MAUSER C-96 ITALIAN NAVY

MAUSER C-96 ITALIAN NAVY

FOLLOWING TEXT FROM: WIKIPEDIA The Mauser C96 (Construktion 96), also known as the Mauser "Broomhandle", is a semi-automatic pistol that was originally designed in 1895 by the Feederle brothers (Fidel, Friedrich, and Josef) and produced by German arms manufacturer Mauser from 1896 to 1937. Unlicenced copies of the gun were also manufactured in Spain and China in the first half of the 20th century. The main distinctive identifying characteristics of the C96 are the integral box magazine in front of the trigger, the long barrel, the wooden shoulder stock which can double as a holster or carrying case, and a grip shaped like the end of a broom's handle. The gun's distinctive appearance earned it the nickname "Broomhandle" in the English-speaking world (from the shape of its grip), and in China, the C96 was nicknamed the "box cannon" in China because of both its square-shaped external magazine and the fact it could be holstered in its wooden box-like detachable stock. The Mauser C96 with its shoulder stock, long barrel and high-velocity cartridge had superior range and better penetration than most other standard pistols; the 7.63x25mm Mauser cartridge was the highest velocity commercially manufactured pistol cartridge in existence until the advent of the .357 Magnum cartridge in 1935. Approximately 1 million C96 pistols were manufactured by Mauser alone, with the number produced in Spain and China being large but unknown due to the loss, non-existence, or poor upkeep of production records from those countries. Within a year of its introduction, the C96 had been sold not only to governments, but also commercially for resale to civilians and individual military officers. The first military contract was in 1896, with the Ottoman Turkish government ordering 1,000 of the new C96 pistols. This was followed in 1899 by the first major military contract; an order for 5,000 C96 pistols for the Italian Navy (the pictured sample is a former Italian Navy sample recovered and refurbished by the Italian gun shop EUROARMS, specialized in militaria). The Mauser C96 pistol was also extremely popular with British officers at the time and purchased privately by many of them; numbers were supplied to Westley Richards in the UK for this purpose, although its popularity with the British military had waned by the onset of World War I As a military sidearm, the pistols saw service in various colonial wars, as well as World War I, the Spanish Civil War, the Chinese Civil War, and World War II. Winston Churchill was fond of the Mauser C96, and used one at the Battle of Omdurman and during the Second Boer War; similarly, Lawrence of Arabia carried a Mauser C96 for a period during his time in the Middle East. Imported and domestic copies of the C96 were used extensively by the Chinese in the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War, as well as by the Spanish during the Spanish Civil War and the Germans in World War II. Besides the standard 7.63x25mm chambering, C96 pistols were also commonly chambered for 9mm Parabellum, ammunition, with a small number also being produced in 9 mm Mauser Export and there was also a Chinese-manufactured model chambered for .45ACP. Despite the pistol's worldwide popularity and fame, the only nation to use the C96 as the primary service pistol of its military and police was China. The "Broomhandle" Mauser has currently become a popular collector's gun. VARIANTS: "Red 9" During World War I, the Imperial German Army contracted with Mauser for 150,000 C96 pistols chambered for the 9mm Parabellum cartidge, as used in the standard-issue Luger P08 pistol then being used by the German military. This variant of the C96 was named the "Red 9", after a large number "9" burned and painted in red into the grip panels, to prevent the pistols' users from loading them with 7.63 mm ammunition by mistake. Of the 150,000 pistols commissioned, approximately 137,000 were delivered before the war ended. "Bolo" The Treaty of Versailles (signed in 1919) imposed a number of restrictions of pistol barrel lengths and calibres on German arms manufacturers, and so Mauser began manufacturing a compliant version of the C96 for commercial sale. This model- which featured smaller grips and a shorter (99mm) barrel, as well as being chambered for the 7.63x25mm Mauser cartridge- was sold in quantity to the Bolshevik government (and the Red Army) of the Soviet Union in 1920s [13], and was thus nicknamed the "Bolo" model. The "Bolo" model was also popular with Bolshevik revolutionaries, both in Russia and elsewhere in Europe, as the shorter barrel and smaller overall size made the gun easier to conceal. "Mod.712 Schnellfeuer" The Spanish gunmaking firms of Beistegui Hermanos and Astra began producing detachable magazine-fed, select-fire versions of the C96 in 1927 and 1928 respectively, intended for export to the Far East. Mauser began production of their own select-fire version of the C96, the M712 "Schnellfeuer" ("Rapid Fire") in 1932, again largely intended for export to China. The US National Firearms Act of 1934 made exports of the Schnellfeuer guns to the US impractical, and the remaining guns were almost exclusively supplied to either China or the opposing sides in the Spanish Civil War with small numbers also being supplied to the Germans during World War II. .45 calibre "Shansei Type 17" During the Warlord era of Chinese History in the early 20th century, the province of Shansei was ruled by the warlord Yen Hsi-shan, who had established a modern arms factory in his capital city of Taiyuan. Yen was issuing his troops with a locally produced copy of the Thompson SMG, chambered for the .45-ACP cartridge, but was experiencing supply difficulties as his troops' sidearms were 7.63mm calibre C96 handguns. His solution was to produce a .45-ACP calibre version of the C96, thus standardising ammunition and making supply easier. Designated Type 17, production on the .45 calibre handgun began in 1929 at the Taiyuan Arsenal and they were issued (along with Thompson SMGs) to railway guards in the province as defence against bandits and other warlords. Besides being chambered for a larger cartridge, the Shansei .45 pistols are noticeably bigger than their 7.63mm counterparts, with the magazine extending below the triggerguard, and they are inscribed (in Chinese) "Type 17" on the left hand side of the gun, and "Republic Year Eighteen, Made in Shansi" on the right hand side. Most of the Shansei .45 pistols were melted down after the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War (due to their odd calibre), but a few examples were exported overseas for sale on the commercial market. Approximately 8,500 Shansei .45 calibre "Broomhandle" pistols are believed to have been produced by the Taiyuan Arsenal, but there is some debate as to how many of the Shansei .45 calibre "Broomhandle" pistols currently on the commercial market were actually produced for Yen's troops, and how many are more recent productions for the US collectors' market. "Astra Model 900" and "Model 904" The Spanish gunmaking firm of Astra-Unceta y Cia began producing a copy of the Mauser C96 in 1927. Largely identical to the Mauser C96 (including the presence of a detachable shoulder stock/holster), it was produced until 1941, with a production hiatus in 1937 and 1938 and a final batch being assembled from spare parts in 1951. The Spanish copies of the C96 were generally intended for export to China, but after the commencement of the Sino-Japanese war (which blocked supply of guns to Chinese forces) the remaining Astra 900s were used in the Spanish Civil War, and numbers were also sold to Germany in the period 1940­1943. The Astra Model 904 was produced in a 9mm Largo variant, the Astra Model 904E, which was identical to the Model 904 in all other respects. --TECHNICAL SPECS-- CALIBER: 7.63mm Mauser (7'63x25mm); 9mm Parabellum/Luger/NATO (9x19mm); 9mm Mauser Export/9mm Largo (9x25mm); .45-ACP CAPACITY: 6, 10, 20, 40 rounds in integral (stripper-clip fed) or detachable magazines) OPERATION: Semi-automatic, recoil-operated MUZZLE VELOCITY: 425 m/s (1394 ft/s) TOTAL WEIGHT: 1,130 grams (39.9 oz) TOTAL LENGHT: Pre-"Bolo": 31,2 centimetres (12.3 inches); Post-"Bolo: 27,1 centimetres (10.5 inches) BARREL LENGHT: Pre-"Bolo": 14 centimetres (5.5 inches); Post-"BolO": 9,9 centimetres (3.9 inches) SIGHTS: V-notch rear tangent sight, adjustable up to 1000 metres; inverted V front sight. VARIANTS: "Broomhandle" (C96 "Standard"); "Bolo" (short-barrel, small grip"); "Red 9" (chambered for 9x19mm or 9mm Mauser Export); M712 "Schnellfeuer" ("Machinepistol", select/fire-full-automatic); "Type 17" Shansei (Chinese clone, .45-ACP); "Astra Model 900" (Spanish clone, 7.63mm Mauser 10-rounder, 9x19mm in Model 900 variant, 9x25mm "Largo" in Model 904A variant) OTHER PICTURES (hi-res): http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/38/Mauser_C96_M1916_Red_4.JPG http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e0/Mauser_C96_M1916_Red_9_7.JPG

Submitted by: DIANA ARMI / ARMI E MUNIZIONI © 2007/2009