Gary via email
Hi mike, I would like to make a mauser c96 replica and I don’t want to use airsoft guns or replicas…I want to make one myself. Have you got any tips on how I would make one?
With guns, the first question is “how functional do you want to make it”. Personally, if I’m going through the effort I’m going to make it as accurate as reference allows. Sheet styrene from the hobby shop will give you enough variation in thickness where you could build all the parts in a reasonably functional way (i.e. moving trigger and hammer, working receiver, etc). Look to my PPSh-41 build for ways that styrene can be laminated, heated and bent to make the forms you want.
Next you’ll need to draw plans. The photo I posted is pretty big and a nice profile view. According to Wikipedia, the length is 312mm. Size the drawing to match that length and that will give you a good start. Best case scenario, you can find actual plans for the gun that will give you different views. “Exploded” view drawings are also a great resource to see what’s going on inside a gun.
The barrel is a little tricky because it tapers. If you want a open barrel, you’ll have to find a tube with a 9mm (or 7.63mm if you want to build that version) inside diameter (i.d.). If you only want a simulated barrel, find a wood dowel with a diameter matching the outside diameter (o.d.) of the muzzle of the gun.
Next measure the length of the exposed barrel and mark that spot…it will become the wide part of the taper. Now measure the width of the base of the barrel off your plans..that will be how much thicker the barrel needs to be at that spot. Cut a balsa or illustration board “washer” to those inner and outer dimensions and slide it on the dowel to your mark. Add epoxy putty or Bondo to the sides of the barrel and shape/sand the sides flat to make the taper.
For the grip, I’d get some MDF, laminate it for thickness and carve/sand it to shape. Seal (and harden) the MDF with shellac. The slots could be carefully cut with and Xacto blade and then shaped with a flat edge file.
Of course, that’s not the only way to build it. As you work on it, you’ll get other ideas and you may have a material that you like working with better.