Westley Richards Mauser C96 ‘Broomhandle’ Pistol

Mauser C96 7.63mm broom handle pistolOriginal Westley Richards retailed Mauser C96 ‘Broomhandle pistol complete with walnut holster/stock.

Whilst Westley Richards has always been a manufacturer of its own guns and rifles, during the heady days of Empire there was a huge requirement for general sporting and military type arms for personnel serving in the armed forces.  To fulfil their needs (and budgets) and to capture its share of the market Westley Richards often turned to other manufacturers including Mauser, Mannlicher, Colt, Smith & Wesson, etc.

One of the more interesting firearms sold by the company was the Mauser C96 ‘Broomhandle’ semi automatic pistol in 7.63mm calibre.  Retailed exclusively by Westley Richards between 1899 – 1904.  It was one of the most deadly weapons of its day and found favour with officers serving in the British Army due to its rapidity of fire.  One notable user was W.L.S.Churchill who used one during the battle of Omdurman and the 2nd Boer War.

Directions for use of the mauser self loading pistolRare instruction pamphlet for Westley Richards Mauser C96 pistol 

As you would expect with Westley Richards several improvements were made including an interchangeable wind gauge peep and v sight for fine shooting, along with a new bullet called ‘the all range destructive’.

Clip of 10 rounds of WR all range destructive bulletsWestley Richards ‘all range destructive’ bullets in 10 round clip

Examples of the pistol can still be found today bearing the ‘Westley Richards & Co’ name on the left hand side of the action.  Many came supplied with a walnut holster which doubled as a clip on stock for long range shooting.  I have always wondered how many saw active service fighting the Germans in WWI, the ultimate irony!

WEstley Richards Mauser Record BookAll the Mauser pistols retailed by Westley Richards during our licensed period are recorded in one bound book which we still retain.

5 thoughts on “Westley Richards Mauser C96 ‘Broomhandle’ Pistol

  1. Good Day Trigger,

    I have been looking for one of those pistols for quite some time now. I have a couple of people that told me they would find me one. But as you can see I have not yet had the pleasure of owning one with the Westley Richards name on it. I think that ole rusty nail you have on your blog today is a great looking gun. Many thanks for telling this story Sir…Be well and take care!!!

    In Christ

  2. Trigger, did WR ever sell any of the rare Carbine versions of the C96?

    The one with the longer barrel, integrated wooden fore-end and integrated handle and stock. They came in a fitted case and included sling swivels and a sling, as well as several 10 round clips of ammo.


    • Dear Tim

      It appears from the records that we did, but very few indeed. In 1900 for example 656 pistols were sold and 13 carbines.

      Best regards


      • Thank you Trigger, much appreciated. They are an intriguing and very rare item, with their own line of form and function, which I happen to find attractive! That little round is an interesting one too.

        There was considerable comment on the Broomhandle’s man-stopping ability in the shooting press, particularly after the Boer War, with proponents on both sides arguing their case. As we are aware the .455 became the Services pistol calibre of choice at that time. Regardless, there continued to be fans of the automatic Mauser and it was used during WW1, by both sides.


  3. Being an avid collector of early C96 Mauser Broomhandle pistols. I have several W.R & Co Ltd marked shoulder stocked pistols and have developed a W.R & Co Ltd Pistol Display Case based on original period Westley Richards & Co Ltd style design circa 1920.

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