The Mauser brothers’ first attempt at a commercial or military handgun was this, the C77 (Construktion 1877) model of single shot pistol. Why a single-shot sidearm in 1877, well into the age of centerfire military revolvers? That is a good question. By the time the design was complete, the Mausers opted (prudently) to not bother submitting it to military trials, as it was clearly already obsolete. However, despite this fact, and a total production of barely a hundred guns, it did apparently develop a small niche reputation as a quite good target pistol.
The C77 is much more complex than a single shot handgun need be, but this complexity did bring some benefits. It was a falling block type of action. With the easy movement of the thumb from a firing grip, the breech could be dropped and an empty case ejected. When a new cartridge was inserted with the other hand, its rim would trip the ejector and automatically close the breech. A manual safety was located conveniently under the firing thumb as well, for those who wanted it. Chambered for the standard Imperial German 10.6mm revolver cartridge, the C77 also had pretty good sights. It’s one flaw as a target gun was a remarkably heavy DAO trigger, akin to the 1879 Reichsrevolver that would be adopted just a few years later.
Despite its less than elegant appearance, the C77 handles quite well, and I can understand it’s appear to a specific group of buyers.