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The C96 is a semi-automatic pistol that was manufactured from 1896 to 1936 in Germany.
It was one of the first semi-automatic pistols to see widespread use. It was also manufactured in direct or modified form in Spain and China in the first half of the 20th Century.
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 (PDWs), as its long barrel and powerful cartridge gave it superior range and better penetration capabilities than most other standard pistols.
During World War I the Imperial German Army contracted with Mauser for 150,000 C96 pistols chambered for the 9 mm Parabellum.
This variant was named the "Red 9" after a large number "9" burned and painted in red into the grip panels, to prevent the pistols' users from loading them with 7.63 mm ammunition by mistake.
Of the 150,000 pistols commissioned, approximately 135,000 were delivered before the war ended. This was the only time in which the C96 was ever used officially by the German army.
* From Wikipedia: Mauser C96 *
(Mauser C96 "Red 9" Made by East)
Medal of Honor World War I Tentative Official Site: http://www7.atwiki.jp/giretsu/ *
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