Mauser 96: The weapon used by Indian Revolutionaries

Source: Mauser 1890

The C96 is a semi-automatic pistol that was manufactured from 1896 to 1936 in Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a country in central Europe. It is bordered to the north by the North Sea, Denmark, and the Baltic Sea, to the east by Poland and the Czech Republic, to the south by Austria and Sw…. It was one of the first semi-automatic pistols to see widespread use.
The main characteristics that distinguish the C96 are the integral box magazine in front of the trigger, the long barrel, the wooden shoulder stock which can double as a holster or carrying case, and a grip shaped like the end of a broom’s handle (which earned it the nickname “Broomhandle” in the English-speaking world). The Mauser C96 can be considered one of the first personal defense weapons (PDW). A personal defense weapon is a compact firearm, smaller than a full-size submachine gun, but more powerful and flexible than a normal pistol….s), as its long barrel and powerful cartridge gave it superior range and better penetration capabilities than most other standard pistols.

Imported and domestic copies of the C96 were used extensively by the Chinese in the Second Sino-Japanese WarSecond Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a major war fought between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan, both before and during World War II….
and the Chinese Civil WarChinese Civil War
The ‘Chinese Civil War’ was a conflict in China between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China ….
. It was nicknamed the “box cannon” because it was holstered in a wooden box as well as for its unique external magazine. Some domestic copies even displayed serial numbers of original Mauser-manufactured pistols.

The C96 was used by Indian revolutionaries during the Indian independence movementIndian independence movement

The Indian Independence Movement consisted of efforts by Indians to obtain political independence from British Raj, French India and Portuguese India rule; it involved a wide spectrum of Indian political organizations, philosophies, and rebelli…. Leaders like Bhagat Singh was an India revolutionary, considered to be one of the most famous martyrs of the Indian freedom struggle…., Chandrasekhar Azad was an Indian revolutionary and the mentor of Bhagat Singh. Chandrasekhar Azad is considered one of the most famous Indian revolutionaries, along with Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Ram Prasad Bismil, and Asfhaqulah Khan, Sukhdev Thapar and others used Mausers smuggled from China.

The C96 Mauser had been favoured by the Jewish armed guards in the Ottoman PalestinePalestine
Palestine is one of several names for the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the banks of the Jordan River with various adjoining lands….
and the paramilitaries of HaganahHaganah
The Haganah was a Jewish paramilitary organization in what was then the Palestine from 1920 to 1948. It was the main precursor for Israel’s army: the Israel Defense Forces ….
in the British Mandate of Palestine. Most of the pistols had been bought by either private buyers or agents of the Jewish settlement movement in Europe and sent to Palestine. Despite the pistols’ worldwide popularity and fame, the only nation to use the C96 as the primary service pistolService pistol
A Service Pistol is any handgun issued to military personnel….
of its military and police was China. Today the Broomhandle MauserMauser
Mauser is the common name of a Germany arms manufacturer, maker of a line of bolt-action rifles from the 1870s to present….
is a popular collector’s gun; many have come on to the civilian market after being exported from China.


2 comments so far

  1. gunclassics on


    I found you through links on WordPress while looking around for pages on the Mauser C96 machine pistol. Since your blog is about the history of guns for India, I was wondering;
    Do you live in India? If so, do you still see a lot of the Lee-Enfield SMLE .303 rifles used by police and military there? I know that in addition to any that were carried into India by the British during the Colonial period, there were also SMLE bolt-action rifles made in India by a company called Ishapore. Just wondering.

    Enjoyed your blog.

  2. rambeer singh on

    they are proud of our nation.

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