Mauser History


by Dan Reynolds

Argentina: The standard breech loading rifle of the Argentine army from 1879 to 1891 was the blackpowder firing Remington Rolling Block Rifle.  The Navy and various Police or Security forces used this weapon, but also other types.  Winchester .44-40 muskets and carbines Model 1873, the Mauser Model 1871 in 11mm  and rifles widely used by other nations, were acquired for testing or issue in limited quantities.  The Mauser Model 71/84 was issued by the Provencial Police around Bueos Aires.

The Army adopted an improved Turkish Mauser Model 1890 as the 7.65 mm Modelo Argentino 1891.  This Mauser was produced over a span of 10 years, first by Ludwig Loewe until 1897 when it was merged into DWM and then by that firm and so marked on the
receiver rails.  During the life of production, five distinct variations were made as improvements to the magazine and action.  Several types of crests are found representing Army, Navy and cadet rifles for the military and naval academies and at least one university.
Rifles are most often found with the national crests ground off.  This is due to an old Argentine law which mandated that this be done before export; the law was changed in the later 1960’s.  All DWM rifles I have seen had dark walnut stocks as opposed to a lighter
blondish walnut found on Ludwig Loewe made pieces.  There are two types of M91 carbines that I know of, these being the original cavalry carbine and a modification with swivels and bayonet attachment device to accept a cut down version of the M1879 Rolling Block sword bayonet with brass grips of German manufacture.  This is sometimes called the engineer carbine or M91/16 although I don't know if this is the official Argentine nomenclature.  Argentina supplied weapons to Paraguay in the period 1901-05 and during the Gran Chaco War in the early 1930’s.  These pieces would have crests defaced.  Interarmco imported large numbers of brand new and excellent M1891 rifles around 1961. They cut down many into Mannlicher style carbines with 22" barrels and a newly fabricated nose cap which many today mistake for original carbines.  These conversions were rumored done in a shop in Puerto Rico, but could have been done at the large facility Interarmco maintained outside
London in the free zone at Heathrow.

In 1909 a new 98 style Mauser was adopted and three styles of carbine were based on this, Modelo 1909, commonly called the  Mountain, Engineer and Cavalry models.  In 1935, it is rumored     that some Radom made WZ29 carbines in 7.65mm were imported, prior to the start up of domestic manufacture of the M1909 series of weapons in Santa Fe.  Model 1935 short rifles exist that are reported as being supplied by Mauser, but bear no maker markings. Marion Mericle records in an article in the Military Rifle Journal December 1999 issue that there are 3 variations of the calvary carbine. Contact for information on the Military Rifle Journal.

The government of Argentina began expanding an arsenal complex in the late 1930's at Rosario, in Santa Fe, known as Fábrica Militar de Armas Portátiles Domingo Matheu or FMAP.  This translates as Military Small Arms Factory named Domingo Matheu.  Matheu was a pioneer in developing arms production facilities during the 19th Century in Argentina.  Production of the Colt M1911A1 had begun under license in the 1920's at Rosario and eventually Browning machine guns and Mauser M1909 type carbines were produced there
as well as small arms ammunition.  The facility was controlled by DGFM, or in English, the General Directorate of Military Production, which also ran other state owned factories producing military material.

The Pistola Colt Modelo 1927 .45ACP was made in large numbers in two periods.  In the years up to 1942, slightly less than 39,000 pieces were out shopped.  The second production period began in 1947 under Juan Peron and about 75,000 were made before production switched to the Belgian FN licensed Browning M1935 in 9x19mm in the late '60s.  Around 200,000 Brownings have been produced to date, some assembled from imported FN parts.  Some
pistols in as new condition were imported into the U.S. during the '90s, and they have been supplied to another nations as well.  The Mauser production is believed to have concentrated on the carbine variations with few if any long rifles being produced.  When production stopped in 1959 about 90,000 Mausers had been made. Exactly when production began is not known to me but would be sometime from late 30's to the WW2 period.

 Bolivia used many Mausers over the years, the Brno made VZ-24 short rifles being the most numerous.  In the early 1950's they bought brand new CZ short rifles with the Bolivian Crest and the marking Series B-50 on the ring.  These supplemented the roughly 100,000 VZ24 Mausers that were purchased before and during the Chaco War.  The Series B-50 has stamped parts and an inferior finish with 98K type rear sight.  Bolivia also used FN 1924/30 Mausers short rifles, Mauser Werke Standard Modell short rifles and carbines M1935, DWM M1907 long rifles and carbines, and Argentine Modelo 1891 long rifles.  All these weapons are in 7.65mm Mauser.

By the 1960's, the U.S. had provided Garand M1 .30 Rifles and Carbines .30 M1 in limited quantities, but the Mausers remained in service.  Since then, these earlier weapons have been supplanted by the FAL and G3 types in 7.62mm NATO as well as by 5.56mm M16 rifles.  Yet the earlier Mausers remain in daily use today by the Indian native peoples in rural areas.

During the populist revolution of Victor Paz Esanstrosso, the tin mines and railroads were seized from foreign interests, chiefly British, and he had Mausers distributed to the Indians to help protect the revolution.  Despite efforts by various governments since that time to grab the rifles back, the Mausers remain remarkably serviceable, having been carefully kept and handed down for three generations.  Attempts to buy them back have yielded only corroded unserviceable clunkers. Ammunition is smuggled in and appears to be in adequate supply for the present.

Columbia: The first reported Mauser purchased was the Modelo 1891 Argentino in 7.65mm, followed by small numbers of Modelo 1895 type in 7x57mm.  After 1900, small numbers of 7x57mm Model 98 types such as the DWM Modelo 1907 and Mauser Oberendorf
Modelo 1910 were acquired. Columbia seemed to buy small lots of many Mauser models from the various makers over the years. This list does not record all of the purchases by any means.  Mauser M1907 and M1909 in 7x57mm as well as examples of the 7x57mm Haenel
Rifle were bought in limited numbers.  The Steyr Modelo 1912 in 7x57 in carbine and long rifle types was purchased in large numbers up to the start of the Great War.  After WW1, Mausers were purchased from BRNO in at least two types, the standard VZ24 pattern with Columbian crest and carbines very similar to the Brazilian BRNO Modelo 08/34 type with Columbian crest.
FN M24/30 short rifles and 17" carbines with crests were purchased in the 1930's, as well as Steyr 1929 type short rifles called the Modelo 1934 with crest, both in 7x57mm.  Later in the 1950's, a .30-06 conversion of BRNO Mausers in VZ24 pattern was made in an armed forces ordnance plant, where other rifles were also converted and reworked for reissue.  Sometimes these rifles have original markings on the receiver rail such as BRNO, FN or Steyr address, sometimes they are wiped and marked FAMAGE or FAMAGU for the rework arsenal.  The last Mausers purchased were the .30-06 FN Modelo 1950 in 24"barrel short rifle and 16" carbine both with crest.  The U.S. was supplying .30 M1 rifles by this period
and the last purchases of bolt action rifles was by the Columbian Navy about 1958 when they bought some Madsen .30-06 short rifles with turned down bolt handle, muzzle brake and rubber butt pad. This was based on the Madsen Model 1947 pattern rifle.

Costa Rica: Costa Rica: The earliest Mausers were of the M1894 7x57mm Brazilian pattern made by FN in Belgium.  Similar M1895  pattern Mausers in 7x57 of Loewe or DWM manufacture followed.  The Modelo 1910 Mauser in 7x57mm was purchased in some quantity in both long rifle, 29" barrel, and short rifle patterns.  These were similar to the M1910 rifles purchased by Serbia, Guatemala, Columbia, Venezuela and others in the same time frame from Mauser Oberndorf.  Later FN Mausers with 22" barrels were acquired. Some were carbines with turned down bolt handles, many had straight bolt handles and these could be considered short rifles.  Most Mausers had the national crest on the ring.  The Modelo 1910 was sold in the USA by Interarmco in the late '50's, Potomac Arms in the early 60's, and Century Arms in the '80's.

Dominican Republic: Production of Mauser rifles began in San Crisobal in the 1950's in 7x57mm using used Brazilian M1908 receivers and other parts.  Some parts such as stocks were made new, but most others were used Brazilian contract parts, with new German
barrels of prewar vintage.  Both long rifles and short rifles were made up to about 1962.  Stocks may be blonde or very dark walnut type.  Pattern was of the M1908 and finish was excellent.  I saw many brand new reworks and they looked better than most commercial guns of the period.  Earliest reported date was 1952.  They were marked Armeria F. A. REP. DOM.  The stocks had a very high lustre finish.

Ethiopia: I  examined a shipment of weapons from Kenya in 1964, most were commercial Mauser and Mannlicher Schonauer sporters from the big gun shops of Nairobi.  They were cleaning out their vaults and exporting the rifles of the colonial period which their
departing owners could not take with them and they could not sell in the new Kenya.  Included were military rifles which had "walked" into Kenya from the battles of WW I , inter- war years and WW II.  I saw a Lion of Judah crested 17" (my estimate ) FN 30 carbine,
same crest FN 30 short rifle, a slightly different version of the crest on a Brno VZ24, two variations of the Standard Modell Oberendorf Mauser, one marked 1933, one marked 1935.  Yet another two variations of the Lion of Judah crest on these.  I can't recall which model had which, but one had the crest on the bridge with commercial address on ring, the other had the crest on the ring (all in 7.9mm).

Mauser sporting rifles were used to arm members of the feudal militia.  Ex-Vactican Liege made Remington type Rolling Block rifle and carbines were used by militia as well as several other types of obsolete rifles and carbines including ex-German Model 1888 7.92x57mm rifles and carbines.

Ecuador:  The first smokeless powder rifle was probably the 7.65mm Modelo Argentino 1891 made by DWM around 1898.  This was acquired in limited numbers and was probably made as part of a production run for Argentina.  These had the Ecuadorian crest, but the serial numbers may have been part of the Argentine range and not a separate group.

This group of Mausers was small in number and could not replace all the obsolete black powder weapons in service.  Neighboring Peru had purchased M1888 7.92mm German Commission rifles before standardizing on the Mauser and it is believed that some of these may have been examined or tested by the military authorities whom were impressed with the
enbloc clip packet loading system. Around 1904, funding became available to buy additional modern rifles.  Supposedly Steyr in Austria proposed a modified M1888 Commission Rifle, one which cut the cost but improved the rifle.  This became the M1904 7.92mm Steyr Mannlicher Rifle.  Steyr produced some 10,000-12000 rifles on speculation anticipating orders for a cheaper rifle than the 98 Mauser type, using patents it controlled rather than the Mauser/Loewe cartel.

In the event, Prussia began releasing stocks of surplus M88 rifles and the Hamburg firm of Adolf Frank Export Gesellschaft, "Alfa", was able to quote a package deal price for excellent condition rifles and rifles altered to carbines at about 25% of the cost of a new M1904 Mauser and much less than a new M1904 Mannlicher.  New condition Mauser M1871/84 11mm rifles were purchased from Alfa along with the M88 types.

The Steyr M1904 Mannlicher failed to sell well in the world market. Some were sold in China. In 1913, Alfa sold some 10,000-11,000 remaining inventory to the Anglo-Irish Unionist forces whom were threatening armed resistance should the British Government grant limited Home Rule to Ireland.  Many in the British Army and Government were part of this movement
and aided in smuggling the rifles into both Ulster and southern Ireland.  These rifles can be identified by a cartouche in the butt stock featuring the "Red Hand of O'Neill" with the letters "UVF" and "For God and Ulster" surrounding the hand.  UVF stands for Ulster Volunteer Force.  The "Red Hand of O'Neill"  commemorates the founding of the O'Neill dynasty in Ireland.  Legend has it that it was decided that whichever Viking set hand on Ulster's soil first, to him it would belong.  As the ships of the contending chiefs approached the beach, the first O'Neill was in second place.  He drew his sword, severed his hand and
threw it on the beach to win the land.

Ecuador was still short of rifles to replace all the old blackpowder weapons and so the M1907 Mauser 7.65mm rifle and a carbine version possibly called the M1908 were purchased in limited numbers.

The next known purchase of new rifles was in the early 1930's when standard export type Czech ZB VZ24 rifles and carbines of the Czech ZB 12 type as used by Mexico, both in 7.65mm were purchased.  The carbine was probably called the Modelo 1934. A modified variant of this carbine was used by Brazil as the Model 1908/34 in 7x57mm.

Around 1939-40, FN Model 24/30 7.65mm short rifles and carbines were purchased. After WW2, additional FN Mausers were acquired. Surplus German 98K Mausers in 7.92mm were acquired in late 40's or 1950's.

Most Mausers purchased new will be found with a form of the "Volcano" crest and Ecuadorian Army in Spanish on the ring.

France: At the close of WW I, the French seized huge amounts of German weapons.  They disposed of most of these except for MG08/15 Maxims and Kar98AZ carbines in 7.9mm and P.08 9mm Lugers, which they kept in service in Morocco during the Riff wars.  They actually acquired more 98AZ carbines in a trade with Finland for Russian M1891 rifles about 1923.  In late 1944 the French began arming newly raised troops  with the tens of thousands of small arms and ammunition that the Americans, British, and Free French had captured from the Germans as the Allies pushed the Germans back across France.  I had the opportunity to examine hundreds of Mauser rifles the French had surplussed off about 1963. Many had
been reworked by the French.  Reworks were painted black metal, brown wood. Among them were 98A type, Czech VZ24, Brno Romanian contract Carol and Michael crested VZ24, FN Lithuanian M30,  and Radom WZ29 carbines.  After the war ended the French put Oberendorf back in production and made Kriegsmodell type Mauser carbines of simplified patterns into 1946.  I examined unissued examples of 3 or 4 variations in March of 1965.

Guatemala and Nicaragua:  Both of these countries bought Mauser Model 1893 type rifles in 7mm, and later bought Mauser Oberendorf Model 1910 rifles in 7mm.  Guatemala bought Remington Rolling Block type rifles in 7x57mm about 1900, both later bought VZ24 type
rifles.  The Guatemalan VZ24 had the so called Freedom Bird Crest, which featured the Quetzal Bird and the date 1824 among other icons on the receiver ring.  They were bought direct from Brno about 1937.  The Nicaraguan VZ24's are believed to be second hand and
have no crests and may have been acquired after WWII.  The Guatemalan VZ24's are thought by some to have been fabricated using reworked receivers, at least on some specimens.  The Nicaraguans had M1903 Springfield rifles supplied by the U.S.
during the period 1928-33.  Guatemala had 7.92mm postwar Czech Kriegsmodell 98K derivatives supplied to the Marxist Arbenz regime in 1954.  It also had M91/30 rifles supplied by the CIA to the revolutionary force which helped overthrow his government.  These were in standard 7.62x54mm.  M1 rifles were later used by both countries to supplement the older bolt action weapons.  The Nicaraguan Contras used 7.62x51mm Israeli reworked Mausers of various origins.  Israel had previously supplied Galil rifles and
ammunition to the Somoza government, which fell to the Sandinistas when Jimmy Carter pressured Israel to turn back a shipload of ammo badly needed to resupply the Guardi Nacional, the Somoza army fighting the Sandinistas.

Guatemala purchased U.S. Model of 1917 .30 Enfields from Israel back in the 70's and later surplus 7.62x51 Israeli reworked 98K type Mausers for issue to CIDG forces engaged in village defense and counter insurgency when the regular army was using Galils. Today Guatemala assembles new Galils from Israeli parts.

Haiti and Liberia:  Both of these countries purchased FN Model 1950 .30-06 short rifles.  Liberia bought at least a few SAFN M1949 semi-automatic .30-06 rifles in the same period circa 1951.  Both these nations have used U.S. supplied rifles before and since these Mausers were purchased.

Mexico began using the 7x57mm cartridge with the adoption of the Modelo 1895 Mauser, made by Loewe up to 1897, and then the Mausers are marked DWM, the corporate  successor.  Rifles and carbines were purchased.  These were supplemented by M1897
Remington Rolling Block single shot rifles and carbines.  In 1902, a new model with a small ring 98 type action was adopted and DWM began supplying these instead of the M1895.  Around 1906, production was assigned to Steyr by the Loewe controlled Mauser cartel, and production continued until 1907 or 1908 when a new pattern with pistol grip stock and different bayonet lug replaced the M1902 as the M1907 with Steyr being the supplier.

In 1910, Mexico began setting up a production facility to make the M1902 as the M1910.  Production was getting underway when the revolution broke out in 1911 and civil war raged for several years.  The Federal Government in Mexico City ordered Steyr Modelo 1912
rifles of the Chilean and Columbian pattern as an expedient measure.  The insurgents bought arms wherever they could.  Many Winchester M1894 rifles and carbines in .30-30 as well as Loewe Spanish crested Modelo 1893 Mausers captured by the U.S. during the Spanish-American War of 1898,  and refurbished at the Springfield Armory in the summer of 1902, found their way south of the border.  The U.S. government blockaded the shipment of Model 1912 Mausers from Steyr, but a few got through.  Many were taken over by the
Austro-Hungarian Imperial Government in August 1914 when WWI broke out.  After 1920, production of the M1910 model in 7x57mm increased, but Mexico purchased Mausers from both FN and BRNO to meet a shortfall.  The Modelo 1936 with pistol grip and Springfield 1903 type cocking piece in 7x57mm was superseded in production by the Modelo 1954 in .30-06, the last Mauser to be made in Mexico.

Persia/Iran:  The first Mauser rifle and carbine that I know of is the Model 1909, believed to be in 7.65mm.  It is rumored that some M1895 models, possibly Turk type may have been acquired, in 7.65mm.  It is not known whether these were Loewe, DWM, or Mauser but the 1909’s are believed to be by Mauser Werke.  In the 1920’s some reworked surplus Kar 98AZ and some FN short action Yugoslav Model 1924 type rifles were acquired (about 28,000
FN's).  These were followed in the period 1928-38 by VZ24 export marked short rifles, VZ24's with Sun/Lion Crest and Farsi numbers on sight and receivers, M98/29 long rifles, and M98/29 musketoons both with Sun/Lion crest and Farsi numerals. All of these were in
7.92x57mm.  In the late 1940’s a plant was set up to manufacture copies of the long rifle and musketoon in Iran.  The Model 49 carbine was a simplified M98/29 musketoon with a slot in the butt in place of the pivoting rear sling swivel. The upper band was changed from the standard H pattern to the solid form used on the Yugoslav M1948 and M1948A Mauser carbines.  The long rifle, except for local wood replacing walnut, was a straight copy.

PERU: Argentine Model 1891 rifles and carbines with the Peruvian Crest in 7.65x54mm were the main type in issue until the Modelo 1909 rifle was adopted. These were very beautiful rifles made by Mauser and marked "Mauser Original" with the Peruvian crest The
receivers look bigger than on any other 98 Mauser. Originally polished bright, these actions, contrasting with a rich blue on the barrel of smaller exterior dimensions to interchange with the Modelo 1891 rifle, and fitted with the Lange type sight, are a striking sight when in excellent or better original condition. Beginning around 1916, the Model 1891's were altered to fire the spitzer M1909 7.65x54mm bulleted cartridge and given Lange sights. Not all were altered in 1932, a 7.65x54mm BRNO small ring carbine with unusually upper band was adopted. Turned down bolt, notched stock, Crest and 24" barrel if I can recall correctly after 38 years since handling specimen.  Small numbers were purchased.  This was followed by an FN  Police carbine in 7.65x54mm.  This was unusual. Upper band was H type fitted directly over wood of forend. Pinned in place.  Cleaning rod in wood. Crest. Barrel about 16", turned down bolt.  The next model was the FN short rifle M1935.  This had the reverse safety.
This was ordered because a high ranking officer in the Army was a well known Pan American rifle champion in the '30s and he advocated a hold with the cheek welded to the butt stock well forward and the normal safety position in fire mode got in the way. This rifle was
bought in 7.65x54mm and became the primary type until the early 1950's when .30 M1 Garands arrived. At that time Peru had FN convert many of the M1935 rifles to .30-06 by rebarreling, notching the ring, adjusting sight and parkerizing.  The bridge was marked .30
behind the charger guides. Some M1909 rifles were reworked in Peru to .30-06. A small number of M1909 rifles for the Presidential Guard and other ceremonial troops were order in the early 1930's from Mauser Werke, but marked exactly like the originals.

Saudia Arabia bought Czech Brno Mausers as well as FN Type 30, all I know of in 7.92 mm.  They purchased Mausers from FN as late as 1961.  This last were assembled from parts in stock at the factory.  I don't know if this late purchase was in 7.62 mm NATO, .30-06, or 7.92 mm all of which are possible.  I have studied photographs taken in country 1942-51 and they show standard VZ24 export type and FN short rifles.  The US provided M1903
Springfields in .30-06 to followers of the deceased Imman of Yemen during their struggle against the Arab Socialism of Egypt's Col. Nasser in the 60's.  These were channeled through Saudia Arabia, which was supporting the Yemini royalists.  It would seem logical that
this type of ammo was in use in Saudia Arabia at this time, so perhaps .30 Mausers were purchased.  The Belgians and Luxembourg had both armed themselves with Model 1950 .30 Mauser short rifles and parts for these may have been on hand.

Uruguay: The first Mauser purchased in quantity was the 11mm M1871 pattern during the 1880's.  Next was the FN Model 1895 in 7x57mm, similar to those supplied to Brazil.  At about this same time, a number of converted surplus German Model 1871 Mausers in a
special 6.5x53.5R cartridge were purchased in France. These are marked St,Denis and are called Daudetau Rifles, although they are not actual Daudetau magazine rifles which were on the market in the 1890's, but single shot Mauser altered with Daudetau features.
Later, DWM supplied Mausers of the pattern M1907 type used by Brazil in small numbers, in 7x57mm.  The BRNO Modelo 1937 short rifle, and FN 24/30 short rifles in 7x57mm were later acquired. A BRNO made carbine was also acquired in 1937 with an 18"  barrel and unusual upper band.

Venezuela used FN Type 30 Mauser short rifles and carbines.  The ones I examined were purchased in the early 1950's.  They also used pre-war VZ24 rifles with turned down bolt handles, stock notched for knob, and were painted black at some time in service, all in 7x57
mm.  Don't know the local designation for these.  Earlier, the M1895 and M1910 in 7x57mm were purchased from Germany.

Czechoslovakia and Turkey: At the close of World War One, the Imperial Austro Hungarian Empire collapsed.  A state began forming out of Bohemia, Slovakia, Moravia, Ruthenia and the Sudetenland.  It was dominated by the Czechs of Bohemia.  Even before the Empire had formally capitulated, a small arms workshop was set up in a former Imperial Army Artillery Arsenal in Brno to provide rifles to the new Czechoslovakia.  Progress was made to the point that new Mannlicher rifles of the Imperial Model 1895 in 8x50mm were being made by April 1919.  This model was chosen, as many former Imperial rifles of this type were on hand and the facility was rebuilding unserviceable specimens which had been collected.  This was destined to be an interim measure as it was soon decided that the best rifle for the new Czech Army was the Mauser 1898 type.  The great Mauser works at Oberendorf could no longer sell military rifles or pistols to Germany or any  other country as a result of Allied occupation and the peace treaty imposed by the victorious powers of
WWI. The Czech government arranged to buy a complete production line for the Gew 98, parts on hand, and all work in progress.  They also bought the rights to a new pistol design from Mauser which evolved into the series of service pistols used by Czechoslovakia up
to WWII.  The tooling was moved from Mauser to the arsenal works at Brno ( pronounced Bear-No ) but there were problems getting set up and into production.  The Czechs thought they were getting a complete technical package, but this was not so, and it took longer
than expected to get serial production underway.  Production of the Mannlicher is believed to have continued until about the summer of 1921.  The first batch of Mausers was assembled using mostly German parts and may have been out of shop as early as April 1920.
A modified design based on the Mauser was considered, but the Model 1922 based on the Gew 98 and using the tangent rear sight of 1916 was put into serial production in 7.92x57mm.  The earlier rifles assembled from German parts had the Lange rear sight.  In 1923 a
short rifle was produced as the VZ23 followed by the VZ24.  Meanwhile, the Turks, after being badly defeated and stripped of their empire and most of their small arms were faced with another war with the Greeks.  At this point in 1919 the Turks had various modern Mausers Models in 7.65mm such as the M1890, M1893, M1903, M1905 and M1910, most in worn to poor condition, captured Mosin Nagants in 7.62x54mm, some S.M.L.E. in .303, Greek M1903 and 03/14 rifles and carbines in 6.5x54mm, Mannlicher M1895 Bulgarian rifles in 8x50mm and various Serbian 7x57mm Mausers captured in the Balkan Wars.  The best condition rifles available were the Gew 98, Kar98AZ, and various Model 88 Commission rifles supplied by Germany from 1914 to 1918.  These were all in 7.92mm and this ammunition was the easiest to obtain on the world market at that time.  After the Greeks were driven out, the Turks decided to rationalize their small arms inventory.  They had little cash available and had to make do with what they had.  During the 1920's they began converting existing rifles and machine guns to 7.92mm.  Before the collapse which ended WWI, Germany supplied most small arms.  About 1923 they  turned to ZB, a private company formed by the
Czech government to operate the arsenal at Brno, for parts and technical support. Eventually they purchased most of the Model 1922, VZ23, and the Czech assembled Gew 98 types of circa 1920/21.  The M1922 rifles can be found with sights marked in western or the old Farsi type numbers used on Persian Mausers. This relationship continued up to 1938 and the various Turkish arsenal upgrades of their Mausers was undertaken with Czech support.  The
Czechs were hard up for cash and would reuse old parts to help fabricate new contract Mausers at times, as well as sell off older pattern Mausers to pay for new VZ24 Mausers for the Czech Army.


copyright 1999-2000 Daniel Reynolds