Mauser and Luger Pistols

Certification and Appraisal

The study of the historical records in the Paul Mauser Archive provides unique information on handgun production from 1877 to 1999. This unique information is now made available to museums, collectors and auction houses through the certification service offered by the Paul Mauser Archive. Anyone who owns a Mauser pistol and wants to know the history of that gun can contact the archive: Certification is based upon the availability of important Archive documents (Paul Mauser and Mauser Company Archive, Joachim Görtz Archive), the publication of books and articles on the subject, and authoritative assessment of value. A special mention goes to the Mauser Parabellums produced after in 1969, for which production books are also still available: Mauser Parabellum Certification Service.
 Artillery Luger pistol and Mauser Parabellum  
 Artillery Luger
Mauser Cone Hammer - All Rights Reserved
© Mauro Baudino 2021 - all rights reserved
Example of original Mauser Ledger used for the Certification. All Rights Reserved. Example of original Mauser Ledger used for the Certification. All Rights Reserved. Example of original Mauser Ledger used for the Certification. All Rights Reserved. The Churchill Mauser C96 Pistol. All rights reserved. Engraved Mauser C96 Ottoman Contract - 1897. All Rights Reserved. Engraved Mauser C96 Ottoman Contract - 1897. All Rights Reserved. Engraved Mauser C96 Ottoman Contract - 1897. All Rights Reserved. C78 (Zick-Zack) revolver in 7mm caliber. All Rights Reserved. C78 (Zick-Zack) revolver in 7mm caliber. All Rights Reserved. C78 (Zick-Zack) revolver in 7mm caliber. All Rights Reserved.

Some examples of certified handguns of historical and

collectible significance

The Churchill Mauser C96 Pistols

Definitely, one of the most interesting certifications has been the one of the Mauser C96 belonged to Winston Churchill. Churchill acquired at least three C96 pistols that he used in the Boer War in South Africa in 1899 – 1900 time-frame. Churchill preferred to use his Mauser instead of saber in close combat as he himself wrote: “Before we wheeled and began to gallop the officers had been marching with drawn swords. On account of my shoulder I had always decided that if I were involved in hand-to-hand fighting I must use a pistol and not a sword I had practiced carefully with [the Mauser] during our march and journey up the river. This then was the weapon with which I determined to fight. I had first of all to return my sword into its scabbard, which is not the easiest thing to do at a gallop. I had then to draw my pistol from its wooden holster and bring it to full cock…” Three Mauser C96 pistols were purchased by Churchill from the John Rigby Co. dealer in London. In this post, we refer in particular to the C96 number 4257 which was purchased by Churchill on November 1, 1898 when he was in London for a home leave period. The current owner of the C96 pistol was already in contact with the Churchill Archive and he received from this institute documents on the pistol. The acquisition and sale of this gun is tracked in Rigby's inventory and sales records. It was possible to track this gun back to see if it was possible to trace it in Mauser's internal documents. In a note taken at the beginning of 1898 in Paul Mauser's diary it is written: “Westley Richards & Co. Limited: Birmingham. Have a dealership for the United Kingdom England, Scotland and Ireland.” It means that, from the beginning of 1898, Westley Richards Co. was the exclusive distributors for the Mauser C96 in England as well as the British Colonies, Scotland and Ireland. In the year 1898, John Rigby Co. acquired Mauser C96 pistols from the Westley Richards Co in Birmingham. It was therefore necessary to look in the Mauser sales books for an order from Westley Richards that was compatible with the sale to Rigby and then to Churchill. It should be noted that Mauser's sales books do not track the serial numbers of the weapons purchased but only the total number of weapons sold. Correlating therefore the information present in the administrative documents of Westley Richards Co. and John Rigby Co. it was possible to identify the order of Westley Richards to Mauser that most likely contains the C96 of Mr. Winston L. S. Churchill. In fact, on June 30, 1898, an order of 100 Mauser C96 pistols was sent to Westley Richards at Birmingham. There are no further acquisitions of C96 pistols by Westley Richards after the June acquisition and before November when the pistol was sold to Churchill.

Engraved Mauser C96 Ottoman Contract - 1897

It was a great pleasure certifying this beautifully engraved Mauser C96 Ottoman contract as part of the certification service offered by the Paul Mauser Archive. I thank the privileged owner for allowing me to present it, this is the first time such a pistol has been published. The small Mauser C96 “Cone Hammer” contract with Turkey dated 1897 is part of the Sultan Abdul Hamid II modernization program, and it is historically important for two reasons: It is the first military contract for a semiautomatic pistol in history and it is a unique military contract for the “Cone Hammer” variation. The small number of pistols was acquired for the Palace Sultan Guard in Constantinople and it was good advertising for Paul Mauser, which helped stimulate military interest in his new pistol. The study of this C96 pistol has allowed us to understand that it was decommissioned and purchased privately probably in 1906 and was engraved by the Ottoman Master Engraver Abdullatif in Berlin in the year 1324 of the Hijri calendar, which is equivalent to 1906‐1907. The fact that the pistol was engraved in Germany is not surprising because in those years there were many Turkish Officers and NCO serving in both Berlin and Oberndorf. In fact, at that time, two Ottoman acceptance commissions were active in Germany, one in Mauser in Oberndorf for the acceptance of guns (rifles and pistols), the other in Karlsruhe for the verification of the ammunitions. I would like to thank my friend Ertuğrul Kasacı for the translation from Ottoman Turkish language. The Paul Mauser Archive preserves most of the historical documentation related to the contract between Mauser and the Ottoman Empire for the acquisition of the 1000 Mauser C96 in 1897.

C78 (Zick-Zack) revolver in 7mm caliber

In 1878, the Mauser brothers patented the C78 revolver essentially in two configurations with Solid and Hinged Frame (like the one presented in the photos). The Mauser documentation of the time gives us interesting information on the history of this model and on the unsuccessful attempts of Wilhelm Mauser to convince the German technical services (Gewehrprüfungkommission - GPK, Spandau) of the suitability of this model in caliber 10.6mm for military use. The Nickel (Vernickelt) finishing was applied since the beginning of the C78 production and the original Mauser sales documents report that it was slightly more expensive than the normal finishing.