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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A few years ago I was fortunate to acquire a Large Ring Hammer, Pre War 'Bolo'. It was in remarkable condition considering it's age, use and rarity. It had been imported from China, most likely so it had import markings and most of the finish was gone. After a great deal of consideration I decide to have it re-finished so it would present well. After a carful search I found a gunsmith that has considerable skill in the correct finishes and would be careful not to buff out markings during the process. More of a restoration than a rehab was my desire. I was very pleased with the results and began a search for a correct stock for it. After a few years of searching, a few weeks ago, with considerable help from friends/members here I was able to acquire a correct stock for it. Here for your viewing pleasure is the above titled item. Conversation and comments welcome. Please stay on topic. Regards,
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Air gun Trigger Wood Gun barrel Machine gun
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The LRH C96 shown above is there to show the difference in stock length and pistol size. It is all matching including the stock which you may note has been altered to open from the opposite side. Thanks for the comments/likes. Regards,
 

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I am not knowledgeable enough about C96's to add much to the discussion, besides drool.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As disappointing as it is to admit the Floral pattern grips are reproductions. When this LRH Pre War 'Bolo' came to me it had non-matching post war 'Bolo' wood grips. After I had it restored I could not put the grips it came with back on it. In researching it I found examples with the hard rubber grips and checkered wood grips. I could not find any checkered wood grips so I went with what was available. Regards,

P.S. I am not a fan of the nick name 'Bolo'. It does have the advantage of being short. "Small grip, short barrel" or "Officers Model" may be more accurate though they are longer.
 

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Got it (ditch the bolo handle - will do) - thanks for the valuable lesson. A pair of original Officer's Modell grip plates - always something else to be looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I thought this thread would stimulate more conversation and discussion as these are 2 C96s from a very interesting time in Mauser's production of the model. Have the Mauser collectors lost interest in this forum. Is it me? Regardless, thanks you to those who did commented. I know the forum has changed quite a bit though I hope is survives its evolution into whatever it becomes. Regards,
 

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I wish I could add to the conversation, but c96s are not in my wheelhouse. I collect the Mauser pocket pistols and appreciate the c96s but they actually are intimidating to collect. Really seems like alot of stuff to take into consideration to know if they are "correct". Maybe one day I can delve Into collecting them.
 

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Burgess:
Very intersting early gun but the pictures are somewhat dark to fully appreciate the quality of the restoration work.
May be you can make some close ups of the serials, proof marks, and overall pictures of the gun in the natural light so that we can all see the quality of this restoration.
Thank you!
Val
 

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P.S. I am not a fan of the nick name 'Bolo'. It does have the advantage of being short. "Small grip, short barrel" or "Officers Model" may be more accurate though they are longer.
I know Burgess, that's an old discussion (see also Mauser C96 Bolo?).

Generally I think nicknames created by collectors are always a bit problematic - but personally I don't think the term Bolo is so bad, because it comes from the period.

R. K. Wilson wrote in his famous „Textbook of Automatic Pistols“ from 1943 about the short-barreled post-war C96 withe the small grips (page 107 and ):
„This pistol became very popular amongst the Bolsheviks in Russia, and was exportet to them in large quantities. Indeed, it is said that the O.G.P.U. and other security organisations in that country were entirely re-armed with it, so that it is often known as ‘The Bolo-Mauser‘“.

The term Bolo was used for bolsheviks by British service personnel during the Russian civil war. Have in mind that Wilson was an officer in the British Army in the First and Second World War (Artillery, later SAS). May be he had direct contacts with British service personnel who fought in the Russian civil war.

From this point of view the term bolo for this version of the C96 could be of British origin from the period, at least from the period after WW1.

I think the term "Officers Model" is worse. It suggests that pistols with these grips were intended for officers, which is not the case. In my opinion, there was never a so-called "Offiziersmodell" or officers model.

Alexander
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Phillip, I completely understand the intimidation factor. I think of C96 collecting as a "Big League" arena, especially with the prices they demand. As a collector on a budget my C96 acquisitions have always been a struggle.

Val, the pictures were taken in sunlight. I have always struggled to get good images. Details can be especially difficult.

Alexander, I see your point though the 'Bolo' term would have originated for post-war variations. I have found some evidence that supports the "Officers model" term for Mauser's early small griped variations. The variations that were created in the 20,000-40,000 range appear to me to be Mauser's attempts to determine the most marketable features. There are 6-shot, fixed sight, side safety, slotted and un-slotted and short barreled examples all in the mix. It appears that pos-war Mauser settled on a short barreled, small griped, slotted 10-shot as the best of all. It didn't hurt that it was treaty compliant.
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R. K. Wilson wrote in his famous „Textbook of Automatic Pistols“ from 1943 about the short-barreled post-war C96 withe the small grips (page 107 and ):
„This pistol became very popular amongst the Bolsheviks in Russia, and was exportet to them in large quantities. Indeed, it is said that the O.G.P.U. and other security organisations in that country were entirely re-armed with it, so that it is often known as ‘The Bolo-Mauser‘“.
The term Bolo was used for bolsheviks by British service personnel during the Russian civil war. Have in mind that Wilson was an officer in the British Army in the First and Second World War (Artillery, later SAS). May be he had direct contacts with British service personnel who fought in the Russian civil war.
While C96 was extremely popular in Russia and USSR, the small grip version is the least encountered (even less frequently than the Schnellfeurs).There are quite a few Mausers belinging to the revolutionalry figures in Russian museums, but I do not think there is a single Bolo among them.
Most of the prewar bolos seem to have made their ways to the US and most of the post-war ones - to China.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So, if Bolo was for Bolshevik, then maybe they should be called Chi Coms. ;-)
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While C96 was extremely popular in Russia and USSR, the small grip version is the least encountered (even less frequently than the Schnellfeurs).There are quite a few Mausers belinging to the revolutionalry figures in Russian museums, but I do not think there is a single Bolo among them.
Most of the prewar bolos seem to have made their ways to the US and most of the post-war ones - to China.
That's an interesting point. Wilson wrote his book mainly in the 1930s. During that time, there must have been a story that the Soviets bought a lot of these pistols. Perhaps Wilson was uncritically reproducing an inaccurate story.

But because of the proximity in time and his contacts in the British armed forces, Wilson is actually quite credible to me on this subject.

Can Mauro and Gerben provide more on C96 exports to the Soviet Union?

Alexander
 
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