By the 1890s Hiram Maxim's idea that the recoil of one cartridge could drive the mechanism that loaded the next had been universally accepted, and it may have been the appearance of the Borchardt pistol that inspired the Mauser company to try its hand at a similar self-loading weapon. The outcome was the Model 1896, which achieved considerable success and is known under various other names including C96, M96, Bolo, Broomhandle, Large Mauser pistol and Pistole 7.63.
Although it may have been the first truely efficient and reliable design for a self-loading pistol, the gun has some interesting design quirks. One is the absence of any pins or screws in its construction, a result of the frame being milled out from a solid forging, rather than separate pieces.
Another less desirable quirk is that the receiver and barrel were formed from a single forging. As a result many of the guns today with barrels that have become extremely worn have to be bored out to the larger 9mm caliber, since the barrels cannot be replaced.
Other design features include a ten round fixed magazine which is loaded through the open breech via stripper clips, and an adjustable tangent-leaf type rear sight graduated to 500 or 1000 meters.
The heel of the butt of most pistols was grooved to take a wooden holster-stock, and the rifling pitch was increased to improve the long range stability of the bullet in an effort to produce the combined characteristics of both a pistol and a light carbine.