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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hallo
Here are two C96 Red Nine I purchased recently.Both have their own wooden stock and leather harness.One is a nice "Small Nine" 9 mm.1916 gun s.n.43593 with a "classic" leather harness "L.Ritgen-Karlsruhe-1916"marked,the other one is a very close to mint plain Red Nine s.n.96724 with a brand new less frequent pattern harness "XX-3.G.M.K.-Friedrich Boettger(the "oe" is due to the fact that my PC has no diaeresis key) Halleas-1917-B.A.X. marked.Both the guns have mint barrels and very little firing use marks.I like them very much,and it was a long time I was looking for a "Small Nine" one.It's(in my opinion) an interesting gun telling a "near to the trenches"episode when the already issued 9mm. C96s (and also some LP08s) had their grip plates grooved with the 9 mark. In my opinon it was done by some unit armourers,and the units where 9 mm.C96s and LP08s were both present had sometimes both the guns added by the "Red Nine".
But I have a doubt about the 1917 harness.Should not the gun also bear the same unit marks of the harness?It does not bear any,and perhaps the harness does not belong to the rig.Could anyone answer this question?

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Paolo, they are magnificent. Where did you find them? geo
 

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PAOLO
Beautiful photographs and presentation.

"Should not the gun also bear the same unit marks of the harness?" Unit armorers stamped handguns according to specific regulations. Clothing department personnel often marked holsters but not necessarly according to the same regulations as the unit armorers.

During 1916-1918 only a small percentage of the handguns were unit marked. However, based on observations many holsters continued to be unit marked. For example: I have observed a number of holsters dated 1914-1916 unit marked to heavy rider and dragoon regiments but have only observed Lugers dated 1908-1911(one dated 1914) marked to such units.

Some observations: holsters can be unit marked exactly like handguns(rare), holsters can be marked to the regiment or distributing Army Corps but mostly without the handguns company or weapon number (common), or the holster can be marked and the handgun not marked (common, particularly after 1915).

Few if any Red 9's are unit marked, however the unit marked stock-harnesses are fairly common. In my opinion, your Red 9 without unit mark fits well with a unit marked harness.
Jan
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Jan
Many thanks for your accurate reply.To know to be able to enjoy your enormous background is a great confort to any collector!

George
They were both in Germany.The "Small Nine" was brought to a collector-dealer about five months ago by a guy who told him he had found it in the attic;he said the gun belonged probably to his grandfather(he also said not to have any documents about the serving of his grandfather during the WW1),and the collector dealer told it to me during a calling I made for asking him whether there was anything new.I asked him to sell it to me,but he said it was a too rare specimen....but some months ago he changed his mind.The plain "Red Nine" was for selling by another dealer I met just before the Stuutgart gun show.That's all.
 
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