Jan C. Still Lugerforums banner
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(The picture and text below was obtained from the web site of the Rock Island Auction Company listing of firearms. I am posting it here because it is a rare item and falls within the category.)



Waffenfabrik Mauser 1915 Prototype Semi-Automatic Pistol Serial No. 2. This pistol (shown below) is a totally unique example from the Sidney Aberman collection that proves the Germans were still actively pursuing a sidearm that was chambered for the highly successful and well proven U.S. .45 automatic round. The WWI production of this pistol (1915), prior to the U.S. entering the war, leads one to wonder what the Germans intentions for the pistol were.



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Hello Charlie,

I have been in contact with the auction house regarding this very rare pistol. In actual fact, it is a Mauser Nickel pistol according to my research, Nickel being an employee in the Mauser factory working in the experimental department. Nickel made a few pocket pistols on a similar design which were available in caliber 7.65 mm, 7.65 mm Browning Long, 9 mm Parabellum, 9 mm Nickel and .45 caliber.

For your information, this is NOT the first caliber .45 pistol made by Mauser which is a Mauser 1912/14 (Model I). There is a such a pistol in existence which has no serial number and no markings - a true prototype. Maybe one day I shall have the opportunity to photograph the pistol and post it on this forum or my web site.

Cheers,
Albert
 
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Hello Mike,

All three types of Mauser M1912/14 pistols which were made in caliber .45 (which I label as the Model I, II, III) were chambered for the same .45 cartridge as used in the Colt 1911.

Accepting the fact that a M1912/14 (model I) in caliber .45 was tested by Mauser in late 1911 or early 1912, we can assume that Mauser was considering the production of a .45 caliber pistol shortly after Colt introduced the .45 cartridge. I am attaching an image of a Model I, but this particular pistol is in caliber 9 mm Parabellum.

As we realize, Mauser did not need to wait 3-4 years to deliver on the market a pistol capable of firing the .45 caliber cartridge. For this reason, it is my opinion that the Mauser Nickel pistol in caliber .45 was an improvement on the previous Mauser designs and it was not necessarily invented to compete on the market against pistols using the successful .45 cartridge - Mauser had already reacted quickly to produce pistols in .45 caliber after the Model I was tested. Therefore, it is my opinion that the Mauser Nickel is likely a limited production commercial pistol which was very expensive to produce as a result of its innovative rotating barrel system.

Regards,
Albert

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Hello Albert,
I believe the model 1912/14 desingation was given by Jim Belford in his book.Many feel they were produced earlier. What I do know is the .45 Mauser pictured in both Mathews book Firearms Identification page 390 and in the Belford& Dunlap book is as follows.

Full Mauser Factory markings, serial number 4 Is NOT .45ACP. This gun was formally in the Harry Jones and Sid Aberman Collections. I have photos at the shop
and will scan and post them.

Regards,
Mike Jones
 
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Hello Mike,

I am confused by the reference to a pistol serial #4 which you are making in your previous post, nevertheless, I look forward to the images which you will post. On my web site, I do show a Mauser M1912/14 (Model III) with a matching stock and an adjustable sight in caliber .45 which is definitely serial #4 because I have examined this pistol numerous times. I wonder if you are making reference to a Model II pistol which I believe could have also been made in 9 mm Parabellum as well as the more common .45 caliber which a few have survived today. If I am correct, such a Model II pistol (in 9 mm) is in a 'museum' of the Chicago Police Crime Lab Department which sadly has some holes drilled through the grips to hang it on the wall!

I probably agree with you that the M1912/14 desingation was given by Jim Belford in his book, and you might be correct that the M1912/14 may have been created slighty earlier. Previous authors have made mistakes in classifying various Mauser pistols and carbines incorrectly, and someday a clearer classification will be required. If I am not burned out after writing my book on the Mauser C96, I might take up the challenge to write a book on various other Mauser pistols including the M1912/14. To give you an example of mistaken dates, the Mauser C96 M1905 (with a notch on the hammer to release the safety while cocking the hammer) was actually developed around the same time as the M1902! Therefore, the M1905 desingation is wrong for this safety improvement on these Mauser C96 pistols, and I would probably classify these pistols as a M1903.

In 1996, I vaguely remember seeing a photocopy of a Swiss patent for the early M1912/14 pistols which indicates the date of creation or registration, or the same information could be in Belford's book. I do not have access to my books at the moment, but I shall try to obtain this information in due course.

Best Regards,
Albert
 

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Hello Albert,

Looking at your web site, The gun I have photos of is similar to what you are calling Type 2.

I think if you started taking chamber measurements of what you are calling Type 1 & 2 you will find they are Not .45 ACP. The cartridge closest to fitting this gun is 11.35 (.45) Bergmann DMM case #492 (Wison Textbook of Automactic Pistols page 231 it is also designated as DWM #490 by White-Munhall)

I feel this is why some of the old time collectors felt these guns were produced well before the current model designation. As they are not .45 ACP, At least this one is not

Regards,
Mike
 
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Hello Mike,

Thank you for the information which you are providing to me.

I always felt that the Mauser M1912/14 pistols (Type/Model I, II, III) were designed in caliber .45 ACP, like the same caliber of the .45 Luger. I do not understand why Mauser would want to make such a pistol in caliber 11.35 mm (.45 Bergmann) which was not a popular cartridge as compared to the .45 ACP which was used in the Colt pistols. It is my opinion that Mauser would have built a pistol in caliber .45 in order to possibly compete in the foreign markets such as in the US. Nevertheless, I shall research this area in more detail and inform you of my findings. I am not discounting your explanation that the pistol in the photo could be a different caliber instead of a .45 ACP or maybe a .45 Bergmann.

Best regards,
Albert

P.S. Please provide me with your direct e-mail address at [email protected]. Are you also a Mauser collector in addition to Lugers?
 
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