C96 history

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Sweeping History of the Broomhandle

The Mauser C96 aka 1896 aka "Broomhandle" was the first successful automatic loading pistol.  Between 1896 and 1939 it enjoyed many upgrades including being chambered in 7.63mm (the highest velocity round available until the .357 magnum), 9mm, and .45 cal.  There were full automatic machine pistol versions, various barrel lengths, and holster styles. 

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An experimental aircraft machine gun made from linked Broomhandles.

Brazilian full auto Broomhandles.

      There are a number of airsoft, and  .177 caliber BB firing replicas of this pistol available.  I have one of the M712 Schnellfeuer, and it fires full auto CO2 powered BBs.  Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any inexpensive replicas of the holster stock available.  It would be nice to have one, since the replica pistols actually have the slot for it.

Fortunately I already had a real C96 with a stock/holster. The $9.00 airsoft C96 fir with just slight modification. I was surprised how straight and far that cheap little Ebay airsoft pistol will shoot.
You are right, the stocks are not very cheap but every once in a while one pops up below the going price on Ebay. You might even want to check right now. ;-)

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      There used to be (back in the 1980s) a company called Sporting Goods Export (I think) that sold all sorts of original, and reproduction Mauser accessories for reasonable prices.  Unfortunately, I can't find even a single trace of them today.  I've searched several times, and it's as though they never existed.

      The mid to late 80s was a good time for Broomhandles.  Plenty were showing up by the crateload from China.  I had one that was something of a mongrel.  The serial number on one part didn't match, and it had been bored out to 9mm.  But I got it cheap.  Not much more than I paid for my Umarex BB replica.  Alas, I no longer have it.  (Long story, which I will not tell.)

      A great reference volume is called "System Mauser", and it still seems to be, more or less, in print.  I had a copy of that, too.  I have no idea what happened to it.

      I've collected, and lost (one way, or another), enough books and items to fill a small museum/library.  But now all I retain is knowledge.  Still valuable, though.  At least in the steampunk domain.

When I picked mine up in the 80s the seller tried to convince me to buy a case at a discount as an investment.  I should have listened since if you find a Broomhandle under $600. today you are stealing it.  Who would have guessed since so many were made.

Mine is still in 7.63/Mauser .30.  It is Austrian made but the entire Chinese army shot it (with sweaty hands) so it has been resleeved, reblued, regripped, and tow sears hardened.  At least all of the numbers match.  I found a stock and harness over the years. 

At the end of the day the Broomhandle may be the steamiest mass produced firearm. 

Oddly, I cam across a box of my old Broomhandle references just the other week.  I thought that I lost these ages ago. 

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