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Reproducing old Handguns legality issues - mauser c96 -colt 1903 - colt 1903 pistol

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by X9ballX, Sep 13, 2013.

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  1. X9ballX

    X9ballX Member

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    One of the thoughts me and a few friends have had was reproducing the old guns listed as well as a two new designs

    We are currently not interested in exploring the cost but the legality of such.

    One of our new design ideas was to take the detective internals and build a top break in 45lc/45acp as well as a 38 +P and 32hmr

    the other design was a simplified mauser c96 built as a target pistol in 9mm and 45acp that will take either glock or para mags

    We also know the mausers weakpoint is the bolt. our plans were to beef it up using better materials and making the gun somewhat larger. We planned on exploring further after getting a hold of a few models

    We already came up with a few creative ways to cut costs. it's the legality thats holding us back from pursuing further design

    To my awareness someone already has the rights to produce an old german luger P08 Otherwise that would be on the list

    I know the patent on the 1911 went out. thats why I ask.

    Would it be legal?

    So long as i build it for myself i know it is. but we planned on selling these items further down the road.

    The two new designs would be our cash cow and the old ones were to pay homage to history
     
  2. huntershooter

    huntershooter Member

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    A C-96 "target pistol"??
    I can't think of a lousier platform for a dedicated target pistol. I tried, but can't come up with one.
    I imagine the "legality" would not be an issue.
    With due respect; have you considered what the market for said ideas might be?
    I would be amazed if this is financially viable.
     
  3. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    The question is could one reproduce or copy or offer improved versions of the Mauser C96 or Colt 1903 Pistol legally (due to patent considerations). That is the question.

    (Names and model names if not numbers would probably be copyrighted or trademarked and probably could not be used. However, how many pistols based on old Beretta designs have been made under the maker's name and model? Did they pay to license the patents? or have the patents expired?)

    As far as a C96 target pistol, best group with my C96 off hand 25 yards ten shots (shot in the local blackpowder cartridge match using Triple7 and .312" bullets since the rifling is very worn):
    [​IMG]
    I consider myself a participant not a competitor at that.
     
  4. TRX

    TRX Member

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    If you're talking about a patent, it would have expired long ago.

    You could probably hire an intellectual property lawyer to write an opinion to include with your business plan, but the design is over a century old. Companies all over the world sell replicas of older firearms. I don't think anyone actually knows how many different companies make 1911 Colts now, for example.
     
  5. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    Patents and copyrights expire, but trademarks live forever. That's a bit of an oversimplification, but it points out what would be your main legal problem in replicating a Mauser C96 or Colt 1903: trademark infringement.

    Obviously you couldn't use the name "Mauser" or "Colt" on your gun. But certain aspects, such as the profile of the Mauser Broomhandle, might also be trademarked.

    It's not for nothing that patent/trademark lawyers are so highly paid. This is a specialty that requires very particular qualifications. Typically, patent lawyers are trained as engineers, pharmacologists, or doctors as well as lawyers.

    Your proposed business plan would have to have a lot of potential for financial success to justify the expense of hiring a patent/trademark lawyer. Personally, I don't see it happening.
     
  6. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    The C96 could be a nightmare to produce even with modern CNC machining. IIRC the C96 had only 1 screw in the whole pistol and the rest was precision machining at it's finest even by today CNC machining capabilities. I'd love to have a modern version of a C96 but I think the cost would be very expensive.
     
  7. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Agree, patents expire. Just look at all the copies of CZ 75.
    You will have to have a manufacturer's FFL to build guns for sale. Just as well get that in the works and incorporation, too, if you are serious.

    I don't think a beefed up and simplified offshoot taking Glock magazines is much of a tribute to the C96. Just as well do a clean sheet design for a forward magazine pistol.
    You won't be able to sell it in California and other repressive jurisdictions that consider such things to be "assault pistols."
     
  8. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    And anyone with a manufacturer's FFL also has to pay the State Department's ITAR license fee, whether they intend to export or not. That alone runs to a couple of thousand dollars a year.
     
  9. X9ballX

    X9ballX Member

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    thanks all. this was quite helpfull. if we ever get anywhere with the idea i'll post pics and let some lucky guy on here test out the first batch

    Right now we are focusing on the revolver design. top break revolvers weak points are the latch so coming up with a new one is key right now
     
  10. golden

    golden Member

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    Colt 1903

    X9,

    If you are serious about producing an old COLT, the 1903 POCKET HAMMERLESS would be an outstanding gun with 2 or 3 modifications.

    1. ALUMINUM FRAME--The steel frame gun is very steady in the hand, but really overkill for the .32ACP or even the .380ACP.

    2. SIZE--Shorten the barrel to 3 1/4 inches and the grip by 1/2 inch. That gets you into the COLT MUSTANG size range.

    3. SAFETY--I love shooting the old COLT 1903, but for self defense, I just am not interested in a single action gun. I don't own a SIG 938 or COLT Mustang and probably never will. I want a double action or GLOCK style safe action. Flicking off a safety on one of these guns is just too dicey to me.

    Oh, If I were going to copy a 96 Mauser, I would use the later detachable magazine one that could use a 20 shot magazine.

    Jim
    Good luck
     
  11. macadore

    macadore Member

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    I agree. While I like the look and feel of the C96 the internals would require some serious rethinking to be competitive today. Something like a roller locked action action might work.
     
  12. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    You do all those mods you need a NEW patent, don't worry about the old ones.
     
  13. X9ballX

    X9ballX Member

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    I appreciate All the comments and advice given here today.

    Right now me and my friends will do planning for the items.

    We need to get ahold of originals. And unfortunately money and gunsmithing is an issue.

    We did however add two a new ideas, that being a rotating barrel doublestack 1911 and a piston driven bullpup

    One of the key differences between this 1911 is the magazine. rather than using the more common mags that funnel into one round at the top we thought steyr had the right idea with their mag design in the gb pistol

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGFaiRBNvcU

    The bullpup we decided we wanted something as easy to build as an ak but with as much modular adaptability as an ar15, but with a bullpup layout.

    But we have too much on our plate. We will come up with a real design before we bother the internet with it further.

    Thanks for the help guys
     
  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I don't see how you can call a pistol with rotating barrel and double column, double feed magazine any sort of "1911."

    The double feed magazine is superior for a rifle or SMG but I don't know if it is worth the width in a pistol. The GB is a Great Big gun.

    Good luck and post drawings.
     
  15. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't copy that gas system, it will lock your pistol up on occasion, and won't unlock 'til it cools down.
     
  16. X9ballX

    X9ballX Member

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    We were just planning to Copy the mag design for the GB.

    We came up with a simple idea for a Trigger mechanism for the mauser. Now we have to actually build one. And find a bench rest and some string in case it explodes lol
     
  17. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    I would be all over a top break in .357. Swing out from my experience is superior but I love the top break.
     
  18. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    I'd love to see a top-break .45 ACP or .44 Special.
     
  19. Swing

    Swing Member

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    +1. I'd snap up a break-action, .45ACP snub-nose in a heartbeat.

    The retro-futuristic Mauser C/96 sounds interesting too.
     
  20. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    The lesson of the Luger is informative. In the 1970's, Sam Cummings of Interarms got the idea of having Mauser resume production of the Luger (not reproducing, since Mauser is the successor to DWM and a maker of the gun up to 1942).

    They did surveys and market studies, and almost everyone asked said that a new Luger would be welcome and would sell very well. So Mauser bought the Bern tooling (Mauser's own tooling had been destroyed in WWII), and set up production under the renowned August Weiss. The first pistols resembled the Swiss Model 1929 and didn't sell well. But the Luger claque assured Interarms that if the German P.08 style were copied, the guns would sell. The change was made, but the mobs still refrained from beating down the door.

    The bottom line was that the new guns enjoyed some sales, but Interarms and Mauser both took a bath on the deal. Everyone claimed to want new Lugers, but once they were available, they were new guns with no collector value and little interest of the wallet-opening kind.

    Worse, "real" Lugers were around in more than enough quantities to meet collector demand at a cost less than that of the new production ones.

    So anyone planning to "repro" complex guns had best do a lot of thinking. If the idea works, and copies of the C-96 do sell, I guarantee that the Chinese, who probably still have the tooling, will make the thing at half the cost.

    Jim
     
  21. Vodoun da Vinci

    Vodoun da Vinci Member

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    In the case of the Colt 1903 Model M, most folks I know who would be willing to buy a new made version insist that it be as true to the original as possible. Changing the lines or making the frame out of aluminum would alter the superb balance and weight. I personally would love to buy a new made Model M but would insist it be virtually identical to the original.

    It is classic and with a few flaws possibly the best pocket pistol ever made....changing much except to make it drop safe and maybe add a slide lock open on the last shot would be un necessary and a deal breaker for me.

    And I own 2 and soon a third of the originals.

    VooDoo
     
  22. macadore

    macadore Member

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    I realize the purists wouldn't like it, but I think on in 9x18 would be nice.
     
  23. scramasax

    scramasax Member

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    Colt 1908 clone, same size, keep the longer slide. DO NOT mess with the size of the gun or the grips. An aluminum frame and locked breach are possibilities.But why mess with pocket perfection. Build it in 9mm/.380/.22lr. you would have the best and most popular carry/practice gun. Snag free with enough weight to shoot comfortably but carry well. Mine go out on a regular basis.

    Love both my MBH .30 made in 1899 and 9mm made in 1920. If I could have a new one it would have to be in 10mm or .45ACP.

    Luger has been done before but was an economic loss.
     
  24. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    One thing I can pretty well guarantee; unless X9ballX and his friends have a lot more money, technical knowledge and experience than his posts seem to indicate, I would not hold my breath waiting for the first production models to come off the line.

    I don't want to either insult or discourage anyone, but starting up manufacture of a gun, whether a new design or an old one, is a lot more complicated than most of us think, and licensing and patents are not even on the radar in terms of difficulty and capital required.

    Jim
     
  25. lechiffre

    lechiffre Member

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    I have read that the CZ-75 was never protected under patent (except in Czechoslovakia), because the patents were a state secret.
     
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