The HSc was Mauser’s attempt to compete with the highly successful Walther PP design. Development began in 1934, and was ready for mass production in 1938. The German Arms Bureau did not allow production to begin until 1940, however, as it wanted Mauser to focus on production of military contracts.

Mauser HSc cutaway view
Mauser HSc cutaway view

When the HSc (Hahn Selbstspanner modell C; double-action model C) did go into production, the guns were serial numbered starting with #700,000, to pick up where Mauser 1914/34 pistol production ended. A total of 252,000 HSc pistols were made during World War II, with 137,000 purchased by the German Army, 27,000 by the Navy, 28,000 by various police units, and 59,000 sold commercially (including many sales to soldiers who were not issued pistols).

Mechanically, the HSc is a simple blowback design, chambered for .32ACP (postwar variants were also made in 9x17mm). As with most contemporary pistols, they used a heel-mounted magazine release and a safety on the slide.


Mauser HSc manual (German)
Mauser HSc manual (German)


More information on the marking variants of the HSc (and some nice detailed photos) can be found at Pistols of the German Wehrmacht.


  1. Hey Ian,
    Do you have long forgottened AJ Ordnance pistol manual??
    This model is really long forgottened,production was ended after 1970 and there is no specific details about it…

  2. Hi,

    after WWII the Italian Company Renato Gamba produced the HSc in license. And in 1979 the made some modifications, i. e. a wider grip and an new magazine and new magazine catch, to allow more capacity. The new HSc-80 had been a capacity of 15 rds. in .32 ACP and 12 rds. in .380 ACP. In 1988, they renamed it to Super RG-15.

  3. Hi Mic,

    look at YouTube, there are some videoes about shooting, breakdown and cleaning the HSc.
    Also as information source:
    Pistols of the German Wehrmacht (see above); Guns of the Reich by George Markham; German Handguns – The Complete Book of the Pistols & Revolvers of Germany 1869 to the Present by Ian V. Hogg; Pistols of the World, 4th Ed. by Ian V. Hoog. Maybe you will find also some articles in US-Firearms Magazines like Guns & Ammo, Petersen´s Handguns, American Handgunner. Or get in contact with a Mauser Collectors Ass. in the US.
    Maunuals are available on gun shows. Or go the the website of German Firearms Magazine Deutsches Waffen-Journal. They offer reprints of several manuals of European Firearms.

  4. I hade one very good worked, but the way to unload the hammer with a cartridge inside is not ideal and I made 2 holes in the floor, I bought a Beretta 81 less expensive and less difficult to handle and the old Mauser was a present for my brother, who is moe carefull.

  5. You may remember Jeff Cooper and other famous firearms instructors?
    They say: “the most important firearms safety is between the ears of the person who handle a firearm!”
    Or the other way round: use your brain, if you handle a firearm!

  6. My father brought back a Hsc 135 from Germany after the war ended. Where is the serial number located ??

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  8. I have a Nazi waffenampted HSc Mauser pistol that l believe to be a Swedish contract sn. 800,981 located on both slide and grip strap. Any info on this variation?

  9. Very interesting design. Disassembly similar to the Russian CZ 53. Does anyone here know if the barrel is captured in the slide and drops down to feed a new round. Doesn’t look like there is much room in the lower for this if it does.

  10. What is your opinion on the Mauser HSC mfg by Renato Gamba in Italy during the 1980s? I am looking for one in 32 acp. Is it worth the price and what are they going for. I feel the 32 acp is better for my aging thumb joints. Appreciate a comment on my search.

    • Hi Douglas. I have a Renato Gamba HSc in .380 ACP. I bought it at a pawn shop a few years ago. By the looks of it, I’d bet it had never been fired before. This assumption seemed to be confirmed the first time I took it to the range. The first mag I fired, it jammed just about every other round. Subsequent magazines of ammo jammed less and less. After about 200-250 rounds fired, the pistol fired smoothly but still jammed occasionally. After consulting a friend of mine who has much experience with WWII and post WWII European firearms he told me that the HSc’s were designed for european military grade ammo and most modern U.S. made ammo isn’t quite as “hot” as the old euro military grade ammo is and that this is likely the cause of the jamming. To test this I got my hands on some surplus .380 military grade ammo and my HSc ate it just fine with no jams.

      Bottom line, in my experience the Renato Gamba HSc is well made, accurate and ergonomically very comfortable to hold and carry (I have big hands and this is the first small form factor handgun I have found that works for me). For what it’s worth I also find the HSc to be quite aesthetically pleasing (I also appreciate guns from an artistic perspective). The only real drawback is that it’s a bit picky on what ammo it seems to like. I imagine these thing would also apply to the .32 variant as well.

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