Paul Mauser invented the first really successful military automatic pistol. While numerous experimental models had been manufactured at an earlier date, it was not until Mauser in 1896 patented his military automatic pistol that a weapon of reliable design was produced.
The diagram shown on page 172 is from the original specification filed by Mauser. It is remarkable in that this design was so right initially, that in all the years of manufacture from 1898 when it was first put on the market until 1945 when its manufacture was halted by the termination of World War II, only minor design changes were possible in this weapon.
In his patent specification Mauser described his invention and said that it had for its object, "A magazine repeating fire arm with a movable barrel, in which the recoil caused by the shock is used to unlock the bolt and open the breech, to eject the empty cartridge case and to work the firing mechanism, as well as to compress a number of springs arranged in such a manner as to effect the loading of a fresh cartridge, the reclosing of the breech and locking of the bolt and the advancing movement of the barrel. Upon these principles which are already partly known, I have devised a magazine fire arm in which all previous experiences in respect to this class of arm have been carefully taken into consideration, not only with regard to its ballistic qualities, but especially by the peculiar skillful construction of the component parts, and the manner of connecting them without the aid of screws; it may, therefore, be considered that the improved fire arm is in every way well adapted for military purposes."
This remarkable achievement of Mauser's in producing a pistol in which parts were made to interlock so that screws and pins were not necessary to its design has remained an outstanding achievement in firearms history.
The explanation given of the operation of the original drawing is as follows: "This is a vertical longitudinal section of an automatic repeating pistol. The barrel A has an extension A1 forming a breech casing for the breech bolt B, which is held forward by a spring supported by a pin A2 passing through a slot in the breech bolt. The breech bolt is locked in its closed position by a hinged locking piece C, having a pivot forming a projection against which the mainspring
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