This pistol which is semi-automatic was produced by an Arms manufacturer from Germany called Mauser. It was produced between 1896 and 1937. The first half of the 20th century witnessed a large number of copies that were not licensed, of these guns being manufactured in China and Spain.

Among the distinctive features of this pistol is its box like magazine which is integral to the overall design of the pistol and is placed facing the trigger. It has a long barrel and a shoulder stock made out of wood which can be doubled in order to form a holster while also serving the purpose of a carrying case. Furthermore, the grip of this gun was made in the shape of a broom’s handle. It was because of the grip that this pistol was referred to as the ‘Broomhandle’ in the western world where English is the dominant language. Whereas, the Chinese called the C96 as the ‘Box Cannon’ which is mainly because of the square shaped integral magazine of this pistol and also because of its ability of being holstered in a detachable stock which is much like a wooden box.

The C96 featured a long barrel and it had a high velocity cartridge which allowed it to gain better penetration and these features also allowed it to achieve superior range. Up till the year 1935, in which the .357 Magnum cartridges was introduced, the 7.63x25mm Mauser cartridge had the greatest velocity commercially produced by any pistol cartridge.

A total of 1 million C96 pistols were manufactured by Mauser. The number of unlicensed versions of these pistols produced in China and Spain was quite high, but it is difficult to know the exact amount due to poor maintenance of production records in these countries.