In this video, Historic Investments appraises an experimental Mauser 06-08. As most people interested in early experimental pistols and Mauser know, the 06-08 is one of Mauser’s earliest and most recognizable semiautomatic pistols. It was Mauser’s first pistol to have a detachable magazine in front of the trigger guard and the first pistol to have a pair of locking wedges to retard the bolt travel, a concept that was later utilized in the 12-14 pistol and carried over into the equally charismatic Fleger carbine and rifle. It is estimated that 100 examples were made, all on an experimental basis, in an attempt to develop a new product line to complement their commercially successful Mauser C96. These experimental guns were evaluated in house and very likely sent for sample reviews, but never put into production. This experimental design, while never directly translating into a commercial product, had it’s more notable attributes utilized in later products. From a historical standpoint, this is truly a flagship firearm in terms of its mechanical design contribution. And never-mind it’s futuristic look!
We break down the assessment process into a few key step:
1. Your first step is to pick up the gun and understand what you are looking at. This may not be the easiest task for many people. Further, how does one gauge authenticity when you are looking at an incredibly rare pistol of which only a handful are know? The best way to do this is to build up your foundational knowledge of Mauser’s finishing processes. This primarily includes the rust blue, manner of heat treatment, and how these finishes will deteriorate over time based on use and atmospheric oxidation. That’s why in my previous video that focused on collecting C96s, my recommendation was that you start with a pre-war commercial that was finished in the same way as these earlier, more exotic guns. The best way to assess firearm quality involves the following subcomponent: 1) assess the exterior finish and any proof marks. Is it re-blued? Is it an original finish gun or has it bene refurbished? Is it a professional restoration or a hack job? 2) perform a limited disassembly to ensure that all small parts are numbered correctly. This is very important for serious collectors. 3) Gauge the bore and ensure that the manual mechanics are correct. Does the safety function properly? Does the bolt work as expected? Does the magazine release and retain as expected?
2. So now that you have finished your evaluation, your second step is to determine what is a reasonable price point. To a certain extent, the internet searches have made this a lot easier as you can search for comparables, particularly auction sales. For mass produced guns that are readily available, this is a relatively simple process. You should be able to figure out these price points down to a few percent and feel relatively comfortable. For the rarer guns, you can only get rough ballpark prices which can vary considerably depending on circumstance.
3. If your are still undecided in terms of condition, originality, or price points, your third step should be to get an expert opinion. This may involve paying, but given the price of an experimental gun, this should offer you a degree of reassurance. This will be a lot easier on your soul than buyers remorse. Produced by the Historic Investments, LLC team.