I recently found myself in Fredericksburg, Texas (a short drive from TTAG’s secret above ground bunker). I remembered a Jon Wayne Taylor article on a gun store in “Fritztown”: Texas Jack Wild West Outfitter. I decided to test my girlfriend’s patience and stop in. I’m glad I did . . .
Texas Jack has an engraved pre-war (that’s WWI) Mauser C-96 pistol for sale. For those of you unfamiliar with the firearm, wikipedia.org tells us that . . .
The Mauser C96 (Construktion 96) is a semi-automatic pistol that was originally produced by German arms manufacturer Mauser from 1896 to 1937. Unlicensed copies of the gun were also manufactured in Spain and China in the first half of the 20th century.
The distinctive characteristics of the C96 are the integral box magazine in front of the trigger, the long barrel, the wooden shoulder stock which gives it the stability of a short-barreled rifle and doubles as a holster or carrying case, and a unique grip shaped like the handle of a broom.
The grip earned the gun the nickname “Broomhandle” in the English-speaking world because of its round wooden handle, and in China the C96 was nicknamed the “box cannon” (Chinese: 盒子炮; pinyin: hézipào) because of its rectangular internal magazine and the fact it could be holstered in its wooden box-like detachable stock.
With its long barrel and high-velocity cartridge, the Mauser C96 had superior range and better penetration than most other pistols; the 7.63×25mm Mauser cartridge was the highest velocity commercially manufactured pistol cartridge until the advent of the .357 Magnum cartridge in 1935.
Mauser manufactured approximately 1 million C96 pistols, while the number produced in Spain and China was large but unknown due to the loss, non-existence or poor preservation of production records from those countries.
I really wish I had an extra five grand lying around right now. The temptation, of course, would be to relegate this beauty to safe queen status. But I know I’d have to shoot it at least once. You?