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  1. #1
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    Default Mauser c96 broomhandle

    My grandfather gave me this gun that he brought home from WWII. The serial number is 913640. Can anyone tell me any info about the gun, like year of manufacture, caliber, etc. Also, anyone have a guess on approximate value? Thanks for any info you all have.

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyhunter View Post
    My grandfather gave me this gun that he brought home from WWII. The serial number is 913640. Can anyone tell me any info about the gun, like year of manufacture, caliber, etc. Also, anyone have a guess on approximate value? Thanks for any info you all have.
    Most were 7.63 Mauser -- not to be confused with the similar 7.62 Tokarev. More info can be found at http://www.g6csy.net/c96/index.html and there's also a Google "group" for these.

    Correction: It is a Yahoo "group" as rayj says below.
    Last edited by torpeau; 10-07-2010 at 04:15 PM.
    "The only time we see the middle of the road
    is as we run from side to side." R.O. Clark
    ----------------------------------------------------

  3. #3
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    "Brave men tell the truth, a wise man's tools are analogies and puzzles. A woman holds her tongue, knowing silence will speak for her"--Royksopp

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    Thanks. I've always been excited about this gun, and I am looking forward to learning more about it. If any others have info please feel free to share.

  5. #5
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    Hi Kyhunter, Besides the excellent sites provided above, go here for an active forum: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/C96_Forum/.

    It is a pity that the forum section, of the first site noted above, has been overrun with spam! Still very valuable info there, ditto the second site recommended! Regards, Ray

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    Based on one of the links provided and the markings on the gun, it's looking to be a M-30

  7. #7
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    Hey Kyhunter,

    You have a late model 1930. Twelve groove grips are correct. Note the solid side rails on the receiver. The earlier model had milled grooves. Serial numbers on these started about 800,000 in 1931 or so. I'd guess late thirties for yours. Is the bore fine? Serial should be on the top rear of the receiver. Internals should have the last three or four serial numbers matching. Breech block and a coupla' small parts. Google how to strip it to check. Only use wooden dowels to take it down, don't wanna' scratch it. Should be chambered in 7.63 Mauser, Tokarev ammo is an exact fit dimensionally, but loaded too hot for a Mauser. Fiocchi 7.63 is good stuff and available. If the bluing is ninety five percent or better, and the piece is all matching with fine bore, fifteen hundred easy. Mag floorplate should have a matching number on the inside.

    LB

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    Lancebear, thanks for the info. I do not have the gun on me, so i'm not sure on the condition. I remember it being in great shape, but it is still with my parents, and plan on taking possession of it next time i see them. I want to make sure it is being maintained correctly. Once i get it, it will start to mess with it. I've always wanted to shoot it, but wasn't sure if it would be a good idea? Any tips on maintaining it's condition? Can i use regular gun oil, or should i be using something else? Once i get the gun, I'll have to do some research to make sure I'm caring for it correctly.

    Here's another picture with the holster. I haven't see this holster before with these guns, so not sure if it's an original or what? My grandfather said that the holster was found with the gun. It's leather. He told me that his group came across an abandoned German sub (or it was taken over by US) and they were going through it. He found this gun under the mattress of a bed or something.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails gun 5.jpg  

  9. #9
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    Kyhunter, The sub connection makes this really interesting. Because of the fact of how many were sunk, Kriegsmarine issued guns are pretty rare. Some Brooms were issued and may have KM markings. Another thing to check out when you get the gun. A Navy marking with a good sub provenance will sometimes triple the value of a gun.
    Its truly amazing how some of these things came back, and the routes they traveled. At the end of WWII, my Uncle was in central Czechoslovakia. His unit was right up against a Soviet army unit at the line between the Russian and American controlled sectors. Initially the two army's were quite friendly and elated with the immanent surrender of the NAZI's. My Uncle had an MP40 which he thought couldn't go home with him. He traded it to a Russian soldier for a Luger and holster. Years later he gave me the Luger rig. (he brought two back, The other one he got from a German officer, who insisted in turning over his personal side arm to a fellow officer.) When I researched the one from the Russian, It turned out to be a Finnish Gun with a brass roundel from a Finnish Submarine. Johnny

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    Johny, thanks for the info. I definitely check it over for additional markings when i get it back in hand.

    Anyone know anything about the holster..since most i see are wooden.

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    That is interesting holster. Hopefully it is marked in some way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ij70 View Post
    That is interesting holster. Hopefully it is marked in some way.
    It doesn't seem to have any markings.

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    Hey Kyhunter,

    Great bring back story. Like Johnny wrote, any German service markings would greatly enhance value. But if it were mine, would never sell it. I'm no expert but do have all of the books. The holster looks kinda' familiar, I will check my references to see if one is pictured. When you learn to take it down, clean it and I would grease the breech block and firing pin spring. Brush everything else down with Break Free and a shaving brush. Take the breech block out as an assembly and leave it that way. Disassembly of the block can be dangerous and awkward. The main spring is that strong. If it has any surface rust, I only use a nylon gun brush with some Hoppe's or Kroil or Break Free. Looks like a shooter, the rear of the receiver where the bolt stop is, looks to be in good shape, any cracks here and it's a non-shooter. Also check the bolt stop for cracks and extreme wear. Good luck and enjoy, it's an amazing design. You are one lucky dawg!

    Lancebear

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    Agree with the lucky dog sentiment. Kyhunter, when you get a chance, if no-one has identified the holster, give us some other views and dimensions. You can tell by the outline that the gun has been in the holster for a long time. Further, Brooms dont fit in just any holster. I have a series of books by Wittington that may be helpful, Others may have Bender. At least we should be able to make some guesses based on similarities.

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    Thanks for the cleaning tips. As soon as I get it from my folks, I'll be looking into how to break it down and clean. I have no intentions of selling it. I was very close to my grandfather, and this gun has always meant a lot to me. I hope to shoot it once it is determined to be in good shape/safe.

    I'll post more pictures of the holster when i get them. Thanks for looking into it, I'm interested in knowing how this holster plays into the guns history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyhunter View Post
    Thanks for the cleaning tips. As soon as I get it from my folks, I'll be looking into how to break it down and clean. I have no intentions of selling it. I was very close to my grandfather, and this gun has always meant a lot to me. I hope to shoot it once it is determined to be in good shape/safe.

    I'll post more pictures of the holster when i get them. Thanks for looking into it, I'm interested in knowing how this holster plays into the guns history.
    It is almost (note the qualification) in good order, just from the over-all appearance. But you want to be sure before you go to shooting it. Do be CAREFUL about what ammo you run through it. 7.62x25 WILL fit and function, but it is loaded hotter than 7,63 Mauser and is NOT good for the gun. Get ammo loaded for the C-96, it deserves that courtesy and care.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

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    If you decide that you must fire this bit of family history, please heed the advice given about ammo.
    Damn the expense and buy the stuff labeled as correct for this firearm and even then, caution is advised. I've seen far to many of these damaged by incorrect ammo.
    The only other advice I would offer is to get a Wolff springset and replace them all or at very least, the recoil spring.
    These were known to wear out, some versions of the holsters had a special pocket for replacements.
    I'm sure that by the 30's spring technology and metallurgy had lessened this issue but still, given the age of this machine I think it is cheap insurance.

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    In case it has not been mentioned before, (I have been told that) the C96 can be reassembled incorrectly and is impossible to take back apart to fix. Be very, very careful.
    כד יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהוָה, וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ. The LORD bless thee, and keep thee;
    כה יָאֵר יְהוָה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וִיחֻנֶּךָּ. The LORD make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee;
    כו יִשָּׂא יְהוָה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם. The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

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    Mark,

    Not impossible, think I have had a lock up with a Broom. It works out if you are are patient. Know my way with a Broomhandle. First collector piece I ever had. Best advice when something goes wrong is to put the piece down and go to bed. Not break anything.

    LB

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    Very True! and excellent advice. I think one of the reasons that the Brooms were so popular in the orient, is they are built like a chinese puzzle box.

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    Again, thanks for the tips. I probably won't even shoot it? Here are a few more picturesof the holster, still working on getting some measurements. Click image for larger version. 

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  22. #22
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    An interesting comment from Mark. I have a Bolo Model that was recently purchased and have been unable to disassemble it. The barrel/lock frame will not slide off the frame. It will move back about one inch but will not budge from that position to slide off. I am beginningto believe that it may have been assembled with the rocker coupling in backward, which then makes it impossible to disassemble without special tools and skills. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice? Thanks, Dave

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    Suggestions or advice? With a C/96 that has gone problematic on you, I advise and suggest a good 'smith who is familiar and comfortable with the things.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

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    Thanks Clyde for that suggestion. Is there any good source for finding Gunsmiths that have expertise with the C/96? Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by 027737 View Post
    Thanks Clyde for that suggestion. Is there any good source for finding Gunsmiths that have expertise with the C/96? Dave
    Probably - but not known to me. Just have to ask around - maybe somebody here knows a trustworthy one. I guess could google using "gunsmith" and "Mauser broomhandle" as search term and see what pops up.

    My buddy Jim Calahan (sadly passed away, he was a great guy and a fount of firearms and military history knowledge) managed to get his put together wrong (Lord did he cuss about THAT; Jim did not like making mistakes with guns, and seldom did), and had to get a 'smith to put it right. Unfortunately, that 'smith passed away a decade ago so i don't think I'd care to recommend him....
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  26. #26
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    With honorable exceptions many gunsmiths know no more about such fine old guns as the C96 than anyone else with a high school diploma. Too many gunsmiths have no real historical or practical knowledge of the old guns they may be called to work on. There are more knowledgable folks on forums such as this and fortunately a very few are gunsmiths as well. The C96 Mauser is a child of its times, a complex, interesting and very shootable weapon. Maintaining it is not difficult but the owner needs to know the little tricks for assembly and disassembly in order to do some of the routine cleaning and inspection. Locally the only gunsmith I knew who could take a C96 apart and " fix " it could also " fix " Merwin and Hulberts and 73 Winchesters and Maxim machine guns but he regretfully has passed away. I sure miss him as he taught me a lot. Keep asking us questions and we will get you started in the right direction. By the way I have used Fiocchi .30 Mauser ammo with great success and enjoyment. It definitely won't hurt to shoot your Mauser with proper ammo.
    The holster is interesting as it appears that it is assembled from double layers of thin leather which would indicate perhaps mid or late war manufacture. It very well could be that some of the material used in making the holster is ersatz but unable to tell from pictures. The story of how the gunwas found and brought home is interesting-wonder what U-boat it came from? Good Luck, Joe

  27. #27
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    The holster looks commercial rather than issue, but it could very well be one made by a Kriegsmarine leathersmith.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyhunter View Post
    Again, thanks for the tips. I probably won't even shoot it? Here are a few more picturesof the holster, still working on getting some measurements. Click image for larger version. 

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    Ky,

    Looked in all of my books, no cigar. But all of the Kriegsmarine holsters in the books were black and similar to yours with the exception of having stripper clip pouches on the front.

    LB

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by 027737 View Post
    An interesting comment from Mark. I have a Bolo Model that was recently purchased and have been unable to disassemble it. The barrel/lock frame will not slide off the frame. It will move back about one inch but will not budge from that position to slide off. I am beginningto believe that it may have been assembled with the rocker coupling in backward, which then makes it impossible to disassemble without special tools and skills. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice? Thanks, Dave
    Hey Dave,

    Ya' got me out in the Peaceshack with a Broom book and my Model 1930. Used to have a Bolo, but disassembly would be the same. Does your pistol function fully assembled? As in, safety off, check to see that the piece is unloaded by pullin' the bolt back a bit. Now cock the hammer and pull the bolt to the rear till' it locks back on the follower. Can it do that? Hold the bolt and depress the follower and ease the bolt down into firing position. Can you dry fire it? Does the safety work? Have you sprayed it down with some oil? What is the overall condition of the pistol? Do all of the serial numbers match? Have you ever stripped a Broom down? I don't wanna' hijack Kyhunter's interesting thread, just need to know the condition of the pistol to see if I can help you.

    Lancebear

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lancebear View Post
    Ky,

    Looked in all of my books, no cigar. But all of the Kriegsmarine holsters in the books were black and similar to yours with the exception of having stripper clip pouches on the front.

    LB
    thanks again, i appreciate all the help with this. I'll post some more once i get it in hand, as I'm sure i will have some additional questions about care, etc. I hope to get a hold of it after the new year.

  31. #31
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    All,

    Here are some good links with more information on the C96. The first link has clear directions on how to correctly take the pistol apart and then put it back together again. The second link has a scan of an article on how to get a C96 apart that has been incorrectly assembled with the rocker coupling in backwards.

    Mike


    http://www.surplusrifle.com/pistolc96broomhandle/disassemble/index.asp

    http://1896mauser.com/jam.htm

  32. #32
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    A big article on the Spanish versions of the C96 in the new issue of The Rifleman.
    "The only time we see the middle of the road
    is as we run from side to side." R.O. Clark
    ----------------------------------------------------

  33. #33
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    Well, finally got the gun in hand! The bluing looks really good except for a little on the tip of the barrel. There is some scratches where someone broke it down and didn't use a wooden tool.

    I'm nervous about breaking it down even after I do a little research. Anyone know someone near KY who would be interested in showing me how To break it own and how to properly clean it?

    There are no markings on the holster, so looks like that will stay a mystery.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyhunter View Post
    I'm nervous about breaking it down even after I do a little research. Anyone know someone near KY who would be interested in showing me how To break it own and how to properly clean it?
    The link that Fushigi Ojisan posted early in this thread has very good and detailed disassembly/reassembly instructions with accompanying pictures. Disassembly to the field-stripping level is actually quite simple.

  35. #35
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    Beautiful pistol.The fact your granfather brought this home makes it very special.

    I hope to get one in the future.
    Always intrested in buyiny US Militaria items:Helmets,Uniform Groups,medals,knives etc.
    Any items from the 34th Infantry Division or 113th Cavarly,WW2 USMC or Airborne units.Thanks

  36. #36
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    I just read through those break down instructions.....I think I'll give it a go.

    My parents also gave me some other of his war memorabilia, and I'm getting some stuff framed. I just took to the framers a cool map that shows where his Division (29th Division - 116th Infantry - Co. C) went, all the way from training in Maryland through the end of the war. He landed in Normandy on D-Day +1.

    I'll post back after I get it field stripped and give it a clean.

  37. #37
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    Detail stripping a C96 is a pretty simple exercise. The only recommended modification to the posted instructions in the link referenced earlier that I have is when you are at the point you want to remove the mainspring, other instructions I have seen recommends putting the lockwork frame in a bench vise instead of sitting it on a table. I have done it both ways, but it just seems a bit more controllable to do it in the vise.

    The biggest caution in putting the pistol back together is to be sure to get the rocker coupling in the right way. You need to be SURE the open part of the C shaped cut in the rocker coupling goes to the front. If it goes in backwards, the pistol won't go together and it will lock up and be a REAL BEAR to get back apart. This problem was experienced and discussed in several other posts on this thread. Fushigi's link also describes a method of dealing with the misassembled rocker coupling problem .

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