1916 C-96 Red Nine "Broomhandle" SOLD

Genuine German Luger - Largest Variety of Lugers Offered
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This is the classic C96 "Broomhandle" that was produced in 9mm for the Imperial German Army in 1916. During World War I, the Imperial German Army contracted with Mauser for 150,000 C96 pistols chambered in 9mm Parabellum to offset the slow production of the standard-issue Luger P08 pistol. This variant of the C96 was named the "Red 9", after a large number "9" burned and painted in red into the grip panels, to warn the pistols' users not to load them with 7.63 mm ammunition by mistake. Of the 150,000 pistols only approximately 135,000 were delivered. (1464)


NOTE: Photographs taken today with the high mega-pixel camera show more than we sometimes can see with the human eye. Magnified close-ups show us tool marks and natural surface conditions that one normally doesn't see in the ordinary handling of the weapon.  Photographs are copyrighted, all rights reserved, any extraction, reproduction or display of gun pictures without the express consent of the Phoenix Investment Arms is strictly prohibited. Thank you for your cooperation.


This is a 9mm weapon with all the matching parts marked in the military manner (exposed). The barrel is 140mm and it has an adjustable leaf sight marked up to 500 meters. The frame has the stock lug and the thumb safety.  The barrel is numbered and proofed to the weapon. The inside of the gun is clean and well cared for.

Technically, the C-96 is a recoil operated, locked breech, semi-automatic pistol. It uses short recoiling barrel with bolt, located inside the large barrel extension. The bolt and barrel are locked by the vertically tilting locking piece with two lugs, that locked into the recesses on the bottom of the bolt. The gun is hammer fired.


Contrary to common belief, the C96 was not invented by Paul Mauser, but by the Feederle brothers (Fidel, Friedrich, and Josef). Fidel Feederle was the Superintendent of the Experimental Work Shop, and it is reported that the C96 (then referred to as P-7.63 or the Feederle Pistol) was designed and prototyped without the knowledge and against the wishes of Paul Mauser in 1895. Production began in 1896, and ended about 1939 with over one million C96 pistols produced.  


This is a complete rig with the matching stock and leather with an additional spring and cleaning rod.
The Broomhandle was unique in that the gun was carried inside the stock.  The gun is loaded with a stripper clip of ammunition (10 rounds) and the slide holds open when the gun is empty.  The marking of the Red Nine grips was left to unit armorers so the positioning may vary with the individual pieces.
The Imperial Russians fell in love with both the 7.63 Mauser cartridge (aka .30 Mauser) and the Mauser Military Pistol, and were to become one of Mauser's best customers. The October Revolution did not change this fondness for the C96 and the 7.63 Mauser cartridge (it is said a C96 was one of the firearms used in the murder of the Czar and the Royal Family), and both pistol and cartridge remained in general use in the early years of Communist rule.

One of the design flaws in the C96 was that the barrel was fixed and therefore could not be replaced when it was worn out. Old Broomhandle's now tell the tale with the bore smooth and the rest of the gun is great shape bringing the reality of this oversight to home.

During the Great War the Imperial German Army contracted with Mauser for 150,000 C96 pistols, chambered for the 9 mm Parabellum. This variant was named the "Red 9" and had a large, red-painted number "9" debossed on the handle, to prevent the pistols' users from loading them with 7.63mm ammunition by mistake. Of this 150,000, approximately 135,000 were delivered before the War's end. This was the only time in which the C96 was ever used officially by the German military.


The development of the C-96 began in 1893 or 1894. Most work had been done by the Federle brothers, who worked for the Mauser company. Final design appeared early in 1895 and had been patented by Paul Mauser. Production began in 1896. The C-96 had been offered for the German Military but failed. However, C-96 has a long and successful story on the civilian market - being offered as a pistol-carbine, it outperformed in effective range most of contemporary pistols and revolvers, being especially popular with travelers and hunters in the areas where big animals are rare or absent at all. C-96 first saw military action during the Boer war in South Africa (1899-1902).

During the First World War C-96 had been acquired by the German Army due to the lack of the standard issue Luger P-08 pistols. It also had been used during the World War Two, by some second line troops of the Reichswehr (German Army). C-96 also had been widely exported - in the 1920s Soviet Russia purchased large quantities of the short-barreled (99 mm barrels) C-96s in 7.63mm, giving the name "Bolo-Mauser" (from Bolsheviks' Mauser) to all short-barreled C-96s. In 1930s China also purchased lots of the C-96s in 7.63mm, and also manufactured copies of the C-96 but chambered for .45ACP cartridge. Surprisingly, these copies were of quite good quality. Many C-96 clones were manufactured in Spain, mostly without any license, and mostly by the Astra. In the early 1930s Mauser engineers developed a select-fire version of the C-96, which had been used in limited numbers during WW2.


This 94 year old gun has been cared for by other custodians to preserve it for us today in this pristine condition. The inside of the gun is clean and reflects the effort of custodial maintenance over the past 95 years.

The Mauser Logo appears over the breach in this model.

The grips on the Red Nine are the 32 ring type. This piece was delivered until 1918 making this a very rare gun with both the Red Nine when the war ended so did the contract.  Above Right is Adolph Hitler (with mustache) with his Kamerad in an earlier time.


It is entirely subjective to give any weapon a rating of excellent or fine, just as it is to declare it xx% blued or strawed. Few Lugers are out of the box new and these are premium priced. Bluing percentages is like Beauty, in the eye of the beholder.  We strive to provide pictures so you can judge for yourself if the gun meets your criteria.

The Prussian Contract came at the same time as the introduction of the New Safety with the Up being safe, (cocked hammer must be pulled back further to engage) and with the identification NS monogram on the hammer.  There is no hole through the safety lever knob.  Mauser referred to is as the Neue Sicherung. 

Note the multiple serial numbers on the frame, hammer, and slide. The holster is marked 1917 from the factory cartouche in Ulm and there is a stamp of acceptance from the German XIV Corps.  This is the real McCoy in excellent condition with the complete original stock and rig; and the Prussian acceptance stamp.


All of the Mauser production and corporate records retained at the Mauser plant were destroyed in 1945, by order of the U.S. Army officer in command at the captured Mauser plant. This makes identification difficult and only over the years have collectors been able to identify production by the characteristics and sequence of production.

It isn't often that you can reach back into history and purchase a pristine ninety five year old classic C96 Broomhandle that has all the matching original components. This is the classic and it is offered for $5500.00 (already discounted for cash) for the discerning collector of Broomhandles. These guns may be sold over the counter, call or email for availability.  Any questions to josef@phoenixinvestmentarms.com.                

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LAYAWAYS:  Sometimes our "significant other" doesn't understand the beauty, craftsmanship and investment potential of one of these investor grade weapons.  In these circumstances where discretion becomes the better part of valor we will accept layaways of up to one year with at least 20% down and some activity occurring monthly to insure that after one year the sale is completed.  Cancellations of layaways forfeit 33% if done within two months, otherwise 100%. You can transfer a layaway to a consignment sale at any time. See "Legal" for exact terms.


See Credits, Bibliography, Notices and Disclaimers.

3 Day Return Policy

We honor a three day return policy. We will answer any questions, send you any pictures, as detailed as you want, to insure that what we are showing you is what you want to see, before you buy it.  See Legal.


WARNING: We do not represent these guns as safe to fire. They are not test fired before sale; they are sold as collectibles only. Prior to firing you should have it inspected by a qualified individual and abide by all safety requirements.

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