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  #1  
Old 09-28-2016, 06:45 AM
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Default Mauser/Interarms HSC 380

Anybody have any information on a Mauser/Interarms HSC 380? My wife saw one yesterday at the LGS, a nice example in either stainless steel or satin nickel, with two magazines in the box with all the papers and liked it "Because it's German" (Her family is too).

I've done some searching on the 'net and have come up with as I expected some people who love them, some who don't. Some say they're good, others they're junk. Some say they were made in Germany, some they were made in Spain.

What says the brain trust here?
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:59 AM
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While I've never owned a Mauser HSC, I can recall when they were popular with law enforcement at a time when this Mauser and the Walther PPK and PPK/S had the market to themselves.

As for quality, consider the S&W Shield, here in the forum. Some swear by them while others swear at them. However, it is important to remember that guns like the Walthers and Mausers were designed when virtually all ammunition for such guns was in the form of ball. It wasn't until decades later that the firearms industry redesigned the feed systems to be more reliable with hollow points.
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:27 AM
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I am waiting on my permit in order to pick up my HSC. Mine is an Interarms imported Mauser HSC in 380. The HSC was offered in either a blue finish or nickel plated, I don't think that it was ever manufactured in stainless steel.

While I am not fond of the heel magazine release, I do like the automatic slide release when the magazine is inserted. Keep in mind, it is 1930s technology. While I have yet to fire mine, I know that it will function with hardball, and I hope that it will function with Hornady Critical Defense ammo. Mine was purchased with the intention of having a collectable oddity, and for occasional CCW.
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:48 AM
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Might consider a German made PP or PPK or an HK4. Be sure to get a GERMAN made Walther, not a S & W! There are lots available on the used market. The HK4 is a sleeper!
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:56 AM
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Yea. I think we're going to pass on the HSC. It seems a lot of them were made in Spain for Mauser.
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:27 AM
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Where are you finding information that states that the Mauser HSC was manufactured in Spain? I know that the HSC, and what became the HSC Super 80, had been licensed for manufacture in Italy. I can't find a thing that suggests Spanish manufacturing.
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BearBio View Post
Might consider a German made PP or PPK or an HK4. Be sure to get a GERMAN made Walther, not a S & W! There are lots available on the used market. The HK4 is a sleeper!
Let's clarify and expand on this a bit....

1) There were the Walther made PP series pistols and the quality of the pre war PP (1929-1939) and PPK (1931-1939) are superb. However after WWII, Germany was banned from manufacturing firearms - except under very limited and tightly controlled circumstances. This persisted to around 1960.

2) During this period, Walther exported the tooling for the PP series pistols to France where Manufacture de Machines du Haut-Rhin (Manurhin) made them under license for Walther.

In effect, under this arrangement Walther did the forging of the slides and frames in Germany and shipped them to France for the machining, hardening, polishing, fit and finishing operations by Manurhin.

3) After 1960, this arrangement continued but Manurhin started shipping machined but not yet roll marked or hardened slides to Walther in Germany, along with the completed and finished frames and the rest of the parts. Walther then polished, roll marked, hardened and finished the slides and assembled them to the Manurhin provided frames and parts.

They roll marked these as "Walther" made pistols as under German law it was the roll marking that constituted the manufacture of the pistol.

Given that the frames were polished and blued by Manurhin and the slides were polished and blued by Walther (who also induction hardened them - a faster, cheaper process than used by Manuhrin) it's common to encounter Walther "made" pistols where the blue on the slides and frames doesn't quite match.

Purists/elitists will insist these are "Walther" pistols and are superior to the Manurhin marked pistols, as they were finished and inspected by "Walther". But that's basically bull hocky.

The quality of the Manurhin marked pistols is at least as good as the Walther pistols, and with the exception of the hardening, polishing and finishing of the slide, Manurhin made the Walther pistols anyway. And the bluing matches on the Manurhin made pistols.

4) Walther discontinued this arrangement in 1982 when they finally started making their own PP series pistols from scratch.

Ironically, the quality of these Walther made pistols wasn't on par with the Manurhin made PP series pistols, and that's no surprise given that Manurhin had been making them for over 35 years by that point, while Walther had no recent experience with them.

Interarms imported the Walther made pistols until the early 1990's but was looking around for other options as Walther started making noises about a different US importer. That's when Interarms started importing a very nicely finished version the FEG AP and APK series pistols (PP and PPK/S clones).

5) However during this same period, Ranger started making licensed copies of the PPK and PPK/S pistols in the US and marketed them through Interarms, thus ensuring a steady supply of PP series pistols in the US.

Ranger also started making stainless steel versions, and the Ranger made Walther licensed pistols are highly regarded as well made examples of the PPK and PPK/S.

6) S&W is the entity that started causing issues as they redesigned the pistol, changing many of the dimensions, and adding an extended tang that alleviates slide bite for some folks, but ruins the lines and makes it much less comfortable to carry in an IWB holster.

The S&W made pistols had some issues and a couple recalls and I have generally not been impressed with them. (No offense to the forum intended.)

The rumor for the last couple years has been that there will soon be someone else making them under license to Walther in the US.

----

So while I agree with the advice to avoid the S&W made PPK and PPK/S pistols, I disagree that one made in Germany by Walther is preferred.

The Manurhin made PP series pistols are as well made as any of the post war Walther pistols and are better than the post 1982 Walther pistols.

Similarly, the Ranger made pistols are very nicely made and finished - much better IMHO than the S&W made versions.

I've also found that the Manurhin and Ranger made PP and PPK/S pistols that I own are very reliable with both Remington 102 gr Golden Saber and Hornady 90 gr XTP hollow points, and I've found other foreign made hollow points like those made by Magtech also function reliably.

In other words while your mileage may vary, in my experience, the PP series pistols may have been designed in an era of 7.65 Browning (.32 ACP) and 9mm Kurz (.380 ACP) ball ammo, they seem to function just fine with hollow points.

Where the PP series pistols show their 1929-31 design roots is in the angles of the lock work. they tend to have smooth but heavy DA trigger pulls, and given the geometry involved there just isn;t much you can do about it.

On the plus side though, once you master the 12 or so pound DA pull of a PP series pistol you'll be able to shoot pretty much any DA pistol or revolver very well in DA mode.

The exception course is the 1895 Nagant. That revolver has just about the worst DA trigger pull ever, a remarkable combination of extreme weight and grittiness that defies all efforts to make good DA groups.

Last edited by BB57; 09-28-2016 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:18 PM
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Don't know anything about them really, but I recently bought one from a friend because the price was right and I just liked the way it looked/felt. Not even sure if I'll fire it and will likely sell it off one day, but for now it's part of the pile.
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:33 PM
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My personal experience is somewhat limited but I recently owned a German-made/ Interarms imported Mauser HSc in .380 and, frankly, I didn't like it. It's a good looking gun, and it carries well. I had to put new mag springs in mine, though, and it was simply not reliable with any ammo but hardball. That's OK most of the time but I wanted the option of occasionally carrying HP ammo and that just wasn't going to happen. I also found it fairly uncomfortable to shoot and the double action first pull was atrocious, even worse than my PPK. All in all, I felt there were more downside problems with it than it was worth and so sold it to someone who wanted it worse than I did.
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:42 PM
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Three of my friends have owned one at different times. None of the three were reliable and jammed even with hardball. Sig 230 & 232 are based on the Hsc design and are a whole lot more reliable.
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Old 09-28-2016, 02:19 PM
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Over the years I have owned four Interarms HSc pistols, one in .32 acp and three in .380acp. Workmanship is outstanding, however, only the .32acp was dependable. Even with FMJ ammunition the .380's would fail to feed properly at times. Replacing the recoil and magazine springs with Wolffe products did not improve a thing.
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Old 09-28-2016, 02:35 PM
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Over the years I was often tempted to purchase a Mauser HSc in .380, mostly because they were almost as nice looking as SIG's gorgeous .380 (sadly discontinued - the best looking gun EVER - IMHO of course! ) but I did hear a sufficient number of negatives about them that I always controlled myself. I still think about it occasionally but now that they've gotten a little bit pricey I don't think about it all that much.

Quote:
Where the PP series pistols show their 1929-31 design roots is in the angles of the lock work. they tend to have smooth but heavy DA trigger pulls, and given the geometry involved there just isn;t much you can do about it.
The Walther PPK/S .22 has the same problem, only mine had maybe a 20 pound trigger. I found someone who fixed it for me. Now it's a fun .22 to shoot.

Query - does the long lecture above about high quality despite being made/assembled in different countries apply to Browning Hi-Powers?

WAIT! Don't answer that - I'll ask that "out loud" in this Forum.
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:45 PM
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I have one that is likely the best condition firearm I own. As it is in 99% condition I do not plan on shooting it. Since that is so, I cannot give you any personal experience on reliability. I have wanted one for a long, long time. There is something about the design that just works for me. They are very beautiful handguns.



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Old 09-29-2016, 11:34 AM
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I have one just like JohnRippert's, Mauser made and Interarms sold. I don't have a pic so I'll refer y'all to his post. Mine came with two extra factory mags and looked like it was fired very little if at all. It functions with no problems and displays good accuracy as well. I've never fired anything but ball ammo since they were a product of the 30's and that's what they were designed to operate with. The why I bought one is I love the "art-deco" looks of em.
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Old 09-29-2016, 11:57 AM
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Very early HSc from December 1940. Still works like new!

Mauser/Interarms HSC 380-hsc-l-jpg

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Old 09-29-2016, 12:23 PM
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I think I read that it was originally designed for the .32 auto cartridge.
Some say the .380 version did not function as well as the .32.
I can't vouch for this being accurate or true, but wanted to put it out there for you to investigate if you care.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:29 PM
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BB57 nailed it.

I've owned and carried several in 380 and 32 and always had good luck with them. Never a jam.
I still own several WWII ones in 32 and shoot them with no problem.
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Old 09-29-2016, 03:40 PM
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Back in the mid 60's there was a spy novel with an HSC on the cover. It was the first one I had ever seen and I thought it really looked neat. As I got older and older and had the ability to buy one, most of the review I read were not positive. If one showed up at a price too good to pass up, I might buy one.

I do have 3 ppk's and pp's and the ppk/s is not reliable.
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Old 09-29-2016, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simson-Suhl View Post
Over the years I have owned four Interarms HSc pistols, one in .32 acp and three in .380acp. Workmanship is outstanding, however, only the .32acp was dependable. Even with FMJ ammunition the .380's would fail to feed properly at times. Replacing the recoil and magazine springs with Wolffe products did not improve a thing.
I read once that the OSS agents preferred 32s over 380s because they were (1) more accurate and (2) more reliable.
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Old 09-29-2016, 03:43 PM
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If this is one of the HSc's recently imported from Italy I'd STRONGLY recommend you take it out and test fire it before making any commitment to purchase. I had one of these and could never get it to cycle reliably and got at least one hangup per magazine with different ammunition. I tried to correct this and so did a couple of gunsmiths to no avail. IMO; The last thing anyone needs in a carry pistol is unreliability. I ended up trading it off.
jim

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Old 09-29-2016, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BearBio View Post
I read once that the OSS agents preferred 32s over 380s because they were (1) more accurate and (2) more reliable.
As far as the Walther PP and PPK are concerned, they were designed around the 7.65mm Browning (.32 ACP) round, and they are very sweet shooting little pistols in that caliber.

The are not nearly as pleasant to shoot in 9mm Kurz/.380 ACP.

Reliability however is often more of a challenge for a pistol in .32 ACP as it uses a semi-rimmed case and can be subject to rim lock if the user isn't careful to ensure the rim of the cartridge is in front of the one below it in the magazine. Although to be fair this is usually only an issue with rounds that have a shorter than normal OAL.

---

In terms of performance, the .32 ACP is out of favor in the US, where we barely accept the lowly .380 ACP.

But in a PP where you can launch a 60 gr XTP at around 1000-1050 fps, it actually performs as well as the .380 ACP, with 12" penetration in gel and relabel hollow point expansion. It just don't expand as large as a .380 ACP hollow point and I don't feel any more under gunned with a PP in .32 ACP than I do with a PPK/S in .380 ACP. With a 73 gr FMJ, the .32 ACP also penetrates adequately. And in a PP series pistol you get one more round in the magazine with .32 ACP compared to .380 ACP.

With either the .380 ACP or .32 ACP, the three things that count most in stopping an assailant are:
1) shot placement;
2) shot placement; and
3) shot placement.

The major shortcoming of the .32 ACP, IMHO, is that it takes an even larger hit than the .380 ACP in short barrels, so you really need to stay with the 3.9" barrel of a PP, or at worst, the 3.4" barrel of a PPK or PPK/S rather than going with one of the shorter sub micro .32 ACP pistols.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessie View Post
I think I read that it was originally designed for the .32 auto cartridge.
Some say the .380 version did not function as well as the .32.
I can't vouch for this being accurate or true, but wanted to put it out there for you to investigate if you care.
I just purchased a mauser model HSc 380 acp. I tried it on the field and was surprised by its good aim and firing cycle. Of course I'll load it with fmj.
First shooting 10 yards double single action. . (Cry «Havoc!», and let slip the dogs of war).
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:40 AM
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A Sig P230/232 would likely make your wife just as happy, unless she wants a basket full of spare magazines. Spare mags are pricey. The two Mauser HSc pistols I owned were .32 a.c.p. WWII era guns that only fed hardball ammo reliably.

The Sig P230 I gave my son.


The Sig P232 I bought myself when I realized I made a mistake giving away the P230.

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Old 02-19-2021, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BearBio View Post
I read once that the OSS agents preferred 32s over 380s because they were (1) more accurate and (2) more reliable.
Seems so true with most 32’s vs 380’s. More accurate, and more pleasant at the shooting range. Makes sense.
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Old 02-19-2021, 05:37 PM
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I used to own a nickel Interarms HSc in 380. It had some ammo cycling issues, and the extractor flew off while shooting it once. so I returned it to the store adn exchanged it for something else.

I also once owned the Italian made Gamba Mauser HSc Super in 380. It was fine, but never really like the double stack magazine, so sold it off at some point.

Currently I have a 1946 HSc built by the French when they occupied the Mauser plant for their troops in Indochina (Vietnam). It is in 32 ACP. I have had zero problems with it.

If I were you I would stay away from the 380 caliber and look for a 32 ACP one. The HSC was designed for 32 and they seem to run much better in that cartridge than 380.

Just my experience.
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Old 02-19-2021, 06:11 PM
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I realize that this is now a zombie thread.

I took my HSc out last year to try it, and I had a bad experience. Seems a prior owner didn't know how to properly disassemble the slide, and they "armstronged" the firing pin. Needless to say, it fired out of battery and blew the extractor out, along with the detente pins and extractor spring.

I have rebuilt the slide, and look forward to test firing it with less excitement.
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