Cap gun on a keychain. Everybody should have one.
There are a number of Web sites devoted to the C-96. They seem to be mainly rearrangements of the material in the books, with even more rumor and hearsay tossed in. Here are some relative biggies -
The Mauser 1896 "BROOM HANDLE" Unofficial Home Page
C96 Broomhandle Mauser
And some smaller sites -
The Homepage of the Mauser 1896 "Broomhandle" Pistol
MauserGuns.com - A Gun Collector Website
This has a page on the C-96, and a page on general Mauser history which repeats the scurrilous charge that the Mauser factory and records were destroyed after WW2 by order of the US Army.
The site also has a forum for Mauser rifles and pistols.
Gunwriters on the Web
Unfortunately these particular Gunwriters are writing in Finnish. The site is three pages of scans and translations (into Finnish) of a 1916 manual for the Wartime Commercial. But the gun pictured in the manual is a Prewar Commercial, which by 1916 had been replaced by the Wartime Commercial. I can't tell what's going on there as I'm totally in the dark when it comes to Finnish. I could fake the German but most of the German text pages are not shown.
A modest three-page site, a bit eccentric.
And some single-pagers -
Pistole System Mauser
Despite threats to make this "the largest and most interesting web site about" the C-96, to date there's little more than an image of a contents page. And an animation page. The home site at Russian Arms is All Singing, All Dancing! With lots of animation, accompanied by the Russian Anthem. Essentially unreadable and un-navigable.
OK, so it needs a bit of work. Don't let me discourage you from looking; I expect it will liven up in the future.
Mauser Pistol C-96 (Broomhandle) Dates of Manufacture
This is on the ArmsCollector site. It has lookup tables for some guns, particularly American martial arms, which are well-documented by government and industrial archives. The idea is that you enter your gun's serial number, and it will display the part of the record which shows info about your gun's close production-line relatives. This is mildly neat-o for Krags and M-1917 Enfields, but it's a stretch to apply the concept to the C-96, as nobody has that info. So this site just gives a guesstimated year of manufacture when you enter a serial number.
The concept is cute, but entirely useless. Authoritative weight is zero.
Mauser Pistol C-96 (Broomhandle) Dates of Manufacture
Same thing as on the ArmsCollector.com page cited above. Still useless.
Kaiser's Bunker - Model 1896 Mauser Broom-Handle
A site dedicated to a range of German militaria of the 1860-1914 period - belt buckles, lance pennants, saddles, band instruments - something for everybody. The linked page has several good photos of a nice Prewar Commercial.
Hell in a Handbasket
This is a blog with a one-page tribute to the writer's "favorite handgun."
Copias Españolas de la pistola Máuser
This is a mixed Mauser/Astra/Azul/Royal page, on a more general Spanish Civil War site. In Spanish.
Russian site, in Russian.
7.63mm «Mauser» C-96 hand gun Germany
Russian site, in English.
Mauser C-96 (Germany)
Russian site, in English.
C/96 Mauser kal. 7,63mm
Die Mauser Militärpistole Modell M 96 (Mauser C 96)
Avènement de la poudre sans fumée 1880-90
A general page on early smokeless powder handguns. In French. Scroll down about 60% for a writeup on the C-96, with photos of a Bolo, a Flatside, and a Schnellfeuer.
7,63 Mauser Leichen pflastern seinen Weg
A real mixed bag here.
After a few photos of movie posters is an article,
Patronen by Hans Aicher and Jo Koerner, From Deutsches Waffen Journal 5/1995, translated by Lutz Möller for Christopher Stitt
It isn't "translated" in any useful sense. It was run through a machine translator and even an imaginative reader will find about 85% to be incomprehensible. And that's too bad, because it looks like there's some useful information about Mauser and Tokarev cartridges obscured in there.
That is followed by a few unattributed entries, then a list of available cartridges for the Vz 52 (though the list is undated, and as we all know "availability" is a transient concept), that followed by some data by a prolific poster to various fora who is notorious for overloading guns until they blow up.
The last entry is a plug for that Belgian e-book about how Mausers work.
Pretty weird, altogether.
This isn't really a page, it's a JPEG pretending it's a page. At least the text is in English.
And fora -
Herb's Fantasy Gunshop
A page from a 1965-66 surplus dealer's catalog - for us Americans, that's pre-GCA. The Fantasy Gunshop homepage is at www.atthecreation.com/fantasy/gunshop.html.
Yahoo Groups - C96_Forum
You have to register as a member to read the messages or access the files, but free registration is easy. If you already have a Yahoo mail account, just use the same name to register for the group.
C96 mauser [sic] Broomhandle
Not too useful. Let's just say that the last time I looked, the signal-to-noise ratio was exceptionally poor. But by all means see for yourself, as these sorts of things tend to change with time.
UPDATE (September 2006) - The forum seems to be in the midst of a slow death. Very few posts, and those few are too riddled with what I believe to be errors.
"The New and Improved Gunboards.com"
This site is a tad mysterious. It looks like gunboards.com has become a host for what were once entirely independent fora. The format is uniform and the only reliable way to tell which forum you're on is to read the address bar at the top of your browser. There's a militaria forum at militaria.gunboards.com; Jan C. Still's Luger forum at luger.gunboards.com; and the old Gunboards proper at www.gunboards.com/forums. The three are separate boards, in the sense that one login doesn't work for all of them.
Unfortunately, the "search" for all three fora must be the slowest page on the Web .... Persistence will be rewarded.
The C-96 posts are scattered throughout the various Gunboards fora. Most (certainly not all) seem to be on Still's Luger forum. And most of those are in either the CENTRAL POWERS PISTOLS AND ACCESSORIES section (in 1900-1918 : German (non-P08) Pistols & Holsters) or in the AXIS PISTOLS, 1933-1945 section (in German: German Mfg. (non-P08) Pistols & Holsters, or Finland Pistols and Holsters). Many posts have photos, but most of the photo links in older messages are dead.
Pretty much wall-to-wall Lugers, but occasionally there's something useful. It can take a while to find anything because so many of the posts are mere filler - the regulars blow a lot of kisses to each other. (Not that there's anything wrong with that ...)
MauserGuns.com Discussion Board
A relatively new forum, with some posts on the C-96. Part of the MauserGuns.com site.
This is a forum sponsored by Gun Parts Corp. Most activity is about Mauser rifles, but there are some posts about handguns and parts on occasion.
Shooter Talk Forum
A few C-96 posts are scattered throughout. Only registered users can read the posts.
Graybeard Outdoors Forum
The Curio and Relic Handguns section has some C-96 posts.
Mauser posts are scattered throughout. The posters there seem to mean well, but are not really up on the minutiæ of the C-96.
Guns and Games
I'm clueless about this one, as the language is Thai. However I've had visitors arrive here at 1896mauser.com from at least one link over there, so something there must be relevant.
I'm still a bit in the dark here, but not quite as clueless, as this forum is in Russian.
Armi Magazine Forum
This is the forum for the Armi Magazine site, and is in Italian. The small arms posts are under Armi da Fuoco.
Forum du Club de Tir à longue distance de Mailly le Camp
The Club de Tir à longue distance bills itself as "the community of long-distance shooters". It looks like this particular community is based at, and named after, a range on a military base at Mailly, some 85 miles east of Paris. The range claims to be the biggest in Europe - and at 3200 meters, it might well be. The range home page is in English but the forum is in French.
Scroll down to the Armes de poing [handguns] forum. Although the Club is concerned mainly with long-range rifle shooting, the C-96 occasionally comes up for discussion.
And articles -
Axis History Forum
Scroll down to the Small Arms forum, which occasionally has a post of interest to C-96 fans. A very few posters on the Axis History Forum are a bit excitable, but harmless. So if you see a post from someone insisting that the Horst Wessel Lied is his favorite tune, just skip over it.
The C.96 pistol: Germany's mechanical masterpiece, Guns Magazine, Dec, 2004 by Holt Bodinson
Pretty general, not too bad.
UPDATE April 2006 - Oops, seems to be gone.
A Brief History of the Soviet "tt" M1930 7.62x25mm Service Cartridge
A cryptic translation of a 1996 Russian article.
UPDATE April 2006 - Damn Internet stuff keeps moving around. Try here.
7,63 Mauser / 7,63 x 25 / .30 Mauser - MUNICION.ORG
And even a FAQ -
7.62x25 - MUNICION.ORG
Two pages from Barcelona on the Mauser and Tokarev cartridges, with photos of headstamps. Beware of the photo of the right side of a Bolo - it's a photo of the left side, flipped. Site is in Spanish.
Repairs and rebuilds
Kyrie Ellis FAQ
Not bad as web FAQs go. There are some minor errors, but no real howlers. The worst part, though, is that there are no nifty pictures like you see here at 1896mauser.com.
Redman's Rifling and Reboring
Redman's has been around for years. Fortunately they are now online. It's nice to see them finally get out of the stone age and get themselves a real web site. See their Mauser Broomhandle Barrel Restoration page for material of interest here. Shot-out 7.63mm bores are relined back to 7.63mm or bored out to 9mm. The liners are AISI 4140 steel (which is a good choice for gun frames and barrels, truck axles, and other applications where toughness is a particularly good idea). Redman's rifling is 6 groove, which is the same count as on original pistols after something around serial number 150000. The 1 in 10" twist is very close to the original, not exact but not different enough to matter. (For peculiar reasons, Tokarev bores had a much slower twist rate, which doesn't seem to make a whole lot of difference.) It looks like the liners are glued in with something like JB Weld, which I would imagine would work just fine. The traditional method was to solder the liner in, but that involves heating the barrel, which pretty much mandates an external refinish. Quite a few reliners on pistols and 22 rifles are done solderless these days, and results seem good.
Note that descriptions of the merchandise are universally poor. I've always wondered why parts suppliers write their descriptions like they're paying by the word for telegraph rates to the moons of Jupiter and back. Things haven't improved in the Internet era.
Ah yes, the Sarco problem. Sarco has parts, ranging from good to ghastly. Their online presence is weak - most of their listings are in Shotgun News. The Sarco site has some guns, too, with very tiny photos.
Don't believe all those awful things you may read about Sarco. They're seriously disorganized, but I haven't found them to be crooks or incompetents. The C-96 spring kit from Sarco is OK, though the ends of the magazine spring aren't shaped exactly right, so it tends to fall off the floorplate when out of the gun - a mere annoyance, not a disaster.
UPDATE - Sarco's online presence is improving. The search feature actually works, sort-of. The site still looks like it was designed by a particularly annoying high school kid.
Numrich/Gun Parts Corp
Parts, including springs, and exploded drawings. Easier to deal with than Sarco, but merchandise descriptions are even more inadequate than the customary low standard.
Marstar has parts, including springs, and exploded drawings.
Marstar is in Canada, so don't expect to be able to import frames or barrels into the US without real grief, no matter what Marstar claims on the site.
Poppert's Gun Parts
A supplier in Pennsylvania. Some C-96 parts are listed, but there is nada in the description department - Which parts are new repros? Which are salvaged originals? Which guns will they fit? - Nary a word.
The SKSMan site is still using frames - I thought those went out about the time my pet trilobite died. So scroll down the side frame to "Mauser C-96" for parts, including some for Cone Hammers and Large Ring Hammers. Descriptions are a bit below minimal in too many cases.
Kerarmco International Ltd
I don't know anything about this outfit. After reading through the site I still don't know anything about it, except that it is on the Isle of Man, sells parts, and does restorations. It's hard to picture that being a viable business in the UK nowadays. Perhaps it isn't - the site looks old and somewhat derelict.
To read this site you'd think your poor old gun is helpless without springs with 10% to 15% "more power." Piffle, the C-96 isn't that sensitive. I'm a big believer in using the parts the designer intended the gun to have, on the rationale that he knew more about it than the rest of us. Be that as it may, Wolff is one of the sources for replacement springs.
International Military Antiques
IMA occasionally has parts, but is a more consistent source for accessories such as holsters. They are particularly strong in reproductions, some of which are pretty execrable. Buying originals can be frustrating, as their policy seems to be to ship the worst stuff first and hope it isn't returned. I've bought 50-year old leather items from IMA which were mummified, and threatened to crumble under a hard stare. When returned for exchange, IMA sent me exactly the same items, but in like-new condition. Sheeesh, why not ship me the decent stuff the first time? I'm too old for those games. You probably are, too. I still have some crap bayonets and such from IMA lying around here - I definitely should have returned those.
Grip panels (a.k.a. Grips)
The situation in the grip department is grim. A very nasty pair of original grip panels for a Prewar Commercial recently (April 2005) sold on eBay for $91, and I'm starting to see why - new ones aren't competitive.
Guns and stocks - dealers
N.C. Ordnance - GunGrip.com
N.C. Ordinance, in North Carolina, sells mainly polyurethane reproductions of original pistol grips and rifle buttplates. The catalog page just may be the slowest-loading page on the Internet. Have some reading material and an assortment of snacks at hand before you click that link. Incidentally, note that there are several misspellings of the company name on the site - I suspect that where it's spelled Ordnance, as in artillery, it's correct, and where it's Ordinance, as in a law or regulation, it's not.
Try this page for Mauser items - it's much faster than the general catalog page. Most of the C-96 pistol grip panels are brown plastic repros of the Mauser walnut ones. The fake wood looks unconvincing in the photos. But the prize might be G147, a repro of the earlier checkered "hard rubber" grip panels. I'd try a pair, but the web site makes a poor impression - these guys come across as just a little bit more insufferable than is strictly necessary. Maybe I'll try a pair anyway. Unfortunately, the prognosis isn't promising. The gripfacts page gives us these tidbits of misinformation -
The first 'Broomhandle' had a plastic grip until ser. no. 100,000 [wrong!], then the 28 to 24 grove [sic] grip was standard [wrong!]. The 1930 commercial grip is proper on 'Broomhandles' over ser. no.875,000 [right idea, wrong number]. Grips are not interchangeable [right!]. The 'Red 9' is for the 9mm only [almost, but not quite - it should be for the 1916 Contract only - there are other 9s, some made that way by Mauser, some later reworks].
Well, not as factual or helpful as it might be.
Cast plastic reproductions. As of April 2005 the site is seriously non-functional. A badly distorted photo of a pair of the floral scroll pattern hard rubber Bolo grip panels is the only one posted. The lineup -
That's all the information provided on the site.
Mauser Model 1896 Bolo - M43, $ 29.55
Mauser Model 1896 Bolo, Grooved - M43a, $ 27.55
Mauser Model 1896 Broomhandle Grooved - M42a, $ 29.55
Mauser Model 1896 Brmhndl Small Grooves - M42b, $ 29.55
Mauser Model 1896 Broomhandle, Logo - M42, $ 29.55
UPDATE Feb. 2007 - The site has been overhauled but still provides no useful information. The descriptions of the various C-96 "models" are hash - a customer can't possibly identify the grip panels he needs from them. The photos could be used to identify the correct ones, if there were any. The site doesn't even mention what materials these are made from. A waste of time.
A German manufacturer offering new walnut repros - unfortunately it's weird stuff Mauser never offered, like an 11 line Bolo. The listings make no differentiation between step frame and non-step frame grips. Here's the current lineup -
23 (?) groove, no identification. It's shown on a Wartime Commercial, which makes it a step-frame grip.
25 groove Red 9 which may not have any red in it - it's hard to tell.
11 groove Bolo.
11 groove C96 Chile-Mauser 1936 - I haven't the vaguest idea what a "Chile-Mauser 1936" might be. The photo looks like an M-30 grip except for the eccentric number of grooves.
Rosewood repros. The site is essentially information-free - one is supposed to call. Mauser never made them in rosewood.
I know Sarco sells these, though the site lists none at the moment. Considering the quality of the Sarco offering, that's just as well. I bought a set of these, and they were the most execrable little pieces of scrap wood to ever be misnamed "grips." I can't imagine where Sarco got them - even the Indian stuff isn't that bad. I sent 'em back, and tried again about two years later. Sarco had not used the time interval to improve the product.
A company of few words - just enough to give some confidence that somebody there knows about step-frames, but that's about it.
Mystery grips - no hint as to material. The line "all our grips are hand-fitted to the proper model" inspires little confidence. Mauser had figured out the miracle of interchangeable parts over a century ago. Can't anyone do as well today? "Hand-fitting" is an admission that their vendors don't know how to make the things. And why anyone would want an "early model w/step in frame, 12 lines" is a real mystery - just what gun do they think should be wearing those?
Various grips. There's no mention of material. Most of these are "reproductions" of grips Mauser never made in the first place, such as Red 9 Bolos and M-30s.
UPDATE - CMR has spruced up its grip listing a bit. It now specifies that they're walnut, but that "hand-fitted" worms its way in there too, which is not so good. The lineup is currently -
22 grooves is OK for a Bolo, but 20 is a bit shy for a full-size pre-M-30 grip. 32 grooves would have been better - it would be appropriate for common guns like the Prewar Commercial and Wartime Commercial. 23 grooves would be correct for most Cone Hammers and Large Ring Hammers. And of course Mauser never made any M-30 or Bolo "Red 9" grip panels, but they wouldn't be inappropriate for a shot-out gun bored to 9mm. All in all, not too bad a lineup. But from the photo they have that "Made in India during a power blackout" look.
Bolo, 22 grooves
Bolo, Red 9
M-30, 12 grooves
M-30, Red 9
Step Frame, 20 grooves
Step Frame, Red 9
International Military Antiques
A sentence like "these fit all standard size mauser c-96 pistols" should make a prospective buyer nervous. Prewar Commercials and M-30s are both standard size Mauser C-96 pistols, but grip panels can't be interchanged. The pictured item is a 12 groove Red 9 - and of course Mauser never made any such thing. Step-frame or not? From the photos (best photos in the repro grip business, by the way) they look like non-step-frame (ie, M-30 or Schnellfeuer) grips. The note "some fitting adjustment required" means that they don't fit as supplied - another danger sign.
I trawl these sites for photos, and for photos only. As a general rule, the written descriptions are worthless. There are rather a lot of things the dealers don't seem to know, and what they do know, they're not likely to tell you.
I endorse no particular dealers. I consider all of them to be horribly overpriced. The good news is that because they're horribly overpriced, the guns sell at a glacial pace, and the pictures stay up for a long time. The bad news is that they're, well, horribly overpriced.
Never forget; when dealing with dealers, it's caveat emptor. No exceptions!
Guns and stocks - Auctions
CDS (Carbine Discount-Shop)
D. Ehrenreich GmbH
German source for parts and complete guns. Exploded drawings, too. Site is in German.
Oriented more toward Lugers than the C-96. There seems to be a perennial problem keeping the Simpson site online - it will be gone, then will reappear a few days later as if nothing happened. This has been going on for at least a year, and may be a permanent phenomenon. So if Simpson Ltd seems to be dead, try again later. And don't assume the worst just because they don't answer their e-mails - in my experience that's "situation normal" at Simpson.
CMR seems to me to be operating on an obsolete business model. They're online, but only partially - they expect you to use their site to order a catalog. Get with the program, guys - that business of flogging catalogs is deader than disco. CMR also has parts - now with most of the item prices listed (a big improvement) - and accessories such as reprints of manuals, strippers, grip panels, repro ammo boxes, repro holsters, and repro cases resembling the ones from London dealers.
The CMR site has recently been updated. The old site was overly fussy and wouldn't work at all in some browsers. The new site is much better, though the popup windows (for photos of the products, not for ads) still need a bit of work.
A dealer in Texas. The site is noteworthy for good photos of the merchandise.
More nice big photos from Texas.
Collectible Firearms and Edged Weapons
Kristopher Gasior and Kasia Matuszewska-Gasior
A Virginia dealer, with another site notable for good photos.
Joe Salter - Down East Antiques
A New Hampshire dealer. The links to the photos are annoying, but if you can get them to work, the photos themselves are excellent.
Thad Scott Fine Guns
A dealer in Mississippi with good photos, but not as good as Held, Gasior, or Salter.
A dealer in Utah with decent photos - or they would be decent photos if most of them weren't so $%&*#$@ dark.
Swedish dealer, decent photos. Site is in Swedish.
Wagner & Sohn
A German dealer with decent photos, but the site is so eccentrically organized that it's impossible to get to some of the gun photos via the menus, even if one can read German.
Dealer in South Carolina. Mainly rifles, but some handguns. On display are two photos of each gun, a right and a left mug shot - very sensible.
Cornet & Co.
A dealer in Brussels, with an occasional C-96. Unfortunately the photos are nasty little things, and nearly useless. Site is in French.
A gunshop in Italy, just a tad north of Modena. Mausers, Lugers, Steyrs, etc. Photos are too small to be of much use. Site is in English and Italian.
EUROARMS Italia S.r.l. - EUROARMS OF AMERICA
Quite a multilingual hodgepodge here. Hit any link labeled Armi ex ordinanza for ex-military guns, then follow links for German handguns. The generic Bolo pictured there is one of those oddballs probably made immediately after WW1, with a large grip, frame without MAUSER banner, early-type lanyard ring pivot, and short Bolo barrel - so not very generic at all. Hit other links for PEZZI SINGOLI (single pieces) or RARITÀ (rarities). Rarities include things like a DeLisle carbine, a Schnellfeuer version of a 1912 Steyr-Hahn, and a "Carabina Fed Ordnance Mod 712" - a Mauser carbine "repro" properly identified as such (a rarity for sure - how often does that happen?).
Teutoarms Waffenhandel Holger Veh
A German dealer, with an occasional C-96. Descriptions are minimal, as are the photos. Site is in German.
A history site, with occasional items for sale. Concentration is on Tsarist Russian guns, swords, period photos, etc. Site is in Finnish.
Bob Adams Collector Firearms
A dealer in Albuquerque, with an occasional C-96. Each gun merits only one photo, and it's a bit on the small side.
There's also a photographic gallery of oddball stuff, mostly not for sale. It has a few C-96 curios.
A dealer in Texas, unfortunately one of those annoying types who won't fire a "collector" firearm, and he doesn't think you should either. Well, phooey on that - Mausers don't suddenly become fragile flowers just because they're overpriced. On the plus side, the photos may be the best in the business.
An Argentine dealer, with a site in Spanish. Nice big photos - scans, actually - of some interesting old items. Serial numbers are blacked out, though - what are these people afraid of, exactly?
Guns, stocks, holsters. No C-96s at time of writing, but they come up occasionally.
Collector's Source Military Collectibles
Canadian dealer, mainly in British and Commonwealth militaria. There's a C-96 or two for sale, but the pictures are not too useful.
Küng Waffen & Munition GmbH
Swiss dealer, site in German. Some guns and stocks, but pictures are uselessly small, dark, and nasty.
A U.K. dealer in that Old World barbarity, deactivated guns. A depressing situation, but at least with good photos. Descriptions are rubbish, though - "deactivated wwi german c96 mauser broomhandle .... a real must for the wwi collector." But the photos are of an early M-30 - missed it by a mere fifteen years. Or "deactivated first world war mauser c96 1912 .... this was winston churchill's pistol of choice during the boer war" [sic]. The photos are of serial 56437, an early Prewar Commercial, made long before 1912, and bearing little resemblance to Churchill's much earlier Cone Hammer. And the Cone Hammer wasn't Winston's choice - his mother bought it for him at the local dealer (which happened to be the Westley Richards retail establishment on Bond Street, I do believe).
Arundel is asking a lot for these paperweights - £500 or more - and I should think that they really owe it to their customers to describe the goods a bit more competently.
John Price De-Acts and Militaria
Another U.K. dealer in deactivation victims. Photos are skimpy, not in the same league as Arundel, but the descriptions are every bit as bogus. Students of 1896mauser.com should enjoy the Postwar Bolo described as a "C96 Schnellfire," and the Prewar Commercial which was "manufactured approx 1917."
Like the dealer sites, I really recommend these only for the photos, although there are a few good laughs, too. I found this on one auction -
Broomhandle 'Bolo' Mauser, circa 1900 or thereabouts, WWII bring-back, no import marks. No Mauser stamp on left side of frame, indicating military issue, not commercial model.
Wow. That business about the "Mauser stamp" is totally bogus. Normally you have to pay for that sort of entertainment.
eBay is a gun-free zone, but grip panels, strippers, holsters, and stocks abound. With eBay it's not just caveat emptor so much as CAVEAT EMPTOR !!!. Fake militaria is becoming a major growth industry on eBay. If I had a buck for every Chinese repro stock I've seen flogged there as Mauser original, I could pay for this site for a year. I just saw a couple of prizes, a Chinese stock offered at an astronomical "Buy it Now" price, claimed to be a bad refinish on a Mauser original. And to top that, the same seller had a $1200 "Buy it Now" on an ordinary (though at least genuine) Commercial, claiming it to be a super-early production specimen because it had a three-digit serial number. Of course you, Dear Reader, now know that almost all Mauser stocks before 1930 had three-digit serials.
Usually quite a few Mausers listed here, including some that Mauser never made.
Manion's Direct Sales or Manion's International Auction House, depending on which part of the page you want to believe.
Descriptions are entertainingly bogus.
Lots of wishful thinking here.
"The Honor System Gun Classifieds"
Well, if they say so .... Not really an auction site, but almost as bad.
UPDATE 02feb2007 - The site has been revised. Now you need to login to an account to see the photos in anything larger than postage-stamp size. Setting up an account is free, albeit annoying.
This is a listing of old auction results. Photos are good, although the writeups verify the familiar impression that auctioneers generally don't know all that much about what they're auctioning. This page has Mausers (the C-96 and others), as well as Chinese and Spanish guns. Astras are on another page, collectorebooks.com/gregg01/europistol/ASTRA-PISTOLS.htm.
The site is actually there to flog those Such-and-Such Explained e-books. (Lahti Pistol Explained? What's to explain? Aside from those cracks in the barrel extension, it's pretty straightforward.)
The American Historical Foundation
"Oh, the humanity!" I can't force myself to give a live link. If you must, copy and paste it into your browser window, but make sure your shots are up-to-date, and take a hot shower immediately afterwards.
These poor guns were perfectly ordinary original M-30s which have recently suffered terminal indignities. They've been gussied up by modern engravers to look like something that was stolen from a house of ill repute somewhere in the slums of São Paulo. Don't be taken in by that The General Officer's Edition name tacked on there - this is a recently-made violation of the laws of God and Man, and you don't want one. If you do want one, you don't want to admit it.
What they do to Lugers is even worse.
Other old gun sites
Nice drawings, apparently from Zhuk's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Handguns, but not credited.
Exploded drawings. In French.
Exploded drawings. In French.
Exploded drawings. In German.
Here are some other sites featuring exhaustive coverage of particular old handguns.
The Austrian Steyr-Hahn Pistol M1911/M1912
A site devoted to another interesting old gun.
9mmLargo.com, the Sociedad Largo Homepage
Devoted to guns which shoot Largo or Bergman-Bayard ammunition. But I am disappointed to see that the home page doesn't picture the Mauseresque Astra Model F, which featured perfectly good Largo chambering.
Savage Pocket Pistols - A Unique American Legacy, A Forgotten American Pistol (1905 - 1928)
Another lineage of interesting old guns.
Bob Rayburn's Colt Woodsman Home Page
In German and English. In the menu at top left, hit Archiv for an outstanding display of Teutonic thoroughness.
Czech Data Collection Central
This site is a bit different. In a valiant effort to collect data, there are several data forms with check boxes so that casual passers-by can add information about trivial details of their Czech rifles and pistols. I wonder if he gets any responses?
M1 Carbine Magazines (15 rnd)
Not a handgun site but I couldn't resist. This guy collects magazines for the M1 carbine. Just the magazines. And just the 15 round magazines. Talk about specialized! But it could be worse - some people collect just the oilers for the carbine.
Fraktur German True Type Fonts
My source for Humboldt Fraktur, the font of the heading on the Forum.
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