Established in 1871, Mauser is best known for their rifles but also produced several innovative pistol designs as well, and we have several up for grabs in the Guns.com warehouse.
The German gun maker renowned for their bolt guns produced companion handgun lines almost from the beginning, starting with their M1877 singe-shot pistols and Model 1878 “Zig Zag” revolvers. Then came perhaps the best semi-auto pistol of its era, the C96 “Broomhandle.”
Produced from 1897 to 1938 by Mauser, the C96 was designed by the trio of Feederle brothers (Fidel, Friedrich, and Josef) in conjunction with Peter Paul Mauser. Chambered originally in 7.63x25mm, the gun was sandwiched between the early and largely experimental semi-autos of the late 19th Century such as the Borchardt C-93 and more advanced designs such as John Browning’s FN1900.
Chambered in 7.63×25, the sights are optimistically graduated to 1,000 meters. Using a 10-shot stripper-clip fed fixed magazine forward of the trigger guard, the C96 would later go on to become famous as the basis of fictional space smuggler Han Solo’s blaster in the Star Wars franchise.
By the time Mauser eventually retired the C96 in the late 1930s, the German Army had adopted the then-new P-38 of fellow German gunmaker Carl Walther. That gun went on to remain in production in one form or another for over 40 years and armed the German military well into the 21st Century, a record of longevity only realistically bested by the Browning Hi-Power and Colt 1911.
During WWII, demand was so high for these pistols that they were made not only by Walther but also by Spreewerk and Mauser, with the latter company cranking out over 300,000 pistols before the French Army took over management of the plant in 1945.
At about the same time Mauser was putting the C96 Broomhandle to bed, they retired their compact M1914/34 series .32ACP pocket pistol as well.
To replace the M1934 in the company’s catalog, Mauser used a design by engineer Alex Seidel dubbed the Hahn Selbstspanner modell C (“self-cocking hammer” i.e. double-action, model C) or simply, the HSc. This blowback-action .32 (8-shot) or .380 (seven shot) with its semi-exposed hammer was Mauser’s answer to Walther’s PP series of compact semi-autos that had been introduced in the 1920s.
In production by 1940, the HSc went on to become a classic in its own right, with well over 300,000 examples made by the 1980s — although the gun was later produced in Italy as well.
Moving on from in-house made pistols, Mauser contracted with the Hungarian firm of FEG in the 1990s to produce the M80 and M90 series handguns briefly until they switched gears altogether from steel frames into the alloy era.
In the latter move, the company partnered with SIG to produce the M2, a short-lived German compact with a 3.54-inch rotating barrel offered in .357 Sig, .40 S&W, and .45ACP. These European-made beauties were the end of the line (for now) on Mauser handguns and were only made from 2000 to 2004.
To see more on Guns.com’s own table of Mausers — both rifle and pistol — be sure to check them out and head back from time to time and see what else we have on hand. Also, if you have one for sale, we can handle that, too.