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Mauser Schnellfeuer: The Official Full Auto C96 Broomhandle

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Contrary to what you might expect, Mauser was actually the last company to produce a fully automatic model of the C96 “broomhandle” pistol. The C96 was very popular in China (Mauser sent hundreds of thousands of them to China) and Spanish firms like Bestigui Hermanos and Astra jumped at the chance to make their own lookalikes and piggyback on the Mauser reputation there. The Spanish firms were also more responsive to Chinese desires for things like extended and detachable magazines and select-fire models.

Mauser shipped its first first automatic version in 1931, designed by Josef Nickl. This was not successful, and a better system was subsequently designed by Karl Westinger in 1932. These were sold primarily in China, and were reasonably popular there until European exports into China were largely cut off by the expanding Japanese invasion in 1937. The guns produced at that point but not yet shipped were held in stock, and eventually sold a year or two later to various elements of the German military like the SS (who were not part of the formal Wehrmacht supply chain).

This particular example is a 9x19mm one, which is extremely rare – the vast majority were made in 7.63mm Mauser caliber.

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