Hatchet-Stock for a C96 Mauser

How’s this for something different…and maybe clever? I don’t have a source for these photos, and I can’t say if they date from 75 years ago or 75 days ago (although I would suspect newer rather than older). Allow me to present the C96 Hatchet-Stock!

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If you’re going to carry a hatchet and a C96, why not use them together?

If you are going to pack an emergency toolkit in a car, why not fit a catch to the handle of your hatchet so it can function as a stock for a C96? The top of the hatchet head would make a decent enough buttplate, especially with that leather cover in place. Fitting them together would be as simply as salvaging the stock latch from a broken stock holster and cutting the hatchet handle to the right angle. Here in the US it would require filing SBR paperwork on the gun, but that’s not the case elsewhere in the world (and even here some people would consider this neat enough to pay the $200 tax and do anyway).

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Just screw the latch to your hatchet handle…
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…and you get an extra tool greater than the sum of its parts!



  1. When I read the email, I thought it was for the K98…I thought, “That’s great! A rifle with a detachable axe!”…Kinda like Heinleins Starship Soldiers…

    But when I saw the pics, I thought, “Bah!”…

    • Nein ! No ! the title of this movie is “Joe Kid” … Besides in this Film Clint Eastwood did “fight” Robert Duval who wanna take by any means the Mexican’s Lands !
      the man who’s get the German Pistol C96 belongs to the gang of Bob Duval , the period of this story is the End of western world , in fact the end of 19 th century ! you must remember it’s a part of your history !

  2. Needs one of those Lee Enfield sniper rifle-style lace-on leather cheekpieces with a pouch to hold your Swiss Army knife or Leatherman…..

  3. For the first time I find myself regretting that my commercial model P-35 High Power 9mm is the one that doesn’t have the stock attachment cut in the backstrap.

    What a neat thing to have tucked in the side of your BOB. After all, you’ll probably have a hatchet anyway, so letting it do double duty as a stock makes perfect sense.

    BTW, a Russian weapon designed as part of the Soyuz cosmonaut survival kit had a very similar setup;


    The blade on this one was a lot like the WW2 American Smatchet or the later civilian Woodsman’s Pal.

    Any way you cut it (sorry), it’s not a bad idea for a survival weapon. And the leather cover can have pouches for all sorts of handy small items, sort of a combined cheekpiece and “possibles bag”.

    Which reminds me- this setup would be legal on a percussion revolver, since it’s a muzzle-loader. I don’t think attaching a Colt 1860 Army or Navy shoulder stock iron to the butt of a hatchet handle would be too difficult.

    Makes a handy bottle-opener, too.




      • Wow – that is probably the ultimate survival kit. Break-action double-barreled rifle with a machete stock complete with cosmonaut medals. All you need for surviving a crash in space. I just wonder where the swiss-army bayonet which also serves as a shovel and a wirecutter is. Oh, and the laser-guided grenade launcher. Gotta have one of those.

  4. The images seem to be taken with a digital camera, perhaps even a phone camera, so I agree, 75 days is probably much closer to the truth than 75 years. Pretty nice kit anyways, I just wish the pistol was a bit more modern for a real life survival tool.

    • The photograph was taken with a Kodak Easyshare C643, dated February 8, 2006 at 11:03 AM.

      Source: metadata.

  5. For what it’s worth, sap wood Hickory is the proper wood for axe handles–tough and springy. Not sure what this is, maybe oil finished Walnut or Birch? If it isn’t Hickory (grows in the southern US) then maybe it is either non-US or made by a gunsmith (looks like gun stock wood, and the craftsmanship on the handle does look very good).

    The handle looks newly made. The leather sheath is old and the Hudson’s Bay style axe head looks like someone power-sanded it a lot to remove rust and it doesn’t look like it has cut wood since then.

    Is it Canadian? They’ve never had any hang ups with SBRs and the Hudson Bay style axe originated there.

  6. Sheesh. Lawyers must have some unreasonable fear of short-barreled rifles due to the “poacher specials” which were shotguns with detachable butt-stocks and screw-thread-locked barrels easily hidden under a great coat and then assembled once the poacher was at his stalking point.

    In reality, a short-barreled rifle with a conventional butt-stock as defined by law seems totally impractical in terms of balancing handling and accuracy. I mean, really, does anyone around here know of any miscreant who runs around with a “rifle” that has a pistol length barrel (as in a barrel less than 10 inches long) randomly holding up stores and somehow getting away even though he cannot hide his weapon in his pants?

  7. I think I would consider turning the head the other way up. That would put the part of the head that functions as the butt more in line with the barrel.

    • True, but it also puts the true edge up, and your cheek pressing on the lacing at that end of the head sheath. Sooner or late, it will wear through.

      A better way would be to cut the end of the hatchet handle at a different angle so that the handle angles “up” a bit, to bring the “butt” up closer to bore line, sort of like this;

      [ —–
      [ ————]

      I’d make a cutout of the hatchet, full-sized, from cardboard first, and then lay it and the pistol on a tabletop.

      Then “play” with the cutout until I had an arrangement that looked right, tape it to the pistol butt temporarily to try it for cheek-weld, etc., then use it as a pattern to cut the tip of the hatchet handle correctly.

      As my great-uncle used to say, “Measure twice, cut once”. (He ran a lumber and building-supply company after he got out of the Army.)



  8. I had an NFA manufacturers license for 31 years. All NFA items require a tax stamp when transfering from an individual to a dealer or another individual within the same state. The Feds have published a curio and relic listing book. The listing specifically exempts the 1896 Mauser pistol if an original wood holster stock is attached to it. There is no mention of a hatchet stock in the listing exempting it from NFA regulations. The socialist states: New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Ilinois, and California prohibit live NFA items(machine guns & suppressors) from individual ownership. Possession of a semi-auto C96 Mauser with a “hatchet” stock attached would excite any ATF criminal agent for an easy violation and a gold star of merit for the confiscation and arrest of the owner!! Plus the $10,000 fine with it and a Felony conviction. Ian McCollum does a very nice presentation every week of forgotten weapons. I enjoy all of his shows. Hopefully this hatchet/C96 Mauser has a tax stamp with it and is registered in the National NFA Firearm registry. Hopefully this is a very old photo taken before 1934 when the National Firearms Act was made law or the firearm is in the possession of a foreign collector or museum.

  9. This is not exactly a new idea. When I was an gunsmith one of the guys I worked with was a master restorer of antique firearms so his costumers use to also bring in interesting gun that they had just got. One day one his better healed customers brought in a pair of flint lock Egg double barrel horse pistols with papers proving that they had been carried by Wellington at the battle of Waterloo ( 200 years ago last week) these pistols both had detachable stocks that the but plate and the toe of the stock were steel and formed tomahawks with the pistol and but on from memory they were about 28″ long and would have made quite a weapon of last resort from hoers back

  10. I’m pretty sure some Finnish collector has a Nagant revolver fitted with an axe-stock, allegedly a historical piece. Would the Internet lie to me?

  11. If Trevor McEvoy brought the FF9 cast to Real Earth to show them the evolution of firearms from the bolt-action to the semiautomatic era, he can show them some one-off designs like this tactical customized WW1 Mauser Gunblade with a pistol on one end and a hatchet-stock for the other end. For the mass-produced Cold-War-era firearms, he can show them an Armalite rifle (whether-the-US-built-original-or-foreign-made-copies) in modular configuration with Picatinny hand-guard, retractable forearm legs, Vltor silencer, night eye scope, folding sights,and side-by-side magazine holder. For-a-lesson-on-East-Bloc-firearms, McEvoy can show them a Mosin-Nagant bolt-action rifle modified for tactical use with two retractable forearm legs, silencer, holographic scope seated on a Picatinny rail, an

  12. Cherndog
    Clyde Barrow of Bonnie & Clyde fame had a favorite rifle that sounds completely unusable – they would steal BAR’s from the National Guard Armories and he would chop off the stock at the hand grip and shorten the barrel so he could sling it under a raincoat without it showing. How you would shoot it without losing control or breaking a wrist is a mystery but I suppose it did look very deadly to someone who had been waiting in line to see a teller when Bonnie & Clyde came in to steal all the money.

    • The Whippit BAR I have seen was not cut off that short, perhaps a couple inches off the butt. The recoil buffer was in the stock, and wouldn’t have allowed so dramatic a chopper. The sling was a very short strap on the butt itself that fit over the shoulder and the gun pivoted around that point.

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