Original German Mauser Model 1871 Uruguay Daudeteau Conversion (Dovitis Rifle)
Original Item: Only One Available. Serial #81110, 6.5mm Daudeteau, 31 barrel with an excellent, bright bore. This is a circa 1880s 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. The bolt is correct, but isn't matching, and has a fine armory bright patina.
The walnut stock has a dark oil finish with numerous small handling marks and small blemishes, and the brass trigger guard has been cleaned to a pale bright yellow patina. The original sling swivels were removed during the conversion, and newer, French pattern swivels added (trigger guard swivel is absent). Our example is excellent and ready to display, however, it is missing the bolt head and extractor, which no doubt can be found through a parts website.
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.
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