C96 Mauser Broomhandle

The C96 (Construktion 96) was one of the world’s first successful semiautomatic combat pistols. Designed in 1893 by the Federle brothers in the employ of the Mauser Company, the C96 fired the spunky 7.63x25mm bottlenecked cartridge. The most common variant loaded from the top via 10-round stripper clips.

One of the most distinctive aspects of the C96 design was its wooden holster/stock. Opening the pivoting buttplate allowed the gun to be stored within the stock and hung from the belt when not in use. Mounting the stock transformed the C96 into a handy close quarters carbine. In the latter stages of the war, production of Luger pistols could not keep up with demand so the Imperial German Army issued Broomhandles chambered in 9mm Parabellum with a prominent “Red 9” burned into the grips.