Saturday, January 07, 2006

Inside Broomhandle Mausers

I’ve done a little Broomhandle Mauser blogging (here, here, and a brief mention here). Yosemite Sam (Bill) asked me why I like Broomhandles so much. Well, for one thing, they just look cool. Let’s face it, a Broomhandle’s profile is almost one of a kind. Its “style” reminds you of bygone days of empires and their spies. At the same time, they look futuristic. It’s no accident that filmmakers chose a replica of a Broomhandle as the base for Han Solo’s blaster in Star Wars.

These and more are all good reasons to like Broomhandles, but I really like how they’re put together. What can you say about a gun design that only uses one screw? Even more, that screw only holds its grips in place. Everything else fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. Interestingly enough, Broomhandles have locks for actions. The sear, mainspring, and most other pieces attach to a lock frame, which can be pulled out of the gun intact. More modern guns have parts that are arrayed within the receiver rather than in a lock.

If you’ve never seen one of these guns taken apart, well here’s the next best things, pictures. I’ve field stripped my World War I era Mauser and arranged its parts in a semblance of how they go together. I haven’t taken all the parts off the lock for these photos. Getting them back into the frame, in the correct order, is a total pain in the neck. I’ve identified major parts. Enjoy.

"Exploded" Broomhandle

Lock, One Side

Lock, Other Side

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