Springfield Armory Museum - Collection Record

Home | Advanced Collection Search | Advanced Archival Search | Rate Your Search

Send us your own comments about this object.

Date of Manufacture:1898
Eminent Figure:
Catalog Number:SPAR 1929
Measurements:OL: 30.4CM 12" BL: 13.9CM 5 1/2"

Object Description:

Manufactured by Mauser, Oberndorf, Germany - "Standard Cone Hammer." Blued finish. Wood grips, 23-groove. Slotted for shoulder stock. Lanyard ring in butt. Sight: 50-500. Cartridge: 7.63mm. Complete and in good condition. 95% original bluing.

Major parts: l.
Barrel: Proofs

Weapon transferred to the Museum on 23 September 1913.

Notes: In 1939, after the great radio success of the George W. Trendle character "The Green Hornet," Universal made the first of two action serials. The prop department, needing an exotic firearm to double as "The Green Hornet Gas Gun," welded three CO2 cartridges to the underside of an old broomhandle Mauser, and it looked so realistic it was used on the cover of the first Hornet comic book in 1940.

"Construction 96, better known as the 1896 Mauser broomhandle pistol, was not a Mauser design. Appearence of the Borchardt C93 pistol had encouraged many arms manufacturers to consider the development of a self-loading handgun. Therefore, Paul Mauser (Wilhelm had died in 1882) decided to develop such a weapon. Most of the credit for creating th C.96 goes to the three Feederle brothers - Fidel, Friedrich, and Josef. For many years Fidel was the superintendent of the experimental workshop at the Mauser factory. He and his brothers, who also worked at the model shop, had been experimenting with their self-loading pistol design for some time before Paul Mauser gave it his official blessing. Unofficially, their work on the C.96 began sometime in 1893, and by the summer of 1894 they had a pilot model. During the next eight to ten months the Feederle brothers worked on the pistol as an official project. The handgun that resulted from this activity was ready for test-firing on 15 March 1895.
After success in firing the new self-loader, Paul Mauser applied for a patent covering the mechanism of a recoil-operated firearm (Ruckstosslader), and the German patent was granted on 11 December 1895. Subsequently, Mauser sought patent protection for his pistol in several other countries: Belgium (119,462 of 9 January 1896), Switzerland (11,943 of January 1896), France (253,098 of 10 January 1896), Britain (959 of 14 January 1896), Norway (4,780 of 22 January 1896), Hungary (5,675 of 29 February 1896), Austria (49,903 of 11 March 1896), Italy (40,594 of 30 March 1896), Spain (18,582 of 9 May 1896), Brazil (2,088 of 28 July 1896), Denmark (925 of 19 January 1897), and the United States (15 June 1897). Mauser obviously thought that the C.96 pistol had considerable commercial and military promise. With patents in hand, the next step was the perfection and manufacture of the pistol.
A second prototype of the Mauser self-loader appeared in about November 1895. The handgun had a few minor changes, the most obvious one being the switch from a spur-type hammer to one with a circular profile and 'cones' on either side. These conical projections led to the nickname 'cone hammer model.' This feature was kept as a design of commercial models up to about serial number 14,999 (above serial number 11,000 there are some pistols that did not have cone hammers.) Experience with this second prototype encouraged Paul Mauser to initiate production of the pistol. Preproduction engineering occupied the months of January to October 1896. During the period about 110 units of various configurations were fabricated by hand and partially mechanized processes. By early 1897, the M/96 (the marketed version of the C 96) pistol was being built on a mass production basis. Of the several thousand completed during that year, over 1,000 were sold. During the next 43 years (production at the Oberndorf factory ceased in 1939), the basic mechanism remained essentially the same. Hammer profiles were altered, magazine capacities were varied, and the external configuration was changed to accommodate modifications in production techniques, but the basic product was the same.
Examples built between January and OcPISTOLS 1897 TO 1899 - These pistols have been often incorrectly referred to as the Model 1898 or Model 1899. Made in both six- and ten-shot versions, these handguns had horizontally serrated grip plates, a cone-type hammer, adjustable rear sight, and two horizontal cutouts machined into the ridges that formed the lower portion of the barrel extension. Serial numbers for these pistols ranged from about 5,000 to 14,999." - Edward Ezell.

"The Mauser military automatic pistol (C96) was the most powerful weapon of its kind in use during the First World War. Invented in 1894, this locked-breech weapon fired a 7.63mm Mauser round at about 1,425 feet per second. It had a box magazine - holding six, 10 or 20 rounds - in front of the trigger, a long tapering barrel and a large hammer. The weapon could be fitted with a wooden shoulder stock and holster, turning it into a short carbine. In its original form the Mauser pistol was not adopted by the German army, which preferred the Luger, or any other major army. Some were,however, supplied to the Italian navy and to Russia and Turkey.
Wartime supply difficulties forced the German military authorities to reconsider their position and in 1915 it was ordered in large quantities. Based on the 1912 variant, in which the operation of the safety catch was considerably modified, it was rechambered for the 9mm Parabellum cartridge (and had the figure '9' stamped on the butt grips) but was otherwise unchanged. After the end of the war the Luger remained the standard Germany army pistol and the Mauser disappeared from official service use." - Bruce

"Shooting Scripts: An American Appreciation of the top 10 firearms ever made" by Gary James. GUNS & AMMO, May 2006.
"'The Wind And The Lion' (1975) - Director/writer John Milius is one of the most outspoken gun advocates in Hollywood. He was on the board of the NRA and is a major shooter and collector. As well as coming up with some of the best .44 Magnum lines in 'Dirty Harry' (1971), he also made some great films including 'Dillinger (1973), 'Farewell to the King' (1989) and his masterpiece, 'The Wind and the Lion.' This enjoyable film is based on a true incident, circa 1904, involving a kidnapped American citizen, a Berber chieftain and President Theodore Roosevelt.
Opening up with a British official tying to hold off a brigade with his Bulldog revolver, through later scenes depicting Roosevelt's (Brain Keith) evaluation of his M1895 Winchester, the Krag-Jorgensen rifles and Colt M1895 'Potato Digger' machine gun used by the U.S. landing force, a Maxim gun displayed by a factory representative (played by Milius), the Broomhandle Mauser carried by a German officer and sundry Mauser rifles and other bits and pieces used by various extras, the film is a gun enthusiast's delight."

Breathed, John W. & Joseph J. Schroeder. SYSTEM MAUSER. Handgun Press. Chicago, Il. 1967.
Bruce, Anthony. AN ILLUSTRATED COMPANION TO THE FIRST WORLD WAR. Michael Joseph. London, England. 1989.

Rate Your Search

Searching provided by:
 Re:discovery Software Logo, and link to go to www.RedsicoverySoftware.com