When the short barrel model was issued, an improved form of shoulder stock with lightened wooden butt as shown was introduced. Except for minor details, however, it is identical with the original model.
rear sight except when the pistol is at full cock. The rear sight is a plain V which is not adjustable.
The front sight is part of the barrel forging itself. A thumb safety on the left side of the receiver is pushed down to lock the hammer safety when the weapon is cocked.
This original design was altered very shortly after its introduction, being replaced with a model having a 5.5 inch barrel, a lower hammer which does not interfere with the line of sight, and a tangent rear sight, graduated from 50 to 700 meters and mounted above the barrel extension. This was the weapon widely used in the Boer War.
One of the earliest and most enthusiastic users of the original Mauser pistol was Winston Churchill, who at that time was a Lieutenant in the 21st Lancers. He carried the pistol at the battle of Omdurman, and in his history of that campaign, gives a graphic account of how he was able to shoot his way out of a native trap because of the large magazine capacity and the rapidity of fire. His stiring account of the episode is one of the classic stories of the Sudan campaign. These early models use 4-groove rifling. In 1905 a 4-inch barrel model, having a somewhat squarer rib than usual, a 5-shot magazine, and a very large hammer, with an exceptionally large hammer hole was introduced in small quantity. This too, had 4-groove right twist rifling.
In 1912, a 10-shot model with a 5.5-inch barrel was reintroduced. The rifling was changed to 6 grooves, right hand twist, having very narrow lands. Some slight details in the action were changed at this time. A broader and shorter extractor was included, a smaller hammer, the safety lever was designed to be pushed upwards to produce the safe position, the striker (which heretofore had been retained by a sliding plate dovetailed into the rear of the bolt) now had two lugs turned on its head, the head itself being cross cut to accept the point of the cleaning rod furnished with the pistol—this was used to remove the striker when necessary. Pushing the striker in against this spring and giving a half turn to the right disengages the lugs, permitting the striker to be withdrawn.
Shortly afterwards other minor changes were made. The T section of the rear of the bolt were made broader, its under lugs which serve to rock the hammer back, was made larger and longer and extended to the rear locking recess, the front mainspring plunger was pierced to take the rocker (prior to this time the rocker had rested in front of the plunger). The front plunger was given a tail to project through the claw of the receiver as far as the sear lever to serve as a disconnector. While the front plunger is pressed back by the rocker, the tail prevents the sear lever from being elevated by the trigger and also serves to hold the front plunger.
The pivot of the safety lever engages directly in the safety bent on the hammer instead of using a separate bar as heretofore. When it is pushed upwards, a projection on the pivot enters the safety bent, a slot extending from the recess straight upwards. A second bent is - provided to receive the pivot of the safety lever when the hammer is down. This feature serves to prevent the arm from being cocked if the safety is applied.
The trigger and its spring were mounted directly on the receiver (heretofore they had been on a separate block). This requires only a narrow slot in the claw of the receiver above the triggerguard.
This variety fitted with a tangent sight graduated from 50 to 1000 meters, was very extensively used during World War I. Although never an official German pistol, it was widely manufactured and issued to troops as a substitute weapon.
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