Mauser firearms are guns produced by German firearm manufacturer Mauser between the 1870s and 1990s.
Background & history of production
Peter Paul Mauser was conscripted as an artilleryman in 1859, working as a gunsmith at the Ludwigsburg arsenal. Here, he developed a rifle based on the Dreyse needle gun with a turn-bolt mechanism that cocked the gun as it was manipulated by the user.
Mauser and his brother Wilhelm continued to develop this rifle throughout the 1860s and 70s, after a failed attempt to interest the French government in using the model to convert Chassepot needle guns to fire metallic cartridges. This was the Mauser-Norris Model 67/69 Rifle, a single shot bolt-action gun, which is now extremely rare and hard to find.
This evolved into Model 1871, the Mauser brothers’ first rifle. The Prussian government accepted this rifle for service, and orders began rolling in. The Mauser brothers saw the necessity of opening factories, which they did with great success. This rifle went through several more models in 1884, the Turkish model of 1887, and the model 1889. After Wilhelm’s death, the company was sold on and the Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre was formed to manufacture these 1889 Mauser rifles for the Belgian government.
The Mauser brothers had also branched out into pistol production in 1896, and produced the C96 pistol. Over a million of these were produced between 1896 and the late 1930s.
Mausers went on to be constructed for numerous countries. The 1891 rifle was made for the Argentine market, the 1893 and 1916 for the Spanish, the 1894 for the armies of Brazil and Sweden, and the 1895 for Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, China, Persia, and the South African states of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. These last were effective against the British during the Second Boer War. The 1898 model was taken up by the German Army, and this remains the most successful of the Mauser designs.
Pistol production continued with the development of the Mauser 1910, 1914 and 1934 pocket pistols, all used by the Wehrmacht and the Kriegsmarine. Mauser also developed several models of cannon, used throughout the Second World War.
A series of hunting rifles developed, Type A, Model B, Model K, Armee-Model C and Africa Model, in the early 1900s.
The Karabiner 98k Mauser was adopted by the German army in the mid 1930s, and became the most common infantry rifle used by German troops throughout World War II.
The Mauser HSc, a self-loading double action blowback handgun, was introduced in the 1940s, and production ran into the 1970s.
Mausers were reliable weapons, and their popularity continues as collectible firearms. There is also a wide range of surplus ammunition still available, so many collect Mausers for use. However, this old ammunition contains a corrosive primer that can damage the gun if not well cleaned after using.
Old Mausers were often adapted into hunting rifles for use in Africa, and many surplus military Mausers have found their way into the civilian market, purchased by collectors and gun enthusiasts.
Mauser firearms are more valuable with an interesting provenance or history of use.
Notable auction sales
- Mauser 9.3x62mm sporting rifle, sold for £10,158 at Christie’s in March 2004.
- Mauser .416 take-down sporting rifle, sold for £16,730 at Christie’s in July 2002.
- Mauser 7.23 self-loading carbine, once used by Kaiser Wilhelm II, sold for £78,500 at Christie’s in July 1995.
Notable models of Mauser firearms
- Mauser-Norris model 67/69 rifle
- Mauser C96 pistol
- Mauser model 1871 rifle
- Mauser model 71/84 rifle
- Mauser model 1887 rifle (the Turkish model)
- Mauser model 1889 rifle (the Belgian model)
- Mauser model 1891 rifle (the Argentine model)
- Mauser model 1893 rifle (the Spanish model)
- Mauser model 1894 rifle (Brazil and Sweden)
- Mauser model 1895 rifle (Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, China, Persia, South Africa)
- Mauser model 1896 rifle (the Swedish model)
- Mauser model 1898 rifle (the German model)
- Mauser model 1916 rifle (the Spanish model)
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