Mauser Pre-War Commercial C96 Broomhandle 7.63mm/.30 Semi-Auto Pistol, C&R

SOLD FOR: $3,225

LSB#: 231212SC001

Make: Waffenfabrik Mauser, Oberndorf

Model: Mauser C96; Standard Pre-War Commercial

Serial#: 191040

Year of Manufacture: Circa 1911-1914, C&R

Caliber: 7.63x25mm Mauser (.30 Mauser)

Action Type: Semi-Automatic Short-Recoil Pistol with an Internal Magazine fed by stripper clips.

Barrel Length: 5 1/2”

Sights/ Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed by the muzzle. A notch has been cut in the top-rear of the blade. The rear sight is a tangent leaf marked 50-1000 in increments of 50m up to 500m and then increments of 100m up to 1000m.

Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The grip panels are two-piece serrated wood. The interior of each panel is marked “040”. There is a lanyard ring fixed to the butt-strap. The grip panels have moderate wear with scattered nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches. The serrations show wear but are generally well defined. There are small losses in the rear edges. There are no cracks. Overall, the grip panels are in Good condition.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Refinished, the serial-marked parts are matching.

Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is scattered light erosion in the bore, mostly in the grooves. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates about 7 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 into the 1960s.

Overall Condition: The pistol retains about 87% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. There is handling wear in the grip areas. There is scratching along the bottom of the barrel and some other scattered minor nicks and scuffs. There are more notable dings on the left of the frame at the magazine well. There are tool marks at the floorplate retaining pin. There is scattered minor erosion under the finish. The action shows operational wear. The screw head is tool marked with a strong slot. The markings are generally clear, some are worn, but legible. Overall, the pistol is in Very Good condition as refinished.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The barrel extension has 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 and Accessories: This pistol comes with a wood stock/holster. The mounting bracket has a non-matching serial marking.

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 all matching and the pistol has been refinished, so it looks nice for its age. The bore is better than many of the “Broomhandle” pistols we see and the mechanics are still strong. The pistol comes with a wood stock/holster, though the mounting bracket has a non-matching serial number. This is one handgun that historical firearms collectors will not want to miss out on. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

Mauser Pre-War Commercial C96 Broomhandle 7.63mm/.30 Semi-Auto Pistol, C&R
Mauser Pre-War Commercial C96 Broomhandle 7.63mm/.30 Semi-Auto Pistol, C&R