During my trip to Big 3 East, my friend Jim took me to a local gun store. They have a somewhat rare Chinese made clone of the Mauser C96. It is called the Shanxi. The pistol was made in Shanxi province of China. The Chinese were making copies of the Thompson sub machine gun. The warlord Yen Hsi-Shan was having issues getting ammo to feed his soldiers 7.63mm C96 pistols. So he had Taiyuan Arsenal make a copy of the C96 but chambered in .45acp. About 8,500 Shanxi pistols were produced. Many of them were melted down after the Chinese civil war. There were a number of them reproduced for US collector’s market.

Seeing this gun in person, it looks like it was machined with a rock, in a cave, in the dark. To say it is rough is an understatement.


The Chinese markings are a bit difficult to read. They are read right to left.



Republic Year Eighteen, Made in Shanxi



The image below reads Type 17. However it is not read as “type seventeen” but read as “type one seven” according to my Chinese friends. The problem is the style of these characters are not what common Chinese characters look like. The middle character that sort of looks like the number 5, looks like part of the number 7 in Chinese and the number 1 combined. It is odd. What also does not help is the right side character looks to be mirrored.1

Type 17


Here is the rear sight. I am very doubtful if the sight actually works for 1000 meters.or even yards.



The little gunshop wanted $3500 for this gun. While I find it intriguing, I just cannot justify spending that much on this ugly gun. If it was built better and nicely blued like a real C96, then just maybe it might be worth it. To me this gun is worth it’s original imported price of $400.


  • BattleshipGrey

    I agree, an extra $3100 isn’t worth being able to feed it regularly, if you’d even want to.

  • Vhyrus

    Why a company has not come out with a blowback copy of this gun boggles my mind

    • P161911

      There is a CO2 BB (not air soft) blowback version of the detachable mag full auto Broomhandle. It is metal and full auto. Retails for about $125. ATI should make a 22lr version.

  • I’ll take one. Now, where did I put those Han Solo blaster replica parts…

  • Oregon213

    “it looks like it was machined with a rock, in a cave, in the dark”

    It looks rough, but nothing like a ’45 P38 or something from the Khyber Pass. Wonder how the bore looked, I’ve only seen two of these .45 C96’s, and both of them had nearly no rifling left.

    • iksnilol

      Pfft, .45 ACP got so much power that rifling won’t do much good to steer that beast of a bullet 😛

  • TDog

    I think the author is missing the point on the price tag – it’s more for the historical value than having a gun one can bring to the range and shoot.

    As for saying it couldn’t shoot 1000 meters much less yards, a meter is roughly a yard in length. If it can’t do one, there’s a darned fine chance it won’t be able to do the other.

    • Nicholas C

      They are similar but not the same.

      • TDog

        Which is exactly what I said. A meter is roughly 1.1 yards. If a gun can’t accomplish a shot in meters, there’s every reason to expect it to fail it in yards.

  • Chris M

    We have one of these at the Cabela’s in Grand Junction, CO for ~$2700.

  • Blake

    As C96s go what I really want is one of these:


    Smart way of making a compact takedown carbine without changing the PoI…

    • El Duderino

      The SU-16’s cousin, twenty times removed!

  • “There were a number of them reproduced for US collector’s market.”
    – How would you/we know to tell the difference?

  • Mazryonh

    Someone, somewhere is sure to have one of these with the original wooden grip replaced with a new one that has the letters “EVA” carved in it, or the words “Big Mama.”

    If they’re a real MGS fan, they’ll even have it modified to fire full-auto!

  • El Duderino

    Textbook collector gun. With the funds needed, I’m rather build a precision rifle. But I’m not a collector!

  • Nigel Tegg

    Loved this in Fall out 3

    • Fruitbat44

      IIRC in F3 they were chamber for a .32 calibre round. Same calibre as a “hunting rifle.” It was a really fun game though.
      Hmmm . . . if somebody did produce a C96 in .32 for Fallout fans, would it sell? Probably not if the .32 used was a cartridge chosen suitable for big game . . .

  • Mmmtacos

    I’m still holding out that someone will reproduce the C96 in 9mm, but I’d gladly take a 45ACP clone too.

  • DIR911911 .

    $400 marked up to $3500 . . . someone needs to shoot them with their gun