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Old 06-23-2020, 08:06 PM
Masterbuck54 Masterbuck54 is offline
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Default Mauser Broomhandle..value & age?

Ok I picked up some things not related to S&W this week.

Not sure why I did...maybe it was the right thing to do

So on this Mauser how does one get an approximate age and value on one of these?

Is there a serial base that would tell?

Came with three boxes of ammo.

I plan on shooting it once I get to my sons place hopefully sooner than later.

As I find time I'll post of some of the other weapons that were purchased.

Thanks in advance for any and all info.

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Old 06-23-2020, 09:07 PM
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These are a collecting field unto themselves. Do some research and ask around. That looks to be in nice shape.
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Old 06-23-2020, 09:32 PM
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It looks like a "Prewar Commercial". I know of no serial number list that will tell you when it was made. Also, be careful not to shoot Tokarev ammo in it. Tokarev cartridges are considered pretty hot for use in old C-96 pistols.
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Old 06-23-2020, 09:53 PM
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Oldguns.net has a pretty good look up page for the C96.
It'll narrow it down sometimes to a few yrs +/-.

Mauser Pistol C-96 (Broomhandle) Manufacture Dates


Lots of small details separate different models that otherwise look alike.
They can be confusing. Like any collectible, condition and originality is key.
Many 1000's were imported from China to the USA in the late 80's and early 90's. All sorts of Models and configurations. Most saw hard use with little care. But there were some good examples in the bunch too.
Being post 1986 imports, they were 'Import Marked' at the time.

Matching parts ser#'s is a big value determination factor much as it is with a Luger and other foreign handguns and rifles.

That ammo pictured is probably Tokarev or PPSh type ammo. It's in 8rd stripper clips. The C96 takes a 10rd stripper clip.
I would stay away from any mil/surplus ammo in the C96 also. It fits,,it goes bang,,but I've seen 2 nice C96's ruined with the stuff.

Make sure the TD latch is down & fully engaged into the frame cut.
It looks like it sitting a bit high in the pic but it might just be that,,the picture.

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Old 06-24-2020, 12:42 AM
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Here's the best info I've seen about Brooms

1896 Mauser - quick identification

Last edited by Gene L; 06-24-2020 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:32 AM
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That Mauser banner on the side first appeared in 1903 according to some of the information out there.....a serial number helps as well but mostly the features help to age the gun.

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Old 06-24-2020, 08:05 AM
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ammo pictured in 8 rd. clips is not safe for use in your Mauser - i have seen several valuable broomhandles destroyed using it - S+B
+ Fiocchi still make correct ammo -
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Old 06-24-2020, 08:59 PM
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Thanks for the info...looks like I have a lot of reading to do.

Using the serial check feature on the one site dates it between 1911-1915.

I need to get some proper ammo as suggested.

What gun would the ammo that I have fit?

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Old 06-24-2020, 09:22 PM
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I had a very nice 9mm 20 years ago. It was in very clean shape and had the wooden stock/holster. I shot it a couple of time but sold it with a collection of Military arms.

In the 60’s my uncle has a Spanish made, I think it was, full auto model. I remember him firing it once. I’d love to own that now.
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Old 06-24-2020, 09:31 PM
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I've got a shoulder stock for mine, a repro from China pre-Covid. Needed a bit of work on the connector. I had one prior to buying it, but lost it and recently found it...now I have two. I also bought a leather holster, also from Communist China, very good quality with a little saddle soap.

I would strongly advise to check the barrel for rifling. Mine had no rifling, all shot out. A lot of them came from China, where they were used a lot. I had mine relined, which cost $300, IIRC.
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Old 06-24-2020, 10:17 PM
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Those 'repro' detachable shoulder stocks for the C96, Luger, High Power and some others are no longer acceptable as a substitute accessory to install on those pistols and make them into a shoulder stocked handgun and have them exempt from NFA regulations.

In the past,(80's or 90's perhaps?) it seems that the BATF did rule that a repro was acceptable if the stock was made to the dimensions and specs of the original stocks.
If that was so,,,,No more.

In the latest updated (2018) 'BATF C&R listing for Section III — Firearms removed from the provisions of the National Firearms
Act and classified as curios or relics....' now lists those pistols as exempt from NFA when accompanied by an Original Stock. ,,The Mauser C96 included along with the Artillery Luger, Naval Luger, Inglis H/P, and others.

The last update of the old C&R publication list (2007) had that provision also, that only Original shoulder stocks were considered when removing the weapon from NFA regs.


The ammo the OP has pictured was probably mfg'd in China or one of the old Eastern Bloc nations for use in the Tokarev pistol or one of the many SMG's that fire the round.
Check the headstamp and do a search. There are several websites that ID ammo that way. They can usually tell the Country, Factory and date of mfg.
There was a certain lot of Bulgarian (?) mfg ammo in that cal that was imported some yrs ago about the time those CZ52 pistols were imported in the same caliber.
The CZ52 is quite a heavy duty pistol and some of the Bulgarian (?) ammo was credited with destroying some of them.
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Old 06-24-2020, 11:18 PM
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Very cool. Make sure it's not a Chinese reproduction. They made a lot of those 100 years ago.
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Old 06-24-2020, 11:26 PM
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Yours clearly has the "old safety" which puts it at pre-November 1915. SN should be below 280000. There is a long-running controversy about whether the Russian Tokarev ammo is safe to use in Mauser Broomhandles. Apparently from some arsenals and countries, it is. Others may not be.

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Old 06-25-2020, 05:29 AM
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Nice gun. What I find so compelling is that while the C96 seems ancient now, back in the 1890s+ this was absolutely cutting edge technology that only governments and the wealthy could afford.
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:51 AM
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I've shot Russian ammo in mine w/out a problem but I don't recommend it. I got my first one from a Mr. Kang in ATL who imported them from China and had them relined. Most of the ones you see come from China, where they were very popular. He had a wall full of Chinese copies but he wouldn't sell them. I believe he felt them unsafe. Pretty easy to spot a Chinese gun as they were made in shops using files and railroad rails and a lot of them have "tells." One I remember had "Wauser" banner, the Chinese had apparently tried to copy "Mauser" but didn't have the use of letters we use.
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Old 06-25-2020, 05:21 PM
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I have a 1930 Commercial C-96 and have only fired the new production PPU 7.63 Mauser ammo in it. It's good ammo. I won't risk it with any ammo of unknown origin or specifications.
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Old 06-25-2020, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tndrfttom View Post
It looks like a "Prewar Commercial". I know of no serial number list that will tell you when it was made. Also, be careful not to shoot Tokarev ammo in it. Tokarev cartridges are considered pretty hot for use in old C-96 pistols.
It appears to have a "new safety" hammer but the safety lever with the hole in the knob is from the previous safety.

Edit. If the hammer number matches the rest of the gun. It would be a "wartime commercial".
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Old 06-25-2020, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
Yours clearly has the "old safety" which puts it at pre-November 1915. SN should be below 280000. There is a long-running controversy about whether the Russian Tokarev ammo is safe to use in Mauser Broomhandles. Apparently from some arsenals and countries, it is. Others may not be.
Not so clearly old safety. The hammer has the N s of the new safety. But the lever does not match.

It all depends on which one is the "right" part. The hammer or the safety lever.
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Old 06-25-2020, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurusu View Post
Not so clearly old safety. The hammer has the N s of the new safety. But the lever does not match.

It all depends on which one is the "right" part. The hammer or the safety lever.
If the hammer has the intertwined NS marking I agree it falls in the later 'Wartime Commercial' style but I couldn't see the NS on the photo of the hammer. With the hole in the safety lever and the NS perhaps its a 'transitional' model - that is if something hasn't been replaced or modified.

I once had a pretty knowledgeable Broomhandle collector tell me 'there are no rules when it came to collecting early Mausers'.
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Old 06-25-2020, 07:06 PM
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I could see it in this picture.

Mauser Broomhandle..value & age?-img_0731-jpg

Edit. And yes. C96s are a tricky subject.
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Old 06-25-2020, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterbuck54 View Post
Using the serial check feature on the one site dates it between 1911-1915.
Masterbuck54
Since the OP did not provide a SN we don't know for sure which hammer and safety is correct. The New Safety started at SN 280000 in November 1915. If the OP's statement above is correct (1911-1915), it seems the old safety is likely to be correct.

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Old 06-25-2020, 08:01 PM
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Yes, I am jealous. Very Nice.
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:06 PM
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M-96 is one of the Chinese imports it is an 8 round model there are both. As to the ammo you have, what does the head stamp say? Most Chinese ammo is copper washed. My Russian ammo came in 16 round packs in pink paper and tied with a string. Beware of ALL Chech military ammo, they made NOTHING low enough pressure to use in a C-96!

Ivan

I gave up on buying ammo. I have FL dies from RCBS and make my brass from 223 cases. If your extractor isn't flush when loaded, it wasn't fit correctly; trim and fit it or use different ammo (your choice). Lyman loading data is safe for all Broomhandles. I use .309 projectiles. With Russian ammo, I got a 4" group (8 shot) at 100 yard using a rest and the shoulder stock (back in the mid 90's when my eyes were younger!)

I pull it out for show and tell every other year or so. I always draw a crowd!
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:38 PM
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Lots of good information here...thanks

Serial # is 158019

I'll have to get the ammo out this weekend and check the head stamp but it seems I'll be looking for some other ammo.

Where does one find the stripper clips?

Also assuming this operates as it should what a ballpark figure on a value?

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Old 06-26-2020, 12:10 AM
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There use to be a shop called "The Broom Closet" that sold all things Broomhandle, he a original and repo strip clips. I use US Army M-16 strips with only 8 rounds in them. Use until the end tabs break off and pitch (use 3 or 4 times, cost free). The Mauser clips are of similar design to SKS stripers, but of smaller length and width, they are usable hundreds of times. Cost: In the 90's up to $15 each. Like most surplus items, when a stash is found the cost comes down!

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Old 06-26-2020, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
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Lots of good information here...thanks

Serial # is 158019


Masterbuck54
That serial number places it around 1911.

Meaning the safety was probably upgraded by changing the hammer to the new type.

Just out of curiosity. The rifling on the barrel, is it 4 or 6 grooves?

And how is the rifling? Many C96 have very worn rifling due to the use of corrosive primers.

Edit. The one on the top was made in 1911 and has a 6 groove barrel. The ons at the bottom was made in 1910 and it has a 4 groove barrel.

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Old 06-26-2020, 10:29 AM
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This goes back nearly 10 years, but I was at a local gun show. There was a woman there with a very nice C96 standing at one of the vendor tables, and she was wanting to sell it. The vendor was giving her the usual shuck and jive about how it was just some old gun, not really worth anything, etc. Without being too obvious, I unsuccessfully tried to get her attention to warn her that she was being taken for a ride. I think he paid her something like $150 for it. I caught up with her a little later to see if she happened to have any other guns, but she didn't. Turned out the C96 had belonged to her dead husband. I didn't tell her how badly she had been had as it was too late to do anything about it.
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:58 PM
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"And how is the rifling? Many C96 have very worn rifling due to the use of corrosive primers."

Ok not much rifling left on this old bird.

Who know how many rounds it seen down the pipe?

Also noticed a slight bulge 3/4 way down the barrel

So maybe it will become a wall hanger and see no action??

Should it still be safe to shoot?

Just don't expect any type of accuracy?

I probably should have left it and spent my $$$ on something else.

Live and learn I guess.

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Old 06-27-2020, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurusu View Post
Just out of curiosity. The rifling on the barrel, is it 4 or 6 grooves?
And how is the rifling? Many C96 have very worn rifling due to the use of corrosive primers.
In post #23 I said that they are accurate with good ammo, and I had a 4" 100 yard group using Russian ammo. That is even with the riffling in poor condition! My C-96's barrel has riffling down one portion of the barrel.

Ivan

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Old 06-27-2020, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Masterbuck54 View Post
Ok not much rifling left on this old bird.

Who know how many rounds it seen down the pipe?
Probably not that many. What happened in most cases was that in the early smokeless powder days people thought cleaning the barrel after shooting was no longer so important. The problem was the primer residue. It was higly corrosive then. Half a dozen shots fired were enough to ruin a barrel if it was left without cleaning for a long period of time.


Quote:
Also noticed a slight bulge 3/4 way down the barrel
That is not good.


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So maybe it will become a wall hanger and see no action??
It is always an option. But you can also get it rebarreled if you wish(my major concern is the bulge in the barrel not the worn rifling).

Quote:

Should it still be safe to shoot?

Just don't expect any type of accuracy?
Safe to shoot? Only a close inspection by a gunsmith can tell you that. One that is familiar with the C96.

Expected accuracy? My 1910 still can perform well in that department even with the worn rifling. But not with commercial ammunition. It only shoots accurately with lead bullets sized .312.

The one from 1911 has a perfect bore and is a tack driver.

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I probably should have left it and spent my $$$ on something else.

Masterbuck54
Well, your $$$. Your call.

I find them fascinating pistols. I don't shoot them much because they both have all matching numbers. And a broken part will reduce their value. But I do shoot with them.

But then. My $$$. My call.
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:00 AM
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Not trying to hijack the thread, but as we have some C96 people aboard, I have a holster that I have been unable to identify. It has no markings, and I suppose it could be civilian or police, but probably not military. It does have some age on it and cannot be of recent manufacture. Does anyone know what it might be?
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:10 AM
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Default not sure

German 1970 Reich revolver ? -
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:18 AM
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Default bolo model

paid $49.00 for mine when they were imported from China - all matching , worn rifling - still shoot it once or twice a year -
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Old 06-27-2020, 10:29 AM
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Not trying to hijack the thread, but as we have some C96 people aboard, I have a holster that I have been unable to identify. It has no markings, and I suppose it could be civilian or police, but probably not military. It does have some age on it and cannot be of recent manufacture. Does anyone know what it might be?
I am not an holster guy. Most European military or police holsters would have markings. That said, it looks similar to many German military and police holsters used both in WWI and WWII.

But even some Texas Rangers used the C96. So almost anything goes.

Some of those holsters were even designed to hold the pistol inside the wooden stock.

Not much of a help, sorry.
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Old 06-27-2020, 11:18 AM
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i have never seen a broom handle holster that was rounded where magazine part of frame fits into holster under strap - dimensions would help in ID -
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Old 06-27-2020, 12:02 PM
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Broomhandles are what I consider a novelty gun. You don't see them every day. I would love to own one!!!!
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Old 06-27-2020, 11:54 PM
trevorsworth trevorsworth is offline
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Although not marked as such, this is most likely one of the many Broomhandles imported from China in the 70s and 80s. The NS marked hammer does not belong to a frame with the serial number 158019 as your frame was made well before the Neue Safetie was invented. While upper/lower mismatches are not uncommon on US/Euro market guns, a mismatched hammer/frame is not at all normal. However, that is the kind of thing that can be expected from a Chinese market gun.

There is a lot of confusing conflicting information regarding these pistols.

There is (practically) no such thing as a "Chinese reproduction/knockoff" C96. Incredibly rare and desirable Shanxi Arsenal pistols notwithstanding, the overwhelming majority of C96 pistols imported from China are German manufactured guns. China developed an appetite for these pistols after the Treaty of Versailles forbade long-barreled pistols (resulting in the Bolo model Mauser). Germany dumped all of its full-size C96 pistols as quickly as it could. Many of these guns ended up in China, where the detachable stocks made them popular with various groups fighting for control of China. As China homogenized as a Communist state, those guns were collected and became military issue. They remained in service through WW2 and long after.

Throughout this service period, the guns were shot extensively using domestically produced ammunition that was both corrosive and lacking QC, subjected to terrible neglect and fell victim to lazy armorer practices. Parts from different guns got mixed up. From factory, C96s were precision pieces, hand-fitted by Mauser's expert gunsmiths. Swapping parts around willy nilly led to issues.

The C96 is a very reliable gun with a very strong action. However, the badly abused guns imported from China gave it a reputation for being persnickety or even dangerous.

There is also a myth that 7.62 Tokarev ammunition will damage or even blow up a C96. This is the result of a long game of telephone - in fact 7.62 Tokarev and 7.63 Mauser are exactly the same (the Russian naming scheme rounded down to .62, the Germans rounded up to .63; the basic load specs are identical. Broomhandles were popular in Russia, hence the choice of round for the Tokarev pistol.). While these cheap former Chinese C96s were widely available, also available was an enormous supply of surplus Norinco and later Czech 7.62x25mm ammunition. This ammunition was apparently loaded a little on the hot side and, by virtue of Communist QC, occasionally double charged.

Run that ammo in a PPSh and you're fine. Run it in a Tokarev and you'll probably be OK. Run it in an 80 year old Broomhandle built from a random assortment of parts, springs that are worn beyond usefulness and a bolt stop that's probably been on the brink of failure since well before it left China and you are asking for trouble. And so the legend of Broomhandle grenades was born.

Winchester white box 7.62 Tokarev is fine for a Broomhandle, although you may not necessarily get great accuracy out of it as the bullets are smaller than they are supposed to be.

OK, so where does that leave you? Well, if you paid over $1000 for it you overpaid. Otherwise, you did fine.

A slight bulge is probably not a problem by itself as long as the barrel is not cracked, but it does indicate that the gun has been subject to some pretty intense pressures. The proof pill for a C96 exceeds .357 Magnum chamber pressure. If something bulged the barrel, it was much hotter than a .357 Mag, so what did it do to your bolt stop?

I guarantee the springs that are in the gun are no good, so go ahead and get a Service Pak 1 from Wolff: https://www.gunsprings.com/MAUSER/18...1/mID40/dID172

While you have the gun apart to replace the springs, inspect the bolt stop for any signs of peening or cracks. If this part is damaged you should replace it before shooting the gun, because it's all that's keeping the bolt from leaving the barrel extension and coming to say hello to your eyeball.

C96s are very accurate pistols even with worn rifling but with your bulged barrel I wouldn't expect an awful lot. The barrel on the C96 is machined as one piece with the rest of the upper receiver (can you imagine how much that would cost to make today?) but there are options for rebarrelling these. Most commonly, the barrel is cut off and the extension threaded for a Luger barrel.

Alternatively, you can replace the entire barrel extension, but that will not be cheap.

Also, the 8 round Tokarev clips will damage your C96ís clip guide over time. Proper C96 clips are not that expensive so donít cheap out now.

Last edited by trevorsworth; 06-28-2020 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:20 AM
Masterbuck54 Masterbuck54 is offline
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Default Thanks for the info

Ok thanks for the info from everyone.

I ordered the spring kit this morning along with stripper clips and two boxes of ammo.

The barrel doesn't appear to be cracked so once I disassemble it I'll look for the peening as well.

I will report out on the accuracy hopefully in a couple weeks.

Unfortunately the fellow who owned this weapon had passed away and a friend was liquidating what he had....I can only assume he or his father shot the gun back in the day.

At $370.00 I decided to take a chance on it.

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Last edited by Masterbuck54; 06-28-2020 at 09:42 AM. Reason: price corrected
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:55 AM
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If you need a shoulder stock/holster for it PM me.
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Old 06-28-2020, 12:05 PM
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Ok thanks for the info from everyone.

I ordered the spring kit this morning along with stripper clips and two boxes of ammo.

The barrel doesn't appear to be cracked so once I disassemble it I'll look for the peening as well.

I will report out on the accuracy hopefully in a couple weeks.

Unfortunately the fellow who owned this weapon had passed away and a friend was liquidating what he had....I can only assume he or his father shot the gun back in the day.

At $370.00 I decided to take a chance on it.

Masterbuck54

At $370.00 you did good.
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:29 PM
trevorsworth trevorsworth is offline
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I’d buy any Broomhandle in any condition for that. Don’t sweat it. With the spring refresh I think you will be very happy with your gun.
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:44 PM
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@ Masterbuck54

Since you are thinking of shooting it. An add on to the good advice given by trevorsworth.

The area marked with the red circle in the next picture must be exactly like in the picture. Any kind of deformation from this is a very bad sign. And your pistol may be unsafe. Having the bolt imbeded in your face is never good.

Mauser Broomhandle..value & age?-c96-stress-area-jpg

Any kind of distortion on the cut for the bolt stop is also a no no. It should look like this:

Mauser Broomhandle..value & age?-20180409_184435-jpg

The locking block is made from very hard steel and it's a numbered part that should match at least the number on the bolt. It should interlock with the bottom of the bolt like this:

Mauser Broomhandle..value & age?-20180409_185013-jpg

Also. Make sure the lugs of the locking block are sharp and have not sheared. This one is in good condition, and as you can see it's number is the same as the bolt.

Mauser Broomhandle..value & age?-20180409_184850-jpg


Another thing. The most important spring in a C96 is the main spring(the hammer spring). It's the combination of the spring and the mass of the hammer that prevent stressing the locking block. The bolt spring function is simply to send the bolt forward.

Have fun.
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Old 06-28-2020, 06:13 PM
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Since it was disassembled.

Just for reference.
Mauser Broomhandle..value & age?-20180409_190146-jpg
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Old 06-28-2020, 07:02 PM
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Something that you may or may not run into when changing springs is that the firing pin spring ~may~ need fitting. On mine, the ID of the spring was fine but the OD was off by just enough that it caused binding inside the bolt channel. I figured that everything needed to move freely and didn't want to find out what may happen if it didn't.

I used some 400 grit wet or dry followed up by 600, 800 and 1200 grit with oil and spun the spring in a cordless drill, trying it until it moved freely. I had a few pierced primers with the PPU ammo prior to replacing the spring and it solved the problem.

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Old 06-28-2020, 08:52 PM
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On many of the 90's imports from China,,mismatched parts prevailed.
Check the TD latch and make sure it's engaging the cut in the frame as it's supposed to and that the V spring leg from the lock assembly that powers it is in fact giving it full force in engagement.

Quite a few that I've had to work on had the mismatched part. They were OK if fitted with some skill.
Many were crudely filed so they would just drop into position when the upper and lower were assembled, no sense of any fitting. Just file a bunch off of the semi round surface of the TD latch engagement so it dropped into position.
Some were so sloppy you could back off the upper from the lower unit enough while it was assembled that the pistol would not fire.

Some had hardly any spring tension on that TD latch to hold it down in position when the pistol was fired.

The cocked hammer holds it down when the pistol is in that mode.
But as soon as the hammer starts to fall, it's up to that small V spring to make sure the latch remains seated.
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