POTD: Shanxi Chinese .45acp Mauser C96

    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.