Original German Mauser Mod. 71 Converted in France to Uruguay Daudeteau / Dovitis Rifle - serial 86424
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of the rare "Dovitis" rifle, which is a French conversion of the German Mauser Model 1871 Infantry Rifle. This example bears Serial #86424 on the receiver and bolt, and is marked marked I. G. Mod. 71 on the opposite side in German "Black Letter" type. This stands for Infanterie Gewehr (Infantry Rifle) Model 71. The opposite side of the receiver has the original manufacture date of 1881, with other markings.
The rifle is now chambered in 6.5mm Daudeteau, with a new 31" barrel with an very good bore, showing clear lands and grooves, with just a bit of dirt and oxidation. This is a converted rifle that was adapted to the smallbore, 6.5mm Daudeteau cartridge (6.5 x 53.5mm) for Uruguay at the behest of a Uruguayan-Greek named Dovitis.
The work was performed at the St. Denis Arsenal in France and the Lebel type barrel has St. Denis markings on the breech: L. F. t. P / St. Denis. The bolt is correct, and has a faded bright steel patina. Bolt action is nice, though it is a bit sticky at times. There are also various other proofs and markings on the rifle.
The walnut stock has a nice oil finish with numerous small handling marks and small blemishes, and the brass trigger guard has a great aged bass patina. The original sling swivels were removed during the conversion, and newer, French pattern swivels added (trigger guard swivel is absent). Our example is very good and ready t odisplay!
These rifles represented an effort by the Uruguayan government to follow its neighbors and adopt a small bore, smokeless rifle by converting their existing stocks of Mauser black powder rifles at lesser expense. The conversions were well made, but failed for several reasons, not the least of which was the ammunition, which gave very unsatisfactory performance (modern reloaders report good accuracy and excellent reliability with ammunition made from modern components).
In the end, Uruguay was forced to purchase Mauser bolt action magazine rifles to keep up with their military rivals just like everybody else in South America. This is a fine example of a rarely seen Daudeteau conversion and would make a wonderful addition to any collection.
History of the Mauser 1871
Adopted as the Gewehr 71 or Infanterie-Gewehr 71, or "Infantry Rifle 71 ("I.G.Mod.71" was stamped on the rifles themselves) was the first rifle model in a distinguished line designed and manufactured by Paul Mauser and Wilhelm Mauser of the Mauser company and later mass-produced at Spandau arsenal.
Paul Mauser developed his bolt-action rifle from 1866 to 1871. During 1870-71 trials with many different rifles took place, with the "M1869 Bavarian Werder" being the Mausers' chief competitor. The Mauser was provisionally adopted on 2 December 1871, pending the development of an appropriate safety. With support from the government's Spandau arsenal, the improvements to the safety mechanism were completed and the rifle was formally accepted on 14 February 1872 as Infantry Rifle Model 1871 by the German Empire excluding Bavaria. The action was not based on its predecessor, the Dreyse needle gun which had seen service during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, and which was found to have a number of weaknesses.
The now well known Mauser "wing" type safety lever was developed for the Gewehr 71. The Gewehr 71 is a conventional looking bolt action chambered in 11mm using black powder cartridges. The action included only a bolt guide rib as its single locking lug, locking forward of the receiving bridge. The original design was a single-shot. The design was updated in 1884 with an 8-round tubular magazine designed by Alfred von Kropatschek, making this Germany's first repeating rifle. This version was designated the Gewehr 1871/84. A version of this repeater was adopted by the Ottoman Empire. Designated the M1887, it differentiated from the M71/84 in that it had a side mounted cleaning rod, a second locking lug on the rear of the bolt, and it was in caliber 9.5×60mmR, which Paul Mauser touted as the most efficient (black powder) cartridge. In the early 20th century a few were converted to 7.65×53mm smokeless by the arsenal in Ankara.
Year of Manufacture: 1879 - converted later
Caliber: 6.5x53.5mmR French Daudeteau
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 31 inches
Overall Length: 51 Inches
Action type: Bolt-Action
Feed System: Single Shot
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