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POTD: If First You Don’t Succeed

POTD: If First You Don’t Succeed – The Mauser 1912 and Mauser 1912/14

Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a culmination and demonstration of trial and error. In 1907 the Mauser company began patenting designs related to a family of autoloading handguns. The first was going to be chambered in 9mm Parabellum but unfortunately, the straight blowback design would not hold up to the stress sop the idea was scrapped in 1909. Meanwhile, they worked on a 25 ACP version which would be introduced in 1910 and it was subsequently called the Mauser 6.35. Fast forward a couple of years and with the success of the Mauser 1910, they revamped the idea of a 9mm pistol in the same “family” this lead to the Mauser 1912 which was still blowback operated but it used a wedge to delay block back. Later in 1914, they worked on the Mauser 1912/14 which used a unique flapper delayed blowback system. unfortunately, even though they made working examples only around 200 of the Mauser 1912 pistol were made.

“This is an excellent example of a extremely rare early Mauser Model 1912/14 prototype, semi-automatic pistol chambered in 9 mm Luger. Originally these were based on the smaller 1910 pattern Mauser pistol only scaled up to use the larger 9 mm Luger cartridge. It is estimated that fewer than 200 of these pistols were ever manufactured with even fewer known to exist today. The sales record from Hans Tauscher list approximately 8 being sold in the U.S. in the 1914-16 time frame. This specific pistol (serial number 166) is listed as being the highest known pistol in any collection today. The left side of the slide is marked “WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER A.-G.OBERNDORF A.N. MAUSER’S PATENT”. The full serial number “166” is stamped on top of the rear section of the slide, directly below that on the rear of the frame, the back side of the magazine and various other parts including the barrel, takedown latch, trigger, side plate and slide release. Internal parts have the partial number “66” with the grips being unnumbered. The pistol was finished in a high polish Mauser blue on the major parts including the barrel latch, safety lever, trigger and rear sight. Some internal parts have a Mauser heat blue finish. The magazine is nickel plated exactly like the earlier 1912 humpback model pistols. It is fitted with a one-piece checkered wraparound walnut grip. It is complete with its original and matching (numbered 166) magazine.”

Mauser 1912

Lot 1533: Mauser 1912/14 Pistol 9 mm Luger. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved September 6, 2022, from

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Writer | TheFirearmBlog
Writer | Instagram | sfsgunsmith Old soul, certified gunsmith, published author, avid firearm history learner, and appreciator of old and unique guns.

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