The “cone hammer” was the first commercial version of the Mauser C96, so named for the stepped conical sides of its hammer. The C96 did not sell particularly well in the first few years after its introduction, and the only major bulk sale was to Sultan Abdul Hamid II of the Ottoman Empire, who bought 1,000 of the guns for his palace guard. These guns were numbered in Farsi in their own range from 1 to 1000, and were all sold with matching shoulder stocks. The order was signed in December of 1897 and the guns were shipped a few months later, in May of 1898.
Under the Sultan’s rule, there was significant concern over potential military coups, and most arms were locked away in armories, including many of the C96 pistols. After the revolution in 1908/9, guns were more liberally distributed to the military and police, and these C96 pistols were issued out to both groups for service use. Some were used in combat in World War One, and after the war they were considered surplus, available for purchase inexpensively by Army or police officers. This meant that they saw a lot of use, and as a result few survive today, with many of them in rather rough condition.