At that moment, when the industrial revolution allowed making firearms more compact (due to the transition to the use of small calibers and smokeless powder), individual detachable buttstocks themselves evolved into combined holster-butts. Under normal conditions, a revolver or pistol could be carried in such a holster using one or two hands. In the case of the need for a more accurate shot over a long distance, the rigid holster was removed from the belt of the shooter and attached directly to the weapon, becoming a butt. One of the most famous models of the pistol of this concept was the German Mauser C96, which was equipped with a wooden holster-butt and had slots in the lower part of the handle for fastening it. But even before Mauser, the same solution was used on the first serial self-loading pistol Borchard C93, which received a holster-butt of a combined design. In it on the detachable wooden butt on the side was attached a holster for a pistol made of leather. However, Borchard C93 did not receive such fame as Mauser C96, especially in the open spaces of Russia.
The model gained serious popularity in the civilian arms market and remained in demand throughout the first third of the 20th century. Hunters, researchers, travelers and gangsters - everyone who needed a compact and powerful enough weapon used a Mauser C96 pistol, but each in their own interests. The reason for the great popularity of these weapons was the declared power. Advertising brochures indicated that a bullet fired from a pistol retains a destructive force at a distance of up to a kilometer. True, the aiming shooting at such a range could not even dream, would not help and attach the butt. Scattering at maximum range could reach 5 meters in height and 4 meters in width, and the situation couldn’t be fixed even if the weapon was fixed.
Mauser possessed combat qualities high enough for pistols of his temporary period, but was never adopted by any army in the world because of the complexity of design and maintenance, high cost, rather large dimensions and relatively low reliability. Despite this, the gun was partially used in the armed forces of many countries: Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Russia, Austria-Hungary, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Japan and China. This gun in the world stories was prepared for a slightly different role than ordinary military weapons.
The brothers Friedrich and Joseph Federle developed the design of the Mauser C96 pistol back in the 1893 year, later it was improved in conjunction with Paul Mauser and master gunsmith Gaiser. Work on bringing the pistol to mind was completed in the 1895 year. At the same time began the release of a trial batch. 15 March 1895, the new pistol was shown to Kaiser Wilhelm II. In this case, Paul Mauser patented the design in his own name, under which the gun and entered forever in the world history of weapons. Its name С96 (Construktion 96 - 96-th design) was received by the pistol only in 1910 year, simultaneously with the launch of the release of the pocket Mauser, which was created under the cartridge 6,35 × 15,5 HR. It should be noted that the name Mauser C96 was used at that time only by importers and sellers. At the manufacturer, the Mauser pistol was designated as “Mauser-Selbstlade-Pistole” (Mauser self-loading pistol).
The new gun had a number of distinctive features. He had a permanent two-row magazine with a capacity of 10 cartridges, which was located in front of the trigger guard and was loaded with cartridges from special plate clips. Hold the gun was carried out using a round cone handle, which had grooves for attaching to it a wooden holster-butt. Model C96 got the nickname "Broomhandle", which can be translated as "broomstick", precisely because of the shape of the handle of the weapon. The gun was equipped with a sector sight, which was designed to fire up to 1000 meters. Especially for the gun was created 7,63 × 25 Mauser cartridge, the design of which was based on 7,65 mm Borchardt cartridge, but with an increased powder charge and an elongated sleeve. The initial speed of a bullet fired from a pistol reached 430 m / s, which for that time was a record figure among pistols. In addition, the Mauser were also produced under the chambered 9 mm Parabellum and in small volumes under the chambered 9 mm Mauser Export (9 × 25 mm). Most of the pistols were released under the chuck 7,63 × 25 Mauser, which was almost completely similar to the Soviet cartridge 7,62x25 mm TT.
Automatic pistol worked under the scheme of using recoil in the short course of the barrel. A distinctive feature of the Mauser was a permanent magazine with a double-row arrangement of cartridges, which was located in front of the trigger guard and was made as a single unit with the pistol frame (the pistol layout would later be called “automatic”). The capacity of the store, depending on the modifications, could change and amounted to 6, 10 or 20 cartridges. Shop equipment was made from clips with a capacity of 10 cartridges. In later models of the pistol, the stores became separate parts, they were attached to the frame with a latch. Indicator of the presence of the cartridge in the chamber of the pistol acted ejector, which protruded from the surface of the bolt, at a time when the cartridge was in the chamber.
The gun had both bright advantages, and not less bright lacks. For its time, the gun, of course, was advanced. The powerful cartridge, which possessed a high speed of a bullet and high energy, in combination with a long barrel, ensured a high penetrating action. When firing from a distance of 50 meters, the bullet easily broke through a bar with a thickness of 225 mm, and at a distance of 200 meters with a bar with a thickness of 145 mm. Also, the gun stood out for its accuracy when shooting at long distances, which was largely contributed to by a rather long barrel and flat bullet trajectory. The great advantage was the high rate of fire, especially with the attached holster-butt, which also improved accuracy when firing at remote targets.
The most significant shortcomings of the model attributed - a lot of weight and large dimensions. The center of gravity of the pistol was shifted forward. The sharp and thin front sight was not convenient for aiming. High-speed pistol shooting with one hand was very difficult because of the large pistol toss when fired. This was caused not only by the power of the used cartridge, but also by the considerable distance between the central axis of the barrel and the butt plate of the handle. The handle itself in the form of a cutting from a shovel or broom also did not please with any particular convenience, which negatively influenced the accuracy, especially for untrained shooters. It was also possible to attribute to the shortcomings that after the 20 shots the barrel of the pistol was already very hot, and after the 100 it was simply impossible to touch it. But all these shortcomings did not prevent the pistol from becoming a truly legendary weapon.
Chip pistol was the ability to use a holster as a butt. The holster was made of walnut, the front cut had a steel insert with a locking mechanism and a protrusion for abutting the butt to the pistol grip, while the flap of the holster rested against the shoulder of the shooter. Kobura-butt worn on a shoulder-belt over his shoulder. From the outside, she could be sheathed with leather and even have pockets designed to hold a spare clip and tools for cleaning and disassembling the gun. The length of such a holster was 35,5 cm, the width in the front part was 4,5 cm, in the back part 10,5 cm. The effective range of the pistol with the butt attached to it reached 200-300 meters. Among other things, the holster-butt allowed to increase the effectiveness of firing in bursts from the Mauser modification, which was created in 1931 year (model 712 or Mauser sample 1932 of the year). On this gun there was a translator of the fire regime, which allowed the shooter to choose the type of shooting: by bursts or single shots.
Each pistol could easily be turned into a pistol-carbine using a holster-butt. But Mauser models were also released, which were even closer to full-fledged carbines, and using with a butt was for them the main one. The first carbine pistols were already released in 1899 year. Their main difference was just a giant trunk for pistols. If the standard version of the Mauser C96 barrel was so large - 140 mm, then in these versions it reached the 300 mm. Such pistols-carbines had a forearm attached to the frame, as well as a classical type butt. The butt, which was made at the same time with the handle, could be completely separated from the frame, as folding guns or pistols with an attached butt on the German weapons legislation of those years were allowed, and rifles and carbines, which allowed the shot with the butt removed, were prohibited. All Mauser pistols-carbines of the original design had such features as a removable butt with a handle (without being able to fire a shot without joining the butt pistol), barrels 300 long and even 370 mm, magazine on 10 7,63x25 mm cartridges and a sector sight with marking from 50 to 1000 meters. Pistols with such a long barrel and a full butt butt were released in a very small series - about 940 pieces.
In the Russian Empire, the Mauser appeared already in the 1897 year, at the same time the pistol was recommended as a personal weapon for the officers. However, the military most often used a revolver revolver for this purpose than a Mauser pistol. The price of the Mauser C96 model was quite large - about 40 gold rubles. In addition, starting with the 1913 year, the Mauzers began to arm the pilots-aviators, and from the 1915 year they used to equip some automobile units and specialized units, and the weapon went on sale as a civilian.
Later, the Mauzers actively used all sides of the Civil War in Russia. He was loved by the “red” and “white”, anarchists and Basmachis. The gun was inextricably linked with the image of the Chekist, as he was the favorite weapon of Felix Dzerzhinsky. Later, it was readily used by some Red Army commanders. Episodically, this weapon was used in all conflicts and warriors in which the Red Army took part in the first half of the 20th century, including in World War II. The famous owners of this gun besides the “Iron Felix” were polar explorer Ivan Papanin and future general secretary Leonid Brezhnev.
In general, the model Mauser C96 in some way became a landmark, classic example of self-loading pistols. This German pistol possessed both undoubted advantages (high range and accuracy of shooting) and noticeable flaws (considerable size and weight, inconvenience of loading and unloading). Despite the fact that the gun was almost not in service as the main model in any army in the world, in the first third of the last century Mauser was quite popular, and this popularity was well-deserved. Serial production of the gun lasted until the 1939 year, during which time about a million Museers of all modifications were released.
Performance characteristics of the Mauser C96:
Caliber - 7,63 mm.
The cartridge - mm 7,63x25 (Mauser).
Length - 296 mm.
Barrel length - 140 mm.
Height - 155 mm.
Width - 35 mm.
The mass of the gun - 1100 g (without cartridges).
Magazine capacity - 10 cartridges.
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