The Mauser C96 is a distinctive semi-automatic pistol that was originally produced by German arms manufacturer Waffenfabrik Mauser from 1896 to 1937. The firearm developed the nickname "Broomhandle" in the English speaking world because of the rounded shape of its wooden grips. The C96 is historically significant as the first auto-loading pistol fielded in substantial numbers by the military. As a military sidearm, the pistols saw service in various colonial wars, as well as World War I, the Estonian War of Independence, the Spanish Civil War, the Chinese Civil War and World War II.
The serial number of this specimen places its production sometime during the mid-1920s. Its smaller grips, shorter 3.9-inch barrel, and chambering in the highly penetrative 7.63x25mm Mauser indicates that it is an M1921 “Bolo” variant, which gained its nickname due to its acquisition in quantity by the Bolshevik government (and later the new Red Army) of the embryonic Soviet Union. The Bolo model was also popular elsewhere, as the shorter barrel and smaller overall size made the gun easier to conceal. All external numbers match, with the exception of the bolt stop, which was commonly replaced among pistols used in wartime. Otherwise, the pistol appears to be in original condition, showing considerable bluing fade on the high surfaces and barrel; but retaining its bluing on the recessed surfaces. The wooden grips are in excellent condition with no cracks or chips. The lanyard loop is still intact. Correct rear tangent sight out to an optimistic 1000 meters. There are several Imperial markings on the specimen, but no importation marks. Mechanically, the gun is tight and crisp, like a watch; the bore has intact rifling, but shows darkening in the grooves and some pitting closer to the chamber. There is no rust or pitting anywhere else on the gun. This is a solid example of the Mauser Broomhandle with some imperfections, which is reflected in the price.
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