Original Rare M1891 Argentine Mauser Engineer Carbine by Ludwig Loewe Berlin Serial A 5920 with Intact Crest & Muzzle Cover - made in 1895

Item Description

Original Item: Only one available. This is a rare example of a Model 1891 Argentine Mauser, one of many "export" models made for foreign governments, all based on the Mauser Model 1889. Unlike those we have had before, this is in the rare "Engineer's Carbine" configuration, a modification of the standard cavalry carbine so it will take a standard sling and bayonet. The sling loop under the buttstock has been removed and replaced with a plate, and there is now a sling loop on the left side of the butt stock. The front of the carbine has a barrel band with a bayonet lug and sling swivel attached, and there is another fitting just behind the front sight for the bayonet crossguard.

We assume that these will fit the standard M1891 bayonet, but we unfortunately do not have any in house to fit them with. Engineer / Pioneer units in the field would often find a full length rifle cumbersome while navigating obstacles, so these were made to give a shorter weapon that was set up for use on the ground, not on a horse.

This example, like all of the Argentine Mausers made before 1896, was made by the renowned Company LUDWIG LOEWE of BERLIN, which from 1887 was actually part owner of Mauser Waffenfabrik. It is marked with mostly matching serial number A 5920 on the barrel, receiver, and even on the right side of the stock (faint), while the bolt does not have a serial number. The Ludwig Loewe serial number records for the Argentine contract carbines indicate that they were produced in two runs, with serial numbers A0000 - A4999 & B0000 - B4999 produced in 1892, and A5000 to A9999 produced during 1895. There were also surplus receivers made, which were then used later.

In late 1886, following the death of Ludwig Loewe, his younger brother Isidor took over the running of the company, and by the end of the year it became part of the legendary Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken Aktiengesellschaft (German Weapons and Munitions public limited company), usually referred to as DWM. All Argentine Mausers made after this point were DWM marked, so any Loewe marked Mauser rifles are definitively Pre-1899 and considered antique by Federal law.

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


Unlike almost all of the Argentine Mausers we have seen, this one never had the Argentine Crest removed from above the chamber. This shows a Sun wreathed panel with a sun on top, and a "Phrygian Cap" on a pole in the center, with two clasped hands below. The "Clasped Hands" markings is present on other components as well, such as the bolt. Many of the markings have been highlighted in white to make them easier to see.

The metal finish is very good, with almost all of the arsenal reblued finish retained on the metalwork and a nice finish on the walnut stock. We can see a bit of past oxidation on the metalwork, so it looks to have been entirely reconditioned while at arsenal, which explains how it looks barely used.

The rifle cycles correctly, with a crisp dry fire and no issues we can see, though we have no ability to check to see if the magazine still feeds correctly. The wing safety on the back of the bolt is functional, but only when the bolt is not cocked. We can see the firing pin, but it is a bit worn down and level with the bolt face, possibly due to mis-adjustment in the bolt. The bore has a bright finish showing clear lands and grooves, though there is definitely a bit of wear, so it definitely did see some use during service. THe brass muzzle cover on the end of the barrel fits great, and is easily removed.

Another Military Contract from the Victorian era that Mauser managed to snag from all its European competitors. A rare variant in very nice condition and ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1895
Caliber: 7.65×53mm Mauser
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 17 1/2 Inches

Overall Length: 37 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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