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Database

A work of love? This is a list of serial numbers compiled from books, Internet sources and from information supplied to me by other C96 owners!

Copyright of the image sources are quoted, and where available, links can be accessed to the source via the link.

Please let me know if you have any new information or if any amendments/updates are needed.

Date Serial number Model, Information, notes, photographs
February 1896 1-359 Pre-production pistol manufacture started.
    First pre-production model in 6-shot. RUECKLAUF PISTOLE SYSTEM MAUSER OBERNDORF a NECKER markings in three lines in space normally occupied by rear sight. Believed limited to only 20 pieces.
    Second pre-production model in 10-shot. SYSTEM MAUSER markings in two lines over chamber.
    Third pre-production model in 20-shot. SYSTEM MAUSER markings in two lines over chamber.
    Fourth pre-production model in 10-shot with detachable barrels chambered for 6mm experimental caliber. Believed limited to only 1 or 2 pieces.
Prior to April 1896 1 Fifth pre-production model in a carbine version of the C96 mechanism, called "Kavallerie Karbiner" (Cavalry Carbine).
July 1896 to August 1896   Experimental and prototype design work completed.
  49 45.5 inch pre-production 'step-barrel 6-shot cone hammer' with no chamber markings. Barrel extension in front of rear sight marked "RUECKLAUF PISTOLE SYSTEM MAUSER". Fixed sights and checkered wooden grips. Early type safety, firing pin trigger and extractor. German definitive pistol proof and Oberndorf proof house marks 15.
  52 Pre-production 'step-barrel 20-shot cone hammer'. 5.5 inch barrel. Early type adjustable sights marked '1-10'. Checkered wooden grips. "SYSTEM MAUSER" markings in two lines on top of chamber. Early type safety, firing pin trigger and extractor. German definitive pistol proof and Oberndorf proof house marks1proof and Oberndorf proof house marks 15.
  53 Step-barrel 20-shot pre-production cone hammer with elongated magazine housing capable of accepting 19 rounds 15.
  86

Supplied by Mikegguns@aol.com

  107 10-shot 'step-barrel cone hammer' with "SYSTEM MAUSER" markings in two lines on top of chamber. Early type safety, firing pin, trigger and extractor. Checkered wooden grips. Serial number inside frame immediately to rear of trigger group. German definitive pistol proof and Oberndorf proof house marks 15.
  203 10-shot version with a muzzle crown 15.
November
1896 to
April 1897
90-359 Transition models from pre-production to finalised production model.
  under 200 Overhanging edges of the barrel extension which rides on the frame complex mounting ridges, had two long narrow grooves milled out on either side, and bolt pulling head was vertically drilled from under side, on either side of body bolt, to remove material and reduce weight.
January
1897
  Lower supporting tip of the locking member made narrower from front to back and given a more angular and sharper profile.
During
1897
1-1000 Turkish Government contract numbered in their own separate series, in FARSI.
  above 300 Flat area at bottom of the mainspring housing cavity, directly above the grip frame part of the frame forging, given a shallow milling cut forming a large rectangular recess, to remove material.
  360 'System Mauser" cone hammer' type with 5.5 inch barrel. Early type adjustable sights marked '1-10'. Checkered walnut grips with 22 grooves. "SYSTEM MAUSER" markings in two lines on top of chamber. Early type safety, firing pin trigger and extractor. Serial number at top of rear grip strap. German definitive pistol proof and Oberndorf proof house marks 15.
June
1897
  Sales agencies granted to distributors in the USA and Great Britain (Westly Richards & Company).
  393
397
'Early production 6-shot cone hammer' type. 4.75 inch barrel with fixed rear sight. Checkered walnut grips with 21 grooves. Early type safety, firing pin trigger and extractor. Serial number at top of rear grip strap. "WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER, OBERNDORF A/N" on top of the chamber. German definitive pistol proof and Oberndorf proof house marks 15.
  630 An 'early production cutaway cone hammer' model. 5.5 inch barrel. Early type adjustable sights marked '1-10'. Checkered walnut grips with 21 grooves. Early type safety, firing pin trigger and extractor. Serial number at top of rear grip strap. No proof markings present. "WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER, OBERNDORF A/N" on top of the chamber. Built as a factory demonstration model 15.
  712


sourced from simpsonltd.com

A 10-shot Conehammer variation.

  743
753
An 'early production 20-shot cone hammer' model. Magazine integral to the frame and not detachable. 5.5 inch barrel. Early type adjustable sights marked '1-10'. Checkered walnut grips with 21 grooves. Early type safety, firing pin trigger and extractor. Serial number at top of rear grip strap. "WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER, OBERNDORF A/N" on top of the chamber. German definitive pistol proof and Oberndorf proof house marks 15.
  985 Early production cone hammer final version. Ulm proof marks on barrel, receiver and frame. Rear sight engraved 1 to 10.
  1000 Production change - milled panels over grips and triggers phased out. Rear portion of the barrel extension thickened below, and to either side of the rear sight area on 10-shot and 6-shot versions.
August to September 1897 1050 Only 500 pistols sold to this date. Serial numbering skipped to 4000 series.
1897-1899 360-14999 SYSTEM MAUSER cone hammer version: semi-perforated safety head revision and chamber markings changed to "WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER, OBERNDORF" in three lines. Pistol design is now stabilised.
October 1897 1900-3999 Gap in serial numbers is filled.
  12xx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

A 10-shot Conehammer with peepsight variation.

  1554 Top of barrel engraved 'Sold by John Rigby & Co. 72 St. James's St. London' on one line.
  19xx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

This serial numbered C96 has the frame engraved with 'Westley Richards & Co'.

  1958 Standard cone hammer with rear sight stamped 1-10.
  2xxx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

A 10-shot Conehammer variation.

  211x


sourced from simpsonltd.com

This serial numbered C96 has the frame engraved with 'The Clyde Engineering Co. Limited'.
A 10-shot Conehammer variation.

  2534 Standard cone hammer with rear sight stamped 100-300.
  3693 6-shot cone hammer with adjustable rear sight stamped 50-500.
  4xxx


sourced from gunsamerica.com

This serial numbered C96 has the LHS of the frame engraved with 'Westley Richards & Co'.

  5722 Top of barrel engraved 'Watson Bros. Old Bond St. London' on one line.
  58xx


sourced from gunsamerica.com

This serial numbered C96 has the LHS of the frame engraved with 'Westley Richards & Co'.
A 6-shot Conehammer variation.

  6217 6-shot cone hammer with 4.75 inch barrel.
  6233 LHS of frame engraved with 'S. W. Silver & Co. Cornhill London' across three lines.
  7160 Fixed sight cone hammer.
  7651 RHS of magazine housing engraved with 'Patstone & Son. Southhampton' across two lines.
  7769 Large ring hammer on a cone hammer frame with pinned rear sight. LHS of frame engraved with 'Westley Richards & Co.' on one line.
  8441 Later version of 20-shot cone hammer with grooved grips.
  9507 LHS of magazine housing engraved with 'Hooten & Jones 60 Dale St. Liverpool' across three lines.
  10128 Standard cone hammer with rear sight stamped 50-300.
  11xxx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

A 6-shot Conehammer variation.

  12000 Large ring hammer introduced.
  12281 Early transitional large ring hammer.
  128xx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

  13154 LHS of barrel extension engraved with 'Williams & Powell, Liverpool' on one line, and the LHS of the frame engraved with 'G. C. Barnes No. 2371.' across two lines.
xxx 144xx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

A 6-shot Conehammer variation.

  14878 RHS of the frame engraved with 'Westley Richards & Co. London' across two lines. RHS of the magazine housing engraved with  'Major W.E. Sturges to Capt. A.L. Farrant South Africa 1899'.
  14999 Cone Hammer version is phased out.
1898   20-shot cone hammer withdrawn from market due to lack of sales.
November
1898
  C-lever and mainspring plugs undergo extensive mechanical change.
1899   Model 1899 Italian Navy Contract flat-side frame variation. Special serial number sequence 1-5000 used, replacing serial numbers between 15000 and 20000 from the 'normal serial number sequence'.
1899 15300 Model 1899 Italian Navy Contract flat-side frame variation with contract serial number 300.
1899-1903 20000-34999 Firing pin is retained by a single lug to the solid bolt. Un-milling of the centre of the left rear panel is stopped.
  circa 20000-50000 First period of production for the Bolo variations.
  20533 Late transitional large ring hammer.
  209xx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

1899 21000 Trigger fitting is redesigned with integral pins.
  21024 Early Flat Side.
1900 22000 Lugs now used to retain rear sight instead of pins.
  22130 6-Shot Flat Side with the grip not slotted for the fitting of the holster shoulder-stock.
  223xx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

  22344 LHS of the frame engraved 'Charles Lancaster London' across two lines.
  23000 Late flat-side with rear sight stamped 1-10.
  23887 Late flat-side with rear sight stamped 50-1000.
  24868


sourced from gunsamerica.com

1902 29000 Shallow panel milling added.
  29171 Adjustable sight 6-shot flat-side.
  29178 Fixed sight flat-side Bolo or Officer's model.
  29260 Early large ring hammer Bolo.
  29507 Early 6-shot large ring hammer.
  29561 Adjustable sight 6-shot large ring hammer.
  30302 Early shallow-milled panel large ring hammer.
  33435 Late shallow-milled panel large ring hammer. Mauser address on the frame 16.
1904-1914 35000-100000 Firing pin retained by two opposed lugs to a solid bolt. Small ring hammer introduced and the large ring hammer is phased out.
  35461-38019 Early small hammer.
  356xx A Red 9 conversion model.
  36xxx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

A Prewar Commercial variation.

  36664

sourced from Daniel Zerpa.
An early small hammer version.
This was the first Model 1896 to incorporate a small ring hammer. Also shown is the 'detachable wooden stock and holster'.

  38552 Step-barrel large grip Bolo.
  39507 Step-barrel full sized variation.
1905 40000 Long narrow extractor is changed to a shorter wider extractor.
  40058 Reinforced chamber 6-shot large ring hammer.
  40240 Early small hammer Bolo.
  40243 Late large ring hammer Bolo.
  40872

sourced from Daniel Zerpa.
A late model adjustable-sight 6-shot Bolo version, fitted with the ' detachable wooden stock and holster'.
The short 'bolo' barrel is very noticeable, as is the immaculate condition of the bodywork.

  42604 Early Bolo.
  43164 Reinforced chamber small hammer 6-shot.
  43620 Late 6-shot small hammer.
  44000 Non-adjustable rear sights phased out.
  84672 Removable magazine model 1930, made from a standard 1896 model.
  85000-95000 Mauser banner trademark stamped on top flat of the chamber. This is known as the Standard Commercial variation.

  86xxx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

This C96 formed part of the "Siamese Contract".

1912 100000 Rifling changed from 4 to 6 grooves.
  104xxx


sourced from gunsamerica.com

1913 120000 Batch of assorted serial numbers supplied to western US distributor " Pacific Arms".
  132xxx Part of the "Siamese Contract". Appeared in the sales inventory from "CheckPointCharlies".
circa 1910 154000-155000 Persian contract order of 1000 Standard Commercial version. Persian 'Sun Lion' crest stamped on the left rear frame panel.
  154002 Persian contract Pistol.
1914 160735-161906 Batch of assorted serial numbers supplied to US importer "Hans Tauscher".
  2467xx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

1914-1918 270000-430000 Period of war production.
  273339 Standard prewar commercial.
1915 280000 New Safety introduced. This is marked with an inter-twined "NS" on the hammer.
circa 1916   Austrian military contract for Standard wartime commercial version.
1916   German Army contract for 150,000 C96 pistols in 9mm Parabellum. Prussian Eagle mark placed on the front of the magazine well.
  289409


Property of Grahame Smith

A 'Navy C96 Broomhandle Mauser'.
It has the 'M/6-pointed star' proof mark as described on page 123 of the Bedford & Dunlap book 5,
and as shown here.

  2894xx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

  290090 Standard wartime commercial.
  349602 Property of Reed Kimzey, this serial number appears on a rare 8.15mm caliber C96 Mauser.
  367999


Property of Jim Carpenter

  393990 Property of 'Robert & Brigette', this serial number appears on a rare 8.15mm caliber C96 Mauser.
  416868 Property of Marty Jung, this serial number appears on a rare 8.15mm caliber C96 Mauser.
  418443


Property of Javier Peńa

A Standard wartime commercial.

1918   German Army contract ended with approximately 136,000 C96 pistols supplied.
1918 430000 End of the wartime production.
  4307xx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

1919-1921 430000-500000 Post war production continues until approximately 1930. The Mauser banner on the left side of the frame narrower.
1919 432000-433000 French Gendarme order of 1000 pistols with Bolo barrel on a large frame. Known as the French Police variation.
  432087 French Police variation.
  433900 End of standard wartime commercial model.
circa 1919   Finnish contract for several versions including 7.65 Parabellum. Stamped with Finnish State property mark 'SA', as shown here.
1920   Treaty of Versailles modifications including cutting back of barrel length to four inches and fixed rear sight on existing stocks of weapons. Commonly know as the '1920 rework' or '1920 variation' models. As part of the Treaty, there was a gun amnesty in Germany in order to get surplus war material off the street. Premiums were paid to people who turned in their firearms. In order to prevent people from stealing already turned in firearms, all firearms transferred in to Reichswehr property were marked with a '1920' stamp, however, this practice of stamping 1920 carried on for some years after the amnesty was over. In practice the barrel was cut back to 4 inches and foresight then sweated back on. Adjustable rear sight replaced by fixed sight. Bodies of guns were usually stamped with '1920'.
1921 440000 Lanyard ring rotated 90 degrees.
  circa 440000-800000 Second period of production for the Bolo variations.
  440xxx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

  446xxx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

Long barrelled Bolo.

  49xxxx


sourced from Bob McReynolds

An example of an Early postwar Bolo, this photograph shows that the original 22 groove walnut grips have been replaced with remanufactured smooth grips. The barrel is 3.9 inches long and the right hand side rear frame is stamped WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER OBERNDORF A NECKER.

1921-1930 500000-799999 Bolo variation production restarted. Banner insignia re-introduced.
  515091 Late postwar Bolo.
  595864 Late fixed sight Bolo.
  610xxx


sourced from simpsonltd.com

  650000 Deeper colour of bluing introduced.
  703851


sourced from oldrifles.com

  732110 Model 1930 transitional variation.
1930-1937 800000-980000 Model 1930 introduced with "New Universal Safety". Unofficially referred to by collectors as the 711 Model. Start of a 150,000 order for China.
1930 803115 Early model 1930 with universal safety.
  854572


sourced from simpsonltd.com

  872885


sourced from George Moody

With this model, the floor plate, spring and follower can be removed from the pistol. A small magazine catch mechanism slides in and attaches to the "button". This allows a removable magazine to be inserted into the magazine well. The magazine has "9mm OBI" on the lower right side of the magazine. There are no other markings at all on either piece. It is believed that "OBI" stands for Oyster Bay Industries. Oyster Bay Industries was known to sell Broomhandle uppers and a removable 9mm magazine attachment.

  889xxx


sourced from David Owens

An example of what appears to be a Late Model 1930, the gun has a complicated history. The serial number appears to be in the block allocated to the Early Model 1930, but it isn't. At around serial number 875000, the Early Model 1930 took on the markings and finish of the Late Model 1930 (italic text in the RHS frame banner), but retained the serial number in the location of the Early Model 1930, up until around 894897, when Mauser used up the last of the 'early' barrels and went on to use the 'new' barrels with the serial number in the 'late' position. Since then, the pistol has been bored out to 9mm, therefore making it a '9mm model 1930'. The foresight is also non-standard.

1930 900302 Late model 1930.
1930 913314 'Red 9' 9mm model 1930.
1930 914751 8.15mm model.
1937 950000 End of China contract.
1937 950001-980000 Last 30000 C96 pistols produced.
1939   Production ceases at Oberndorf.

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