|✅ Very powerful CO2 pistol||❌ Proprietary mag, replacements somewhat expensive|
|✅ Accurate, good distance||❌ Shoots too hot for most CQB and indoor fields|
|✅ Well-balanced with realistic heft|
|✅ Full metal build|
|✅ Lots of fun to shoot|
|✅ Very true to life|
|✅ Gas efficient|
The Mauser C96, and its auto-capable M712 Schnellfeuer variant, are classic German pistols from the late 19th and early 20th century.
Although M712 Mausers had something of a dark reputation due to their production coinciding with the rise of Nazi Germany and the onset of WW2, it’s important to note that the C96 they are based on was developed in the 1890s and their influence in fact extended well beyond the boundaries of pre-war Germany, seeing action on both sides of the Spanish Civil War and the Chinese Civil War.
On a lighter note, more pop-culture minded airsofters might recognize its rather unusual looks popping up in the hands of Robert Downey Jr in Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows, Luke Perry in the Fifth Element and even servign as the base for Han Solo’s blaster in Star Wars.
The KWC M712 is a full-metal, CO2-powered replica whose good looks and high power can make it an interesting option for those looking for an airsoft Mauser M712 (or really C96) of their very own.
For those interested milsiming, or who are just looking for an unusual piece to add to their airsoft collection, read on as we take a closer look at the KWC M712 Broomhandle.
|FPS||~ 420 FPS @ 0.20g BBs|
|Inner Barrel Length||4.72 inch (120 mm)|
|Total Length||11.8 inches (300 mm)|
|Weight||3.08 lbs (850g)|
How closely does the KWC M712 resemble the real thing?
|KWC M712 / C96||Mauser M712|
|Weight||3.08 lbs (1400g)||2.5 lbs (1.13 kg)|
|Barrel Length||5.2 inch (133 mm)||5.5 in (140 mm)|
|Overall length||11.8 in (300mm)||12.3 in (312mm)|
|Action||Semi, automatic||Semi, automatic|
|Caliber||6mm||7.63×25 mm/.30 Mauser|
|Sights||Adjustable rear leaf||Adjustable rear leaf|
Overall, the KWC M712 does a pretty good job at replicating the looks of a classic real-steel Mauser C96 or 712.
There are some weight differences, to be sure, with the KWC coming in slightly heavier and a little more compact than the real steel versions, but other than that this airsoft pistol is a pretty accurate recreation of a vintage gun.
The highly distinctive, almost vertical Broomhandle grip is accurately represented in looks, and the hammer, safety selector, adjustable and graduated rear sight are all located where they should be and have that classic early 20th century, industrial look to them.
In fact, the selector switch maintains its German origins, which can be a bit amusing, using N and R to represent different select fire options – N for Normalfeuer or normal fire (single shot), and R for Reinhenfeuer (series fire) but probably more easily remembered as Rock N’ Roll.
In terms of trademarks, well, there aren’t really any to speak of. The Mauser logo, typically located on the left side of a real steel version, is absent and aside from some standard product information there really isn’t much stamped on this airsoft gun one way or another.
Wait, so what’s the difference between this and a C96 Mauser?
We can hear it now, firearms enthusiasts and assorted gun nerds complaining that the KWC M712 isn’t really a Mauser C96, but rather a later variant based on the same essential platform.
The M712 was Mausers answer to the many Spanish copies of the legendary C96 that popped up between 1927 and 1932.
The Spanish had made some improvements on the original, post-WW1 C96 Mauser design.
Rather than using a more clumsy, top-feeding stripper clip, they used a more user-friendly and reliable detachable box magazine and they gave it select-fire.
The Germans, not wanting to be outdone by companies producing clones of their C96, took their original platform, added magazine-feed capability, integrated automatic fire selection and launched the result into production as the M712 Schnellfeuer, or “Rapid Fire” in German.
When it comes to airsoft pistols, replicas of the C96 aren’t really available due to the difficulty of recreating a top-loading BB stripper clip, something that can be seen in the video below.
Similarly, greater user familiarity with magazines and the inherent usefulness/marketing advantage of offering select-fire make the M712 design a more obvious choice for airsoft manufacturers to use.
As a result, when people talk about airsoft C96s or when you see them for sale that says airsoft C96, it’s usually a safe bet you’re really looking at a M712, and the terms are more or less interchangeable in this hobby.
While history/firearms buffs might be a bit put out, for most airsoft players this shouldn’t be much of an issue, particularly since there isn’t really any other option out there.
And it can even be a bit of a plus for the many airsofters who don’t necessarily feel comfortable using a WW2-era German pistol, since they can just say that their KWC is a Spanish variant from the Civil War, a Chinese variant from the Chinese Civil War, or some other C96-style clone from a similar inter-war conflict.
How Well Does the KWC M712 Broomhandle Perform as an Airsoft Gas Pistol?
Build-quality and construction
The KWC M712 is a full metal airsoft gas pistol.
And when we say full metal, we’re talking all metal. The body, the interiors, the trigger, the frame, the hammer, the graduated rear sights…all made out of a pretty thick metal alloy.
About the only thing that’s not metal on this gun are its imitation wood grips, which are, sadly, plastic.
As a result, the KWC M712 is not only intimidating to look at, but is also quite sturdy and durable-feeling compared to other airsoft pistols.
Coming in at over 3 lbs (1.4 kg), it’s also a hefty airsoft pistol, feeling very much like a real steel firearm and avoiding the toy-like feel that some other airsoft pistols can fall prey to.
When holding the gun, it feels very sturdy and well put together, with very little rattle and noise out of the box.
Most importantly, although they are a bit unusual to those used to a standard 1911 or M9 pistol, the hammer, safety, slide and selector switches are all pretty solidly attached and click into place nicely.
It’s important to note that the selector switch uses a button that needs to be pressed down before you can toggle between fire modes, and this button can stick a bit, at least at first, although this doesn’t have much of an effect on the gun’s overall use.
The gun comes with adjustable rear leaf sights and fixed fronts.
Now, while the period-specific rear leafs aren’t really anything to write home about in terms of usability for aiming (they are from an early 20th century gun, after all, so we can’t expect things like white dots or fiber optics) they are fully adjustable and extremely cool to look at.
They are graduated from 50 to 1000 meters, which is kind of hopeful (to be nice about it) for even the real steel version let alone an airsoft replica, and have a very distinct sliding style and visual appearance.
Although you’ll likely never shoot past 70 meters with this airsoft pistol (let alone 500 or 1000 meters), the sights are authentic and can be a lot of fun to use and play around with.
In terms of easy customization, that’s not really a thing with these types of classic airsoft replicas.
Designed for authenticity, and originally based on the 19th century-designed Mauser C96, the KWC M712 really doesn’t feature a threaded barrel or rail system.
So, sadly for some, it isn’t as easy to add suppressors, optics and other tactical accessories to this 1930s-era airsoft replica.
Performance and Accuracy
Simply put, the KWC M712 Broomhandle is a beast in terms of power.
It is a CO2 powered airsoft gun and, using 0.20g BBs we saw the gun hit a startling 460 FPS or so before the gun settled into a more “comfortable” 420 FPS after a few shots.
For those who love their FPS, the KWC M712 packs enough of a punch to make even a casual airsoft M4 user blush.
On the downside, of course, this power output means the KWC is too hot for most CQB and indoor fields, and it is probably best used for outdoor games (particularly Milsims) and target shooting.
In fact, it is a pretty accurate airsoft pistol, getting decent 3” groupings at 40 feet (10 m) and capable of hitting center mass well past 100 feet out (30 m).
Users even report being able to hit targets far past 150 feet (45 m) with the M712, although we didn’t try this ourselves.
In terms of blowback, the KWC is pretty decent.
The gun doesn’t really have a slide, and so, somewhat like the Action Army AAP-01, the bolt slides back with every shot from the rear, giving it a nice vibration and sound, although perhaps not as impressive as a the snappy CZ P-09, for example, or a decent GBB 1911.
Finally, the KWC M712 is capable of full automatic fire, which is pretty cool.
When selected, the automatic setting on this gun actually delivers a very impressive rate of fire, emptying a full 22 round magazine in well under 2 seconds, making it seem far more like an SMG than an airsoft pistol in our opinion.
That said, because it is so powerful, we wouldn’t recommend using full automatic at opponents at any kind of close range as it could be somewhat dangerous.
In terms of gas efficiency, the M712 is surprisingly good.
We saw around 3 mags or so per fill when on semi auto, so the gun is pretty cheap to run all things considered.
Handling and feel
The first thing you notice when picking up, or even just looking at, the KWC M712 is its size.
It is a big gun. At nearly a foot long, it is considerably larger than a more modern M9 or 1911, and because it uses a box magazine it is considerably taller and boxier in shape, too.
It’s also quite a heavy gun at over 3 lbs (1.4 kg).
That said, it is pretty well-balanced.
Due to its skinny front barrel, the M712’s weight is largely to the center of the gun so you don’t feel it as much when handling it..
The gun’s body is largely modeled after the original Mauser C96, which was originally designed in the late 1800s, so as you might imagine its handling can take a little getting used to.
The gun’s safety is located on the back of the gun and, rather than being a switch, is a hammer-like lever that users engage or disengage, with fairly straightforward F (fire) and S (safe) markings.
The selector switch, as well, requires users to press down on a button before turning it, which is a bit different if you’re used to a simple switch flip.
The selector markings, as mentioned previously, are in German, and unlike later exported firearm models, like the MP5, there are no diagrams to follow here, just “N” and “R.”
N stands for Normalfeuer, or single shot, while R stands for Reinhenfeuer, i.e. automatic fire.
That said, once you get the hang of these features, the gun does become pretty much second nature to operate and shouldn’t be too much of an issue for even die-hard 1911 airsoft fans to use.
With all that said, the hammer, safety and switches are all large, prominent and functional, making the gun very easy to operate.
The characteristic Masuer broomhandle grip is period accurate, as well.
While made of polymer on this model, it does a pretty good job at replicating the original C96 Mauser and M712 style, with pre-war style horizontal stripes that provide adequate grip, although they are a far cry irom more modern crosshatch and diamond texturing in wet weather or using the gun with gloves.
One thing to note is that the C96 and M712 come from a time before modern developments in firearm ergonomics.
So while the broomhandle grip is comfortable enough to hold, it is more vertical than many airsofters may be used to, so your hand may sit a little lower on the gun than on a more modern semi auto.
Despite this and its size, firing the gun one handed is quite easy and the blowback, as mentioned, is decent.
One thing users should note is that the trigger pull is a little long and feels a bit squishy at times.
In terms of ambidextrousness, the KWC M712 is very accurately modeled on guns that existed in a period known more for taking a “your problem” attitude to such things and so it is more adapted to right hand use.
The mag release is located on the right side of the gun, while the fire selector and safety are located and accessible from the left side, making the KWC M712 a little easier for righties than lefties in terms of handling.
Although it is a vintage-style gun, the KWC M712 is surprisingly easy to disassemble nad maintain.
Users flip a rear lever, push the lower receiver forward and the gun comes apart in a way that’s not too dissimilar to an M4.
Nearly all of the important parts of the gun are contained in the upper receiver, making it fairly easy to clean and lube them, as well as check for damage.
One thing users should note is that a couple internal components, such as part of the trigger mechanism, float more freely than in other models inside the gun (held in place by the gun’s frame and a peg) and can come loose and fall out when the gun is taken apart.
As such, we recommend that any disassembly take place on a flat, safe surface.
Magazine type and capacity
The KWC M712 uses a full metal, 22 round magazines that are loaded with standard 12g CO2 cartridges.
The magazines themselves are quite sturdy and durable, they should be able to take most of the typical bangs and drops that an airsoft game will put them through, although at nearly a pound (440g) they are a bit heavy.
Spares are also on the expensive side, at over $30 per magazine and there are no stock hi caps available for this gun, which is unfortunate because the high-ROF automatic feature is very cool and a blast to use.
Accessories & Customizability
A vintage-style airsoft gun, the M712 doesn’t really lend itself to a lot of accessorization or customization.
The barrel is unthreaded and there are no rail mounts to speak of on the gun, so you won’t be able to readily mount any flashlights, lasers, tracer units, optics or suppressors to this gun…although that’s probably for the best since it would likely anger milsimers and other, authenticity-minded enthusiasts.
Note: All prices correct as of writing, all prices in USD.
The KWC M712 is pretty middle of the road in terms of price. Although it depends on the retailer in question, it can usually be picked up for under $140 or so, putting it in the same ballpark as other classic airsoft pistol replicas, such as an AW Custom Luger or one of the Umarex/Elite Force Legends revolvers.
While not particularly cheap, for the price those picking up an M712 do get a fun to use, extremely powerful, high ROF and accurate airsoft Mauser C96 / M712 replica that they can take to outdoor games, milsim events or just keep around for casual backyard plinking.
Advantages of the KWC M712 Broomhandle
The KWC M712 is a hard hitting Mauser replica, hitting targets at about 420 FPS. As such it does offer a lot of satisfaction when firing it and it can certainly dominate the field and intimidate opponents.
The KWC M712 is quite accurate out of the box, capable of hitting targets well past 100 feet (30m) or more.
Well balanced and realistic feeling
Although it is a bit beefy at around 3 lbs, the KWC M712 is hefty enough to feel like a real gun and, because its build keeps its weight largely centered, it is fairly easy to hold for long periods of time.
Unlike some other Mauser M712/C96 replicas, the KWC M712 is a full metal airsoft pistol, with its only use of plastic being the grips. As such, it is fairly sturdy and durable and will likely survive most typical airsoft use.
Fun to shoot
Although it doesn’t have a traditional slide, the CO2-powered KWC M712 still offers a decent sound and kick making it a lot of fun to fire, especially on automatic where it enjoys an insanely high ROF for an airsoft pistol.
Very true to life
Although it is not an officially licensed replica, the KWC M712 Broomstick manages to do an excellent job replicating the unique, industrial style of the classic C96 / M712.
The gun’s design is nearly identical, and all the components and switches are where they should be and are fully functional.
On semi automatic, the KWC M712 can get up to around 3 mags per fill, which allows players to shoot for longer and helps them save money in the long run.
Proprietary and somewhat expensive magazines
The KWC M712 uses its own heavy, full metal 22-round magazines. Although fairly durable and reliable, they are proprietary to the gun and can cost a bit more than other pistol mags, usually coming in at $30+.
Shoots too hot for CQB and indoor games
While high-FPS airsoft guns like hte M712 can be a lot of fun, they can have their downsides. In particular, they can fall afoul of FPS limits in most CQB and indoor airsoft fields.
As such, depending on where you live, the KWC M712 might be limited to outdoor use only.
If you’re looking for a Mauser C96 airsoft replica to take to your next airsoft game or milsim event, the KWC M712 can be a good choice to consider, as it blends good looks, full metal durability, high FPS and a hilariously quick automatic ROF in a single period-correct package.
David Lewis – A longtime airsoft and airgun enthusiast and collector, our editor David’s lifelong passion for tactical sports began in high school with some friends, a cheap knock-off airsoft M4, and an open field behind his parents’ house.
When he’s not plinking around, he enjoys sharing his knowledge of airsoft and helping those just starting out.