Mauser Pistols in Austro-Hungarian Service

Mauser Model 1896 (C96) Pistol
7.63mm Mauser-Selbstladepistole

Designed by the Feederles Brothers for Paul Mauser
Manufactured by Waffenfabrik Mauser AG Oberndorf, Germany, 1896-1917
50,000 Wartime Commercial C96 pistols were sold to Austro-Hungary in 1915-17
Recoil operated automatic pistol
Caliber 7.63mm Mauser (7.65mm Borchardt loaded hot)
A few were converted to 8.15x27mm Rast Gasser caliber
Muzzle Velocity: 375m/sec
9x19mm Parabellum was also available (Grips marked '9')
Charger-loaded 10-rd integral magazine
Overall 295mm, 140mm barrel length
Weight empty 1.045kg
Rear sight fixed or Tangent graduated 50-1000m or 50-500m

It is generally known and accepted that 50,000 Mauser C96 'Broomhandles' were imported from Germany in 1916 by the Austro-Hungarian Army. However actual A/H military acceptance dates range reported are from 'Wn15' to 'Wn17', which do not correspond well with a single 1916 transaction.

An example of the Austro-Hungarian 'Wn17' acceptance mark on a C96 pistol is on the left. Note the rare 2nd Austrian acceptance mark 'Hv36' on the same pistol.

Another example of the Austro-Hungarian 'Wn17' acceptance mark.

The 2nd Austrian acceptance mark 'Hv36' on the same pistol.

Austro-Hungarian unit mark 'I.R.11.74 (11th Infantry Regiment).

Alternate unit number: 'LFA.1610' (LuftFahrArsenal), the Austro-Hungarian Air Force during WW1.

This Austrian marked C96 pistol has 'Koluz 37' stamped on the grip strap. Another pistol was reported with 'Koluz 55'. Please contact the author if you know the meaning of 'Koluz'

C96 Holster and Shoulder stock
(Courtesy of Ted Kempster).

Some examples of these pistols can be found converted to the 8.15mm Rast & Gasser (8.15x27mm). Possible reasons for the caliber conversion:
- The 7.63mm ammo was running out and they still had plenty of 8mm Rast Gasser, (a late WW1 1918 emergency conversion).
- Worn barrels reworked to a caliber one size up. (post-WW1, lack of parts supply and/or Allied imposed limit on manufacturing new guns.)
- A possible rework to the standard Austrian caliber for the 2nd acceptance in 1936.
- To make it more confusing, there was a Cal. 8.15x25mm conversion in Germany. These pistols do not have any Austrian 'Wn' acceptance.
Please contact the author if you have more info about this conversion.

Serial Number Research:

368712    Wn-16
393990    Cal. 8.15x?
Koluz    37 and 55
Please provide Austrian marked C96 serials, including Koluz numbers, if any

Mauser C96 Pistol Assembly Drawing and Parts List