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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I compared my Red 9 to Jan Still's #140649 that he has put on this site. There are several things
different between these two Red 9's and maybe someone can supply information on what I have.
I purchased this rig over 10 years ago, the gun is in 96%+ condition.

I got with it a stock, harness dated 1915 (maker's name illegible) with a shoulder sling attached by
steel rings to the belt loops, cleaning rod, follower & spring, and a WWI buckle & belt in the belt loops.

The complete serial number is on {5} surfaces: the left side of the barrel, on the rear of the receiver
and lock frame, and on the inside of both Red 9 grips (Grips are not a nice fit). Rear sight is 500 meters.
Inspection/Acceptance stamps on left side of barrel below the serial number on the other surface and on the bottom of the barrel. Mauser identification is on top surface of the barrel & on right side of receiver.

Differences between both M1896/16 Mausers - serial no. 106044 has:
Hammer is stamped 044 on the rear (no NS) !
Eagle is not stamped anywhere !
No stampings on stock !
Shoulder sling attached to the belt loops !

I'm sorry I can't supply photos as I don't have the capability (I wish I did).
Any feedback or information on these questionable items is greatly appreciated.
I need somebody's expertise on this M1896/16.
Bill
 

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Bill,
My red "9" is posted on this site also. #705xx. I would have thought that there should have been a NS on your hammer since mine is an earlier number and Jan's is later. Are the numbers on the hammer and frame the same font?? It may have been replaced! I have no eagles either and there are no stampings on my stock except the ser. no. on the iron. Your grips may have shrunk from poor storage (low humidity). I have seen photos of soldiers? police? with shoulder straps as you mention.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dave
Using a Nikon comparator with 10X lens the fonts on the hammer are the same size & characters
as the full ser. no. on the frame & receiver.

If the hammer was replaced wouldn't the safety have had be replaced also ?

The ser. no. on the iron of the stock is stamped on the rail that enters the grip slot.

The grips are in reverse of what you thought, they are too long and indented from the lanyard ring
moving back & forth. A bad fit was stated in System Mauser Pg. 126 by Breathed & Schroeder.

The reason I asked about the shoulder sling is the only harnesses I ever saw pictures of did
not have a sling attached.

Do my answers clarify anything or is it still maybe a parts M1896 ?

I appreciate your feedback & expertise as I'm not too knowledgeable on the M1896.
Bill
 

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Bill and Dave,
The NS on hammer designates the presence of the Neue Sicherung( New Safety) which was incorporated into C96 production about serial number 280,000 (1915) at the beginning of the 7.63 standard wartime commercial model for the military. The Red Nine contract started in 1916(at serial # 1) and all should have the NS marked hammer. As detailed in “System Mauser”(page 126) the new safety requires the hammer to be depressed before safety could be applied, in contrast to the early safety. Therefore Bill, you can determine if you have early safety or an aberrant late safety which somehow escaped the NS stamp. If you have an early safety, it is possible you have a converted prewar commercial. Do you have the imperial acceptance mark on the right side of chamber?
BTW poor grip fit is common in the red nine series.
Hope this helps, John
 

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Bill,
You say the serial number is stamped on the rail that enters the grip slot and not the last three digits on the top tang of the attaching iron?? I've never seen one like that, but of course that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
John
The hammer does not have to be depressed before safety is applied.
No stamping on the right side of the chamber.
I assumed it was a Red 9 due to the serial number.
Dave
Yes, that is correct, the serial number is on the rail of the attaching iron.
John or Dave
What would this M1896 be classified as ?
I ask this question because of your knowledge & expertise which I do not have.
Thanks for your patience with me.
Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
John or Dave
Is it possible that this is a prewar commerical and someone put Red 9 grips on it
and stamped the serial number on them?
I thought all Red 9 grips were previously stamped as there is no evidence of any
prior stampings.
Bill
 

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Bill, how many lines in the grips?
 

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Good question George! But now I have to ask a really stupid/obvious question...Is this C96 a 9mm? Again I don't know all the ins and outs, but, I don't think they made a pre-war commercial in 9mm!!. The only 9mm models I have found were 1920 reworks and custom jobs. The reworks do not have adjustable sights either!. After the Treaty of Versaille, the barrels were shortened ...smaller than yours.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
George
There are 24 lines in the grips.

Dave
It is definitely chambered for 9mm and the follower is notched for 9mm.
Barrel length is 5.5".

Maybe after this I will now realize what I really have.
I really appreciate the patience you two have with me.
Bill
 

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Bill, Apparently you have an early safety, and unlikely that this could have been incorporated into the red nine imperial contract. However mauser is well known for using up old parts, and some of the red nine series apparently were made for the commercial market and not imperial accepted on right side of chamber (like yours).So your C96 is possibly an interesting example of Mauser’s thrift , using old parts for a commercial C96 . However, conversion of a prewar commercial to a more desirable red nine is not difficult with a bore relining to 9mm(a popular conversion) and replacement of rear sight plus repro red nine grips. The ramp angle under the rear sight bar is diagnostic to distinquish 7.63(50-1000 site) from 9mm(50-500site) barrel extension. When looking across the top of gun, the Red nine has shallow ramp for sight bar elevation, so daylite can be seen under the whole length of the rear sight bar. Not so with the 7.63 ramp. If I can’t find some pictures on forum, will illustrate later.
Dave. I agree with you that numbering of attachment lug is aberrant. And yes, there were a couple batches of 9mm export (not 9mm parabellum) made by Mauser during pre war commercial series, in the 84 to 88K range and 176K serial range.
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
John
Boy, this gets more interesting by the minute. Now to answer some of the descriptive questions.
The bore has not been relined.
Red 9 grips are authentic by my observation as they are very old and absolutely no signs of newest.
If my interruption of the description of replacement of the rear sight is correct (I viewed the gun with background lighting from the left & right sides) and I see slight daylite under the rear sight bar almost up the the pivoting point of the rear sight ramp.
I don't think this could have been accomplished with photos which I can't do anyway.
I hope this helps.
Bill
 

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Bill,
You have a very interesting piece! According to Schroeder & Breathed, there were no 9mm commercials made, except for the 9mm Mauser (Export) which went to South America. I agree with most of what John says...since he is using the same book as I am ;).. Everything else you have seems to be a red 9....I wonder if the Germans actually missed accepting one? We know that wouldn't happen especially in WWI. Maybe one of the European Guys like Pisto or Paolo will log on and have a better idea.


Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
John & Dave
I thank you for your feedback, knowledge & expertise. Maybe I ask too many questions
but as I'm new to this site I feel uncomfortable when I think of asking any questions.
To me this site is the big leagues and I'm proud to be part of it.
Maybe some day I will be able to answer someone's questions.
Thanks again,
Bill
 

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Dave. Red Nines without the imperial proof are found occasionally within the series from 1 to about 130,000 and from 130,000to 140,000 it is rare to find a red nine WITH the imperial proof. I have used the term “commercial” to describe these non accepted red nines. The terminal 10,000 were especially nice high polished guns, as if produced for the commercial market.

Bill. From your observations it appears that your gun was made in the red nine contract series. There is one more thing that you can do to really finalize this project, and that is to examine the rear sight for its serial number. Many Red Nines will have last three digits of serial number on underside of rear sight bar, stamped within the slot where the spring is located.
BTW some guys can do a fantastic bore relining that is absolutely undetectable, and only identified by the aberrant number/configuration of the lands.
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
John
There are no serial numbers at all on the underside of the rear sight.
I understand what you're saying about bore relining being absolutely undetectable and I agree that it is possible and I examined that to the best of my ability and with my access to a Nikon comparator that goes to 100X.
You got the patience of a saint with me.
Bill
 

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Bill, You are a quick study, and its been a real pleasure working with you on this project. I think you have an interesting C96, although as Dave said, your stock is not numbered in the usual fashion. It would be nice to see some pictures when you can present them.
John
 

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Some years ago there was an operation in northeast Ohio called Mentor Arms. A great fellow named Oehlenschlager was one of the principals and he was a master with a C96. He did some work on a Red Nine that I owned at the time and then built a beautiful "shooter" from a .30 cal for me. I got the First grade which were made from good to very good C96s. It cost me $600, a beautiful (American) black walnut stock cost another $75. The only giveaway that this piece wasn't the real thing were the absence of military proofs and acceptance marks and the number of lines in the grips.
 

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George..... Sorry to have to report that Jim Oehlenschlager died last year. He was a good friend and had a great sense of humor. He served aboard submarines and his favorite baseball hat had the logo BOTTOM GUN. He had retired and had just moved down state in Ohio. He was a neat and honest guy and did a heck of a job with Brooms.....A lot of people miss him.......
 
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