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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At my Fathers insistence (and his finances) I Postal Bid on this rifle a couple of weeks ago, won it, and received it today.

Argentinian M91 Mauser made by Lowe in (going from what I've read based on the serial number) in 1892. Excellent condition overall, bore is brilliant. Still has the crest, but has a mismatched bolt and magazine. It looks like someone has used the side of the stock to break down the bolt a few times, and in one case had gone right through the wall of the stock.

I can tolerate the mismatched mag, but I have made it a point to avoid rifles with too many mismatched parts - especially bolts. Having said that though, it wasn't bought for my enjoyment, it was bought for my Fathers. I like the rifle, and look forward to shooting it.

Some questions:-

Anyone got my bolt?

Is this the 310th or 10,310th M91 made?

What bullet weight are the sights regulated for?

Does it bear any signs of refurbishment? The serial number fonts on the receiver are different from those on the barrel and stock - rebarrelled and restocked in Argentina perhaps?

It has a bolt through the stock wrist, but there's no evidence of any cracks through there - is this commonly seen on M91s?

...and now for the photos...





















 

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Sorry to be a downer, but I hope you didn't pay a lot for that one. It has a lot of problems in my eyes. The cleaning rod is mismatched as well, the wrist repair, the stock damage, the hodgepodge of parts. I'd say that's a $150 rifle, and that's if you're desperate for one. The crest is the only good thing about that rifle. You could find much better, almost perfect, examples in the $300-$350 range. Having said all that, I'm not sure that the stock has been force matched and I wouldn't worry about the mismatched bolt from a shooting perspective - mine is mismatched and is a tack driver.


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Diferent strokes for different folks. It's too bad the stock is not in better condition, but with crest I would value it at more than $150. I wouldn't buy one with a scrubbed crest for any amount.

Regards,
Bill
 

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Most of the 91 rifles I have seen are in VG to Ex condition but have scrubbed crests.
I seldom see a rifle with the crest.
If you shoot it let us know how it does.
Having the extra distance between the sights with that long barrel helps me shoot better. The extra weight and the 7.65 round makes them pleasant to shoot.
The 91's have a smoother action that lots of military rifles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If I lived in the USA, I'm positive I could find a better example, but I don't so I've had to make do with this one. Very few of these were imported onto NZ in the late 1980s, and this one I've bought is the first I've seen for sale in about six years - and the first I've laid eyes on in 20 years of collecting military rifles.

I paid the equivalent of USD$555 for it - quite fair by NZ standards.

It will be fired - I have some Grafs brass on the way, and managed to find a set of Lee dies from a local hoarder. I'll probably use Hornady 150grn or Sierra 180grn projectiles.
 

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According to my records, your rifle is from the first batch, made in 1892.

I just had mine out today with it's "sisters", 1909 Argentine and 1909 Peruvian. All three shoot very well with Hornady 174grs bullets and Varget powder.
One good thing is, that you can make brass from 30-06 brass (plentiful) very easily.
They are a blast to shoot.

Don't worry about the mismatch parts and the stock condition too much (as long as the headspace is OK), I am sure it is a great shooter, and it has a very nice crest which is seldom seen on 1891s.
I think the price you paid is fair for NZ standards, here in Canada you pay for a very good to excellent specimen between $600-750.
Most milsurp rifles are much cheaper in the States.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are you fortunate enough to have access to them over in NZ?
There might be some old Norma ammo around, and surplus is occasionally seen in small amounts, but new production ammo just isn't imported. I can get Norma and Grafs brass though.

Wow, that's crazy! I guess in lucky to live in the US.
You sure are. I holidayed in the US for six weeks in late 2012 - I'd move there in a heartbeat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So you can't get the reasonably priced PPU ammo, but you can get the Graff's brass which is probably PPU anyway? Hate to hear that you can't get ammo, but as a handloader I typically buy a box or two of commercial ammo for testing/fun and then reload when I get serious about group sizes. I'm assuming you have better access to .311" and .312" bullets than we do here in the U.S. due to the use of the .303Brit over there?
Most (near all) of the components available to handloaders here comes from the US, so you and I probably have access to the same bullets. We are still feeling the effects of the US 'Great Panic Buy' from a few years ago - it is near on impossible to get some brands of primers, brass and projectiles. Because of this we are seeing increasingly more European brands of loading components available for sale - for example all the F/TR, F, and Palma target shooters have moved away from Sierra Matchkings, and Hornady AMaxes and are using Lapua Scenars instead, purely because they are more available. My favourite bullet for shooting out of .303 Brit, 7.62x54r, and 7.7x58 has been the Hornady .3105 174grn FMJBT. These aren't being made at the moment and none are coming into the country, so now I'm having to use PPU .311 180grn FMJBT for most of my Service Rifle shooting.

I'd love to see New Zealand sometime myself. I've been all over the U.S. and the world for that matter, and NZ is one place I haven't been to unfortunately. Aside from everyone thinking it's just like "Lord of the Rings", it can't be too terribly bad can it? What's not to like about whitecapped mountains, lush green fields, coastal villages.............once again, tell me what's bad about it? Maybe I have the wrong place in my head. And before you get too carried away with how bad NZ is let me tell you we're not far away from 110 degree+ days with humidity here in my part of Texas with summer coming on strong!
We don't have The Cheesecake Factory, Walmart, $120 Mosins, or $800 ARs. NZ isn't really that bad, I'd move to the US purely for the firearms, and my girlfriend would go for the horses.

Where did you "holiday" at here in the U.S.? After travelling abroad I like to use "holiday" in place of "vacation" to make myself sound internationally savvy.
My girlfriend and I drove around California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. Going to Northern Arizona and Southern Utah were most definitely the highlights. If I were to move to the US I'd live in Flagstaff, AZ, St George, UT, or maybe Las Vegas - where I'd probably stand the best chance of getting a job - I'm an Electronic Security Technician.
 

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To bad you can't purchase a US rifle/rifles and import to NZ. As I recall even "antiques" are difficult to import. Several years ago I made a deal with a NZ collector to import 11 or his Boer Mausers into the US, sell them here and share the profit. At the time they weren't too high $ in NZ.

Anyway, we did the deal and import into the US was rather simple but he warned me that I/we better do it right because it was next to impossible for them to go back into NZ if they got stuck in US customs.

OTOH it seems MG's were no big deal in NZ unlike here, at least once you are "permit" 'ed to have firearms. He told me he secured a couple cases of old WW2 .45 ammo from a neighbor who found it in an old building. He purchased a Thompson SMG for a few 100$, shot up the ammo and then sold the SMG.....sounded good to me. He visited me here once. I'd love to visit NZ myself.

Jack

BTW. Something makes me think your Argentine came from Peru. We had some similar crested M91's come into the US from Peru back in the mid 90's as I recall. Both Peruvian and Argentine crests. Stock reinforcement also more typical for Peru but not common on Argentines. As I recall, that S-series bolt may be from a Peruvian series M91? Maybe, could be wrong? Most were pretty rough but I managed to secure a couple about as nice as yours.

Edit: Yea, I think I'm right. See M1891 Peruvian data base thread below. They are in the S & W series(not Smith and Wesson) :)
 

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It's too bad the stock is not in better condition, but with crest I would value it at more than $150.
Bill
Me too. You don't see many barreled receivers in that condition that have an intact crest. I would say be on the lookout for one with a scrubbed crest and a pristine stock, but hold out for one with an early serial number. Then swap parts and sell the left overs.
 

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I would not replace the bolt! All three things, intact crest, S-series bolt and stock bolt suggest it's true ID(Peru). It is what it is. I like it better than the average ground Argentine rifle even with it's warts/stock damage. I have zero doubt it came from Peru. I recall a table of "the" importer from Peru with at least 25 rifles, mostly Peruvian crest w/Lange sights/SIG barrels but several exactly like this example. At the time I understood exactly how these early 91's found their way to Peru but I forget?(May be hidden in Webster?)

I might consider stock repair, drill holes and plug with walnut......?

I would Not replace the bolt!

Jack


PS. I would NOT replace the bolt!

I've found that whenever tempted to mess with a rifle, to "make it better":

DON'T

Maybe minor stock repair exempted? MAYBE?


Oh BTW, I WOULD NOT REPLACE THAT S- SERIES BOLT!
 

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I would not replace the bolt! All three things, intact crest, S-series bolt and stock bolt suggest it's true ID(Peru). It is what it is. I like it better than the average ground Argentine rifle even with it's warts/stock damage. I have zero doubt it came from Peru. I recall a table of "the" importer from Peru with at least 25 rifles, mostly Peruvian crest w/Lange sights/SIG barrels but several exactly like this example. At the time I understood exactly how these early 91's found their way to Peru but I forget?(May be hidden in Webster?)

I might consider stock repair, drill holes and plug with walnut......?

I would Not replace the bolt!

Jack


PS. I would NOT replace the bolt!

I've found that whenever tempted to mess with a rifle, to "make it better":

DON'T

Maybe minor stock repair exempted? MAYBE?


Oh BTW, I WOULD NOT REPLACE THAT S- SERIES BOLT!
What is it about the S numbered bolts that makes you think it is Peruvian? My M/1891 is an all-matching S series except for the bolt, which is also an S series but numbered 75 ahead of the rest of my rifle.
 

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Here is a M1891 with crest remaining. It is matching K4875 except for stock and cleaning rod (which I bought separately). The stock is T5446. DOES THAT SUGGEST PERUVIAN USE?

The importer was NHM - New Helvetia Mercantile Corp. The bayonet (which I bought separately) is of course not matching. Rifle purchased on Gunbroker June 2011.

This is the first I have heard of Argentine crested M1891 rifles being imported from Peru. Maybe that explains why there are a few crested M1891 rifles around. I guessed there were a few left in some far flung outposts in Argentina which were imported later after the law requiring crests to be scrubbed was changed. But note the bayonet is an A block which should not have gone to Peru and it has an unscrubbed crest also. For that matter, a K block rifle should not have gone to Peru ("should not" may not be the same as "did not").

Regards,
Bill
 

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Some data regarding Peruvian '91s.

The 1891 carbines bought for our Army back in the early 1900s (I've posted a few original documents showing the contract before) were, unlike the rifles, still wearing the Argentinian crests. Why? Will probably need a time machine to find it, but the few remaining original carbines (All in poor shape) I've seen over here were still with Argie crests.

At least a couple of early batch '91s have been observed over here. I've seen 2 in poor condition, still showing Argentinian crests and prefixed "A" and "C" if I properly recall.

How did they arrived here? Hard to know. Might be very old presents from the Argentinian government to Peruvian officers that visited them in some kind of mission; maybe captured from Bolivian poachers, smugglers or bandits that even now still roam free in the border area; maybe even part of a small batch supplied as test guns by either the Argies or Germans before the contract was signed.

Only guessing here, but seems as the best possible explanations for Peruvian-origin 1891s still in Argentinian markings. Remember that official contract was signed in 1900 and rifles issued by Germany wer in the "S", "T", "U" and "W" range (But don't know if ALL of the rifles in each prefix batch were exclusively sold to us, or some of each, specially those in the early "S" and late "W" were given to Argentinians with their national crest)
 

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My head hurts.

Dale
Here's an aspirin: Peruvian M1981 rifles normally have Peruvian crests and Lange sights. They are from the S, T, U, and W blocks. Some Argentine crested M1891 rifles have been seen in Peru and among Peruvian imports from earlier blocks with regular leaf sights. It is not known how these few rifles got to Peru.

The Argentine crested A block rifle in post 1 with S block bolt and T block magazine was probably imported from Peru.

My Argentine crested K block rifle in post 23 with T block stock was probably imported from Peru.

Here is my W block. It now has a later aluminum grip bayonet. The brass grip one went to my M1891 Argentine K block in post 23.

Regards,
Bill
 

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