Therefore, in order not to get bogged down in the “Mauser trifles”, we will begin our journey through the South American “rifle jungle” not with the Mauser, but with the Mannisher M1886 rifle, which played a key role in the Chilean revolution, which represented a very unusual event in stories. It all started with the fact that in 1891, the country's Congress spoke out against President Balmaceda. The Navy joined the Congress, but the army remained on the side of the president. This created a strange situation in which neither side could effectively attack the other. In February, the rebels captured 4500 eight-millimeter Manlicher rifles of the 1888 model, but could not use them because they did not have ammunition for them. But on the other hand, they were able to purchase 10000 M1886 rifles chambered for 11-mm caliber and this partially solved the problem. Then the steamer “Landana” delivered seven million 8-millimeter cartridges to the rebels, and the ship “Wandl” arrived from Antwerp with another two million rounds of mannisher and 5000 rifles Gra. Now the rebels were able to use all this and soon won. According to one of the British observers, “the mannicher rifle was deadly and very helpful to the rebels”. There are reports of cases of mass retreats of the President’s troops falling under the fire of these rifles. So, the first modern rifle in South America was still not the Mauser, but the Manlicher rifle.
Mannicher Rifle МХNUMX (Army Museum, Stockholm)
Chapel Mauser Chambers 1895
However, the Mauser was "right there" already in 1895. It was the “Chilean model” of the M1895 of the year, on the slide frame of which it was written: “MAUSER CHILENO MODELO 1895”, and the place of production is Berlin. Here are just a cartridge she did not have a German caliber 7,92-mm, and his - seven-millimeter, although also bezrany. However, this cartridge was also developed by the firm "Mauser", had a sleeve from the cartridge caliber 7,92-mm, but only here a little smaller bullet caliber. It is interesting that, although this cartridge was not adopted in Germany itself, it was nevertheless necessary to make war, but it was used very widely, and not only in the states of South America. So, the Spaniards took it as a standard rifle cartridge and used it during the Spanish-American war of the 1898 of the year, as well as in the war against reefs in Morocco in the 1920-s. After fighting with the Spanish troops in Cuba, this patron became interested in the United States, and in England they came to the conclusion that such cartridges with smokeless powder and sharp-pointed bullet bullets were highly effective immediately after the Boers armed with rifles chambered for 7 × 57 mm, during the Anglo-Boer War, the British were able to inflict serious losses. Moreover, the cartridge 7 × 57 mm in its main characteristics (accuracy and firing range) proved to be much better than the British .303, wearing cordite and not giving a long firing range. Well, during the First World War, this cartridge was used in Europe by the Serbian army. Experts have noted that the cartridge 7 × 57 mm, among other things, also proved to be a very reliable ammunition, which did not misfire, even in extreme conditions of the tropical jungle and African savannas.
Chamber of the Chilean Mauser M1895
All Chilean rifle models, including the M1912 rifle (made in Austria by Steyr), had straight bolt handles, and the first handle, bent down, was received only by the 1935 carabiner, the so-called “carabineer carabiner”, which the police used in Chile. He has no recess in the bed under the bolt handle. The chamber depicts two crossed rifles and two inscriptions “Orden Y Patria”, which means “Order for the nation” and MODELO 1935. On the receiver inscription: "MAUSER-WERKE AG OBERNDORF a / N".
The chamber of the rifle M1912
Chamber of the M1935 carbine. In the photo, this stamp is almost negligible, but it is indicated that this sample is intended for Chile.
In total, between 1912 and 1914 for years, Chile received around 20.000 rifles and carbines. This version practically did not differ from the German 1898 model of the year and was identical to the Mouzers made for Mexico and Colombia, ordered by them the following year.
Madsen M1947 rifle.
Some South American rifles are so amazing that it is hard to believe that they exist. This is the case with Madsen’s M1947 Colombian rifle chambered for 7,62x63 mm. This Danish rifle was perhaps the most recent rifle of this type in the world. Moreover, the Danes did not accept it, but they tried to sell it to developing countries with limited military budgets. For some reason, Colombia bought it: rather, in 1948, a batch of these rifles in the number of 5000 copies was sold there for the Chilean Navy. But these rifles did not get into the fleet, and were subsequently sold out.
Muzzle brake on the barrel of the M1947 rifle.
From a technical point of view, this rifle was nothing particularly outstanding. The usual magazine rifle with manual reloading, longitudinally sliding bolt. Locking is done by turning the shutter. The lugs are in its rear end. 5 magazine capacity of cartridges, loading from clips or one cartridge each. Butt neck semi-pistol. Aim devices are a bit more up-to-date - this is a diopter pillar and a front sight with a ring headset. Rear sight adjustable in range from 100 to 900 meters.
For a long time, Paraguay has managed “what God sent,” buying “various things,” where it was cheaper. But in 1927, he was finally honored to make a large order for rifles in Spain at a factory in Ovideo. The order was executed from 1927 to 1932 year. For the production was chosen again the Mauser rifle model 1898, but with a straight shutter handle. Another was the caliber - 7,65x53 mm. And it turned out that this is very good, since in the 50-s, many of them were re-drilled trunks under the German 7,92-mm cartridges without any problems. Another difference from the German Mauser is not immediately apparent. This is a magazine cover latch on the trigger bracket. You shift it and the cover with a spring and feeder leans back. The rifle played an important role in the military history of Paraguay - it participated in the famous Gran Chaco War.
The Argentine 1891 infantry rifle of the year is one of the most attractive and best Mauser rifles in South America. It was made on the basis of the “commission rifle” of the 1889 model of the year, up to the copying of ammunition. All Argentine 1891 rifles were made by Ludwig Löwe and DVM. Even today, most of these rifles are in fairly good condition (many of them are close to perfection), since they were used relatively little and were well preserved. For some reason, they had a brass ramrod.
The coat of arms of Argentina in the chamber of the rifle M1909 g.
In total, Ludwig Loewt set up 230400 rifles and 35500 carbines for Argentina. The latter, of course, differed in their shorter length and the design of the muzzle tip with the “ears” of the front sight characteristic of carbines of the time. Caliber - 7,65x53 mm.
The original model was the M1891 / 31 engineering carbine, produced in 5043 copies. They put two fastening parts for the Remington 1879 rifle of the year, with an integral brass handle and a guard shackle! There were also the M1909 rifle of the year and the carbine of the same year, but they practically did not differ from the previous models.
24 April 1901 Peru ordered 16000 rifles and 4000 carbines from Argentina. And for this they had to be led to Germany, where the coat of arms of Argentina was slaughtered by them to the arms of Peru. These are the adventures of rifles that travel across the ocean for ... a new coat of arms on the "receiver". Peru then received Modelo 1909 rifles based on the M1898 rifle, which were produced at the Mauser plant in Oberdorf. Again, the straight handle of the bolt, but ... amazingly long bayonet with a dol from the handle to the tip.
Peruvian Mauser M1909
Finally, in 1935, Peru ordered Mauser rifles in Belgium according to FN standards. It was called the "short rifle" and had a different sight than the German one, and 7,65x53 mm ammunition. Her handle was finally bent, but the recess under it was not made.
Here is a coat of arms and an inscription appeared on the Peruvian M1935 rifle.
Venezuela, its rifles model 1930, under the same cartridge also ordered in Belgium. And if the Peruvian models of the barrel and bolt carrier were blued, and the “white” only shutter, then this sample had all its details. But the bayonet was Czech, from a rifle VZ.24.
Coat of arms of Venezuela in the chamber of the M1930 rifle
It so happens that Brazil under the Treaty of Tordesillas 1494, turned out to be a colony of Portugal, not Spain, and Portuguese became their native language. However, the M1908 rifles and hers were Mouser, made by DVM in 1913 in the number of 77000 copies. They had a shortened bayonet with a guard with a hook and a brass cap on the barrel, shut it off from the water. Shutter handle - straight. The cartridge - 7x57 mm.
The chamber of the Brazilian rifle M1908
Then came the “era of change” - the M1909 / 34 rifle was no different from the German Mauser, but the American 7,62 × 63 mm (.30-06 Springfield) cartridge was adopted for it, so that the source of supply was always at hand. But this seemingly sensible solution was immediately canceled the following year by exporting M1935 “long rifles” with the Mauser brand stamp, and with 7 × 57 mm cartridges. Why it was necessary, it is impossible to explain.
But with Uruguay it was like this: the story says that during the last decade of the 19th century, the Uruguayan army was looking for a modern rifle. But she had a problem: there was no money. Therefore, from 1892, the Uruguayan army was equipped with both Mauser 1871 model rifles and Remington rifles. But none of these systems could no longer be considered modern at that time.
Sources differ in their details, but in general they say one thing: there seems to be a certain immigrant named De Dovitis (sometimes written simply “Dovitis”), who undertook to “solve” the problem. He proposed to send the Uruguay Mauser to France, where to change the barrels for new cartridges. The old rifles had a caliber of 10,95-mm, and this, just like the fact that they fired black powder cartridges, did not like the Uruguayan.
German rifle Mauser M1871 of the Uruguayan army. (Army Museum, Stockholm)
In general, the Uruguayan M1871 found themselves in Europe, in France, in Saint-Denis, where they were reorganized as patronized by 6,5x54R. This guaranteed the French profits from future orders for ammunition for these rifles. According to reports, this was how the 10000 rifles were modified. And in the 1894, this “new” rifle was still single-shot.
And then it turned out that the new cartridge cases are cracked. Shooting them was simply impossible. Therefore, Uruguay almost immediately abandoned this unfortunate weapon. And not just refused, but in a very radical way: many Dovitis rifles were literally thrown into the river along with a large number of cartridges.
It was now about getting out of such a stupid situation. And the Uruguayans found a way out: they purchased Mauser M1893 rifles, which they bought in Belgium at the FN factory. They were identified not by a coat of arms, but by a monogram consisting of the letters “ROU”, which meant “Republic Oriental de Uruguay”. The neck of the box is straight, the bolt handle is straight. Chuck - 7x57 mm. The 1908 model was identical to the Brazilian model 1908, and was produced in Germany. It has the Uruguayan coat of arms on the chamber, as well as the date of manufacture.
Czechoslovakian carbine VZ.24.
Shortly before World War II, Uruguay acquired short rifles VZ.24 in Czechoslovakia (6000 in total) and renamed them the 1937 model of the year. They have the same coat of arms on the chamber and the words: “ROU Ejercito Nacional”. A carbine similar to VZ.33 was also purchased. As at the beginning of the century, the 1937 model of the year corresponds to the general scheme of Mauser rifles and carbines used in other countries, so there is no need to describe their characteristics in detail. However, it can be said that almost all the countries of South America, from the Isthmus of Panama to Patagonia, were armed with a Mauser rifle, although their calibers differed from the rifles adopted in Germany. Of the noticeable differences - usually straight, not bent shutter and different sights than the Germans.
To be continued ...