100% original, with no refinishing work, this fully functional Mauser broom-handle pistol is equipped with a detachable wooden shoulder holster, cleaning rod, and leather harness. The shoulder holster has “Rice” inscribed in ¼” letters on the right side, and the Mauser banner logo on the left side. The leather harness is marked “WAFFENFABRIK SCHORK MUNCHEN”. It includes two 10-round magazine and one 20-round original magazine, an original manual (in English), and a promotional insert with specification data.
In 1896, Mauser began producing the C96 semi-automatic pistol, which differed from other handguns because of its integral box magazine in front of the trigger, the wooden stock that doubled as a holster or carrying case, and the grip which was shaped like a broom handle, resulting in the nickname “Broomhandle”. Initially, the C96 was only chambered in 7.63x25mm, giving it a better range and penetration than most other handguns at the time, but later on it was also chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum, 9mm Mauser Export, and .45 ACP. In the first year of production, the C96 was sold to governments, military officers, and civilians, and Mauser manufactured about 1 million of these handguns during its 41 years of production.
The C96 was used in multiple wars, including World War I, the Estonian War of Independence, the civil wars of Spain and China, and World War II. Winston Churchill is said to have been fond of the “Broomhandle”, and used one at the Battle of Omdurman in 1898, claiming it saved his life. It was also popular among Bolshevik Commissars, warlords, and gang leaders in the Russian Civil War. Although many countries around the world used the C96, China was the only one to use it as the military and police primary service pistol.
Starting in 1897, Mauser received contracts from different countries for the manufacture of C96’s with different emblems and serial number ranges. Mauser also produced many variants of the C96, including the Kavallerie Karabiner for light cavalry, the M1896 Compact Mauser, the M1898 Pistol Carbine, a few variants that made it compliant with the restrictions set by the Treaty of Versailles, and the famous M712 Schnellfeuer.
In 1928, Beistegui Hermanos & Astra, Spanish gun manufacturers, began producing a select-fire version of the C96 with a detachable magazine, for export to the Far East. Mauser learned about this, and Karl Westinger designed a select-fire C96 with a detachable magazine for Mauser. This variant of the C96, dubbed the Schnellfeuer (“fast fire”), was in production from 1932 – 1936 which is why it is sometimes referred to as the M1932. Due to its huge success and popularity, approximately 98,000 M712’s were manufactured in that short time span.
Though it was originally meant for export to South America, China, and Spain, some M1932’s were used by the German Wehrmacht in World War II, and it was during that time that it was designated the M712. Due to the U.S. National Firearms Act of 1934, export of Schnellfeuer’s to the U.S.A. became impractical which is why, in spite of its popularity, there are only a few of these in the US today.