Reader Request: Help ID’ing a Stripper Clip

We can’t add much to this, but one of you guys knows what reader Ralph F. has got. He has a 20-round stripper clip that he thinks it’s for one of these:

And there’s some discussion of this pistol in the thread at Forgotten Weapons. But the folks in the comments there, as well as Ian himself, seem to believe that no 20-round strippers were made. We’ll be looking in the magnum opus Mauser Pistolen for a clue, but in the meantime, here’s Ralph’s query.

This comment is about a resource search that’s been very elusive. Maybe this shouldn’t be in the comments section, but perhaps your expertise holds the answer, or where to find it.

I have a 20 rd. charger strip and base that must be for the Mauser C96 Military Model (the very early cone hammer w/ 20 rd. integral magazine). I’m trying to prove this by finding an image of this Mauser, but have only found later cone hammer models, which have the usual side notches in the bolt run for standard stripper clips.

What seems likely, is that what I have is for some special C96’s that Mauser may have sent to the Springfield Armory in 1908, for their pistol selection tests (revolver replacement). BTW, I live in southeast New Hampshire, only 125 miles from Springfield MA. Moreover, I graduated from Spfld. Tech. Comm. College (located in the old armory buildings), where I was a member of their Rifle and Pistol Club as well as shooting on the pistol team. We meet once a week at the inside ranges below building #28. Range #1 was 200 yds., #2 & #3 were 100 yds., with #4 being 50 ft. for pistols.

The base for the charger strip has a trapezoidal cut-out that comes up from the bottom. That would require a transverse saw-cut across the top of the barrel extension, about halfway from the back of the ejection port to the front of the rear-sight base. The base’s trapezoidal cut-out also forms two legs that would require vertical saw-cuts down both sides of the upper part of the Bbl. extension (which is narrow). Those cuts would be deep at the top, but angled to match the sides of the trapezoid cut-out; rising to the surface at the bottom of that narrow top section of the Bbl. extension. The base legs, in those close-fitting slots, would give the base fore and aft stability, so the tall (8″) charger strip wouldn’t flop around.
The base also has an area, just above the top of the trapezoidal cut-out, which is bulged-out to the front of the gun. This provides clearance for the extractor, which protrudes from the face of the square bolt at the top. Unlike the Luger, there is no lever that’s pushed up to hold the action open, only an upward projection at the back of the mag. follower. When the first round pushes the follower down, the bolt will move forward and press against the back of the charger base, holding it in place, but without putting any force on the extractor. After charging the magazine, the charger and its base can be gripped as one and pulled out; immediately loading a round into the chamber.

The charger strip is straight, and made of much heavier metal than any stripper clip I’ve ever seen. The bottom of the charger channel, at the top end (in the position to charge the pistol), is folded up to close off that end. There isn’t any liner as is used in stripper clips; instead, the other end (to be inserted into the charger base) has a flat spring, designed with a hook to hold the rounds in the charger. When the charger strip is inserted into the base, the flat spring’s hook end is moved away, freeing the cartridges, so they’ll slide down to the mag. follower.
This charger strip is designed to be reloaded, not thrown away. In fact, when the strip is held upside down on a flat surface, and the base pushed on top, the cartridge-retainer spring hook is moved away, so cartridges can easily slide down the charger. Removing the base locks them in.

The charger and base has a dark, dull gray finish with absolutely no markings, I even looked under the flat spring, using a strong glass and bright light from the other side.
It takes the .30 Mauser round, and as far as some other weapon using this charger, I can’t think of one that could. Any other weapon would need a small, square-section bolt with the extractor on top that protrudes from the bolt face, fire a similar small base cartridge (not 5.56, its smaller), have a 20rd. integral mag., and the receiver where the bolt runs would have to be quite narrow.
I can’t think of a rifle or any other pistol with an integral 20 rd. magazine for a small cartridge (but I wouldn’t be surprised if you did).

I recall reading an article about the Mauser broom handle in Guns and Ammo magazine; sometime in the mid- to late 60’s or so. The author mentioned the 20 rd. integral mag. model, saying that it used a different stripper clip than the other models of the Mauser; and that the 20 round model had special cuts on the top of the barrel extension. Perhaps his source on the 20 rounder was someone with knowledge of the U.S. Army testing for a revolver replacement.

So, what I’ve been searching for is an image of an early 20 rd. Military Mod. with those cuts at the top, a patent showing the base and charger, or a book, etc., that would prove my theory. A collector might have one, but so far, no luck.

Weaponsman is a great site, most others pump out as much bad info as good (and their good is usually a rehash). Your attitude on social issues is spot-on, as is your small arms knowledge.

Thank you for any assistance you can provide.
R.F.

If we come up with the goods from the bookshelf, we’ll post here. If not, well, one of you guys has to know.

8 thoughts on “Reader Request: Help ID’ing a Stripper Clip

  1. TRX

    I’d hate to have to push a stack of cartridges out of a 20-round stripper clip against a magazine spring… some strippers are pretty tight all by themselves.

  2. DSM

    Based on the description it sounds as if the comrade that designed the clip for 5.45 rounds copied this mystery item. Those are pretty stout and meant to be reused and have the same flat spring that locks the rounds in place until the charger guide is seated. They hold 15rds though which makes sense based on their 30 or 45rd mags.

    It’s an intriguing item. Just like Ian’s Steyr pistol he used in that action pistol match video, loading a pistol via a stripper clip isn’t as fast as a mag change but it’s still pretty quick.

  3. Ray

    I own a full box of C-96 strippers. All ten rounders. (they are marked for .30 Mauser . Box dated 1913 . Made in Germany)(not for sale) I’d love to see a photo of the aforementioned 20 round clips.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Yeah, he’s not too distant from me so perhaps I can connect with him. I am traveling off and on for the next while, though.

  4. James B.

    1)I bet the extended magazine on that model aids in controllability.
    2)Take that, all you goofeses who think hi-cap pistols are something new.
    3)Love that picture.

  5. R. F.

    Thank you for posting my information request.

    My attention, at the moment is heavily divided in several directions by important matters. However, I will take some images of my charger and base this weekend and get them to you.

    As far as using the usual 10 rd. stripper clips, that wouldn’t work, even if there were the normal cut-outs for them. As I stated, the only thing that holds the bolt back when there are no rounds in the C96 magazine, is an upward projection at the back of the magazine follower.
    That projection rides in its own slot that’s broached into the back of the magazine well (back from were the cartridges run). So, as soon as the first round is pushed into the magazine, the follower and its bolt-stop projection is pushed down, allowing the bolt to run forward.
    Of course, with the 20 rd. charger-strip base in place, the bolt face (not the somewhat fragile extractor) hits the charger base and stops (or in the 10 rd. civilian-orientated models, the extractor hits the back of the 10 rd. stripper clip, stopping the bolt).
    If the 20 rd. model was loaded with a 10 rd. clip, and then the clip pulled out, the bolt would run forward, loading the chamber. So now what do you do to load-in the next ten rounds??

    If they had a normally constructed 20 rd. stripper clip with the same curvature as the 10 rd., then the top of it (when inserted in the stripper clip cut-outs) would be well forward from the bottom of the clip. The backward pressure of the thumb (to keep it at the back of the top round, and not slip off the bullet end), would cause the clip to twist to one side or the other, and likely bind the rounds, or even kink the clip.
    This is the reason, to my mind, why the 20 rd. charger that I have is straight, and made of much thicker steel than normal (plus it needs to be re-usable). My charger doesn’t have the usual steel or brass liner of a stripper clip, so there’s no resistance to the rounds moving down the charger. The usual liners produce friction to keep the rounds in the strip (and sometimes a bent-up tab), which can cause the rounds to bind, requiring more force to load the magazine; not a big problem with a 5 or 10 rd. clip.

    I have images of later 20 rd. integral magazine C96’s that have what looks like the usual round bottomed (sided?) stripper clip cut-outs, although at the top they are longer front to back than they are wide (out to the side). So maybe those later (but still very early, production-wise) 20 rd. models used a stripper clip of slightly thicker metal, which had a reinforcing channel that was spot welded/brazed to its back. That would account for the normal looking cut-outs that are below the rectangular machining at the top of these later 20 rd. guns. Those composite stripper clips (for the civilian market)—if that’s what they made—would be less expensive to produce than what I have.

    Note: All 20 rd. integral mag. models were cone hammer guns, which they stopped making in 1899.
    In the very early years, many variations were tried to stimulate slow sales: a 6 rd. version, a fixed-sight version, the large-ring hammer, etc. They then decided on the 10 rd. model with the small-ring hammer in 1905, and only made that until the next significant change. BTW, every time they stopped making one variation to begin another, they started at serial # 1. So someone could have three or four C96’s, all with the same serial number!

    Perhaps what I have is for some specially made C96’s that Mauser worked-up expressly for the U.S. Army’s search for a revolver replacement, in 1902 to 1908 (a contract worth doing flip-flops for).
    There may be a collector or museum that has what I’m talking about, and perhaps they think those cuts on the barrel extension are just some tool-room tomfoolery, some curious odd-ball experiment. The French ransacked Mauser during the war and destroyed most of their records and other papers.

    My belief is that they are very special, and there might have been only ten or twenty made. That would make them the most rare of the Mauser Construktion ’96 Military Model.

    R. F.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Please communicate via e-mail.

  6. 2hotel9

    I would go with it being a specially made stripper(but aren’t they all special?) not regular production. Never seen a 20 rd C96 in person, handled and fired a few 10 shot models. Never had strippers to use, had to do it the hard way.

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