I’d like to ask the group for some information about the Mauser C96 and whether there is any evidence that the Boer Republics used this side arm as well. Paraphrasing a decades’ long argument; after his capture Churchill was accused of having soft nosed ‘dum dum’ ammunition. He said that he was using factory ammunition, which may have been simply unjacketed lead/tin/antimony bullets. The Boer Republics purchased tens of thousands of Mauser rifles. It is almost certain that some Mauser C96’s were included in their arsenal. They would have been using the same factory ammunition as Churchill and therefore would be unlikely to condemn him for using the same bullets as he had.
I would like to find some evidence of a burgher armed with a C96 or an example of the Mauser 7.63*25 mm ammunition in the Boer arsenal. If a C96 was captured by the British it was likely scarfed up by whoever found it and would not appear in any assemblage of captured weapons.
M96 in Carbine Form. The stock was hollowed out so the pistol would fit inside it.
M96 with leather holster to hold wooden stock and pistol
As my contribution to the discussion I’m glad to share the following: My images are never as good as Neville C’s or Rob D’s but C'est la vie.
“Poisonous bullets taken from a Boer prisoner at Spion Kop.” “These bullets have a coating of metallic oxide, which could not fail to poison any wounds they might make. It is perhaps not necessary to suppose they were intentionally poisoned, but the use of bullets in such a condition shows a callous and criminal disregard of the laws of civillised warfare.” Image Source: With the Flag to Pretoria, H. W. Wilson Vol 1
A heap of mausers with martini rifles surrendered by Cronje’s army. Image Source: With the Flag to Pretoria, H. W. Wilson Vol 2 Feb. 1900
Stacks of Rifles taken from Cronje’s Laager at Paardeberg. Image Source: Black & White Weekly Vol 1-2 1899-1900
Captured Boer Rifles at Capetown. Image Source: After Pretoria: The Guerilla War Vol 3 Feb., 1901
Ending in Smoke. Destroying Captured Boer Rifles. Image Source: Navy & Army Illustrated Vol 11 Sept. 29th, 1900
I've got a few more I'll upload tomorrow.
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I have seen no documentary evidence that the Boer Republics ordered Mauser M96 pistols in additions to the many thousand M93 7mm rifles they purchased from Germany. However, I would not be surprised if there had been private purchases. The idea of a high velocity pistol being able to be converted to a rifle by means of a shoulder-stock/holster must have been attractive. It appears that numbers of British officers purchased M96 Mauser pistols privately. For example, Col. Thorneycroft has been pictured with one on his belt. If you want to dig deeper into Boer orders for the M96 pistol, might I suggest the on-line forum regarding that pistol.
By the way, the M96 pistol you illustrated (heading "Basic M96" with the red painted "9" carved in the grip) is a German WW1 conversion from 7.63mm or possibly a purpose made model in calibre 9mm Parabellum.
As a matter of interest, many years ago I did handle two or three M96 pistols brought back by members of NSW contingents to the Boer War. One had a stock carving: "Gilgandra 1900".
If hard evidence of an official contract be lacking at this point , it is certain that the Boers did use Mauser M96 pistols. Your pic. of the "poisonous bullets" taken from a prisoner at Spion Kop (Wilson Vol.1) shows them and I have seen at different times "bring back" chargers full of those rounds featuring green grease applied to their (soft point,steel jacketed) projectiles. Those particular Mauser 7.63mm rounds were of German manufacture and exhibited turn-of-the-Century headstamps. Far from being "poisoned", the grease smeared on the projectiles was a preservative. Mauser 7.63mm ammunition was also supplied with fully metal jacketed projectiles. Presumably projectile type to order.
Churchill apparently did discard his Mauser pistol ammunition after his capture; whether that ammunition was the same as he used at Omdurman (three enemy down for ten shots) I don't know.
I suggest you have a look at the link Mike posted about "Dum Dum" ammunition - and what that term applies to.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Moranthorse1, pfireman