The C96 is the Axis faction's special handgun that a player can unlock upon reaching the "Veteran" class level in the game. The default C96 is loaded from the top by a 10-round stripper clip, and cannot be reloaded until it runs out of ammunition.
The C96 is the weakest gun in terms of per-bullet damage in the game; it is plagued in the early game with its initially high recoil and inability to reload until the magazine is empty. When it is fully levelled up, though, the C96 is probably the best handgun in the game in terms of control-ability and rate of fire.
Sometimes, when totally unloading the gun, the user won't be able to reload the gun. This usually happens when the player unloads the weapon in a short succession. The reason of this is because the game still detects that there is a bullet ( or more) in the magazine/chamber, and since the unmodified C96 cannot be reloaded unless if empty, the game won't allow you to reload. However, it's impossible to fire the remaining bugged rounds, unless if you drop the gun and pick it up again and shoot a glitched bullet.
This only happens with the stripper-fed Mauser handgun.
At level 50, the gun shown is actually an M712 Schnellfeuer (German for "rapid-fire"). However, this is not displayed, and the gun is still referred to as a C96.
Its in-game model is actually that of the M1921 "Bolo" variant, which is mostly associated with the Russian Bolsheviks, although many were sold to German Freikorps mercenaries. The Bolo model is not compatible with the M712's detachable magazine nor select-fire components.