Mauser Parabellum test firing ammunition

This is a translation of an article I did for the Dutch NVBMB cartridge collectors club. Enjoy.

[b]The Mauser Parabellum and it

Vlim - I found this extremely interesting, and it struck a personal note as well. In 1972, my wife, then-8 year old son, and I traveled a bit in Europe, primarily in Germany, Northern Switzerland, and Skona province in Southern Sweden, along with a Swedish acquaintance that I had met in our store. We traveled in his Volvo automobile.

One of our stops was at the SIG factory at Neuhausen Rhine Falls, where we spent a wonderful day touring the factory, looking at their collection of guns in the testing rooms, and firing a few of the Swiss weapons on their indoor range. I had arranged that tour thru the good offices of the Director, whose name I believe was Hochuli, or similar, at a time before our trip that he was in our store, showing the prototype of the P220 pistol. From SIG, we returned into Germany and with the help of Manfred Beutter (forgive me if I misspelled his name) arranged with Prof. Dr. Rolf Gminder a tour of the Mauser factory, although only the civilian production building, of course.

I remember clearly our intial visit to Dr. Gminder’s office, and the surprise that as a Director of Mauser, finding that he collected Walther pistols!

At any rate, the main portion of the tour was inspection of the production of the Mauser Parabellum pistol. The tour was quite formal, and quicker than I would have liked (unlike our visit to SIG, which was like “old home day” stopping only to enjoy a wonderful lunch and fine Swiss white wine from that Canton, at a fine restaurant that overlooked the Rhine Falls), but very enjoyable none the less. I was amazed at the efficiency of the production line, on which we saw only the Pistole Parabellum (in a separate cage-like area a few men were working on what looked like the Model 66 sporting rifle, but we didn’t even go in there). It basically started out as raw parts and weaved its way to a finished pistol, ending right at the door of the proofing room.

Now, to the ammo. The only caliber we saw in evidence in the proof room was the 7.65 Para. I noticed a fired case on the floor and picked it up. I still have it today. It is headstamped “SAKO 7.65Pb.30LUGER” and the base is covered with a splash of red paint, denoting a proof load. It and a loaded specimen of the same round became souvenirs of that visit, much as what was probably the first 9 x 18m/m Ultra (Police) round in an America collection, loaded for me at SIG in their test room. I still have it also, of course.

It is interesting that the undated document on your posting, while dealing only with 9mm, shows SAKO as one of the suppliers.

Thanks for posting that and bringing back some very good memories from so long ago - perhaps two or three of the best days of my life.

John, thanks for the kind words.

I am a bit envyous, I never got the chance to visit Mauser’s Parabellum production lines, although we made a tour of the buildings in 2008. It was a nice experience to make that Oberndorf tour with Prof. Dr. Gminder, Mr. Repa and Mr. Schon.

Vlim - When I was there, in one of the hallways, and I forget if it was in the office building or the famous building with the distinctive roof that I recognized thru the trees before we even saw the Mauser sign, as we were comming into Oberndorf by car, they had a bunch of glass gun display cases. They were trying to rebuild and collection of their original products, but had only a very few rifles in the cases. At the time, (and perhaps even now), I had almost as many Mausers for shooting as they did in the cases.

Did they get those filled in nicely? I hope so. It is a shame that war and natural disasters often take the very history from factories and other institutions. Admittedly, had I been there at the end of the war, I would have grabbed a handful too. Such is life.

I just wondered about the collection. I forget now if the offices were in that building or a separate building, as I alluded to above. It has been a long time! I am happy to hear Herr Gminder was still available in 2008. He was fairly young, as I recall, when we visited there. We talked in the office with him for awhile, and he was quite personable, and of course knowledgeable. Unfortunately, he was occupied that day and could not personally take us on a tour. I suspect had he, it would have been somewhat less formal. The gentleman that showed us around, although very nice and willing to answer questions (all in German with my Swedish friend, who was absolutely fluent in German, translating for me), seemed not to be completely at ease showing foreigners around the factory. It was a little different atmosphere than we found at SiG, where I had an “in” at that time. Still, a nice tour and a lovely day.