Original German M1891 Argentine Mauser Sporterized Rifle by Ludwig Loewe made in 1897 - Serial R 3235

Item Description

Original Item: Only one available. This is a very interesting "Sporterized" example of the Model 1891 Argentine Mauser rifle, one of many "export" models made for foreign governments, all based on the Mauser Model 1889.

After service in Argentina, it was imported into the United States, had 7.65 MAUSER stamped over the chamber, and had the stock and barrel altered to turn it into a very nice "sporting gun". The barrel was shortened by 7 inches, and the wood stock cut down to where the barrel bevel is, just to the rear of where the barrel band would be. The handguard was removed, and a new front sight on a long ramp was installed, and accurized to work with the original rear sight. Under the fore stock is what looks to be a Thompson M1928 style sling swivel, very similar to the original butt stock swivel but definitely easier to find on the market. Also, the bolt handle was heated up and turned down, so it looks like a "carbine" style handle.

This example, like all of the Argentine Mausers made before 1897, was made by the renowned Company LUDWIG LOEWE of BERLIN, which from 1887 onward was actually part owner of Mauser Waffenfabrik. It has mostly matching serial numbers, with R 3235 on the barrel, receiver, stock, and magazine floor plate. It looks like the marking on the cocking handle was removed when it was bent downward.

The serial numbers were issued sequentially with a single letter prefix. The Ludwig Loewe serial number records for the Argentine contract indicate that serial numbers over O 9999 were produced in early 1897. There were also surplus receivers made, which were then used later. In 1896 Ludwig Loewe founded Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken, the famous D.W.M., and all rifle receivers made 1897 onward were marked as such. As this example has a Loewe marked receiver, it is definitely a Pre-1898 Antique.

The left side of the receiver is marked with the production information:


The area of the receiver over the chamber has been ground down to remove Argentine crest, as standard when sold out of service. It was then smoothed out and refinished. However, the Argentine "Clasped Hands" proof is still present on many components, along with a "Phrygian Cap" on the left rear receiver. The rest of the finish most of the hardware is still a lovely factory blue, with only some small areas of wear and oxidation. There is even still much of the iridescent "Niter blue" finish on the magazine follower and bolt release spring. The bolt is still the original bright steel, with just a bit of staining.

The rifle cycles well, with a crisp dry fire, and no mechanical issues we can see. The firing pin is still present, however we have no way to check to see if the magazine still feeds correctly. We checked the bore, and it is in very good condition, with strong lands and grooves and a mostly bright finish. There is some light oxidation and fouling in the grooves, and just a bit of wear. This looks to have been used as a sporter, but it was not used extensively.

The stock is in very good condition, and it definitely looks like this example only saw light service before being turned into a sporter. It has a beautiful color and only light wear and denting. There was originally a sling swivel mounted under the fore stock, but this has been removed.

Another Military Contract from the Victorian era that Mauser managed to snag from all its European competitors. In excellent "sporterized" condition and ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1894
Caliber: 7.65×53mm Mauser
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 22 Inches

Overall Length: 41.5 Inches
Action type: Bolt-Action
Feed System: 5 round box magazine

More on the Model 1891 Argentine Mauser:

After the Mauser brothers finished work on the Model 71/84 for Germany in 1880, the design team set out to create a small caliber repeater that used smokeless powder. Because of setbacks brought on by Wilhelm Mauser's death, they failed to have the design completed by 1882, and the German Rifle Test Commission (Gewehr-Prüfungskommission) was formed. The commission preferred to create their own design, which was what became the Gewehr 1888, often called the "Commission Rifle".

In the meantime, Paul Mauser created two different variations of the same rifle, one with a stock strengthened with a barrel shroud and a traditional design following the layout of the 71 series, in hope he might be able to overturn the commission's decision, or at least sell his design to the Kingdom of Bavaria, which adopted its own arms. The two rifles became known as the 89 Belgian (with a barrel shroud) and the 91 Argentine (with a 71 layout) Mausers, identical in their function and feed system. The main features were the ability to use stripper clips to feed the magazine (a revolution in rate of fire), and its rimless cartridge (7.65 Argentine Mauser), advanced for the time.

The Mauser Company then set about trying to sell this new design. Unfortunately they failed to convince the Commission to reverse its decision, and the attempt to win over Bavaria did not succeed either. However, Mauser already had supplied arms to numerous countries, and when they were looking to update their rifles, they came back to Mauser. At the time, Belgium was looking to bolster its domestic arms industry, and felt that manufacturing a Mauser Design would really help them in this goal. This resulted in the founding of Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre, owned in part by Ludwig Loewe, to manufacture the Model 1889 Belgian Mauser. This company would go on to become a major arms manufacturer, which exists today as FN Herstal.

At the same time, the Ottoman Empire had a contract for Model 1877 Turkish Mausers, which were based on the model 1871. The contract however had an "escape clause" that allowed them to change the contract in the event of a more advanced Mauser system being developed. This resulted in a new contract for the Model 1890 Turkish Mauser. While this was taking place, the Argentine Small Arms Commission contacted Mauser in 1886 to replace their own Model 71s. Since they wished to keep retraining of their armed forces to a minimum, they went for the Mauser 91, as the operating principles were identical. As with other early Mausers, most such arms were made by the Ludwig Loewe company, who in 1896 joined with other manufactures to form Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken.

One of the principal defining features of the Belgian/Turkish/Argentine Mauser was its thin sheet steel jacket surrounding the barrel—a rather unusual element not common to any other Mauser mark of note. The jacket was instituted as a feature intended to maintain the effectiveness of the barrel and the solid wooden body over time, otherwise lengthening its service life and long-term accuracy when exposed to excessive firing and battlefield abuse. In spite of this approach, the jacketed barrel proved susceptible to moisture build-up and, therefore, introduced the problem of rust forming on the barrel itself–unbeknown to the user. In addition, the jacket was not perforated in any such way as to relieve the barrel of any heat build-up and consequently proved prone to denting. As such, barrel quality was affected over time regardless of the protective measure. Furthermore, another design flaw of the jacket was its extra steel content. Not only was it expensive but it was also needed in huge quantities to provide for tens of thousands of soldiers. By many accounts, the barrel jacket was not appreciated by its operators who depended on a perfect rifle in conflict. Another defining characteristic, unlike most Mausers, was a spring-loaded cock on closing bolt action resembling that of the British Lee-Metford, which predates the Mauser 1889 by five years. This development allowed for faster firing and was well received.

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