The Mauser bolt-action military rifles and the C96 ‘Broomhandle’ are icons in firearms history, but they are far from being the only really successful guns the company has produced. In the first decades of the 20th.C. their pocket-pistols were wildly popular.
Mauser had a concept for a family of pistols ranging from pocket-guns to service pistols, all with a common look and manual-of-arms. They started this new family with a full-size service pistol in 9mm, but there were issues with the design. Rather than getting bogged-down they proceeded with the smaller members of the line, perhaps figuring to sort the service pistol out later. They never did, but in a the process they gave the world a pair of excellent small pistols, the models 1910 in .25 ACP and the 1914 in .32 ACP.
Both the model 1910 and 1914 were straight-blowback, striker-fired pistols that fed from a removable box magazine located in the grip and holding eight rounds. Both use a heel magazine release and feature wrap-around wooden grips.
The Model 1914 was used extensively in Police service in Germany and across Europe. It was well made, reliable, accurate and comfortable to shoot. It saw service in both World Wars, and was updated in 1934 with a palm-swell at the back of the grip and other small tweaks.
These guns tend to be polarizing with their unusual safeties and other features, but at the time they sold like hotcakes. If history is any judge people liked them very well indeed regardless of what we might think today.
Odd but Good
At the time of their introduction the conventions of semi-automatic pistols were not firmly established, but even in their day they were a bit unusual. First off the slide locks back on an empty magazine. Not too unusual, but the slide locks back when you wrack it even if there’s no magazine inserted, and there’s no way to release it, except by inserting another magazine. Whether the magazine is loaded or not the slide will drop. This was to facilitate rapid reloads; no control to release, no need to ‘slingshot’ the slide. Pull the empty, insert a full one and the gun chambers the round. easy-peasy.
Today people either love this or hate it, but it didn’t seem to bother buyers back in the day. I’m OK with it; it’s a little inconvenient at times, but not a big deal.
The other control that stands out is the safety. There is a lever just behind the trigger. Pushing this down activates the safety and locks the slide. You cannot push it up again to remove the safety. To do that you press the small button beneath the lever, which pops up and the gun is ready to shoot. The idea seems to have been to have to different, distinct motions to use the safety and there was no confusing them. It’s easy to operate and I think it’s pretty neat.
Another oddity is, frankly, it’s looks. These days we’re used to a specific look with the slide overhanging the rear of the grip and these guns don’t so much. The slide is odd too. We’re used to an open-top slide or an ejection port. These guns, like the first Beretta’s, have both. It looks kinda’ weird. Well, it works so what the hell. I like it; it’s different but sort of Diesel Punk.
Take down is unconventional but easy. There are video tutorials on Youtube, so I won’t repeat them here; it’s a lot easier to show than to explain.
So How Does it Shoot?
For test-firing I used Winchester White Box 71gr. FMC and a 78gr LFP handload which we’ll discuss later. The trigger is, stop me if you’ve heard this one, odd but good. There’s a fait bit of take-up but it’s light and smooth; you never feel the trigger break. Reset is fine, not particularly short or long. It’s very easy to use and lends itself to good control in rapid-fire. The sights are rather good for a pocket pistol of it’s era with a large, thick front sight and a good-sized U-notch rear. Recoil is mild, and the gun comes back on target quickly.
I didn’t do so hot at 25 yards, which I attribute to me, not the pistol. Double taps were not stellar, but I’m sure both those and my 25 yard targets will improve with practice.
About That Hand-Load…
OK, the usual. The author assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this data. It is prudent to start 10% below the listed load and work up. Always ensure any gun, particularly an antique gun, is safe to operate before firing it. When in doubt don’t.
Here’s the load:
78gr. LFP, 1.9gr. Unique, CCI500 primer
3-12″ barrel, 709 fps. 87 ft/lbs ES: 9 fps.
This is a very mild load, well suited to shooting in antique guns. It fed fine from the magazine and cycled the action reliably; I experienced no misfires.
I love this gun. It’s a sweetheart; very comfortable in the hand at very easy to shoot well at defensive distances. Felt recoil is very mild. Did I mention that I love it? I’ll get a couple of more magazines, and if continues to be as reliable as it has been so far I’d have no issues with the idea of using it for discreet carry. Now I want a Model 1910. Because reasons.
Michael Tinker Pearce, 9 April 2021
If you like what you see here, please consider clicking the link above and supporting me on Patreon