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Old 02-22-2012, 11:31 AM
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Default The Mauser HSc pistol - gone but not forgotten

The Mauser HSc pistol has been gone now for over 35 years. Yet it's still found here and there. It's history is really interesting, so I undertook to write an article on it for The Blue Press. I thought I'd give you an advance peek. Bear in mind I hold the copyright, but nonetheless, you're welcome to print it out for your own use if you wish. Comments/corrections welcome.

John



The Mauser HSc pistol had its beginnings in the 1930s. At that time, Mauser-Werke, in the town of Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany had been producing a fairly popular line of single-action pocket semi-auto pistols in calibers .25 and .32, the models 1910, 1914 and 1934. However, the Carl Walther company of Zella-Mehlis in Germany had introduced its advanced double-action Model PP in 1929 and the similar but more compact PPK pocket pistol in 1931. When Mauser sales dropped and the public began to show a preference for the more modern Walther pistols, Mauser management decided to develop a competitive double action pistol of their own.

The design of the new pistol was assigned in 1933 to Alexius Wilhelm Seidel (1909 – 1989) in the Mauser Development Section. Seidel was a talented engineer who later went on to become a co-founder and the chief engineer of Heckler and Koch in the postwar years. His work was difficult, as he had to maneuver around the existing and iron-clad Walther patents. Nonetheless, he succeeded in that task. His brainchild became the Hahn Selbstspanner Pistole (Self-Cocking Hammer Pistol) version “c” in 1934. Mauser was set to begin production in 1938, but the German Heereswaffenamt (Army Weapons Bureau) insisted that Mauser concentrate on production of the K98k rifle, the P.08 “Luger” and M1934 pocket pistol. With the eventual blessing of the German arms authorities, production of the HSc began in December, 1940. The first serial number was 700001, which was stamped on the lower front grip strap. The last three digits were also marked on the barrel and slide. The introduction of the HSc ended production of the single-action Model 1934.

The first 1,345 of the pistols are now known as the “low grip screw” pistols because the grip retention screws were close to the bottom of the grips. Most of this production run went to the Kriegsmarine (German Navy). The grip screws were then moved up about ¾”. At serial number 701348, the Heer (Army) began purchasing the pistol. Subsequently, guns were bought by various Polizei (Police) departments, including the infamous Schutzstaffel or SS. The Luftwaffe (Air Force) purchased their pistols through the Heereswaffenamt instead of directly. The HSc also found popularity with military troops who were not issued pistols; they often bought them on the commercial market. These pistols were produced in 7.65mm (32 ACP). A few experimental models were subsequently made in .22 LR caliber.

The HSc was a blowback pistol, and was designed to fire double-action on the first shot and single-action on subsequent shots. Unlike the Walther PP series, the rotating safety lever on the slide does not interpose a block in front of the hammer. It swings the firing pin out of the impact area of the hammer. The safety does not lower the hammer; this has to be done by pressing the trigger. Once the hammer is down and the safety engaged, the pistol cannot be brought to full cock except by retracting the slide, as the safety also blocks the sear. The slide will lock back if the pistol is empty regardless of whether or not there is a magazine present. The insertion of a loaded or empty magazine will cause the slide to snap forward. There is no external slide stop. This is a strange feature inherited from the Model 1910/1914/1934 pocket pistols and is often confusing when first encountered. The hammer on the HSc is very unobtrusive, designed so that it would not easily catch on clothing. It can be manually cocked for a single-action first shot if desired. Because of its rounded form and close fitting, the hammer seals the internal mechanism against dust. The gun cannot be fired when the 8-round magazine is removed. The extractor doubles as a loaded chamber indicator, and can be felt when it protrudes about 1 mm over a loaded round. The magazine release is at the heel of the butt, in accordance with European custom. Field stripping the unloaded pistol is accomplished by cocking the hammer, engaging the safety, depressing the takedown catch inside the trigger guard and moving the slide with the barrel and recoil spring forward very slightly to remove. The barrel and recoil spring are then easily removed from the slide. Further disassembly is not recommended. The HSc utilizes a significant number of stamped internal parts.

All Mauser HSc pistols made during WWII will bear the Beschussstempel (factory firing proof) of an eagle over “N” stamped on the right trigger guard web, the front of the right slide and on the barrel breech. In addition, military and police pistols will have a specific waffenamt (acceptance stamp) on the left trigger guard web. The wartime HSc was produced from December 1940 to April 1945, with a grand total of 259,923 being made. The Army got 135,000, the Navy 27,100, and the Police organizations 29,300. The rest of production went to the commercial market. Most pistols had a polished blue finish, while later wartime production had a rougher polish. Very late examples had a phosphate finish quite similar to U.S. Parkerizing, bore an Eagle over WaA135 acceptance marks, and had Eagle over N proofs. These are considered rare and very desirable for collectors today. From 1943 on, brown or black Kunststoff (plastic) grips substituted for the original wood. Pistols intended for the police and military were generally issued with two matching magazines and a flap holster, and these are also desirable to find.

The Oberndorf area was captured by American troops in April, 1945, and production of the HSc was terminated by the occupiers. The Mauser facility fell into the French sector of divided Germany following the war, and was occupied by the French from May 1945 to June 1946. The French continued to produce about 15,000 additional HSc pistols in Oberndorf, most of which went to their troops in Indochina. These had serial numbers in continuation of the wartime system, up to about number 971239. There were no proof marks on these guns, but an interlaced “WR” factory inspection mark was stamped on most pistols at the right rear of the trigger guard. Most of the factory was subsequently destroyed and the manufacturing equipment distributed to other Allied nations.

In 1967, a reconstituted Mauser-Werke returned to Oberndorf, and from October 1968 to December 1977, a total of 63,118 new HSc pistols were manufactured. 18,868 were made in 7.65mm with a serial number range of 00.1001 to 00.19868, and 39,250 in 9mm Kurz (.380 ACP) with a serial range of 01.1001 to 01.40250. A special group of 5,000 in those two calibers, the “American Eagle Edition”, brought this series to a close. The pistol illustrated was made in 1975. It’s chambered in 9mm Kurz, and is so marked on the chamber of the barrel, over “.38”. It came with both a finger-extension magazine and one with a flat baseplate.

Today, the Mauser HSc is no more, but the pistols, particularly those of wartime manufacture, are rapidly becoming valued collector’s items. This classic pistol had a number of innovative features. It pointed naturally and was valued for its ergonomics, sleek lines and quality. In its day it lived in very competitive co-existence with the Walther PP series of pocket pistols. Surviving examples still make very effective personal defense weapons.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:58 AM
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Nice artical,thank's! I have a German made Interarms import .380, fed the right ammo it's reliable and accurate. I've always loved the art deco look's of the HsC and finally picked up a LNIB one with 2 extra mag's a few years ago.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:03 PM
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Very informative. I have always liked the look of that Mauser. Thanks for sharing the article with us.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeb21 View Post
Very informative. I have always liked the look of that Mauser. Thanks for sharing the article with us.
Just an FYI if you do go for one in the future avoid the italian ones and make sure its got a good looking smooth feeding ramp on it as that's the key to finding a reliabile one.

or any sort of reliabile variant of the PPK design for that matter as with those designs the feeding ramp and the barrel are separate unlike on the Colt 1903 or any of the FN's of that time period and if their not lined up properly or its got an uneven feeding ramp it can be as unreliabile as hell even with ball ammo hence the hit and miss reputation of small pocket pistols like that.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:09 PM
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Are there several versions of these? I have seen some that look like the one in the pic and a few that look similar but just different enough to stand apart. I want to swear it still said HSC though.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:11 PM
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I had one of the .380 guns that were made in the 70's. It was a beautiful gun. I wish that I had kept it. I owned a Colt Mustang during the same time period. The Mustang was a lot more pleasant to shoot. I attribute this to its delayed recoil system of operation.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:53 PM
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Early models had a hole diagonally forward through the backstrap at the bottom. This was for a lanyard. They also had matting in the sighting groove on top of the slide. These soon disappeared due to the wartime pressure for more production. I don't know when these features were dropped, but it is known. If I'm not too lazy I'll look it up and post it here.

French production that went to the police had a wire lanyard loop fitted. This was evidently done by the various police administrations, as there are several varieties.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maximumbob54 View Post
Are there several versions of these? I have seen some that look like the one in the pic and a few that look similar but just different enough to stand apart. I want to swear it still said HSC though.
You probably were looking at a Heckler & Koch Model HK4. These were made in a 4 caliber set. Alex Seidel, who designed the HSc, was a founder and the chief engineer at H&K, and the HK4 mimicked the HSc in a number of respects.

John

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Old 02-22-2012, 02:15 PM
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Nice article paladin. Good information. I have an HSC from about 74'. I always thought they felt like a natural pointer, kinda like pointing your finger. Shoots good too. I have the box and sleeve and test target and both clips.


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Old 02-22-2012, 03:13 PM
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Renato Gamba made an HSc super that was a hi cap. How close is that to the HK4? Just a curious mind.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:10 PM
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I saw a paperback spy book that had one of these on the cover about 50 years ago. I thought it was really neat at the time. I also remember seeing one at a gunshow at about the same time. Of all the guns I wanted, this is the only one I never got around to buying.

Thanks for the article John.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:24 PM
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Geat article, thanks. I had one several years ago, and loved to look at it, but it would sure chew up my oversized paw.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
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Renato Gamba made an HSc super that was a hi cap. How close is that to the HK4? Just a curious mind.
The HSc "Super" was made under license from Mauser by Renato Gamba, in Gardone, Italy. These incorporated a 13-round magazine, a recurved trigger guard, and a mag release in the "American" position at the bottom rear of the trigger guard. They were imported by Interarms for a while. They never approached the quality of the original HSc pistols, and had a reputation for jamming.

Here are some photos.

John





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Old 02-22-2012, 08:19 PM
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Very nice article Sir. These are great classic weapons.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:34 PM
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Mine, a 7.65mm wartime production, is very sensitive. If everything isn't just right (ammo, mags, lube, spring tension, and free of all and any debris) it is prone to feeding failures. Well maintained and cared for, however, it shoots well and is uncannily accurate.

Would be nice to hear from others who shoot this pistol regularly about any reliability issues they have and some "do's and don'ts" to keep it working properly. Thanks !
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:53 PM
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looks like they'd be fairly good at preventing the slide bite that seams so common with pocket pistols.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:54 PM
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This is mine that I inherited from my dad:

Waffenampt marked 7.65.

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Old 04-04-2012, 08:07 PM
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My post-war Interarms .380 worked just fine after being advised
that it was designed with ball ammo in mind.
Works fine now, thanks for starting this, John.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:31 PM
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Default Mauser HSC 380 Feed Problems

After replacing all internal parts for my buddies Mauser HSC .380 and replacing the magazine springs with new ones, I still had problems with malfuctions. The only thing left for me to do was think outside the box. So I double springed the magazine. (two magazine springs in the same magazine) Much to my surprise, I just put a full box of mixed hollow point and ball .380 round through it with no malfuctions. I couldn't believed it. The only sacrifice is that now the magazine will only accept six rounds instead of seven. I guess it's the price to pay for full reliablity. I'm still trying to figure out if there is a Pearce Grip Adapter that will fit the HSC magazine, perhaps with a little modification.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
The Mauser HSc pistol has been gone now for over 35 years. Yet it's still found here and there. It's history is really interesting, so I undertook to write an article on it for The Blue Press. I thought I'd give you an advance peek. Bear in mind I hold the copyright, but nonetheless, you're welcome to print it out for your own use if you wish. Comments/corrections welcome.

John



The Mauser HSc pistol had its beginnings in the 1930s. At that time, Mauser-Werke, in the town of Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany had been producing a fairly popular line of single-action pocket semi-auto pistols in calibers .25, .32, and .380, the models 1910, 1914 and 1934. However, the Carl Walther company of Zella-Mehlis in Germany had introduced its advanced double-action Model PP in 1929 and the similar but more compact PPK pocket pistol in 1931. When Mauser sales dropped and the public began to show a preference for the more modern Walther pistols, Mauser management decided to develop a competitive double action pistol of their own.

The design of the new pistol was assigned in 1933 to Alexius Wilhelm Seidel (1909 – 1989) in the Mauser Development Section. Seidel was a talented engineer who later went on to become a co-founder and the chief engineer of Heckler and Koch in the postwar years. His work was difficult, as he had to maneuver around the existing and iron-clad Walther patents. Nonetheless, he succeeded in that task. His brainchild became the Hahn Selbstspanner Pistole (Self-Cocking Hammer Pistol) version “c” in 1934. Mauser was set to begin production in 1938, but the German Heereswaffenamt (Army Weapons Bureau) insisted that Mauser concentrate on production of the K98k rifle, the P.08 “Luger” and M1934 pocket pistol. With the eventual blessing of the German arms authorities, production of the HSc began in December, 1940. The first serial number was 700001, which was stamped on the lower front grip strap. The last three digits were also marked on the barrel and slide. The introduction of the HSc ended production of the single-action Model 1934.

The first 1,345 of the pistols are now known as the “low grip screw” pistols because the grip retention screws were close to the bottom of the grips. Most of this production run went to the Kriegsmarine (German Navy). The grip screws were then moved up about ¾”. At serial number 701348, the Heer (Army) began purchasing the pistol. Subsequently, guns were bought by various Polizei (Police) departments, including the infamous Schutzstaffel or SS. The Luftwaffe (Air Force) purchased their pistols through the Heereswaffenamt instead of directly. The HSc also found popularity with military troops who were not issued pistols; they often bought them on the commercial market. These pistols were produced in 7.65mm (32 ACP). A few experimental models were subsequently made in .22 LR caliber.

The HSc was a blowback pistol, and was designed to fire double-action on the first shot and single-action on subsequent shots. Unlike the Walther PP series, the rotating safety lever on the slide does not interpose a block in front of the hammer. It swings the firing pin out of the impact area of the hammer. The safety does not lower the hammer; this has to be done by pressing the trigger. Once the hammer is down and the safety engaged, the pistol cannot be brought to full cock except by retracting the slide, as the safety also blocks the sear. The slide will lock back if the pistol is empty regardless of whether or not there is a magazine present. The insertion of a loaded or empty magazine will cause the slide to snap forward. There is no external slide stop. This is a strange feature inherited from the Model 1910/1914/1934 pocket pistols and is often confusing when first encountered. The hammer on the HSc is very unobtrusive, designed so that it would not easily catch on clothing. It can be manually cocked for a single-action first shot if desired. Because of its rounded form and close fitting, the hammer seals the internal mechanism against dust. The gun cannot be fired when the 8-round magazine is removed. The extractor doubles as a loaded chamber indicator, and can be felt when it protrudes about 1 mm over a loaded round. The magazine release is at the heel of the butt, in accordance with European custom. Field stripping the unloaded pistol is accomplished by cocking the hammer, engaging the safety, depressing the takedown catch inside the trigger guard and moving the slide with the barrel and recoil spring forward very slightly to remove. The barrel and recoil spring are then easily removed from the slide. Further disassembly is not recommended. The HSc utilizes a significant number of stamped internal parts.

All Mauser HSc pistols made during WWII will bear the Beschussstempel (factory firing proof) of an eagle over “N” stamped on the right trigger guard web, the front of the right slide and on the barrel breech. In addition, military and police pistols will have a specific waffenamt (acceptance stamp) on the left trigger guard web. The wartime HSc was produced from December 1940 to April 1945, with a grand total of 259,923 being made. The Army got 135,000, the Navy 27,100, and the Police organizations 29,300. The rest of production went to the commercial market. Most pistols had a polished blue finish, while later wartime production had a rougher polish. Very late examples had a phosphate finish quite similar to U.S. Parkerizing, bore an Eagle over WaA135 acceptance marks, and had Eagle over N proofs. These are considered rare and very desirable for collectors today. From 1943 on, brown or black Kunststoff (plastic) grips substituted for the original wood. Pistols intended for the police and military were generally issued with two matching magazines and a flap holster, and these are also desirable to find.

The Oberndorf area was captured by American troops in April, 1945, and production of the HSc was terminated by the occupiers. The Mauser facility fell into the French sector of divided Germany following the war, and was occupied by the French from May 1945 to June 1946. The French continued to produce about 15,000 additional HSc pistols in Oberndorf, most of which went to their troops in Indochina. These had serial numbers in continuation of the wartime system, up to about number 971239. There were no proof marks on these guns, but an interlaced “WR” factory inspection mark was stamped on most pistols at the right rear of the trigger guard. Most of the factory was subsequently destroyed and the manufacturing equipment distributed to other Allied nations.

In 1967, a reconstituted Mauser-Werke returned to Oberndorf, and from October 1968 to December 1977, a total of 63,118 new HSc pistols were manufactured. 18,868 were made in 7.65mm with a serial number range of 00.1001 to 00.19868, and 39,250 in 9mm Kurz (.380 ACP) with a serial range of 01.1001 to 01.40250. A special group of 5,000 in those two calibers, the “American Eagle Edition”, brought this series to a close. The pistol illustrated was made in 1975. It’s chambered in 9mm Kurz, and is so marked on the chamber of the barrel, over “.38”. It came with both a finger-extension magazine and one with a flat baseplate.

Today, the Mauser HSc is no more, but the pistols, particularly those of wartime manufacture, are rapidly becoming valued collector’s items. This classic pistol had a number of innovative features. It pointed naturally and was valued for its ergonomics, sleek lines and quality. In its day it lived in very competitive co-existence with the Walther PP series of pocket pistols. Surviving examples still make very effective personal defense weapons.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:32 PM
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Default Mauser HSC .380 Feed Problem Fixed

After replacing all internal parts for my buddies Mauser HSC .380 and replacing the magazine springs with new ones, I still had problems with malfuctions. The only thing left for me to do was think outside the box. So I double springed the magazine. (two magazine springs in the same magazine) Much to my surprise, I just put a full box of mixed hollow point and ball .380 round through it with no malfuctions. I couldn't believed it. The only sacrifice is that now the magazine will only accept six rounds instead of seven. I guess it's the price to pay for full reliablity. I'm still trying to figure out if there is a Pearce Grip Adapter that will fit the HSC magazine, perhaps with a little modification.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
You probably were looking at a Heckler & Koch Model HK4. These were made in a 4 caliber set. Alex Seidel, who designed the HSc, was a founder and the chief engineer at H&K, and the HK4 mimicked the HSc in a number of respects.

John

Did H&R import this back in the day?
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:27 PM
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H&R was the USA HK4 importer up till the mid 1970's.
Single caliber, multi-caliber sets and even a 100th yr commemorative (H&R's 100th year!)

I just looked at a HK4 this weekend. The frame was cracked where the small steel insert was imbedded to limit the rearward travel.
I get the feeling it's not a rare condition on these .
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:10 AM
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Thank you for the article...great information to have. Below is the HSC my father gave me. I am having some problems with it now...and I believe I need some new magazine springs. I have the original box, test target and manual. I had thought about selling it, but have since decided that would be a bad idea.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:52 AM
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Mine is still not fully reliable after a complete overhaul. I took it apart and degreased and cleaned every single part. I smoothed some of the rough production edges. I replaced all of the eight springs and got some original NOS magazines. Now it works most of the time but I still wouldn't rely on it as a carry gun.

Yet I do have to say in the HSc's defense that it's out of the box reliability is still above the average small cal. pocket pistols of that vintage.
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:10 PM
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Default Renato Gamba Parts

Any information if the parts from a Renato Gamba made HSc will work in an original or other manufacture of HSc? I have some incomplete Gamba HSc guns I may like to sell for parts and I want to be prepared if anyone asks. These are not the Hi-cap version

Last edited by squishirex; 10-26-2012 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:59 PM
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Any information if the parts from a Renato Gamba made HSc will work in an original or other manufacture of HSc? I have some incomplete Gamba HSc guns I may like to sell for parts and I want to be prepared if anyone asks. These are not the Hi-cap version
To the best of my knowledge, these are two completely different pistols. I doubt if any of the parts will interchange, but the only way to tell for sure would be to try. In short, my best answer would be be "probably not."

John
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:50 PM
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A brand new HSc was the first pistol I bought myself...later using it as my first LE BUG. Kept it and accumulated a couple more over the years as well.

Began carrying a P9s while working Narcotics again and changed over to an HK4 as my BUG. Later still, when the first P7s came out, the HK4 went back to work. Kept it and accumulated a couple more of them over the years as well.

Here's a pair of 'em...



Truth be told, mostly carried one or another PPK or PPK/S as my LE BUG...no matter what I was carrying as a Duty Pistol. Accumulated a whole bunch of them over the years .

When the Walthers were no longer authorized, I switched to a P230 for 9 years straight...I was using personal Sigs as Duty Pistols. Switched to a K9...for my final 4 years of BUG carry...while still using the same Sigs as Duty Pistols.

The odd M36/37/60/640 did slip in there on occasion though...
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:26 PM
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The Mauser HSc pistol has been gone now for over 35 years. Yet it's still found here and there. It's history is really interesting, so I undertook to write an article on it for The Blue Press. I thought I'd give you an advance peek. Bear in mind I hold the copyright, but nonetheless, you're welcome to print it out for your own use if you wish. Comments/corrections welcome.

John



The Mauser HSc pistol had its beginnings in the 1930s. At that time, Mauser-Werke, in the town of Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany had been producing a fairly popular line of single-action pocket semi-auto pistols in calibers .25, .32, and .380, the models 1910, 1914 and 1934. However, the Carl Walther company of Zella-Mehlis in Germany had introduced its advanced double-action Model PP in 1929 and the similar but more compact PPK pocket pistol in 1931. When Mauser sales dropped and the public began to show a preference for the more modern Walther pistols, Mauser management decided to develop a competitive double action pistol of their own.

The design of the new pistol was assigned in 1933 to Alexius Wilhelm Seidel (1909 – 1989) in the Mauser Development Section. Seidel was a talented engineer who later went on to become a co-founder and the chief engineer of Heckler and Koch in the postwar years. His work was difficult, as he had to maneuver around the existing and iron-clad Walther patents. Nonetheless, he succeeded in that task. His brainchild became the Hahn Selbstspanner Pistole (Self-Cocking Hammer Pistol) version “c” in 1934. Mauser was set to begin production in 1938, but the German Heereswaffenamt (Army Weapons Bureau) insisted that Mauser concentrate on production of the K98k rifle, the P.08 “Luger” and M1934 pocket pistol. With the eventual blessing of the German arms authorities, production of the HSc began in December, 1940. The first serial number was 700001, which was stamped on the lower front grip strap. The last three digits were also marked on the barrel and slide. The introduction of the HSc ended production of the single-action Model 1934.

The first 1,345 of the pistols are now known as the “low grip screw” pistols because the grip retention screws were close to the bottom of the grips. Most of this production run went to the Kriegsmarine (German Navy). The grip screws were then moved up about ¾”. At serial number 701348, the Heer (Army) began purchasing the pistol. Subsequently, guns were bought by various Polizei (Police) departments, including the infamous Schutzstaffel or SS. The Luftwaffe (Air Force) purchased their pistols through the Heereswaffenamt instead of directly. The HSc also found popularity with military troops who were not issued pistols; they often bought them on the commercial market. These pistols were produced in 7.65mm (32 ACP). A few experimental models were subsequently made in .22 LR caliber.

The HSc was a blowback pistol, and was designed to fire double-action on the first shot and single-action on subsequent shots. Unlike the Walther PP series, the rotating safety lever on the slide does not interpose a block in front of the hammer. It swings the firing pin out of the impact area of the hammer. The safety does not lower the hammer; this has to be done by pressing the trigger. Once the hammer is down and the safety engaged, the pistol cannot be brought to full cock except by retracting the slide, as the safety also blocks the sear. The slide will lock back if the pistol is empty regardless of whether or not there is a magazine present. The insertion of a loaded or empty magazine will cause the slide to snap forward. There is no external slide stop. This is a strange feature inherited from the Model 1910/1914/1934 pocket pistols and is often confusing when first encountered. The hammer on the HSc is very unobtrusive, designed so that it would not easily catch on clothing. It can be manually cocked for a single-action first shot if desired. Because of its rounded form and close fitting, the hammer seals the internal mechanism against dust. The gun cannot be fired when the 8-round magazine is removed. The extractor doubles as a loaded chamber indicator, and can be felt when it protrudes about 1 mm over a loaded round. The magazine release is at the heel of the butt, in accordance with European custom. Field stripping the unloaded pistol is accomplished by cocking the hammer, engaging the safety, depressing the takedown catch inside the trigger guard and moving the slide with the barrel and recoil spring forward very slightly to remove. The barrel and recoil spring are then easily removed from the slide. Further disassembly is not recommended. The HSc utilizes a significant number of stamped internal parts.

All Mauser HSc pistols made during WWII will bear the Beschussstempel (factory firing proof) of an eagle over “N” stamped on the right trigger guard web, the front of the right slide and on the barrel breech. In addition, military and police pistols will have a specific waffenamt (acceptance stamp) on the left trigger guard web. The wartime HSc was produced from December 1940 to April 1945, with a grand total of 259,923 being made. The Army got 135,000, the Navy 27,100, and the Police organizations 29,300. The rest of production went to the commercial market. Most pistols had a polished blue finish, while later wartime production had a rougher polish. Very late examples had a phosphate finish quite similar to U.S. Parkerizing, bore an Eagle over WaA135 acceptance marks, and had Eagle over N proofs. These are considered rare and very desirable for collectors today. From 1943 on, brown or black Kunststoff (plastic) grips substituted for the original wood. Pistols intended for the police and military were generally issued with two matching magazines and a flap holster, and these are also desirable to find.

The Oberndorf area was captured by American troops in April, 1945, and production of the HSc was terminated by the occupiers. The Mauser facility fell into the French sector of divided Germany following the war, and was occupied by the French from May 1945 to June 1946. The French continued to produce about 15,000 additional HSc pistols in Oberndorf, most of which went to their troops in Indochina. These had serial numbers in continuation of the wartime system, up to about number 971239. There were no proof marks on these guns, but an interlaced “WR” factory inspection mark was stamped on most pistols at the right rear of the trigger guard. Most of the factory was subsequently destroyed and the manufacturing equipment distributed to other Allied nations.

In 1967, a reconstituted Mauser-Werke returned to Oberndorf, and from October 1968 to December 1977, a total of 63,118 new HSc pistols were manufactured. 18,868 were made in 7.65mm with a serial number range of 00.1001 to 00.19868, and 39,250 in 9mm Kurz (.380 ACP) with a serial range of 01.1001 to 01.40250. A special group of 5,000 in those two calibers, the “American Eagle Edition”, brought this series to a close. The pistol illustrated was made in 1975. It’s chambered in 9mm Kurz, and is so marked on the chamber of the barrel, over “.38”. It came with both a finger-extension magazine and one with a flat baseplate.

Today, the Mauser HSc is no more, but the pistols, particularly those of wartime manufacture, are rapidly becoming valued collector’s items. This classic pistol had a number of innovative features. It pointed naturally and was valued for its ergonomics, sleek lines and quality. In its day it lived in very competitive co-existence with the Walther PP series of pocket pistols. Surviving examples still make very effective personal defense weapons.
You say the following above:

18,868 were made in 7.65mm with a serial number range of 00.1001 to 00.19868, and 39,250 in 9mm Kurz (.380 ACP) with a serial range of 01.1001 to 01.40250

I have a 9mm/.380 ACP serial number 00.10165, but acording to what you posted this should be a 7.65, any thoughts? Could you have the 00. and the 01. backwards, if so I would think this is probably 1968/1969 or so.

This gun is in the original box with factory manual (no target) and the sleeve. This gun has never been fired, I've often wanted to but haven't, my thinking is that it's got to be worth more this way even though it's not that old.

Great artical, glad I ran across this website.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by a36flyer View Post
You say the following above:

18,868 were made in 7.65mm with a serial number range of 00.1001 to 00.19868, and 39,250 in 9mm Kurz (.380 ACP) with a serial range of 01.1001 to 01.40250

I have a 9mm/.380 ACP serial number 00.10165, but acording to what you posted this should be a 7.65, any thoughts? Could you have the 00. and the 01. backwards, if so I would think this is probably 1968/1969 or so.

This gun is in the original box with factory manual (no target) and the sleeve. This gun has never been fired, I've often wanted to but haven't, my thinking is that it's got to be worth more this way even though it's not that old.

Great artical, glad I ran across this website.
No - factory records show that the "01" prefix designates the .380 models. You may have a factory mis-stamp or someone switched frames/slides along the way. My .380 (illustrated) has an "01" prefix, which is proper. Incidentally, Dillon's Blue Press catalog/magazine will feature this article as the centerpiece for the April issue, which will come out in early March.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:10 PM
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Paladin:

As usual, thank you for a very interesting and informative article. Perhaps you know the answer to this question - I've always been told NOT to dry fire an HSc as it could lead to some pretty impressive parts breakage. Any truth to that?

Regards,

Dave
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:21 PM
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I have one of the Renata Gambi pistols in 9x18 Ultra, but no mags. Anybody know of any?
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:27 PM
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The slide will lock back if the pistol is empty regardless of whether or not there is a magazine present. The insertion of a loaded or empty magazine will cause the slide to snap forward. There is no external slide stop. This is a strange feature inherited from the Model 1910/1914/1934 pocket pistols and is often confusing when first encountered.
It's only confusing to those that think all semi-autos operate like a 1911 or Hi-Power and fail to research their gun properly. RTFM works and makes for a quieter life, just ask any Hakim owner.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:31 PM
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Paladin:

As usual, thank you for a very interesting and informative article. Perhaps you know the answer to this question - I've always been told NOT to dry fire an HSc as it could lead to some pretty impressive parts breakage. Any truth to that?

Regards,

Dave
You know, I downloaded the original manual for the HSc to see if it said anything about that. Here's the link:

DepositFiles

Now, whoever can read German, let us know!

John
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:30 PM
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I have always like the looks of the HSc, but never had the opportunity to buy one, until a couple of weeks ago one of my friends noticed on in the gun shop we were at. It came home with me Monday. I shot 21 rounds through it at 7 yards, one failure to feed in each of the first two mags, none on the third. I am still healing from the hammer bite. Mine is 01.256xx, looks new, box and one mag. Does anyone know where i can find a magazine with the extension?

Great article and timely for me. I remembered reading it earlier and looked it up when i got the gun.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:33 AM
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Default Mauser HSc

I inherited my HSc from my father. I have seen several posts that mention ammo and magazine springs. Where can I get new magazine springs?
What has proved the be the best ammo in terms of reliable feeding?
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:27 PM
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The LGS has one in the used case today, boy it is tempting!
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:22 PM
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I had a mint condition HSc back in the 70s, don't even remember what I traded it for. Another one of those guns I wish I had kept. It was very well made, very nice bluing.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:42 PM
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About 7-8 years ago, I bought one of the more recent ones from a friend, in essentially new condition. It jammed too much, so my friend sold it to me (I knew about that, but thought I could fix it). I had the same failure to feed problems, occasionally only, but often enough to lose confidence in its reliability. I fiddled around with it, to no avail. Anyway, I ended up trading it off for something else.

Now, how about the THIRD of the Nazi pocket pistol triumvirate that no one ever talks about, but is probably the best of the bunch - the Sauer 38H.

Last edited by DWalt; 05-23-2013 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:17 AM
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After lusting after one of these for many years, I happened to find an excellent example for a nice price several months ago. I believe it is a 1974 build. I finally got a chance to shoot it about 3 weeks ago.

I was underwhelmed. I suppose it was accurate enough...but I didn't find anything else about it that was impressive, sorry to say. The trigger is not very good, in double or single action. It's not particularly pleasant to shoot either. I was also shooting a newly acquired Bersa .380 on the same day, and I found it to be much more enjoyable to shoot, with a better trigger and less felt recoil.

I'm sure it was a fine design in its time, and a well made pistol...but, assuming my pistol is representative of the line, it hasn't aged well.

Tim
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Old 03-11-2014, 04:19 PM
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Paladin - I rally enjoyed reading your article from back several years ago. I found it quite by accident. I owan a Mauser HSc .380 Caliber (model) now made by Renato Gamba Gardone in V.T. Italy. Serial Number 102276 TSA-NKC-MO

I have been searching (in vain) through several handgun articles and magazines, for a ammunition clip for this mauser. In the article there is a photo of this clip. Do you know where or with whom I might purchase a clip for this gun?

I purchased this gun at a WWII Veteran's estate sale. No one could give me any information about it. I took it to a reliable gunsmith who cleaned it up and lubricated. It fires great and is very accurate. I carry (concealed carry permit) this gun often because of its size and capability.

If you have any information about where i could get annother clip for this Mauser I would really appreaciate it.

NavyVet1968
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by NavyVet1968 View Post
Paladin - I rally enjoyed reading your article from back several years ago. I found it quite by accident. I owan a Mauser HSc .380 Caliber (model) now made by Renato Gamba Gardone in V.T. Italy. Serial Number 102276 TSA-NKC-MO

I have been searching (in vain) through several handgun articles and magazines, for a ammunition clip for this mauser. In the article there is a photo of this clip. Do you know where or with whom I might purchase a clip for this gun?

I purchased this gun at a WWII Veteran's estate sale. No one could give me any information about it. I took it to a reliable gunsmith who cleaned it up and lubricated. It fires great and is very accurate. I carry (concealed carry permit) this gun often because of its size and capability.

If you have any information about where i could get annother clip for this Mauser I would really appreaciate it.

NavyVet1968
(Michael_Sheridan@live.com)
The Italian pistols are not common today, and parts for them are scarce. I recommend Gun Parts Corporation in West Hurley, NY as a possible source. They would be worth a try.

John
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:14 PM
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The Mauser HSc was my very first "real" handgun.

They had one in the glass case at the corner hardware store in my hometown.
An Interarms model.
I can't now remember the price.

It took lots of pestering of my Dad to buy it.
I had a delivery job (and no expenses) at the time, so I had the cash for it, but not the years on my ID.

Yes, it did dish out "slide-bite" if you were at all careless about your grip.
Ammo was expensive enough that I rarely fired it.
I can't say the gun was inaccurate, but I can say I fired it inaccurately.

One day, me and dad were out just "riding around" some country roads in his '66 Thunderbird - a car that I was unable to properly appreciate at the time. We stopped at some dusty pull-off by the side of the road to take a leak. While I was in mid-leak, I spotted a cottontail rabbit ambling along. About the time I zipped up, the rabbit decided to stand still for me. I grabbed the HSc out of the T-Bird, with rabbit-icide on my mind.

I fired the first shot.

...and then the second shot.

...and then the rest of the magazine.

That confounded rabbit couldn't have been ten yards away!

Dumbest rabbit I ever saw.
Just sat there chewing on a weed while I landed .380 bullets in several different zip codes around him.
I had extra ammo with me, and I considered reloading the magazine for a second volley at Mr. Hasenpheffer.
But, by then my ears were ringing something awful, and Dad was giving that same look he had been giving me when I was begging him to buy the gun for me.
I just stuck the gun back in the car, and took it home and put it back in its factory Styrofoam box and paper sleeve.
I don't think I ever shot that gun again.

Not too long after that, I pestered Dad some more, and got him to help me give it in trade for a Security-Six. For some reason, I just couldn't get my mind wrapped around ear protection back then. If the HSc was loud, the Security-Six was positively ATOMIC. I didn't shoot that one much either. I ended up giving the Ruger in trade for a Remington 788 in 6mm Rem. That gun languished for years too. I eventually gave the 788 in trade for a stainless Browning A-Bolt, which I still have to this day.

So, in a way, I still have that old HSc.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:24 PM
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I had a 7.65 back in the 60's. Swapped it for a "Herters" SA .22 revolver that was so far out of time it could "spit lead" in several directions. I was however happy. With a little imagination my "Herters horror" looked just like the Colts the movie hero's carried.

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