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The Mauser C96 was a semi-automatic German pistol, first produced in 1896. The design could be viewed as somewhat similar to the Borchardt C93. Both pistols were primitive semi-automatic designs, though the Mauser is by far the more well known of the two. The Mauser is loaded using a ten-round stripper clip, making its loading system similar to that of a bolt action rifle. The C96 provided a good base for an automatic modification, allowing the weapon to act as a machine pistol. However, some models used detachable box magazines, allowing them to hold more ammunition: always useful when firing a weapon with a high rate of fire.
The Mauser C96 appears first during Chapter 9. It becomes available only from Harry's surplus gun store, and has a ten round magazine. It is highly effective due to its accuracy, and boasts a larger magazine capacity than the Colt M1911, which it most readily competes with during the game. It has decent power, often dropping enemies in two shots, and three at the absolute maximum. According to the menus, the C96 fires .45 rounds. This means that it is cheap to purchase ammunition for the weapon, but it also means that it is not a German-made Mauser C96. German models fired 7.93mm rounds, and only the more modern Chinese versions fired .45 rounds. Regardless, the C96 in-game uses a ten round stripper clip, and is very capable, if not particularly different from the M1911. It is outclassed by the modified M1911 Special due to its larger magazine and higher rate of fire, however.
In Red Dead Redemption, the C96 is called the 'Mauser Pistol'. It holds a 15 round magazine, making it the highest-capacity pistol, and the second highest-capacity weapon overall (losing out to the Evans Repeater, which holds 22 rounds). This trait makes the weapon especially deadly when used on horseback, or with Dead Eye. It would be theoretically possible to kill 15 enemies without reloading, as Dead Eye would allow 15 consecutive headshots if they could be aimed quickly enough. The Mauser is automatic in Red Dead Redemption, but has a reduced firing rate online. It can be fired more quickly by pumping the trigger on a controller. The Mauser is unlocked at the penultimate rank, 49, meaning that it is highly uncommon as most players choose to enter Legend mode. It is possible to acquire a Mauser at any rank by entering the house in the Twin Rocks gang hideout, and in single player, can be purchased at the weapons shop in West Elizabeth. The price varies between:
- $400 (High Honor)
- $800 (Medium Honor)
- $1200 (Low Honor)