattered minor erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 7 or 8 out of 10.

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.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 85% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There is wear along the barrel consistent with the use of the wood stock/holster. There is some minor surface oxidation with more notable oxidation on the frame under the grips. There are some light nicks and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The grip screw is lightly tool marked with a strong slot. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol rates in Very Good condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The barrel assembly has very minor play to the frame. The trigger has a smooth takeup with a little bit of creep before breaking. 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 stock’s mounting bracket is non-matching to the gun. The leather holster is dated 1916 and has a C. Holste maker’s marking, showing scattered wear and some fraying.

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 “nines” in the grips that appear to be field-applied. The serial numbers are all matching with the exception of the sear which is off by one digit, possibly a factory error, 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 a nd a leather holster for the shoulder stock made by C. Holste of Munich in 1916. The pistol is Very Good condition with 85% of its original metal finish remaining. There were only about 141000 of this model made, with a little more than one third having field-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.

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

WWI Mauser C96 C-96 Broomhandle Red Nine 9mm Semi-Automatic Pistol, C&R
WWI Mauser C96 C-96 Broomhandle Red Nine 9mm Semi-Automatic Pistol, C&R