Monday, June 22, 2009

Guns I Wish I Had (part2) Mauser C96 "Red Nine"

The Mauser C96 or "Broomhandle Mauser" was first produced in 1896 and was one of the first reliable and effective semi automatic pistols. The C96 was designed with a wooden holster that can be attached to the butt of the pistol and used as a shoulder stock , greatly increasing the accuracy and effective range of the weapon. It was fed from top down with 10 round stripper clips into a internal spring loaded box magazine, and the magazine also functioned as a makeshift foregrip. The first models were chambered in 7.62x25 Mauser cartridge, which was very high velocity, especially in the relatively long barrel of the C96. The .30 Mauser, as it is also known, was not exceeded in velocity as a pistol cartridge until the .357 Magnum was released in 1935.

In WWI, the Imperial German Army made an order for 150,000 C96s chambered in their standard 9mm Parabellum cartridge. To avoid ammunition mix ups with C96s already in service, a large red 9 was burned and painted onto both sides of the grip, hence the popular appellation (oooooh SAT words) of "red nine".

The C96 was used widely in conflicts all around the world in the first half of the twentieth century, including the Second Boer War, The Spanish Civil War, The Russian Revolution, WWI, WWII, and numerous Chinese conflicts. (often in select fire, chambered in .45 ACP with a detachable, larger magazine)

The C96 was also famously endorsed by Winston Churchill, Lawrence of Arabia and Han Solo.

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