What to do with two WWI era firearms?

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by Cabbage_man, Jan 20, 2010.

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  1. If anyone here has any advice on this I would be grateful.

    I was over visiting one of my elderly uncles recently. We got talking about his father (my grandfather) and his role during the First World War. At one point he got up and returned with two firearms. Up until this point I had no idea he had them. He said they belonged to my grandfather. One of the guns was a Mauser C-96 in decent condition, but starting to develop rust spots. It still had the original mag, spring spent. The second was a small pocket/vest pistol. Looked like a 6.35 mm (Pocket) Haenel, but I am not sure. Tiny little ting. Very good condition, clearly a concealed back up pistol. This pistol was in much better condition. Neither were deactivated.

    So what does one do? I take it they are in their current state illegal? As they are part of our family history I do not want to give them up. However I am aware they should be deactivated. Is there a proper course of action that should be taken? Any informed advice would be great.
  2. Both are Section Five Firearms (Prohibited Weapons) and as such are illegal

    Your choices (in order of preference) are:

    1) Get them to a Section Five Dealer who will pay money for them.

    2) Get them to a Section Five dealer to get them deactivated.

    3) Hand them in to the Police - who will not pay you anything and have recently been giving people who do that a hard time.

    In my opinion, 1) is best because it saves them for use by Section 7 collectors and gets you some money. 2) may be better if you want to keep them in the family and 3) would be my very LAST resort.

    Whatever you chose do it before some on is found in possession of a Prohibited Firearm so do it now!
  3. Cheers for that Beerhunter. Yeah I would prefer it if the family hold on to them.

    A few other questions mate if you don't mind!

    How do they deactivate them? I take it its by plug welding in the barrel or do they machine mill the major parts? Keeping the aesthetic appearance of them intact would be a important consideration for me.

    Also do Section 5 dealers need to inform the Police when deactivating firearms and can this lead to hassle?
  4. A deactivated weapon must have a certificate of deactivation issued by the company that does the work, the last time I had one done , about twenty years ago mind you, Helston guns in Cornwall did it for me
  5. If the C-96 has a detachable mag it is either the C-96 Model 712 Schnellfeuer, hence with a full auto selector or model 711 semi-auto only.

    Very sexy either way!
  6. I thought they did not make the full auto untill 1932
  7. Croque_Monsieur: Not entirely sure. Did not get enough time to examine it. Will do next time I'm over.

    Still got its shoulder stock though, which is beautiful.
  8. Take it to a dealer first as it could be very valuable, when Churchills was sold about twenty years ago it sold for over £20,000 not saying that yours is worth that but if it is pre WW1 it is a very nice thing to put on the wall
  9. True 1931/32, but Cabbage_man says it still has its original mag, so I'm assuming it is removable otherwise the mag is part of the lower. Only the 711 and 712 had removable mags.
  10. Will take a closer look at it next time I am over, which may not be for a few weeks.

    As he was active during WW1, I'm guessing it was from this period. But it does have its original mag. I was able to remove it. Unless it was a later gift of some sort.

    To be honest no matter how much it is worth, I would not consider selling it.
  11. Whilst I wholly understand your wish to hold on to these firearms, can I echo Beerhunters advice and sell them to a registered dealer...

    Unless you take up Sect 5 shooting, which is difficult, the only way you can keep these is by deactivation...!Modern deactivation is a real butcher job, designed to be irreversable and almost completely destroys the value of the weapons now and in the future...

    Deactivating important, classic weapons like this is nothing less than vandalism in my book... You are destroying history nothing less...!

    I could never mistreat an ancestor's property like this....
  12. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

  13. PM me or Beerhunter to get the ID of a decent Sect 5 dealer. Don't know what part of the country you are in, but there is a decent chap based near Colchester.

    The RFD can then either arrange the de-act or sell to a collector in live condition.
  14. Personally I'd pack 'em in grease and keep quiet.

    If you do decide to turn them into cash then consider auctioning them through Holt and Company. They shift this kind of this all the time, and they have an international client base.

  15. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    I'm one of them - recommendation seconded, although I think they charge a substantial commission.
    The other option is to sell on the strongest market for C96 pistols - Germany - either via a German dealer or on egun.

    Anything rather than a de-act, which is effectively just destroying a piece of history and is nothing more than legalised vandalism.