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The Mauser C96 (Construktion 96) is a semi-automatic pistol that was originally produced by German arms manufacturer Mauser from 1896 to 1937. Unlicensed copies of the gun were also manufactured in Spain and China in the first half of the 20th century.

The main distinctive identifying characteristics of the C96 are the integral box magazine in front of the trigger, the long barrel, the wooden shoulder stock which can double as a holster or carrying case, and a grip shaped like the handle of a broom. The grip's distinctive appearance earned the gun the nickname "Broomhandle" in the English-speaking world, and in China the C96 was nicknamed the "box cannon" because of both its square-shaped internal magazine and the fact it could be holstered in its wooden box-like detachable stock.

The Mauser pistol was used in the following wars.

1 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 Secons Boer war
2 10 October 1911 until February 12, 1912 Xinhai Revolution
3 Summer 1914 until November 1918 WWI
4 January 1919 until July 1921 Anglo-Irish War
5 1917 until 1923 Russian Civil War
6 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939 Spanish Civil War
7 July 7, 1937 until September 9, 1945 Second Sino-Japanese war
8 1939 until 1945 WWII
9 April 1927 until 1949 Chinese Civil War
10 25 June 1950 until armistice signed 27 July 1953 Korean War
10 1 November 1955 until the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. Vietnan War

This page is a recognition and identification guide for WWII German collectibles. Multiple detailed photos of a specific sample are provided. Descriptions point out clearly defined points that should be noted.

One of the most commonly asked questions is "How much is my WWII German collectible worth?". A price guide is included here to address this question. The value of the collectibles is reviewed over a period of several years. A trend can be observed. The present worth of the German items in the collector's market is illustrated.

This service is provided free of charge to the visitor/enthusiast courtesy of MilitaryItems.com, a company dedicated to the preservation of military history and to providing quality military antiques and collectibles to museums, institutions and the general public.

  1. FAQ's
  2. Identifying fakes and reproductions
  3. RZM manufacturing codes
  4. LDO manufacturing codes
  5. Construction materials
  6. Pins, hinges and other
  7. Clothing tags
  8. Perspective view
  9. Purchasing a WWII German collectible

The Mauser C96, with its shoulder stock, long barrel and high-velocity cartridge, had superior range and better penetration than most other standard pistols; the 7.63x25mm Mauser cartridge was the highest velocity commercially manufactured pistol cartridge in existence until the advent of the .357 Magnum cartridge in 1935.

Approximately 1 million C96 pistols were manufactured by Mauser alone, with the number produced in Spain and China being large but unknown due to the loss, non-existence, or poor upkeep of production records from those countries.

Within a year of its introduction, the C96 had been sold not only to governments, but also commercially for resale to civilians and individual military officers.

The Mauser C96 pistol was also extremely popular with British officers at the time and purchased privately by many of them; numbers were supplied to Westley Richards in the UK for this purpose, although its popularity with the British military had waned by the onset of World War I.

As a military sidearm, the pistols saw service in various colonial wars, as well as World War I, The Estonian War of Independence, the Spanish Civil War, the Chinese Civil War, and World War II. The C96 also became a staple of both Bolshevik Commissars and various warlords and gang leaders in the Russian Civil War.

Many German items are currently being reproduced. It is becoming more difficult to be able to tell the fake ones from the real ones because the quality of the reproductions is improving. The collector must become familiarized with the construction style and materials employed in the manufacturing of the items. Attention to the details is critical in order to be able to determine the authenticity of a german military collectible.

If you have an interest is seeing other collectibles of the Third Reich, you can do so by going to our WWII German Collectibles identification guide. Where we cover Heer (Army), Navy (Kriegsmarine), Air Force (Luftwaffe), political, civil service, homefront and many more areas.


The value for WWII German military antiques and collectibles is provided as a means to educate the collector community and individuals who have a general interest on the field. The following is an estimated value. Prices may vary in every state and every country. This service is provided courtesy of MilitaryItems.com. The source for military antiques and collectibles in the web.
Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Value $700.00 $720.00 $750.00 $800.00 $900.00 $920.00 $950.00 $950.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,100.00 $1,100.00
Availability Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare
Invest Grade A A A A A A A A A A A A

While the item featured here is not for sale, similar items like it are available for purchase in our website MilitaryItems.com

Mar 1st, 2017
Germans items that were used at the front during WWII have become collectibles. The item featured here is not hard to find. In general weapons of the Third Reich are very desirable. It is expected that its value will continue to go up.

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