Original Belgian Model 1889 Mauser Short Rifle by Fabrique Nationale dated 1889 - First Year Producsion - Serial H4891

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Mauser Model 1889 is a bolt-action rifle of Belgian origin. It became known as the 1889 Belgian Mauser, 1891 Argentine Mauser, and 1890 Turkish Mauser. Later developments that corrected deficiencies of the design would become the Mauser Model 1893 series of Rifles used in Spain as well as South America. These models then further evolved into the Gewehr Model 1898, whose action would be used for 50 years as the basis of many derivative designs.

The Model 1889 was initially developed to compete in Trials being held by the Belgian Government, which Mauser was eager to succeed in following the lack of Mauser involvement in the development of Germany's 1888 "Commission Rifle". The Mauser company had been dealing with the effects of founder Wilhelm Mauser's death in 1882. He had handled the business side of things at Mauser, while Paul Mauser was responsible for technical development. Belgium had already undergone two rounds of trials for a new rifle, however after the 8×50mmR Lebel cartridge using Poudre B smokeless powder was revealed in 1887 by France, all companies had to go back to the drawing board.

This gave Paul Mauser the time he needed to continue his work on a small rimless cartridge design inspired by the 88 Commission rifle, as well as developing a new stripper-clip loaded magazine. The resulting model 1889 was the winner of the Belgian trials, and with this design, the company was really "Back in Business", and would continue to do well for decades.

Here we have a very nice Belgian-made Model 1889 7mm Mauser Infantry rifle, made by the legendary Fabrique Nationale in Herstal / Liège, Belgium. More commonly known as F.N. Herstal, the company would become a leading firearms designer and manufacturer during the 20th Century and beyond. The company was in fact only founded in July 1889 by several Belgian arms manufacturers, originally called Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre ('National Factory of Weapons of War'), and it was set up specifically to manufacture 150,000 Mauser Model 89 rifles ordered by the Belgian government. This 1889-dated example was made during the first year of what is now an arms manufacturer known throughout the world. In the early 20th Century they worked extensively with the legendary John Browning, developing many semi-automatic pistol designs.

The model 1889 was made in several different configurations, mostly a long rifle and a carbine, but this short rifle configuration has also been seen, with the distinctive slot on the left side of the butt stock. The rifle has the correct maker markings on the top front of the receiver:


On the left side of the receiver is serial number H 4891, which is also stamped on the barrel, stock, and butt plate. The magazine was remarked 4891 to match the receiver, while the bolt is marked K 444. There are various other proof marks on the guns receiver. The left side of the stock bears a faint cartouche with the date of manufacture 1889 at the bottom.

In generally tight condition this rifle has certainly seen some service but still looks great, with a lovely glow from decades of polishing. Many of these rifles saw long service, through WWI, and others were later updated in the leadup to WWII, however this example is still in the original configuration. The stock does show damage near the front barrel band / bayonet lug, and the spring underneath is not functional, so the band can slide right off.

The rear sight is present and fully functional, however the slider is definitely loose and could use adjustment. Both sling swivels are still present, along with the stacking swivel. The action looks fully functional, cycling correctly with a crisp dry fire. The bore is in excellent condition, with crisp lands and grooves showing a bright finish, so it looks like this short rifle saw very little use in service.

A very nice example of a revolutionary Mauser design, produced by the equally well known Fabrique Nationale in Herstal, Belgium. In lovely condition and ready to display!


Years of Manufacture: 1889-1893
Caliber: 7×57mm Mauser
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 21 1/2 Inches

Overall Length: 41 Inches
Action type: Bolt-Action
Feed System: 5 round magazine

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