Original German WWI Mauser C96 Pistol Leather Harness Holster - Dated 1918
Original item: One only. This is a solid example of a WW1 production leather belt harness for transporting a wood holster-stock and cleaning tool for the Mauser C96 (Construktion 96). This semi-automatic pistol was developed by Mauser in 1896, and produced until 1937. Unlike most pistols of the time, the C-96 had an integral 10 round magazine, loaded by stripper clips, and had a 5.5 inch long barrel. It was originally chambered for 7.63×25mm Mauser, a high-velocity cartridge that along with the barrel gave the C-96 better range and penetrating power than many contemporary pistols. When combined with the standard wooden shoulder-stock, it was highly accurate and a formidable force on the battlefield.
The aforementioned shoulder stock had an additional purpose, which was to serve as a holster for the pistol. The pistol fits almost completely inside the stock, which then itself is held by the leather harness. This example is in good condition, and constructed of dark brown leather typical of the WWI period. The leather does have some splitting in the finish and wear from use, as it is just under 100 years of age. All the metal studs are intact, and the closures hold tight. Holster is somewhat stiff, and has some repairs to the stitching. It is maker marked and dated:
The holster is also stamped L.Z.A. / eagle / J. Karlsruhe on both the front and the back. This marking signifies Leder-Zuweisungs-Amt Inspection Karlsruhe, or the Leather Allocation Office, Karlsruhe. The job of the of the LZA was to control leather goods production. This consisted of supplying leather to private leather goods manufacturers for belts, boots, holsters, etc. for the purpose of producing these different items for army and navy usage.
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