Mauser C96 and P08 Parabellum Checked off My Bucket List

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OK, I still owe another $2K for the pair and need to complete the transfer paperwork, but Dang!

Both are liquidations from an estate I've been working with. I bought seven other firearms from the estate last year, including a Persian Mauser rifle and an FN High Power -- that deal took me over 5 months to pay off.

The bulk of the estate is still probably going to go to an auction service, but since final disposition is on hold right now I had time to do one further deal without going entirely broke.

BTW, the photo doesn't do these guns justice. I should take some more.

The C96 dates to 1903 and is in VG+ condition inside and out. All-matching #s except for one grip panel. Other than a ding on the magazine floorplate and a little, very minor honest wear, this baby is the most cherry Broomhandle I've seen outside of a museum display. There was also a second 'Bolo' broomie in the estate, probably shootable but with the finish (and all sharp edges) worn completely off.

BTW, the barrel has a couple of unusual features. The front sight is slightly 'banded' and has a cross pin, and there's a narrow ring of "knurling" at the rear where its profile widens into the extension. I think this indicates something called a 'hash barrel' replacement -- I'm a C96 novice but I've ordered a book. If so, the workmanship looks to be very good.

The Luger is from 1938 and equally nice, albeit with a couple of minor finish blemishes. All matching, bore virtually unfired -- I suspect this one had been carried rather than shot.

I'd kind-sorta sworn off Lugers after a failed project gun five years back, but since this one lacked any replacement parts I figured the risk of getting another lemon was minimal. It was one of four Lugers from the estate, the best one being an early "American Eagle" that is definitely going to auction.
 
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I've got a pair of C-96s myself, One has never been fired after leaving the factory. Dave, the usual warning about the springs applies. Same for the Luger.
 

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OK, I still owe another $2K for the pair and need to complete the transfer paperwork, but Dang!

Both are liquidations from an estate I've been working with. I bought seven other firearms from the estate last year, including a Persian Mauser rifle and an FN High Power -- that deal took me over 5 months to pay off.

The bulk of the estate is still probably going to go to an auction service, but since final disposition is on hold right now I had time to do one further deal without going entirely broke.

BTW, the photo doesn't entirely do these guns justice. I should probably take some more.

The C96 dates to 1903 and is in VG+ condition inside and out. All-matching #s except for one grip panel. Other than a ding on the magazine floorplate and a little, very minor honest wear, this baby is the most cherry Broomhandle I've seen outside of a museum display. There was also a second 'Bolo' broomie in the estate, probably shootable but with the finish (and all sharp edges) worn completely off.

BTW, the barrel has a couple of unusual features. The front sight is slightly 'banded' and has a cross pin, and there's a narrow ring of "knurling" at the rear where its profile widens into the extension. I think this indicates something called a 'hash barrel' replacement -- I'm a C96 novice (but I've ordered a book!) If so, the workmanship looks to be very good.

The Luger is from 1938 and equally nice, albeit with a couple of minor finish blemishes. All matching, bore virtually unfired -- I suspect this one had been carried rather than shot.

I'd kind-sorta sworn off Lugers after a failed project gun five years back, but since this one lacked any replacement parts I figured the risk of getting another lemon was minimal. It was one of four Lugers from the estate, the best one being an early "American Eagle" that is definitely going to auction.
C96 is on my BIG TIME bucket list!

Got the Artillery & American Flag Luger

but the C96 is HARD TO FIND
 
C96 is on my BIG TIME bucket list!

I remember a bunch from China floating around the gunshow circuit in the early 1990s, but most of the ones I handled had been ridden hard and put away wet. I saw one of those going for about $2K at a LGS a few months ago -- the exterior looked liked someone had used it as a hammer.

BTW, Simpsons usually has some fairly nice examples in stock, but the going prices there have been beyond my means.

 
I remember a bunch from China floating around the gunshow circuit in the early 1990s, but most of the ones I handled had been ridden hard and put away wet. I saw one of those going for about $2K at a LGS a few months ago -- the exterior looked liked someone had used it as a hammer.

BTW, Simpsons usually has some fairly nice examples in stock, but the going prices there have been beyond my means.

I’ve need seen a clean example in the wild. People really shot the guts out of them. Wonder Why?

Clean Lugers are easy to find but a Nice C96… they just used them like a 1985 Toyota pickup truck
 
Lovely guns. I shot a C96 and had the opportunity to buy it, but at the time I was poor… passed. Oh well. I did find it a very pleasant gun to put 50 rounds through. I hope you enjoy yours, Dave, and make sure she sees the range now and again!
 
.... Usual warning to give the Mauser fresh springs.
If you intend to shoot it, a definite yes.
The hammer spring especially.
It tames recoil more than the bolt return spring.
You can have a weak hammer spring that will still fire a primer but lacks the power to keep the bolt from impacting the bolt stop enuf to damage the rear of the receiver/barrel extension.
 
Good Pick up there. I have both but still need to get my blown out barrel replaced on the C96. I got some info for a couple of guys that rework these. I just need to follow through and get it done...
 
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Congratulations! A Broomhandle was one of the guns I wanted when I started collecting back in the early 1980's, but the prices went up faster than my income, so I never did. Unless you count a 0% finish, NRA Poor condition Astra 900 I got for about $150 when China shipped a lot of old Broomhandles to the US in the late 1980's. The magazine well was full of some orangey Chinese cosmoline-type substance. So was the barrel. And just about every other nook and cranny in the gun, except under the grips. The more I cleaned it, the more I forgot about trying to fire it. I think I gave it away because it made me wince every time I looked at it.

On the other hand, I did get an FN 1900, and I find the mechanism of that just as fascinating as the Broomhandle or the Luger, although both of them are much more impressive in appearance.

I like that you got examples that look decent and mechanically sound, but are not so pretty that shooting them, or just taking them apart to see how they work would be a bad idea. That is the condition I like. Speaking of shooting, I heard once that Mec-Gar Luger mags are pretty good, but I have never used one. If you do, people here might be glad to know how it worked.
 
On the other hand, I did get an FN 1900, and I find the mechanism of that just as fascinating as the Broomhandle or the Luger, although both of them are much more impressive in appearance.

You might enjoy this video of a Swiss range day with a collection of early European autopistols. The group from the FN 1900 was especially impressive. I just watched this for the first time yesterday.

 
You can have a weak hammer spring that will still fire a primer but lacks the power to keep the bolt from impacting the bolt stop enuf to damage the rear of the receiver/barrel extension.
And this is what it looks like. This gun was shooting proper 7.63 Mauser ammo. It had a weak hammer spring.
 

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Congratulations! A Broomhandle was one of the guns I wanted when I started collecting back in the early 1980's, but the prices went up faster than my income, so I never did. Unless you count a 0% finish, NRA Poor condition Astra 900 I got for about $150 when China shipped a lot of old Broomhandles to the US in the late 1980's. The magazine well was full of some orangey Chinese cosmoline-type substance. So was the barrel. And just about every other nook and cranny in the gun, except under the grips. The more I cleaned it, the more I forgot about trying to fire it. I think I gave it away because it made me wince every time I looked at it.

On the other hand, I did get an FN 1900, and I find the mechanism of that just as fascinating as the Broomhandle or the Luger, although both of them are much more impressive in appearance.

I like that you got examples that look decent and mechanically sound, but are not so pretty that shooting them, or just taking them apart to see how they work would be a bad idea. That is the condition I like. Speaking of shooting, I heard once that Mec-Gar Luger mags are pretty good, but I have never used one. If you do, people here might be glad to know how it worked.
I run MecGar magazines in my P08. They work great, despite having an ugly black plastic baseplug. I actually went so far as to replace one with a repro wood plug for display purposes. Still functions fine, lol.
 
I run MecGar magazines in my P08. They work great, despite having an ugly black plastic baseplug. I actually went so far as to replace one with a repro wood plug for display purposes. Still functions fine, lol.
I’m looking into Mecgar mags too, the original 9mm Artillery mag look like I probably should not run it, and my 70’s American Flag P08 looks too clean.

Super Glade they make quality aftermarket P08 mags
 
I had a choice of original mags, including aluminum and wood bases. I went with a basic WWII-era German brown plastic base so the remaining Lugers in the estate would still have the more valuable ones when they go to auction.

I had Mec-Gar Luger mags with my earlier problem child Luger, but its troubles didn't seem related to the magazines. I'll probably pick up at least one more Mec-Gar at some point.
 
They’re cheap, like $35. I’d grab one. Like many gun related things, availability is cyclical and they can be hard to find just when you need one.
 
I ordered service packs for the C96 and Luger from Wolff on Monday. Not sure the Luger needs it, but WTH.

Any suggested loading data for 7.63x25 Mauser gratefully welcomed, particularly with Unique or Red Dot 'cause I've got lots of that. I've also got some new PPU brass and a set of Lee dies.

For disaster stories, my buddy Bob had a chunk from the rear of a Lange Pistole breechblock blow out when he experienced a pierced primer with an older, non-fluted striker. Evidently that's why those flutes are there on later production pistols.
 
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