looks like you did pretty well to me. Nothing a little TLC won't take care of.
I found this 1893 Spanish Mauser in a shop yesterday, looking a little out of place surrounded by high-end Western guns. All matching (bolt, safety, floorplate, triggerguard etc. )The wood is dry and dinged-up, but shows no other signs of abuse. At $150 + tax ,I couldn't pass it up. Any chance this one saw action in the Span. American war? Oh, it's dated 1896.
looks like you did pretty well to me. Nothing a little TLC won't take care of.
"Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less." Robert E. Lee
Given the worn look on it, it is more probable that it is a Spanish Civil War veteran, imported by Interarms in the 1960s (I have several of these, of the 1894-99 poeriod) and they all have similar wear.
The Majority of the Cuban Span-Am War Mausers were actually M91 type Mausers in 7,65, as well as a quantity of 7x57 M93s; Most were "sportered" by Bannermann in the early 1900s, as he bought almost 95% of the captured Spanish Milsurp from Springfield Armory after the War, and the ammo (both calibres) as well.
The 7.65 mm M1891 was never a standard issue rifle in the Spanish military.
The Spanish Army purchased only 1,200 M1891 rifles solely as a trials rifle, and only 600 were sent to the Colonies for test. These were issued to the Battalon de Cazadores de Puerto Rico No. 19 (Light Infantry Battalion No. 19 on Puerto Rico). The rifle was a total failure due to the well-known poor extraction, poor ejection, and double loading issues that plagued pre-1893 Mausers. On the other hand, the Model 1893 was purchased in large numbers by Spain in the 1894-1898 time frame from Loewe and later DWM. Don Jose Boado y Castro, the Commander at Oviedo at that time, stated that the total was over 220,000. Un-altered all-matching examples, even though stock and receiver crests were originally light impressed, still abound in the northeast USA.
The Interarms imports that you mentioned are not in a class or condition of the rifle posted by Husk. While there were many Belgian and German made M1893's that no doubt came in from Spain in the 1958-62 era, The likelhood of a 93 surviving unchanged through the Riff and Spanish Civil Wars, and post SCW rebuilt programs is extraordinalily unlikley. Indeed, those M1893's which can be identified as Belgian or German that came from Spain have usually been restocked and, most significantly, all have had their filmsy, double-catch German rear sight slides replaced by the more substantial Ovideo slide. Most imporant, every example of this type of rifle has been mismatched.
Regarding Bannerman's sporterizing these rifles, Bannerman's sold these rifles unaltered as Spanish American War souvenirs, and had them in stock well into the 1930's...still in their original military condition. I have looked through lots of Bannerman's catalogs, but have never seen an ad for a sporterized Spanish M1893. Indeed, a friend of mine told me recently of his purchase on a 93's at Bannermans in the mid-1930's when he was 14 years old. He picked it our of a barrel of un-altered Spanish Mausers and took it home and then sporterized it himself. While I have seen more than a few sportrerized German-made Spanish 93's, all have been very different in wokmanship, and showed none of the standard design or fit and finish that Bannerman's displayed in their Krag or Remington M1891 Moison Nagant sporters.
Can you post photos of your Spanish Mausers?
Last edited by John Wall; 01-26-2011 at 04:45 PM.
Spain adopted the Mauser in 7 mm in 1892 (with protuding magazine). Only carbines of this 1892 model were made as it was modified in 1893 to the clasical 1893 model. During the trials, 1,840 rifles in 7.65 mm cal. were purchased as said John Wall ... but in 1893 Spain suffered severall agressions from our Moroccans neighbours (Spain have two cities in north Africa), so the government send troops and purchassed 10,000 rifles and 5,000 carbine of 7,65 mm Argentinean Mauser model. Many were send to Cuba when 1895 rebellion aroused, though they were a small part of the more than 130,000 Mausers sent between 1895 and 1898.
Welcome to the Mauser Forum! It is a pleasure to see someone from Spain participating in this discussion.
Regarding the Argentine Mausers, I agree that only a small number of these ex-Argentine Melilla rifles were purchased. Only a small number of these M1891 rifles and carbines were captured in Cuba and sold in the Springflield Armory auction at the war's end. The figure of 1,840 trials rifles is one of two figures that have gotten into English language arms literature, the other being 1,200. In any case, the number is very small, and the results of the Spanish rifle trial seem to be the same as the US Army Rifle Trials of 1892. In the US Army case, a similar rifle from Belgium, the Model 1889, was tested with unhappy results. Fortunately, one of the three Model 1892 test rifles performed better, but not as good as the Krag Jorgensen.
Last edited by John Wall; 11-26-2007 at 02:40 PM.
I also have one but my crest is lighter than yours and I cannot read date.
What is your ser # mine is c48xx.
This one has a R on left side of butt does anyone know what this stands for?
"R" probably stands for rebuild
buy it! or tell me how to!
John, I hate to dispute you, but I have a 1903 Bannermans catalog that advertises "Sportered" Spanish M91 (7.65) and M93 (7mm) for the stiff price of $12.95. The stocks and barrels have been shortened and the bolt handle bent for sporting use.
No problem with disputes! Your point is well taken and correct.
This morning I was going through my on-line files and found a .jpg of a Bannerman's advertising postcard dated February, 1904. Among other things, the card offers sporterized Spanish 93's for $12.95 apiece! I can only conclude that for a few months in the 1903-04 period, Bannerman's was indeed selling sporterized Spanish 93's. How ever, I still very much doubt that Bannerman's "sportered most" of the Spanish Mausers.
Note that the postacard is addressed to the head of the Argentine arms buying commission in Europe and features an Argentine Mauser (M1891). About 2,000 of the 18,000 rifles captured in Cuba et al were M1891's. I think Bannerman's figured that Argentina would be the best market for Argentine Mausers!
What does the catalog say about the sporterized rifles? How long is the barrel? The only German-made Spanish mauser rifles I've seen which appear to be old sporterized jobs are three Ludwig Loewe-made ex-Spanish cavalry carbines.
Last edited by John Wall; 11-27-2007 at 09:41 PM.
Sorry it took so long to reply to this thread, but I had a problem finding my 1903 Bannerman catalog. You see, the wife and I are packing to move. Even though the move is over a year away, she has started packing up our stuff, and I bet you could figure out whose stuff got packed first! Anyway, in the 1903 Bannerman catalog, on the bottom of page 7, it states, "We have selected a number of the captured Spanish Mausers and converted them to Sporting Model Mausers by cutting off part of the wood foreend (sic), cutting handgrooves (sic) in the stock, polishing the woodwork, polishing and blueing (sic) the barrel, thus making this gun look like new, same as the $35.00 Mauser (there is no other reference to this $35.00 Mauser) and for which we charge only $12.95 and include gratis with each Mauser Rifle a box of 15 loaded ball cartridges." Next to the text, there is a picture of a nicely sporterized 7mm Mauser Rifle with the bolt open and a stripper clip of five cartridges set in the stripper clip guide ready to load. I assume they left the barrel at the original 29" length. It must be noted that Bannermans was selling both the 1891 7.65mm Spanish Mausers as well as the 1893 7mm Spanish Mausers, but only the 1893's were listed as being sporterized.
Last edited by sgt. george; 11-30-2007 at 10:44 PM.
I followed the book "Tres Siglos de Armamento Portátil en España" by the Spanish Army colonel Bernat Barceló Rubí (privately published by the author in 2002). But looking for more information, the correct numbers are: 1,000 rifles and 400 cavalry carbines for the Army and 640 rifles for the Navy, all of turkish model in 7,65 mm. These were employed in the trials that conducted to adoption of 1892/3 model.
About the remaining 15,000 bought in 1,893, a small introduction. In this age Morocco was an independent country (French and Spanish colonization didn’t began untill 1909), that was separated from Spain by the Gibraltar Strait (see map bellow). Spain had from the XV century (and still has) two cities in the north of Africa, Ceuta and Melilla. In 1893 there were several border incidents with the local tribes and the war was on the verge. Spain mobilized partly his Army. Getting modern rifles was essential, so 15.000 Argentinean Mauser in 7.65 mm were delivered, though finally the war didn’t aroused. About the number of these delivered to Cuba, acording to Antonio Carrasco García’s book “En guerra con Estados Unidos”, between 1895 (when rebellion aroused) and 1898 only 1176 rifles in 7.65 mm cal. were sent as reinforcement (but perhaps some had been sent before). In any case they were a minor part of the total. In any case the US army only obtained as war booty the armament of the troops surrended at Santiago de Cuba (Santiago’s Division), the rest of troops were returned to Spain after peace treaty with its armament.
In my opinion husk rifle probably came from surplus guns sold in the 60s by Interarms.
About the 'R', I don't know the meaning, but I believe it is´t 'rebuild'.
I beg to differ with your numbers. In the 1903 Bannermans Catalog, there are press clippings that were reprinted in the catalog itself. According to these clippings, Francis Bannerman purchased the FINAL lot of Spanish Mausers that were being auction by the U.S. Government, which included ammunition and accouterments. The list is as follows:
10,700 1893 Spanish Mauser rifles and carbines
5,900,000 ball cartridges
1,500 bayonets for 7mm Mauser
2,100 1891 7.65mm Mauser Rifles
100 7.65mm Mauser Carbines
2,000,000 7.65 mm ball cartridges
1,000 bayonets for 7.65 Mauser
The newspaper article also states that there were several auctions in the previous year to sell off the captured Mauser rifles. Evidently, the government wanted to sell these rifles as either an entire lot, or in smaller lots, but wanted them sold. The largest lot purchased, prior to Francis Bannerman's purchase, was 300 rifles. I have no figures to what the government sold prior to the Bannerman sale. I am going to try to photograph these catalog pages and post them on this forum.
Can you post a picture or two of the rear sight leaf and slide? Also, is the Spanish coat of arms stock cartouche and "1896" still visable on the left side of the buttstock?
It's good to see that Bernardo Barcelo Rubi is still alive and publishing. I have been using a copy of his 1976 book "Armamento Portatil Espanol, 1764-1939". (Libreria Editorial San Martin, Madrid) Is his 2002 book a new text, or a reprint/update of the 1976 book?
There are a number of differences in the rifle sales number between Mauser records published in R. H. Korn's 1908 book "Mauser-Gewehr und Mauser-Patente" and other books. It appears that Rubi's 2002 source for rifle production that you quoted was Wolfgang Seel's 1988 history of the Mauser firm "Mauser: von der Waffenschmiede zum Weltunternehmen" (Zurich, 1986 and 1988). This is all very confusing since it appears that this source has combined the 1891 and 1892 sale of test rifles stated in other sources. Korn's work is also a problem. He has a chapter on the Navy carbine, usually known as the Model 1892, which he calls a "Model 1893". In other parts of his book, it is called the 1892/3!
Here ya go...
Here are the links to the 1903 Bannermans Catalog pages. Enjoy them because these days are long gone!
http://usuarios.lycos.es/historiaymi.../gc3siglos.htm . Some years ago it can be bought contacting with the author in the e-mail: [email protected], but now I don’t know if is available . I haven’t found it in any e-bookshop.
The source for the numbers of 1891 model weapons bought are two Royal Decrees of Dec 2nd 1891 and October 6th 1891 published in the Spanish legislative journal (which accesible in Internet). I don’t know why such quantity of arms were bought for trials, but I presume that it was previewed that the Mauser will be the winner, and the request of a new caliber came later when the Spanish board preferred a compromise between the 6.5 mm (then in vogue) and the 7.65 mm.
About the diferent regulation models: in 1892 an improved model 1891 was adopted (Royal Decree Dec. 12th 1892), with the new rotating extractor but inline protuding magazine. This was called model 1892. Of this only 5,000 carbines and very few rifles were made because Mauser proposed another improvement, the double column magazine. This was the definitive 1893 model, adopted by Royal Order Dec. 7th 1893. As the carbine of this model was adopted only in 1895, at first the weapons that entered in service were the 1893 rifle and the 1892 carbine. Barceló calls model 1893 carbine to the 1895 model ones made in Germany. Oviedo factory began to make arms in 1896, but many arms were imported, specially by necesities of Cuban uprising that erupted in 1895.
About the arms captured by the US Army, as I said, only a small part of the Army of Cuba surrended to the American Forces. There were seven divisions in Cuba and only one surrended and the best troops were in the other side of the island, around Havana. War was won by the sinking of the Spanish Fleet by the USA’s one in the mouth of Santiago Bay, which isolated Cuba and void any help form the metropoli. Santiagos’s division had 8 batallions of regular troops, armed with Mauser rifles and severall others including volunteer batallions armed with Remington. So Mauser rifles captured may be about 10,000, as says sgt. George.
Last edited by carvil; 12-06-2007 at 06:11 AM.
A small survey:
1891: 1,000 rifles and 400 cavalry carbines for the Army and 640 rifles for the Navy of Turkish model in 7,65 mm were bought for trials.
1892: By Royal Decree Dec. 12th 1892 the model 1892 rifle and carbine were adopted, with the licese to build it in Spain. These were in cal. 7 mm (developed by Mauser upon Spanish board request). Orders were made in 1892 and 1893 to Ludwig Loewe for 5,000 carbines and 20,000 rifles, and also for machinery for Oviedo factory.
1893: 15.000 arms of Argentinean contract in 7.65 mm (those of Spanish model were not yet available) were bought because of danger of war with Morocco.
1893: Adoption of improved system. All arms, except 5,000 carbines allready in fabrication, will be of this 1893 model.
1895: Cuban rebellion began. New orders to German factories.
1896: The carbine of new system was adopted as 'carabina modelo 1895'. Iussued to all mounted troops.
Last edited by carvil; 12-07-2007 at 02:34 AM. Reason: Add some info
I forgot the Mausers captured in Puerto Rico and the Philippine Islands.
In Puerto Rico there were only 6 regular bataillons. After the ceasefire signed many forces were evacuated, so I think that Mausers captured were few.
In the Philippine Islands there were 7 regular infantry regiments and 15 ‘cazadores’ (rifles) regular bataillons, but I don’t know the number of Mausers there. Acording to Bannerman catalog images (posted by sgt. george) some were captured to Phillippine insurgents, who previously had captured to the Spanish isolated garrisons, after the capitulation.
Some time ago I read the figure of 20,000 Mauser arms captured by the US Army, and its a reliable one.
Last edited by carvil; 12-09-2007 at 12:20 PM.
20,000 sounds like a feasible number. I had read somewhere (although the author and source elude me at this time) that most of the German made Mausers were used for overseas troops and that Spanish arsenal made Mausers were used domestically. Anyone care to verify this for me.
20,000? Close, but not quite.
The US Army's final sales record of the captured Spanish Mauser rifles produced at Springfield Armory in 1904 lists 21,086 Mauser rifles and carbines, by type, caliber, date of purchase and buyer's name, although it does not unfortunately make a distinction of whether the rifle was a Spanish Army or Navy M.1893, or whether they were made by Ludwig Loewe, DWM, Mauser Oberndorf or FN.
The total does include rifles from the Philippines (2,550 received in August and September of 1902) , but does not include these rifles:
1. Arms which did not formally pass through the Army's sales system, especially rifles brought home as individual souvenirs by returning US Navy, Army and Marine Corps personnel and units from Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
2. The figure does not include the unknown number of rifles looted from railway boxcars, whose locks had been broken off while the freight trains made their way from Bayonne NJ to Springfield, Massachusetts in December 1898.
3. Also not in this total are rifles kept by Springfield Armory for developmental purposes.
4. Finally, the number does not include the Spanish arms and accoutrements purchased by Bannerman agents in Cuba directly from individual Spanish soldiers.
The Spanish Navy's M.1892 7 mm carbines are also not on the Army sales inventory.
Published reports in the "Springfield Republican" newspaper in late 1898, quoting US Army sources at the Armory, indicated that a total of 24,000 rifles (and ammunition) in two freight trains were expected at the Armory. Unfortunately, the article did not specify type, and it is possible that Remingtons were included in this number. But...perhaps not. There is no sales record for Remington rolling blocks which has been discovered to date, far as I know.
Last edited by John Wall; 12-15-2007 at 07:12 AM.
Funny. You won't find Bannerman admitting that he had sales agents purchasing rifles directly from retreating Spanish soldiers, but I can see him sending his people down there to do so. Francis Bannermann is still somewhat a legend here in Brooklyn. I had read that Congress held hearings subject to his resale of artillery pieces purchased from the U.S. Government, back to the U.S. Government for hundreds of times the original purchase price (reminiscent of the stories of the $700.00 hammers and $2,000.00 toilet seats a decade or so ago). Another story I had read about Bannermann is how he built a "battleship" for some unnamed South American government from and old steam cargo ship, naval artillery pieces and steel plates for armor. There were old timers living here in Brooklyn who remembered that ship being outfitted in the Gowanus Canal. He was a real character.
There is a great deal about Bannermans that remains totally unknown even today. The little tidbits of Bannerman history that pop up in strange places, like his attempt to sell Spanish Mausers to Serbia (see Bagdonovic's book) are, I would guess, only the tip of the iceberg. His donation of Span-Am War artillery to the US Army during WW I says that he acquired a lot more than Mausers after that war ended.
BTW, the information on his agents buying arms directly from Spanish troops came from a newsletter of the Bannerman Island Trust which used to be on-line a few months ago, but is now no longer accessible.
Last edited by John Wall; 12-11-2007 at 08:36 PM.
It took me a while to get the pics of this carbine, but it seems to fit it with this thread, so I will post a few of them here:
The first picture shows the Spanish 1891 (top) compared to the Argentine 1891 (bottom).
I have a question for Mr. Wall about the sight pictured in the last two photos.
I have not seen this type of carbine sight pictured on any other carbine except for the 1892 Spanish Navy Test Carbine of yours shown in Robert Ball's book on pg 327 (4th Ed.).
The flip-up leaf allows sighting for 250 m (down) or 350 m (up) with the 7.65 ammo the Spanish used at the time ( I don't know what that was).
Was this a test sight which could be calibrated for either the 7.65x53 or 7x57 cartridges?
Thanks to all for the great information in this thread!
Last edited by TE53; 02-09-2008 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Clarification
I think this one might add to the discussion, though I really don't know what it is. Non-rotating extractor, all matching serials. Caliber appears to be 7x57, as it chambers no problem (also chambers 7,65). Has the exact same rear sight as 'TE53's carbine above. Has a locking screw that holds in the detachable magazine. The bolt sleeve is marked with a Turkish quarter moon. Stock has a US-quarter sized cartouche, crown/Berlin/1894.
That looks like a match to my carbine. There is only one visible difference: The charging clip extension of the bolt release on yours has a "circle B" stamp on it rather than the mark I can only describe as a "diamond ring". This stamp appears sideways also on the ejector spring.
On the other hand, the "circle B" stamp appears on the sight base of my carbine. Interesting!
TE53, my rear sight base has the same circle/B marking. The spring on my ejector box also has the same 'diamond ring'. It almost reminds me of the US or Spanish 'flaming bomb' marking. You can barely make out the tip of the 'flame' in the image of my ejector box. I see a variety of inspection marks on mine, everything from plain 'M' to stars, crossed hammers, the Turk quarter moon, rings of Saturn, etc.
My carbine has a couple of issues, mainly the stock being scorched from sitting too close to a woodburning stove, and it lacks the mainspring in the bolt as well as the rear action screw. The safety has also been broken off, and I haven't figured out how to extract the 'stump'.
BUT, I only gave $35 for it, so I'm certainly not complaining! I really don't even know what it is exactly....Spanish 91? Or an Argi 92? I get lost in these pre-M98 Mausers.
Both the above carbines are part of a purchase of 5,000 or so carbines made by Spain from Argentina for use by Spanish Forces in putting down an 1893 insurrection in the Melilla district of what later became the Spanish Protectorate of Morocco. Spain appealed directly to the Argentine Government in 1893 for modern arms needed immediately and succeeded in convincing the Argentines to sell 10,000 of their M1891 rifles then being manufactured by Ludwig Loewe in Berlin. As near as I can tell, Spain acquired the 5,000 carbines posted above, and 5,000 long 91's.
For reasons not crystal clear, the Argentine M1891 carbines came off the production line with the Spanish monarchy's royal coat of arms as the receiver crest, a mixture of Turkish, Argentine and Spanish small-parts inspection marks, and a manufacturing date of 1894 on their receiver rings. A small number have survived to this date in North American collections because after Melilla was settled, these then-modern firearms were sent by Spain to Cuba, her colony in the Caribbean, where a national revolution had just started. A small number were surrendered in 1898 at the conclusion of the Spanish American War, and then made their way to the US where they were subsuquently sold to the public.
Spain's 5,000 Argentine M.1891 long rifles may have come from stores already held at Loewe's plant. As yet, none have turned up with Spanish crests or inspection marks, as have the carbines. It is likely that these rifles had already been manufactured, and were already marked with Argentine crests. Like the carbines, these rifles also went to Cuba. In 1899, the US Army sponsored the largest single auction of military surplus rifles known in US history on January 5 and 6, 1899. The intent was to sell off 12,000+ rifles captured in Cuba. In this auction, 164 "Argentine Pattern" carbines were offered, but only 10 were purchased at that time, The rest were gradually sold off by mail order and to larger retailers like Bannermans. I wonder if Bannerman's was successful in selling off the 2,000 captured M1891 long guns as a complete lot? It would seem that this would be the only outcome that could account for the complete lack of early 91's in the US collector market today.
Interestingly, as Tom noted, the sights on the Spanish Argentine carbine are not the sights used on the Argentine carbines. Instead, the sight used on the Model 1892 Spanish Navy trials carbine were employed. These sights were short-lived and when the Model 1893 mechanism finally appeared in Spanish carbines later in 1894, an entirely different sight leaf was employed.
Last edited by John Wall; 04-07-2010 at 04:59 PM.
Thank you for those details! I have read in Colin Webster's book that there were 23,892 rifles and 1247 carbines captured in Cuba and Puerto Rico (pg. 124). Of these, "872 rifles and 84 carbines were listed as 7,65mm." Webster also mentions two lots of 5000 model 1891 rifles were obtained by Spain, plus some Turkish and Mexican rifles, but does not mention any quantities on the carbines.
Do you have any explanation or theories as to why so few of the carbines were captured? Were the carbines used by militia?
The Springfield Republican newspaper article indicates "546 Mauser carbines" were in the Bannerman purchase. Bannerman listed 100 carbines in 7.65 in the 1903 catalog, a greater number than the 84 available reported by Webster. I suppose it is impossible to piece together exact figures from contradicting reports from so long ago!
The seemingly contradictory numbers are likely the results of different inventory counts made at different time and locations. The number you quoted from Webster if I'm not mistaken is the number used by Ludwig Olson. Olson's sources has never been clear to me, but I would bet that it was made in Cuba around the time the arms were captured or later loaded onto ships. If the rifles were picked over by souvenir hunters, the count would have changed dramatically before they went on shipboard, and then to Bayonne New Jersey where they were reported loaded singly, loose, into boxcars for shipment to Springfield, Massachusetts. We have anecdotal evidence that the boxcars were broken into enroute and rifles removed at that time as well.
I think that the most reliable counts are the partial counts made after the US Army's first naive attempt to auction 12,000 rifles in January of 1899. At this point, the rifles were under firm military control and records of sales, types and condition were being kept by Army ordnance officers working in a peacetime industrial environment. The listing of rifles in the Springfield Republican is for arms leftover after the initial attempt at auction sales, but before the arrival of the 2,550 rifles from the Philippines.
As to why so few of one type of carbine were found, you have to remember that only a small portion of the Spanish Army surrendered at Santiago de Cuba. Most of the quarter million men in Spanish military service in Cuba never surrendered in battle and indeed returned home reportedly with their weapons per the terms of the peace treaty. The 91 carbines here today were those most likely surrendered after the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, and per chance were the arms of a cavalry unit(s) that happened to be serving in that sector.
Bannerman's records are no help since there really are none, except random statements of inventory at particular times. From the Army's sale records, however, we have a record of each and every Bannerman buy, and know therefore that Bannerman's purchased rifles in lots of a four or five, to a few hundred, to a few thousand, over a five year period, between January 4, 1899 and December 4th, 1903. Any statement by Bannerman's during these years has to be taken with a grain of salt. Only the US Army records have any real reliable historical value because only these were made with any expectation of accountability. And even these are only reliable if viewed in the context of the date and moment.
I should also mention that Spanish sources say that they purchased 10,000 rifles in all from Argentina during the Melilla emergency. Of these, the 5,000 M1891 carbines would have been half. About the only thing firm at this late point in history is the clearly-Spanish-marked 91 carbines and the Army's own listing of 2,000+ Argentine pattern long rifles counted at Springfield Armory after the January 1899 auction attempt.
Last edited by John Wall; 03-16-2011 at 12:36 PM. Reason: typos
The peace treaty at the end of the Spanish American War granted the Spanish army the "Honors of War" in the full 17th century sense. Meaning they were to leave with "flags flying, drums beating...bayonets fixed and bullets in mouth [i.e. armed - its a 17th century expression]. etc." All Spanish soldiers returned to Spain fully armed, repatriated at the expense of the United States. Cuban nationals who chose to remain Spanish citizens were also sent to Spain at US expense. Even the heavy machinery of the Havana Arsenal was returned to Spain at US expense. Thus, the only rifles that were "captured" were those in armory storage when the war ended and even some of these may have been used to rearm Spanish soldiers that had surrendered. The receipts issued to the Spanish Ordnance for the contents of the Havana Arsenal were printed in the Congressional Serial Set.
The U.S. Army briefly entertained the notion of keeping the Spanish rifles as a emergency reserve but abandoned the idea, presumably over the potential ammunition problems. And John's absolutely right about completely matching, unmodified Spanish models being fairly common in New England - at least until they became collectible. I've also have never seen a sporterized matching Spanish rifle.
Last edited by JV Puleo; 08-11-2010 at 01:52 PM.
John, I have found an 1893 for sale for less than 150. Bolt does not match receiver, but appears to be correct for the rifle. Reciever, stock, floorplate, and trigger guard marked the same. No corrosion apparent on bolt or rifle. The stock looks like a a replacement, not sanded, no marks. Rifle is full 29" barrel, no marks indicating it was rechambered. Has correct cleaning rod. Is marked 1924/fabrica de Armias/Oviedo. Metal looks like it might have been reblued or refinished in some way, not a bad job. Bore looks very good. No import marks. Any idea on where this thing came from? Much obliged for an answer. cjo
The vast majority of Oviedo Mausers were imported by Interarms and its owner Sam Cummings. In the late 1950's, General Franco decided to sell the old arms leftover from the Spanish Civil War then in storage in Spanish military warehouses. As a result, tens of thousands of rifles of all imaginable types (Gras, Berthier, Veterlli Vitale, Mausers of all kinds, Enfield, Mannlichers, Mosin Nagants, etc, etc) arrived in Alexandria VA over several years, and were sold retail and wholesale across North America. Your Oviedo was most likely in that group.
John, rifling looks good, bore is dark. no corrosion. what are the odds this is a decent shooter. can't check headspace etc because this is a consignment sale, small shop does not have gauges. Visual inspection of chamber end shows no corrosion, etc. guy apparently bought it years ago and put it in closet. opinion?
Sounds like this rifle has not been fired lately if ever. You might want to make arrangments for a third party to do a safety/head space check. On the other hand, an old, mismatched and refurbed Oviedo long gun like this is not worth a lot. While I would still have its head space checked, it may be just as easy to have it done after you buy it since the investment in the rifle low. Personally, I would not buy it at all, and keep looking until I found something similar but in original matching condition...but then again, I collect more than shoot.