ask-the-marshallWhile watching Joe Kid and The Journeyman, I’ve noticed the use of Mausers. Was this gun typical of the period?

Dick Jenkins
Via the Internet

The pistol you’re probably talking about is the Mauser C-96. The Mauser brothers, Paul and Wilhelm, were responsible for some of the best firearms ever produced. The handgun went into production by the Mauser Company in 1896. It was offered to the German military, but they declined.

The C-96 was popular with civilians, however, and more than a few found their way to the American West. The pistol first saw military action during the Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902), and again in WWI.

Incidentally, the Mauser Model 98 bolt-action rifle performed so well for the Spanish soldiers in the Spanish-American War of 1898, that the U.S. used it as a prototype for the legendary Springfield Model 1903, which most military historians agree was the best shooting rifle in U.S. military history.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His books include The Arizona Trilogy and Law of the Gun.

If you have a question, write:

Ask the Marshall

PO Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327

or e-mail him at

Related Articles

  • ask-the-marshall

    While watching Joe Kid and The Journeyman, I’ve noticed the use of Mausers. Was this…

  • What kind of gun did Pat Garrett use to kill Billy the Kid? Billy Patscher…

  • Illustration by Bob Boze Bell

    In 1859, Arizona’s first newspaper, The Arizonian, reported on a duel in Tubac, Arizona. An…