View Full Version : my mauser C96. how to appraise it?

October 29, 2012, 07:51 AM
this is a mauser C96 7.63x25 i managed to buy. When i was at the gun show i turned down four offers after i got it. i was curious how to get it appraised and how could i find a more detailed history on the firearm.

October 29, 2012, 08:15 AM
i forgot to mention the firearm dose shoot and ive pinned it to a 1914-15 make. sorry for the poor photos had to use my cell phone camra. i hope to post better one in time.

October 29, 2012, 09:12 AM
I gotta wonder how high your offers were because to my knowledge there were basically zero factory nickel broomhandles. The gun was re-nickeled after the war by someone.

To identify it as commercial vs military, up close pics of the markings are needed. What is the SN btw?

October 29, 2012, 10:30 AM
i turned a 2000 and a 2500 offer down. i dont know if mines worth that much but on gunauction.com they got some going for around that much and more. None were nickel plated though.the serial number is 244824, inside and out of the gun. the stock on the other hand has 908. So close lol.

October 29, 2012, 02:02 PM
IMHO, you shoulda took the money & ran......................


James K
October 29, 2012, 03:54 PM
If you got offers of $2000 or more, I agree with PetahW.


October 29, 2012, 07:41 PM
the C96 broomhandle is one of my more favorite firearms, in truth im glade i didnt take the money.It did make me wonder what mine is worth. i may have to run down another model in 9mm or a type 17.

October 30, 2012, 06:25 AM
The nickle plating has destroyed collector value. If the should stock is original it's worth 400-600 bucks, if the holster is original it's worth 150-200 bucks.

Looking old is not original as C96 repros have been around for 50-60 years.

2K+ buys a matching pistol with matching shoulder stock. Original stocks have the last four digits stamped in the metal.

October 30, 2012, 06:29 AM
It looks nickle but I was wondering if someone may have buffed it to a shine leaving it in the white.

October 30, 2012, 07:08 AM
being nickel kinda worrys me now. but the serial numbers are legit. every time i search them it comes back saying it was made between 1914-15. Is there anyway to tell if it was orginaly nickel platted or if it was added on?

October 30, 2012, 12:14 PM
Is there anyway to tell if it was orginaly nickel platted or if it was added on?

If you bother reading about C96s, or any other similar semi pistols you will see that very few if any German army or even German commercial sidearms were ever nickel plated. A nickel finish is not necessary as a combat sidearm and actually serves to work against you IE increased visability. There is no reason for the Germans to have originally nickeled your mauser. In addition, its an added cost. I suppose some of the commercial examples could have been nickel, but I don't recall ever seeing a factory nickel example. The only times I remember seeing German military sidearms nickel plated were for presentation examples. If the gun is not marked in a special way, and has no engraving, it is not a presentation piece. Some ways to tell that your gun is not original nickel: plating over pits and other such markings, faint stampings, the gun being completely nickel (many times factory nickel guns have a few parts such as screws finished in another way) etc. The other good indicator is the history of the arm. If your gun is a military contract version (you never posted the SN or any markings, so we don't technically know) it is definitely not original nickel. You may hear stories about an Officer ordering the gun in nickel, or some other BS story, but rest assured, it was nickeled by a previous owner. Nickel plating GI bring backs was very common at one time.

As stated, you would have made out like a bandit to accept a $2000 offer when nice original ones don't often bring that much unless they have a matching stock or some other significance. If the gun and stock are mismatched, IMO the gun is worth less than $1000. When you say you saw blued examples bring $2000 or $2500, they were original collectible examples, and so they are different than your gun. Taking the $2000 would have allowed you to buy a better one for around the same money.

October 30, 2012, 01:13 PM
I would have taken the $2500 and ran for the door.It's like i told a guy with a chrome plated 03a3 "It's pretty but I'm looking for the before example"

October 30, 2012, 05:59 PM
well if the nickel diminished it in price then there not much i can do. Its still a fine looking gun and all the serial numbers match. The stock dont match but that gives me some room to replace the metal on it. My point being is its a my first C96 and good a shooter, ill be sure to do better resarch on the next one.

James K
October 30, 2012, 08:28 PM
Many German handguns were brought back by American GI's after WWII, and many of the owners wanted to improve the appearance of the guns to make them more valuable. Today, that idea is sad/funny, but remember that in 1946, Lugers and Mausers were selling for $10 and P.38's for $5, low even for those days. So having a "bringback" pistol nickel or chrome plated and plastic "pearl" grips installed seemed like a good idea to many ex-GI's.


October 30, 2012, 08:50 PM
i guess a bonus on mine is there is no import markings. to the best of my knowlage that probly makes it a bring back. small victory there.

October 31, 2012, 07:14 AM
i guess a bonus on mine is there is no import markings. to the best of my knowlage that probly makes it a bring back. small victory there.

Very unlikely it's a bring back. My bet is a pre war commercial version. Most early C96's in this country are commercial pistols chambered in 7.63X25. They were very popular and one of the first successful semi auto's on the market.

Closeup pic's of the pistol stripped would allow a more precise evaluation.

James K
November 1, 2012, 08:17 PM
I talked about GI bringbacks in regard to plating, but I suspect that particular gun was one of those imported from China 30 or so years ago, before "HW" ordered a ban on handgun and assault rifle importation from China. Most were in absolutely awful condition, badly rusted and with parts missing. Any import marking would likely have been erased when the gun was heavily buffed prior to plating.


November 2, 2012, 12:00 PM
$2,000 and $2,5000?? If someone would have offered me $1,000, I'd have given it to him with a big kiss and ran out the door.:eek:

James K
November 2, 2012, 06:52 PM
I'll bet that if the OP had taken anyone up on those offers, it would have been they who ran for the door.


November 2, 2012, 08:07 PM
from what my gunsmith found on the gun, it is a german made mauser. its a orginal bring back from WW1, made 1915. the stamp reads WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER
OBERNDORF A. NECKAR . it was nickel plated on the boat over. it devalues it alittle but im happy i got it.

November 2, 2012, 10:23 PM
The Broomhandle is such an iconic pistol, you could finish it in purple tigerstripes and folks would still want it. Since it's a matching piece, see about getting it restored.

November 3, 2012, 07:58 AM
we talked about restoring it and he said itd run around $600. My gunsmith said that he didnt know if it would level out. but i am looking into the idea, besides i kinda like it nickel plated. You dont see many of them like that around. i dont know if i want to redo the nickel job or professionaly restore it. eather way its a awsome gun. ill ask the forum what they would do. also would like to know the thoughts of having a the stock made to match. since its not all orginal i think im going to do some work to it and would like some creative input. thanks.

November 3, 2012, 09:38 AM
Re-nickel it? Apparently you are more wealthy than myself.

You like the look? Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

I think the cheapest "restorative" measure would be to have the nickel stripped off professionally. Now of course, it may not look great underneath, but I think it would be a better gun with the nickel removed. On the other hand, if it was buffed a lot, then removing the nickel would not correct that. Any buffing can't be undone.

I'm still confused on how you know its a German military C96 when you have yet to cite any evidence of that. Remember that both commercial and military guns would be marked "Mauser" and the the rest. It comes down to proof marks and or SN ranges. IMO, if you can verify its a military version, its probably worthwhile to strip it, depending on cost.

November 3, 2012, 11:16 AM
. its a orginal bring back from WW1, made 1915. the stamp reads WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER
OBERNDORF A. NECKAR . it was nickel plated on the boat over. it devalues it alittle but im happy i got it.

How exactly were you able to determine that the gun was a bring back and when the plating was done? :confused:

November 3, 2012, 08:02 PM
i never said it was military make make. i said it was made during WW1. as of thursday it was confirmed to me that it was a commercial make. If i run the serial number myself it comes back 1911-15make. But from wat my gunsmith found on the serial number it was never imported to american. He also studyed the nickel and determined it was a homemade job. From what i understand he said it was probly done on a boat over here, or done in the same way. But im only reapeating what ive been told and what little i can find.