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Researching "Red 9" Unit Markings

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by farson135, Aug 11, 2017.

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  1. farson135

    farson135 Member

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    I recently got my hands on a beautiful Red 9. All matching parts (including the grips), the bore was excellent, and the bluing was also excellent. The holster is obviously new, and I had to use my steel picks to clean some crud off the insides. Otherwise it is pretty much perfect.

    I am trying to learn about the unit markings. Pictures below, but the marking is A.M.1.6

    16 might represent a unit number. The obvious answer would be the XVI Army Corps, but I can’t find anything referring to A.M. Perhaps it refers to ArMeekorps, but I would have thought the initials would be A.K. C96s were often issued to artillery units.

    If no one knows, then can anyone point towards research materials? Or an active forum. I am happy to research it myself, but I do not know where to start.

    I would also like to find the manufacturing year, but that is probably hopeless.

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    20170811_120124.jpg 20170811_120147.jpg 20170811_120208.jpg 20170811_120154.jpg 20170811_120403.jpg 20170811_120307.jpg
     
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Based on light Googling, so await Expert Opinion...
    A.M. MAY stand for Artillerie-Munitionskolonne = Artillery Munitions Column.
    In German notation 1.6 would be the first company, sixth weapon.

    Military ''Red 9'' pistols had a separate serial number range (1-150000) and were manufactured between 1916 and 1918.
     
    grampajack likes this.
  3. farson135

    farson135 Member

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    Thanks Jim. I don't know why i ignored the period between 1 and 6. We will see what everyone else says.

    I know that Red 9s were made between 1916 and 1918. I was hoping for an exact year, but the official records were destroyed in WW2. So, probably hopeless.
     
  4. tark

    tark Member

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    You can thank the French for that....
     
  5. tark

    tark Member

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    The book "SYSTEM MAUSER" by Breathed and Schroeder has some info on your C-96, which is a beaut, by the way. Some, not all, have the German Eagle on the front of the magazine area of the frame. Yours appears to have this. Serial #s ranged from 555- to 135,127. These are observed numbers, not recorded.

    Quality on these guns was spotty, by Mauser standards. Some were poorly polished and had ill- fitting grips. Your gun appears to be fully up to Mauser's commercial standards.

    I wish I could tell you more about the stamping on the grip area of the frame, but the book does not mention any special unit markings.

    Based on your pics the gun itself appears to be pretty high conditioned. Assuming the hammer and recoil spring are good to go it should have no trouble handling any standard pressure 9MM round. Not so sure about +P stuff, probably best to avoid it. After all, we are talking about 100 year old metallurgy.
     
  6. grampajack
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    grampajack Member

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    Absolutely gorgeous.:thumbup:
     
  7. farson135

    farson135 Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Tark- My picture is bad, but on the front of the magazine is a crowned Eagle. That implies it is a Prussian contract.

    All the internals look good. No rust, and minimal discoloration. If not for the matching serial numbers, it would almost look refurbished. Still, I will not be shooting +P ammo. This is a collectable, to take out on special occasions.

    I imagine the markings were done at the armorer level, and there would be no official records. Artillerie-Munitionskolonne 1st company, 6th weapon is probably a good guess.
     
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    farson135

    Great acquisition! That's one well preserved Red 9 you've got there! Even the new holster and leather rig look to be fairly decent.
     
  9. tark

    tark Member

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    I've got two Broomhandles, my shooter was made toward the end of production. With new springs, it has happily digested thousands of rounds of assorted Tokarev and Mauser ammo. Some of the late, commercial, 7.62X25 ammo is loaded to pretty high velocities, around 1600 FPS . That matches the WWII German load which was 1575 FPS with the 85 grain bullet. The original German military loads were pretty hot, pressure wise. That often quoted 1410 FPS figure was for the weaker American commercial load.

    The point of all this is that the C-96 is a strong design, but the hammer spring is absolutely critical. It must be full strength or the breech will unlock too soon, and everything that follows during the cycling of the mechanism will be too fast and too violent. This will batter parts and cause accelerated wear on the gun. Wolff sells spring kits if you desire, but I am guessing your gun has been fired so rarely that it probably doesn't need them. If you do get new springs, save the old ones, to insure the originality of the gun.

    I've never shot a pistol that is more fun, or draws more attention at the range, that my Broomhandle. I don't know about the red nines, but a 7.63 will throw its empties pretty much straight up. Occasionally one will go down your shirt, and that's always fun!!..

    When you get that beauty to the range you are going to wear that smile you get for many days afterward. Good shooting.
     
  10. drk1

    drk1 Member

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    Congratulations on a very nice acquisition. I saw it and was very tempted. I just couldn't figure out the unit mark, so I let it pass. I'm glad that it went to a good home. Let me begin by explaining that I am not an "expert." I know just enough to get me into trouble. The book by Gortz and Bryans on German unit marks is always my starting point. As these authors point out and fifty years of experience have shown, the regulations changed over time and the guys in charge of the armoury for each regiment didn't always get everything quite right as specified in the regulations, but Mr. Watson above is on the right trail. A.M is probably Artillerie Munitionskolonne. However.... there were several Artillerie Munitionskollonnen. Which one is the one you have? The regulations stated that along with the unit designation there were to be three groups of numbers, generally but not always, each followed by a period or dot. That would mean this example was from Artillerie Muntionskolonne Nr. 1, company 6, weapon ? That last number would seem to be missing. But then there were all sorts of exceptions and departures from the "regulations." It may simply be Artillerie Munitionskolonne Nr. 1, waffe nr. 6. For a definitive answer, check with the folks over on Jan Still's Luger board, there is a section devoted to unit markings and the people there will be able to help. Please keep us posted as to what you learn and thanks again for sharing.
     
  11. farson135

    farson135 Member

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    Thanks everyone for the replies.

    I got a chance to shoot it last night. That thing is front heavy. Academically, I understood that it must be front heavy, but that handle, wow. After 50 rounds, you feel it. It is accurate. Later, I might break out the stock and try it at 50 yards. Though, I doubt I will be trying for 500 meters. I have seen scopes for it, and I have been tempted to do a bit more research.

    Also, now I understand why people say you need to be an octopus to load it correctly. You know you are dealing with an old firearm when you cut yourself on one of the parts.

    tark- you are on the mark. I can't help but smile. If it wasn't for how hot it is here in Houston, I probably would have been smiling more at the range.

    drk1- Thanks for the book recommendation. I will ask the people over at that forum, and keep y’all posted.
     
  12. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    *drool*

    I don't know anything at all about what you are asking, but I wanted to tell you that you had a nice gun.
    I've always wanted a broomhandle (I don't care who made it, Mauser or copycat) but probably passed up the last one I'll see locally for a while.

    Enjoy shooting it!
     
  13. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    That gun, as far as I can tell, is completely original, with the original stock. As such, it is exempt from the NFA as a curio/relic and registration is not required. But unless there has been a change in the rules, a C-96 with a modern copy stock is not exempt from the NFA and must be registered.

    As to loading, those guns were not intended to be loaded with single rounds and it is hard to do it that way. They were issued with 10-round clips which were used like the Model 98 rifle clips, the clip holding the bolt open while the rounds were stripped into the magazine.

    Jim
     
  14. tark

    tark Member

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    Find a 5.56 mm NATO stripper clip. The one that holds ten rounds. This will hold the bolt in place while you single load cartridges into the magazine. When you pull the clip out it chambers a round. Trying to load the rounds from the clip itself doesn't seem to work too well. The easiest solution is to make a steel insert the same width and thickness as a stripper clip and use that.
     

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