View Full Version : C96 "Broomhandle" Mauser Takedown
November 22, 2004, 03:50 PM
Just acquired a 1930 Commercial C96 Mauser pistol in a good 98% condition and have been researching everything from history and variations to safety and takedown (field strip) procedures. Field stripping begins with the pressing in of the Magazine Floor Plate Release pin enough to slide the Floor Plate forward and off the Magazine Housing itself. Easy enough. However, my Floor Plate won't budge! The release pin is depressed enough to free the Floor Plate, but it won't slide forward at all. Now be advised the fit of the Floor Plate is tightly toleranced. Looks to be every bit the fit of a S&W revo side plate. Obviously, I don't want to "force" it. I tried some Kroil, let it soak where the Floor Plate and Magazine Well meet. Still no luck. Any ideas, guys? Thanks for your help.
November 22, 2004, 10:36 PM
A lot of these old guns haven't been stripped in MANY years, and it's possible the plate could be rust frozen or sprung.
Using all 4 of your hands, depress the floor plate latch FULLY, then use a brass or nylon drift and small hammer to GENTLY tap the floor plate forward.
November 23, 2004, 12:14 AM
Good advice, but I'd hit it with oil and let it soak overnite first.
November 23, 2004, 09:40 AM
Thanks, guys. I'll try the Kroil soak overnight first, then the nylon drift.
Interesting side note: J.B. Wood's manual for assembly/disassembly of auto pistols notes a reassembly caution for this gun on page 303. It states, "When replacing the rocker coupling (a small hook like part that fits up in the subframe), note that its "hook" must be pointed forward. Unfortunately, it is possible to install the rocker coupling backwards, with disasterous results. When this is done, the pistol can be completely put back together, but the nose of the coupling will lock on the front of the trigger/floorplate latch spring, and no amount of force will disassemble it again. Special tools will be required."
I hope this ain't the case with my pistol. If some clown originally did this, and there is evidence of the gun having been disassembled before, it is likely that I will need professional assistance. If so, any recommendations as to the right gunsmith for the job?
Thanks again for your comments and suggestions.
November 24, 2004, 01:09 PM
Good news! The Kroil soak worked. The floorplate came off with a slight tap with a drift. I used Kroil on the subframe and barrel extension too. Let it soak for about 2 hours. When I returned, it pulled away with, again, a slight tap of the drift. The piece is completely disassembled now and ready for cleaning. I have ordered a complete new spring set from Wolff and a new Bolt Stop from Sarco, Inc. along with a bunch of stripper clips.
BTW, and FWIW, I used the auto pistol firearms assembly/disassembly manual by J.B. Wood, Part 1, Revised Ed. and the takedown instructions provided on gunsworld.com, The Mauser 1896 "Broom Handle" Field Stripping. I needed both to accomplish the task. The respective authors use slightly different methods. Success came as a consequence of employing both.
December 2, 2004, 03:23 PM
Now the fun begins, Hope you can put it back together as easily. ;)
December 2, 2004, 05:31 PM
Hey, once cleaned and oiled, the parts went back together easily. I did find one trick that helped. Mounting the subframe in a padded drill press vice, then mounting the right size brass drift in the drill press itself, and (without power!!) slowly depressing the hammer spring, one can place the rocker coupling in without having three hands. Just have to make sure it's pointing in the right direction!
Another trick J.B. Wood doesn't use, but the downloaded info did was re-attaching the subframe to the extended barrel by holding the barrel portion upside down and pushing the subframe UP into it. It snaps right in that way. Trying to push the subframe DOWN into the extended barrel assy won't get you there because the piece retained in the barrel portion can't drop down to mate with the subframe.
My new spring set has arrived from Wolff. Just waiting on the Bolt Stop and stripper clips from Sarco. Then apart it comes again for new innards. Ordered the Fiocchi ammo today from militaryguns.com out of Texas. Non corrosive, boxer primed, and reloadable brass.
Thanks for all your advice, gents.
December 4, 2004, 01:28 PM
I've been warned that the locking bolt should be examined. Xray and magnaflux comes to mind. If it shatters, you'll have an eyeful of bolt in your face. :(
December 4, 2004, 02:12 PM
Thanks, Gary. The Bolt Stop DEFINITELY needs replacement. It is worn and I fear may be fractured but I can't say for sure. The through hole in the Bolt Stop through which the firing pin passes is VERY thin walled! Unfortunately, the one I ordered from Sarco, Inc. did not ship along with the stripper clips. The packing sheet simply said "not available", not even back ordered. So, they didn't charge me for it; they just zeroed that portion of the order out. Numrich is also out. If anybody knows where I can find a new Bolt Stop, I'd sure appreciate the headsup. Because, when all is said and done, "Homey" ain't firin' this puppy until that little item is taken care of. I am told that IF the Bolt Stop fails (you're right Gary), the bolt will become a projectile speeding toward the area of the shooter's right eye. If you've seen and held one of these bolts, you would not want that to happen. It could ruin your whole day. Safety is far more important. It's amazing how some folks throw caution to the wind. When you read Kuhnhausen's manuals, SAFETY is always stressed.
December 5, 2004, 07:52 PM
The bolt itself also should be examined or (preferably) magnafluxed. Some had runouts of the firing pin hole at the lug cuts and subsequently cracked. If the bolt breaks, the rear half comes back into the shooter's face. I have a friend who was very glad he was wearing shooting glasses when it happened to him; the lens cracked, but his eye is intact. This is one reason I recommend not firing those old Mausers at all. They are old enough to deserve retirement.
December 6, 2004, 11:26 AM
And thank you, Jim, for the info. I'll have the bolt magnafluxed just to be sure. I really do want to fire it, though. To get the feel of what it must have felt like for those old historic figures to have shot it.
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