The Mauser C96, is a German semi-automatic pistol that has a broomhandle-style pistol grip made by Mauser. Nicknames for the gun include the Broomhandle (named for its grip), the Red 9, and the box cannon. Although there were some semi-automatic pistols made before it was invented, the C96 was one of the first that was successful. The C96 was used by many countries including Germany, Spain, China, and the Soviet Union. The C96 was produced by Germany from 1896 and ended in 1937. Spain and China made many of their own unlicensed models of the C96 Although it was invented in Germany, it was never a standard pistol for the German military. Nonetheless, it was still very popular pistol for German soldiers and officers until the end of World War II. The only country that made the C96 its standard pistol was China.
The C96 had many different models that fired different types of bullets. The first models fired 7.63x25mm Mauser bullets, but Germany later made a 9x19mm Parabellum version. 9x19mm versions of the gun have a red number 9 imprinted on the handle so that people would know to only load 9x19mm bullets and not the 7.63x25mm bullets. This is how the 9x19mm versions got the nickname "Red 9". In China, .45 ACP versions were made for the police and the military. The Chinese Army nicknamed the C96 the boxcannon, but the official name was the Type 17 pistol.
The gun comes with a magazine built in the gun. Most magazines for the C96 could hold 6 bullets, 10 bullets, or 20 bullets. Unlike most semi-automatic pistols, in order to load the C96, the shooter must load the bullets through the top of the gun using a stripper clip (like what you see in the picture above), rather than load a box magazine inside the grip. The C96 can also attach a wooden buttstock to the grip so that the shooter can aim more easily. The buttstock is also used as the gun's holster. The gun was also one of the first machine pistols, since some models allow the shooter to shoot the gun in full automatic fire.
Although the C96 is a little awkward to use, especially compared to most pistols today, it's old and unusual appearance make it a popular weapon in video games, like Resident Evil 4, the Metal Gear series, the Zombies game mode in the Call of Duty series, Bioshock: Infinite, Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: WWII, Far Cry 4, and many others.
- "The 'Broomhandle' Mauser C96: One of the World's Most Iconic Firearms". Ballistic Magazine. 2018-03-29. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
- "A Sweeping History of the Mauser C96 Broomhandle Pistol". Guns.com. 2012-01-26. Retrieved 2020-07-14.