Original German Made M1891 Argentine Mauser Rifle by Loewe of Berlin with Shortened Bayonet & Sling - made in 1894
Original Item: Only one available. This is a great nice 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 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.
This example, like all of the Argentine Mausers made during and 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 all matching serial numbers, with G 6694 on the barrel, receiver, bolt, magazine floor plate, and even on the original brass-tipped cleaning rod. 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 G0000 to L4999 were produced in 1894, so this rifle was made probably made in the first quarter of 1894. 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, so this rifle is definitely from early 1894, even if it was delivered for a later contract.
The left side of the receiver is marked with the production information:
MAUSER MODELO ARGENTINO 1891.
MANUFACTURA LOEWE BERLIN.
The area of the receiver over the chamber has been ground down to remove Argentine crest, as standard when sold out of service. The rest of the finish is a nice shiny blue, with only light wear and fading in small areas. The bright steel bolt only has a bit of light staining on the cocking handle and on the rear portion near the safety. The stock is in great shape, having been arsenal reconditioned and refinished. It has a lovely reddish brown color, and there is a lot of figuring in the stock, making it very attractive. The bore shows crisp lands and grooves, with a mostly bright finish that shows just some light overall haze on the surface.
The rifle comes with a very nice Argentine Contract Mauser M-1891 Bayonet constructed with Aluminum grip panels. The aluminum grip scales were part of an effort to lighten the bayonet. The grip metal is an alloy of aluminum, with 6 percent copper. It is in very good condition, with a lovely a slightly oxidized patina on the hilt. There also is a bit of deformation of the muzzle ring, which prevents it from locking all the way onto the rifle.
The bayonet and scabbard are both marked with Argentine proof marks, and the ricasso is also marked MODELO ARGENTINO 1891. To conform with the more popular shorter bayonets of the time, in the 1920s the bayonet blade was cut down from 16" to 8", and the scabbard shortened to match. However, unlike most bayonets that we see, the Argentine crest was not ground out, as was usually done.
The other side of the ricasso bears the German Bayonet maker's name:
KIRSCHBAUM & CO
This company is a famous manufacturer of military swords and cutlery in Solingen, Germany - a city famous since the middle ages for its metal-working and craftsmanship in sword making. Per J. Anthony Carter's fine work GERMAN SWORD AND KNIFE MAKERS, the traditional manufacturing of swords at WKC dates back to the year 1774 when the Weyersberg first registered the ''Kings head'' as their trademark. Later in 1883 the company merged with the Kirschbaums and the company WKC was formed as it exists today. It was heavily involved with exporting edged weapons to South American countries in the late 19th and early 20th century.
The included sling has a great patina of age, though we do not know if it is an Argentine issued sling, or was added later.
Another Military Contract from the Victorian era that Mauser managed to snag from all its European competitors, complete with the correct bayonet as well as a sling! In lovely condition and ready to display!
Year of Manufacture: 1897
Caliber: 7.65×53mm Mauser
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 29 Inches
Overall Length: 48.5 Inches
Action type: Bolt-Action
Feed System: 5 round box magazine
Blade Length: 8"
Blade Style: Single Edged bayonet
Overall length: 13“
Scabbard Length: 9"
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