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M1896/16, MAUSER RED 9, SERIAL NUMBER 140649.

The M1896/16 (Mauser Red 9) was manufactured by Waffenfabrik Mauser at Oberndorf from 1916-1918 for the German Army. 150,000 were contracted for and reported serial numbers indicate that about 140,000 were delivered before the end of the War. The M1896 /16's bear a NS (Neue Sichrung, New Safety) on the back of the hammer, a 500 meter tangent rear sight, are in 9mm Parabellum caliber, and most bear red 9 grips. (Volume I, page 37-38)

According to Erickson and Pate (The Broomhandle Pistol 1896-1936, 1985, page 90) the M1896/16 was initially issued with standard wood grips. However there was confusion. In the field, the 7.63 caliber round (of the M1896 already in use) was substituted for the 9mm round with undesirable results. In December 1917, to distinguish the M1896/16 from the M1896 already in service, Mauser started to supply the M1896/16 with a 9 engraved in both grips that was high lighted with red paint. At the same time orders went out to regimental armorers to burn or cut a 9 in both grips (of the M1896/16's already in service) and high light it with red paint. Because the added red 9 was accomplished by hundreds of regimental armorers during war time, it varies in size and even color.

Some M1896/16 have been observed without military stamps and many pistols in the 36000 to 38000 serial range are both without red 9 grips and military acceptance stamps. Some of those at the end of production lack military stamps but retain the red 9 grips. These may be commercial pistols intended for officer self purchase. In August 1917 the Prussian Army Arsenal
offered the following Mauser pistols for sale to officers (Volume I, page 127):

Large Mauser Pistol 9mm with holster stock(M1896/16) —83 marks
Large Mauser Pistol 7.63mm with holster stock(M1896/12) —62 marks
Large Mauser Pistol 7.63mm without holster stock(M1896/12) —55 marks

According to orders dated 23, July 1918, auxiliary pistols were to have an Imperial Eagle applied to the front of the trigger guard. The purpose of the trigger guard eagle was to identify Imperial property and prevent its theft. “All Army high commanders etc are asked to take the necessary steps that all pistols being currently in use by troops and not verifiably held in private ownership, are additionally marked by military armorers with this same marking”. This trigger guard eagle stamp is sporadically found on a variety of auxiliary pistols including the M1896/16 Mauser (not found on the specimen shown). (see page 54, Imperial Lugers; page 46, Volume I; and page 129 Gortz and Bryans)

Forty-two M1896/16 are reported in the 12 to140649 serial range. Estimated production is 140,000 plus.(updated 11/18/04)


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Figure 1. Red 9, serial number 140649. Left side


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Figure 2. Red 9, serial number 140649. Top, showing tangent rear sight graduated to 500 meters.


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Figure 3. Red 9, serial number 140649, right side. This Red 9 lacks the C/ scriptic letter Army acceptance stamp found on most M1896/16's. Most likely it was intended for officer self purchase.


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Figure 4. Red 9, serial number 140649. Details of left side markings. The C/C/U is a commercial proof . The manufacturers hallmark “WAFFENFABRIK / MAUSER / OBERNDORF A/N” is stamped over the chamber.


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Figure 5. Red 9, serial number 140649, back end, showing the NS (Neue Sichrung, New Safety) stamped on the hammer. There were problems with the safety on the M1896/12 and the M1896/16 had a new improved safety indicated by the NS.


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Figure 6. Red 9, serial number 140649. Inside of matched grips.


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Figure 7. Red 9, serial number 140649. Grips showing a 9 neatly cut in the grips and high lighted with red paint. This was accomplished at the factory. (See the PAOLO’S post for further information on variations of Red 9 grips. Two nice RED NINE C96s PAOLO http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1822 )


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Figure 8. Red 9, serial number 140649, as issued with its holster stock.


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Figure 9. Holster stock, showing pouch for spare magazine spring and pouch for cleaning rod.


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Figure 10. Holster stock, back side showing the belt loops.


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Figure 11. Holster stock with lid open.


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Figure 12. Red 9, serial number 140649. The attaching iron is matched.


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Figure 13. Red 9, serial number 140649. Right side, showing it attached to the shoulder stock..


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Figure 14. The harness is manufactured by C. BILLEP SPANDU / 1916 and unit marked F.A.R.111/1 which signifies: Field Artillery Regiment 111. The 111 Field Artillery Regiment was part of the 56 Division during World War I and battled on the Western Front.


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Figure 15. Early War photograph showing field artillery personnel armed with the M1896.


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Figure 16. Field artillery in action on the Western Front near the end of World War I.
 

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Great presentation Jan.

Question; does anyone know if wooden stocks were the only "standard" issue or were leather also common? I have seen wood for M96, but always leather for Artillery Lugers?

Ed
 

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Ed

Leather or wood, the craftsmanship in the old days was absolutely superp by any stretch.

It seems that both arts are a dying breed, to much plastic and junk out in todays fast paced world that is why I find this forum such a treat to unwind after a days work.

The time and effort in Jan's presentations are simply outstanding.
 

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Jan........Talk about great timing......... I looked at a similiar rig yesterday and the only difference was the mag spring was not in the pouch and the leather had a tear about an inch below where it went over the pin..... both parts still there. I would say overall condition was perhaps just a tad better than yours. Everything matched. Serial number was in 75000 range........not trying to be coy..... just forgot to write it down. The $64 question is approximate value?????? I'm really not into these but the man asked me to make him an offer and I honestly don't know if they track the BlueBook values or not. Any help or suggetions would be appreciated.
 

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Dave, I paid $3500 for an absolute beauty from Ohio this past summer but had to return it as the stock was probably bogus.
 

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Jan,
A very nice C96 and superb presentation.
As you indicated, the terminal approximately 10k C96 produced for the red nine contract, have some interesting differences from the rest of the red nines. Here are some additional items.



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Figure 1. In addition to a better finish, and absence of imperial acceptance marks, they frequently were accompanied by a holster made out of oak or what appears to be oak.



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Figure 2. Furthermore, many C96 in this range show evidence of barrel renumbering. That is, the left diagonal flat at the breech has been milled down more than the right diagonal flat with a resulting asymmetry of the right and left diagonal flats. In this figure, the left diagonal flat of Red nine #139358 extends forward farther than the right diagonal flat. Forward extent of these diagonal flats is shown by lines above and below. Also, one can see evidence of residual old numbers on left diagonal flat of #139356.The left diagonal flat of red nine #140082(not shown) was milled down so much that it was actually level with the plane of the barrel.



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Figure 3. Standard production of red nine contract usually has symmetrical diagonal flats as seen in this early production red nine #175. Forward extent of flats indicated by lines above and below.
After presenting a picture of these “asymmetrical C96s” in Auto Mag (vol. 18,issue 8, p184, Nov. 1985) I heard of other asymmetrical examples in this terminal red nine series. Perhaps Mauser was following its usual practice of using up old stuff for the last of their red nines. In this case they were using previously discarded 9mm barrels/receivers that presumably were rejected/failed inspection. This suggests that Mauser knew even before production that this batch of Red Nines was not destined for a stringent military inspection. Someplace somewhere I heard that this batch of red nines went to Finland??
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
John
Excellent and interesting presentation concerning the late M1896/16 Brooms (I had overlooked the Auto Mag article, vol. 18, issue 8, p184, Nov. 1985). I would suspect that the remilled left flat was strictly a cosmetic consideration and while it may have precluded military acceptance it did not preclude commercial acceptance and officer self purchase. (Also, these late brooms may have been left over at the Wars end, finished to a higher standard, and placed on the post war commercial market.)
Thanks
Jan

Jack and John
Have added your serial numbers (35580 Army accepted no red 9 grips and 140082 red 9 grips and no Army acceptance) to the data base and corrected the data above accordingly.
Thanks
Jan

Ed
The Wartime Commercial Broom in 7.63 caliber was sold ("Large Mauser Pistol 7.63mm without holster stock(M1896/12) —55 marks") without the holster stock, so there must have been a holster (without stock).
Jan
 

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Jan,
In reference to your FAR marked holster, can you make any sense of the following marking: "FAR 74 1916" ? Not sure about the "4". This is found in a 1916 (Hugo Pretzel & Co, Berlin) LP08 holster cap.



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Marking is partially obscured by stitches used to attach the tool pouch to outside of cap. Interesting way to make a stud for closure of the cap.


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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
John
Markings definitions for weapons define A.F. to signify Foot Artillery and A. to signify Field Artillery.

Usually on holsters these were Fs.A.R. or Fss.A.R. to signify Foot Artillery and F.A.R. or Fd.A.R. to signify Field Artillery. (see Noll, page 41)(German World War I Idenity Tags, Meinlschmidt page 25-26)

FAR 74 signifies Field Artillery Regiment 74. Field Artillery Regiment 74 was part of the 8th Infantry Division during World War I.
Jan
 

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Jan, above you mention a data base for red 9's. Couple of items A/ is it possible to see the data base ? B/ I wonder if you have my red 9 entered? if not ,it is Ex Simpson's Serial number 108168. I will send you the photos. Regds Grahame
 

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Jan, another red 9 for your data base is : serial no. 73075 it came with the stock and leather that is marked " BAXIV" maker is L. Ritgen of Karlsruhe. it also has other stamps that are the same on the front and back i.e. L.Z.A. / an eagle of some sort over/ J. Karlsruhe. it is dated 1918
gun about 97-8% regds.
 

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Jan,
Does your database of C96s include any with apparent Weimar police unit marks on either the front of the mag well or the front grip strap? The marks would probably be as specified in the 1922 marking orders. If so, I would be very interested in knowing the particulars of these, including the unit mark, its location, the serial number of the pistol and whether or not it has a 1920 property stamp. This will be of considerable help in my research on Weimar police unit marks.
 

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Don,
I recollect somebody in AutoMag collecting Red Nine 1920 rework serial numbers/police issue marks a number of years ago. I will try to find a reference. You might want to survey AutoMag maybe10 to 20 years ago. Interestingly, the serial numbers of the 1920 reworks were not randomly distributed across the Red Nine serial range, but were clustered into certain serial ranges.
John
 
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