World War I Conversion

During World War I, large numbers of this model were converted to take the standard German army cartridge, for the Pistole 08, or 9 millimeter Luger cartridge as it is known in this country. These pistols are distinguishable from the standard 7.63mm type by the figure "9" usually painted or burned into the grips. This type of pistol used the standard 9mm Luger cartridge as manufactured in the United States, prior to World War II.

With the ending of World War I, the Mauser factory was not permitted under the terms of the treaty of Versailles to manufacture the 7.63mm with the standard barrel. By a subterfuge, it was decided that the pistol might be manufactured with a barrel a fraction under 4 inches, including the chamber length. This model had the same action as the standard Mauser used during the War, but its grip was modeled after the old 1905 model. This type will often be found with Swiss markings. It was also widely distributed in the United States as an export weapon, fitted with specially shaped Franzite grips. It has the standard 50 to 1000 meter sight. This model, introduced shortly after 1920, is often popularly referred to as the "Bolo" Mauser from the fact that very large numbers were shipped into Russia, where they were popular with the Bolshevik group striving for power at that time.

At this juncture it might be well to point out that this pistol in this caliber from its very inception was very widely accepted throughout all parts of Russia and Siberia. It was and is one of the most popular weapons ever used in the Orient. The official Russian army automatic pistol cartridge today is the 7.63mm Mauser cartridge with a somewhat lighter load, although officially called "7.62 mm/'

The next alteration was in 1926 when the barrel length was set at 5.25 inches which kept it in the specifications set forth in the Versailles Treaty.

The changes made at that time include the following: The safety lock was altered to require pushing the thumbpiece up to set the safety, though it worked on the same principle as heretofore. The pivot pierces the side of the receiver and enters a recess in the side of the hammer to serve as a safety bar. This hammer recess is cut to enable the hammer to be released when the safety is applied but to halt the movement before it can touch the firing pin head. This is a so-called "universal" safety to permit the hammer to be lowered in complete safety on a loaded chamber.

The sear is extended further back on the left outside the receiver and enters a recess in the safety lever so cut as to permit sear movement only when at full fire or at full safe position. Utilizing this ┬┐ystem, it is possible to load the firing chamber, set the safety and then merely press the trigger to drop the hammer safely. Pushing the safety ofT, leaves the arm ready to be cocked for firing the chamber.

The Mauser Universal Safety Lock was officially included in all models later manufactured by Mauser. This model was widely marketed as the Model 1930.

This universal safety lock will also be found on many of the short Bolo Mausers, indicating that production was continued in the 1930's.

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