During World War I, the Imperial German Army contracted with Mauser for 150,000 C96 pistols chambered in 9mm Parabellum to offset the slow production of the standard-issue Luger P.08 pistol. This variant of the C96 was named the "Red 9" after the large number "9" burned into the grip panels and painted in red to warn users not to load them with 7.63mm ammunition by mistake. Because the army delegated the branding to unit armorers, not all 9mm C96 pistols bear the “9”.
The C96 Mauser Pistol, known as the ‘Broomhandle’, seems strangely out of place in a section about ‘Guns of the Old West’, but it does make an appearance as a curiosity in several spaghetti westerns. Although more readily associated with WWI, the Mauser C96 was patented in 1895, with full-scale production starting in 1897. The C96 had a 10-round magazine that was loaded with stripper clips, and was the first pistol to feature a reliable autoloading mechanism.
The Roth-Steyr M1907, or, more accurately Roth-Krnka M.7 was a semi-automatic pistol issued to the Austro-Hungarian Kaiserliche und Koenigliche Armee cavalry during World War I. It was the first adoption of semi-automatic service pistol by a land army of major power. Cal. 8, 8 Steyr. 10 rounds internal mag.
C-93 Borchardt. 7.65x25mm. The first moderately successful automatic pistol. The design was reengineered by Georg Luger in 1900 to become one of the best known handgun in history, the Luger pistol. Its ammunition was copied by Mauser for their M1896 pistol and renamed 7.63mm Mauser.
Introduced in 1896 the C96 (Construktion 96) was made until 1937, by which time approximately one million had been produced. Although originally rejected by the German military, the C96 proved to be a commercial success. It was subsequently adopted by Turkish, Italian, Persian and Austrian militaries, and in the First World War the German army ordered 150,000 in 9mm.
These are two scarce World War II-era German proofed, Spanish-made Astra pistols: The larger 9mm Model 600, and the smaller Model 300 in 9mm Kurz. Both bear Spanish proofs on the left side of the frame and slide and on the right side of the barrel, along with the German WaA251 Waffenamt military acceptance. The German military often accepted Spanish and Italian arms without specific Waffenamt markings, so these guns are considered rarer.