has always acquired arms in relatively small numbers due to its size and
to financial constraints. The next known acquisition was the Modelo
1910 Mauser in 7x57mm from Mauser Oberendorf. This was the Serbian
type with fully supported case head breeching. Long rifles were the
chief style purchased, but some short rifles were also acquired.
Some had straight export markings, but most had the crest of Costa Rica
on the ring.
FN short rifles/carbines
in 7x57mm with the national crest were purchased in the 1930's along with
a few Breda selective fire 7x57mm rifles around 1938.
The Army was formally
abolished in 1948, but a police type Civil Guard provided security with
rifles and Beretta submachine guns.
In the 1950's, the
U.S. provided several thousand .30 M1 Garand rifles and .30 M1 and M2 carbines.
In the 1960's more .30 carbines were obtained bringing the number on hand
to several thousand.
As conditions in Central
America degenerated in the late '70's and 1980's , M14 and FN FAL rifles
in 7.62x51mm were obtained second hand along with M16A1 and FN FNC as well
as Israeli Galil 5.56mm rifles. Various models of the AK in 7.62x39mm
have spilled into the country as a result of the Nicaraguan civil war.
In the late 1980's
ChiNat Type 65 5.56mm rifles were purchased in larger numbers. This
rifle was developed on Formosa to avoid licensing fees for the M16 and
uses the same magazine. It shares some characteristics with the M16,
but is generally considered to be a lesser, more affordable weapon.
All of the above rifles
are still held in some quantity except for the M1895 and M1910 Mausers.
Some FN Mausers may have been converted to 7.62x51mm and Israeli 98K Mauser
conversions in 7.62x51mm may be held in small numbers.
10/7 2000 Dan Reynolds