Cartridges and Loads for a Mauser C-96 broomhandle


January 19, 2013, 11:44 PM
Hello I am a newbie to this forum, but not to guns and reloading.

Since discovering on the internet that my C-96 should not be fed Tokarev 7.62X25 I have been researching both suitable commercial ammo and hand-loads for this gun. In addition I was trying to confirm the gun would be legal with a reproduction stock.

In three days of searching and consulting my own books I have found the following:

- All searches eventually lead me to Carl N Brown posts, poster on this forum, whose posts always answered my concerns, succinctly, in full, and with all the back-up needed to put me in my comfort zone. Bravo Carl and The High Road forum!

- That the Tokarev 7.62 loads were always slightly hotter than the 7.63, have been made in many loadings, culminating in the very hot Czech round known as the M48

- That the original pressure rating of the C-96 is probably OK for the earlier Russian WWII 7.62 Tokarev rounds, and even possibly the Norinco rounds which I have been using, although not in great quantities, for the last 20 years. But not for the later hot Czech rounds. I have the velocities and weights of many of the rounds involved, but am just here publishing my conclusions.

- However, setting chamber pressure aside, the slide return velocity on these guns, with anything hotter than the original Mauser 7.63, is likely to sooner or later cause the slide to batter the slide stop, possibly resulting in slide stop failure and serious injury or death. Particularly as the recoil is absorbed mainly by the hammer spring on a C-96, and this, together with the feeble recoil spring, as well as the slide stop itself, may well be weak on a gun 80 years old or more. THIS SEEMS TO BE THE REAL DANGER

- That my two 50 round boxes of Interarms ammo labelled "7.62X25 (.30Mauser)" and which say on the label "suitable for the Mauser 1896 7.63 pistol" are actually old (very old) Russian Tula Tokarev ammunition repackaged.

- So I have bought reloading dies for the C-96

Here is my question (finally)
Maybe Interarms weren't wrong when they repackaged those rounds in saying they were suitable for the Mauser. Original specs for the 7.62 Soviet TT Model 33 pistol was 1378 fps, and the various sub-machine guns using the same round 1640 fps (could this difference be due to barrel length alone?), and specs for the Mauser 7.63 Model 1932 (fully Auto) were 1575 fps (all foregoing as per Small Arms Of The World-Tenth Edition). Another Mauser figure more commonly quoted is 1453 fps (Famous Pistols and Handguns).

With my new dies, I was planning to pull the bullets on the cartridges in the Interarm boxes, and replace them over a lighter load. I just bought dies and did that on a box of .45 ACP bullets for my converted to .45 ACP .455 Webley revolver, but that was a no-brainer when one compared the pressures involved. But as these Interarm 7.62 are probably earlier Russian supply, would it be practical to just use them as is? The headstamps on the Interarm rounds are; triangle 539 triangle 48.

Any comments would be appreciated. I really enjoy my C-96, I had coveted one ever since my childhood in South Africa, where Mausers were iconic, both the 7mm rifle and the Broom-handle, as the weapons which my forefathers used to keep the entire British Empire at bay for 3 years.

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Float Pilot
January 20, 2013, 02:24 PM
Fiocchi and Parvi make ammo and brass for the classic 7.63mm Mauser.

I like 6.8 to 7.0 grains of AA#5 powder (MAX) with a 86 grain Hornady jacketed round nose. 6.3-6.5 grains work just fine.... Some people use cast lead 32 acp bullets and re-size them down to 309 ot 310. depending on how good your bore might be...

Long live the memory of General Koos de la Rey


January 20, 2013, 05:02 PM
CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.
I bought a broomhandle just to work up a load and prove it would shoot a load that would blow up a CZ52, just to prove the old 2000 load books for AA, Sierra, Hornady, etc were wrong.

Unfortunately for the test, the broomhandle I got for $180 did not have the best firing pin to firing pin hole fit, and the primers started piercing.

110 gr Round nose AA#9 my tests vs the published data:

08.5 gr in book CZ52 book load in AA on line revision of loads after CZ52 failures 2004 [23kpsi Quickload]
11.3 gr in Broomhandle WSP primers piece
11.7 gr in book CZ52 only [reduce for Tokarev] book load in AA 2000 reloading manual[63 kpsi Quickload]
13.7 gr in CZ52, barrel spilts, causing seondary failures
14.7 gr in Tokarev Star Line brass gets loose primer pocket
15.3 gr in Tokarev S&B brass gets loose primer pocket

January 20, 2013, 06:40 PM
You are up with your SA history Float Pilot!

Thanks guys for the info, because I will be reloading. However, the use of the Russian Ammo is now a moot point; after reading my own post I decided to inspect the bolt stop on my C-96. It is battered showing metal upset where the bolt impacts, and there is a hairline axial crack in, but not entirely through, the wall of the thin web around the hole through which the firing pin passes. I ordered a new bolt stop last night, and I will only shoot .763 Mauser rounds from now on, and then afterwards download them further to around 1100 fps. Furthermore I measured the recoil spring, it is supposed to be 111 mm. if good, mine is actually 115 and kind of wavy. Perhaps I found the gun wasnít going into battery reliably when I bought it, and stretched the spring by hand. Who can remember at my age? Anyway I ordered a new set of springs from Wolff, after everything else Iíve spent why still have a nagging doubt? I went to the pc a few days ago idly wondering if my shoulder-stock was legal with all this new focus on gun laws, and itís ended up costing a fortune in ammo and safety issues.

I can't say what caused the damage or when. The gun is obviously one of the Chinese imports of the 80's, so it was used and abused in China for who knows how long. I doubt China made 7.63 once they started making the 7.62, so it's probably been fed a diet of Norinco 7.62 for years before coming to the USA. In 1992 I went to the shooting range in Beijing where you could fire anything if you paid in dollars (the .50 caliber was expensive but a real blast), They had Tokarevs T 33's and and Mauser C-96, and I seriously doubt they had two drawers of separate ammunition.

Clark, I agree that chamber pressure is not an issue in the C96, after all it fired Wermacht 9 mm happily, and you can't even find loading data to load 9 mm hot enough to make a Luger cycle reliably. The Wermacht 9mm was rated at 124 gr @ 1250 fps and sometimes 1350 fps, and the Mauser 9mm export for which Broomhandles were also chambered was rated at 125 gr @1360 fps. Nor buy cartridges, after 20 years I finally bought a reduced power recoil spring from Wolff at $8, and a gun that couldn't get through a magazine for twenty years is now like a dog; it eats anything you throw at it.

But the problem is the slide stop. And I'm not even sure how good the new one is that I've ordered; it's of unknown manufacture and hardness. Parts of my gun that should have serial numbers don't; they may have been replaced in China with who knows what quality.

I agree the reloading books are wrong, but I think it's a question of liability more than anything else. Like not being able to buy a round that will cycle a Luger, because it would probably destroy many non +p+ rated pistols. I always hunted with a 8mm Mauser rifle in Canada, you bought rounds that would send a 170 gr bullet at about 2750 fps. Here the Mauser 8 mm rounds are like a 30-30, something like 1900 fps. Less than a .303, and the Mauser was the hottest rifle round of WWII. All because some 1888 8mm Mausers were once shipped to the States, and the ammo companies won't take the chance of someone putting a round designed for the 1898 Mauser in a 1888 Mauser.

Float Pilot
January 21, 2013, 07:07 PM
You are probably correct about mystery Chinese parts. I used to have one that seemed like it was made in a Chinese cave with a rough file and hammer.

It would really be something to have one that had Orange Free state or Transvaal Republic markings on it....

A splinter of my family lived near Jo-Burg for a very long time.. Plus a few up in old Rhodesia . They all moved up here to Alaska with us when things went sour,,,,, I grew up reading every book written by Deneys Reitz until the pages fell out.

And of course anything about or by Jan Smuts....

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