1931: Externally, these pistol are close copies of the Mauser 1896 "broomhandle" semiautomatic pistols, and are usually chambered for the same ammunition.
Although a popular auxiliary weapon during World War One, the Mauser C96 pistol was never officially adopted as the primary sidearm of any major military power. It was however, the favored weapon of the Chinese warlords of the era.
After the end of WW1, when Mauser production was curtailed by the post World War One restrictions imposed on German firearm manufacturers, Astra took the opportunity to compete for the same market with their Model 900 pistols.
The majority of the M900 pistols, and nearly all made between 1926 and 1936, were exported to China. After 1936, most of the late production Astra 900 pistols, and select-fire variants, went to Spanish military and police units during the Spanish Civil war, and later to Nazi Germany.
Most pistols like this one, that survive from the era when they were initially exported to China are in relatively poor condition and by comparison, this one is not so bad, retaining sharply defined rifling in the bore.
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