Model: Model 1896 Persian Contract
Serial Number: 154928
Year of Manufacture: 1910
Caliber: 7.63mm Mauser
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 side of the chamber is marked with a double crowned “U” definitive proof and the left shoulder with “154923” (The numbers appear to have been stamped twice, one on top of the other. The “3” may possibly be an “8” struck at a slight angle). The top rear of the bolt is marked with a double crowned “U” and “928”. The back of the frame and the top of the backstrap are marked “154928” and the back of the hammer is marked “928”. The right side of the frame is marked “WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER / OBERNDORF A. NECKAR”. The flat on the underside of the barrel is marked “l”. The barrel in front of the flat is marked with a script “M” and “M”. The left side of the barrel extension is marked with a Persian “Rising Sun” and the left side of the frame is marked with the Persian lion crest.
Barrel Length: 5 ½”
Sights / Optics: The pistol is mounted with a “V” notch rear sliding elevator sight with markings from “50-1000” that is pinned to the barrel extension. The front sight is a fixed inverted “V” blade fixed to the top of the barrel.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are grooved walnut with 34 grooves that are correct for this model pistol. The grips each show several spots that are dark with oil staining. The smooth areas show several shallow marks with a deeper ding at the bottom of the left grip and two deeper dings at the bottom of the right grip. There are several tiny marks in the ridges between the grooves of both grips and a small chip out of the ridge immediately above the grip screw escutcheon in the right grip. The grips rate in about Very Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: The finish is blued. The extractor and the slider on the rear sight have a fire blued finish, and the bolt and hammer are finished “In The White”.
Finish Originality: The pistol has been professionally restored.
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright tending to gray at the muzzle. The rifling is sharp. There is no erosion but there are slight compression marks in the grooves near the muzzle that could have been caused by vigorous cleaning.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 98% of its current metal finish. The only marks in the finish are spots of erosion on the hammer and the left side of the cocking ribs on the bolt, and a tiny mark on the right side of the barrel. There are isolated spots of pitting under the finish in the underside of the barrel, on the top and left side of the chamber ring, the sides of the frame and the backstrap. The serrations on the safety are relatively sharp. The hammer and bolt serrations show light wear in addition to the erosion noted above. The grip screw is sharp and the markings are clear except for the proof mark on the bolt, which is partially obscured by erosion. As noted previously, the serial numbers on the left side of the chamber ring appear to be double stamped. Overall, this pistol rates in about Fine condition as re-stored.
Mechanics: The rear of the frame is slotted for a shoulder stock and the bottom of the grip has a lanyard ring. (no shoulder stocks were provided with this contact) The barrel extension appears tight to the frame. The action functions correctly. We did not fire this pistol.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: The Broomhandle Model 1896 Mauser is certainly an interesting looking firearm. The C96 revolutionized the way many gun designers thought about handguns, and forced countries to re-think arming their soldiers with revolvers. This is a 1910 Persian Contract pistol that has the Persian lion crest on the frame and “Rising Sun” on the left side of the barrel extension. The serial number of the gun lies between two of the numbers of known Persian Contract pistols identified on Pg. 120 of “System Mauser” by Breathed and Schroeder. The Persian contract pistols are extremely rare, with only 1000 having been made. The serial number on the frame, hammer and bolt match, but the barrel extensions is marked with a number that displays a “3” instead of “8”. The serial numbers on the barrel extension were double stamped, the “8” likely struck at an angle. The pistol is in about Fine condition with about 98% of its current finish remaining. There is pitting in the hammer and on the left side of the cocking ears of the bolt, and a tiny mark on the right side of the barrel. There are isolated spots of pitting under the finish on the underside of the barrel, the chamber ring, the sides of the frame and the backstrap. The grips are walnut with 34 grooves, which are correct for this model. The grips show several light handling marks with a few dings near the bottoms of the grips. There is a tiny chip above the grip screw escutcheon on the right grip and a several tiny marks in the ridges between the grooves. The bore is mostly bright, tending to gray at the muzzle. The rifling is sharp. There is no erosion, but there are a few shallow compression marks in the grooves near the muzzle that could been caused by vigorous cleaning. With only 1000 of this model having been made, and with the serial number of this gun falling between two of the known Persian contract pistols made, this is a very rare pistol.