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Interestingly, there is a bubba'd Model 1891 on auction right now with matching bolt, receiver and magazine... number "S10xx" It looks like a normal scrubbed 1891 Argentine to me. I don't know if the seller realizes the crest was buffed off, as it is not mentioned.
 

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Interestingly, there is a bubba'd Model 1891 on auction right now with matching bolt, receiver and magazine... number "S10xx" It looks like a normal scrubbed 1891 Argentine to me. I don't know if the seller realizes the crest was buffed off, as it is not mentioned.
As Antonio mentioned in post 24, early S block rifles may have been Argentine instead of Peruvian.

Regards,
Bill
 

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When Peruvian 1891s with the original "flat" or "ladder" rear sight were refurbished, many lost their crests, proofmarks, lettering and even S/Ns. to the armorers' buffing wheel before the re-bluing job, so a "Bubba" allegedly Peruvian '91 (Inside the s/n batch that is) with no crest could easily be considered as......"correct" :confused:
 

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When Peruvian 1891s with the original "flat" or "ladder" rear sight were refurbished, many lost their crests, proofmarks, lettering and even S/Ns. to the armorers' buffing wheel before the re-bluing job, so a "Bubba" allegedly Peruvian '91 (Inside the s/n batch that is) with no crest could easily be considered as......"correct" :confused:
The subject rifle s/n S10xx is "correct" with the assumption that the scrubbing of the crest was done under government authority. I would think that a scrubbed crest on an early S block with a flat sight would be presumed to be Argentine rather than Peruvian, lacking any other indications of Peruvian use.

Argentine scrubbed crests were originally left in the white when exported, while a reblued scrubbed crest might be an indication of Peruvian use - or an indication of Bubba rebluing. If reblued, and if no other indications of Peruvian use, I would call S10xx a Bubba reblued Argentine rifle.

Personally, I don't want a rifle with a scrubbed crest. I am learning through this thread that my Argentine crested rifle in post 23 may have seen Peruvian use after Argentina had it. That doesn't bother me a bit, I am still glad to have an Argentine M1891 rifle which bears an Argentine crest.

Regards,
Bill
 

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Bill, as far as I know, no rifles of the Peruvian contract were at first issued to Argentina and then to Peru; according to documents, the rifles were bought straight from the Germans and shipped to Peru. If those were originally in Argie crest and then factory re-stamped to Peruvian ones before delivery, its very hard to know. Maybe a few of originally Argentine-issued rifles eventually made their way here under potential reasons exposed above, but at least as far as I know, the deal was done between us and the Germans.
 

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Bill, as far as I know, no rifles of the Peruvian contract were at first issued to Argentina and then to Peru; according to documents, the rifles were bought straight from the Germans and shipped to Peru. If those were originally in Argie crest and then factory re-stamped to Peruvian ones before delivery, its very hard to know. Maybe a few of originally Argentine-issued rifles eventually made their way here under potential reasons exposed above, but at least as far as I know, the deal was done between us and the Germans.
Hi Antonio,

Checking Webster, I find that the following rifles went to Argentina, not Peru:
1899 53,000 (all of) O5000-T7999
1900-1901 16,000 (half of) T8000-W9999
(page 109)

So my Argentine rifle K4875 is in Argentine stock T5446. That solves that question.

Page 125 says Peru got 16,000 rifles and bayonets, with half the rifles from unassembled lots. They were to have been from the U, V, and W blocks which had been shipped to Buenos Aires. They were returned to Germany where the Argentine crest was removed and the Peruvian crest applied. Plans were modified at some point because some R and S block rifles have been found with Peruvian crests. All rifles had the flat sight; Preuvian rifles had the sight replaced by the Lange sight in 1912 for spitzer ammo. Argentina's deal with DWM was that Argentine involvement in the Peruvian contract was to be kept secret.

Of course there were still a few earlier Argentine rifles that somehow found themselves in Peru. I think we can say that any M1891 rifle with an Argentine crest found in Peru is one of this group of 'strangers', not a part of the 16,000 contract rifles, all of which had Peruvian crests. These 'strangers' would have first been in Argentina and later in Peru.

Regards,
Bill
 

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Agree with both.

Anyway, so far all those '91s I've seen here belong tho the S, T, U & W blocks and none of the R or V....yet (We're talking about say up to 30-35 different rifles in the last 20 years or so); both of mine still in original "pre-Lange" configuration belong to the S & W blocks.

Remember that some were also sold to Bolivia and Colombia according to Ball's M.M.R.O.T.W. and they must have belonged to the latter batches.

If Argentina wanted to keep the deal as a secret, it was 'cause back then (And I'd say still now but in a lower, "dormant" condition) they had a common enemy in the region with some important unsolved territorial claims from all of the parties involved: Chile. If Chileans would have publicly known of the somewhat Argentinian-backed Peruvian re-armament (All of them were buying from the same source and had both spies and government representatives dealing with the Germans in the same places, so probably they were quite aware already) the parties in power would have been forced to take some kid of action against this so they won't be losing face in their then very volatile local political arena.
 

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It would be nice if all of these historical deals involved batches of rifles with consecutive serial numbers - but they didn't. At least (thanks to Webster's research) with the M1891 we have a pretty good idea which is what.

Webster says the 16,000 Peruvian M1891 rifles were supposed to have been taken from the T8000-W9999 blocks. The other 16,000 of the 32,000 total in those blocks went to Argentina. Except - something got mixed up somewhere and Peruvian crested rifles in the R and S blocks have been seen. I suppose a couple of cases of the wrong block rifles were returned to Germany by mistake.

Webster says that in 1898 Bolivia bought 2,000 rifles and 200 carbines from earlier Argentine production. They had been loaded on a ship bound for Argentina but they were offloaded before the ship left Germany. Both the serial numbers and Argentine crests were scrubbed and the guns were given new serial numbers and Bolivian crests.

The sale of 10,000 rifles and carbines to Spain was in 1893 from Loewe production made for Argentina. All were later sent to Cuba by Spain. Webster says "In addition to those countries, Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama also purchased the Argentine M1891 though it is still unclear whether they were purchased new or as surplus weapons. We know that Argentina made no direct sales to them, at least prior to 1923."

Dan Renolds wrote about the Chaco War "As the new century dawned
both Bolivia and Paraguay had standardized on the 7.65mm Argentine Mauser
cartridge, as had Peru. Both had Modelo Argentino 1891 Mausers in issue. Some
or all of these weapons may have been provided by Argentina for geopolitical
reasons growing out of rivalries with Chile and Brazil and the inabilities of
either or both of these nations to arrange financing of the purchase of new
rifles directly from the European manufacturers. It is unlikely that these
would be gifts, but it is possible that some sort of barter arrangement was
made."

and "At the start of the war,
Paraguay had on hand a total of 21,450 rifles. These included about 4000 older
7.65mm Mausers including the Modelo Argentino 1891 and 7.65mm Modelo 1907,
10,363 Oviedo made copies of 7.65mm Modelo 1907 rifle called the Modelo 1927,
about 1500 Modelo 1927 carbines, and 7,000 Belgian FN Modelo 1924 7.65mm short
rifles. [ There are apparant conflicting reports as to a Paraguyan Modelo 1895
Mauser; one source says these were Modelo Argentino 1891 pattern rifles and 15,
000 were acquired circa 1895-1902 while others say that it was a type of the
M1895 Chilean pattern. If indeed it was a Chilean pattern rifle these would be
part of the total 21,450 serviceable rifles. ]
"
from: http://www.carbinesforcollectors.com/grandchaco1.html

and (Argentine) "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."

from: http://www.carbinesforcollectors.com/mauserhistory1.html

I am guessing that Paraguay had rifles with Argentine crests which caused problems for Argentina. That is probably why Argentina passed the law requiring crests to be scrubbed from surplus weapons sold.

John Walter says in Rifles of the World that Ecuador had their own crest on M1891 rifles.

Regards,
Bill
 

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Hi Antonio,

Checking Webster, I find that the following rifles went to Argentina, not Peru:
1899 53,000 (all of) O5000-T7999
1900-1901 16,000 (half of) T8000-W9999
(page 109)

So my Argentine rifle K4875 is in Argentine stock T5446. That solves that question.

Page 125 says Peru got 16,000 rifles and bayonets, with half the rifles from unassembled lots. They were to have been from the U, V, and W blocks which had been shipped to Buenos Aires. They were returned to Germany where the Argentine crest was removed and the Peruvian crest applied. Plans were modified at some point because some R and S block rifles have been found with Peruvian crests. All rifles had the flat sight; Preuvian rifles had the sight replaced by the Lange sight in 1912 for spitzer ammo. Argentina's deal with DWM was that Argentine involvement in the Peruvian contract was to be kept secret.

Of course there were still a few earlier Argentine rifles that somehow found themselves in Peru. I think we can say that any M1891 rifle with an Argentine crest found in Peru is one of this group of 'strangers', not a part of the 16,000 contract rifles, all of which had Peruvian crests. These 'strangers' would have first been in Argentina and later in Peru.

Regards,
Bill
I can't wait to get my copy of Webster's book, which should arrive in the mail today. So much to learn/read.
 

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Real, bigger problems back then (To the point of escalating to a "DEFCON 1" in the late '70s) were with the Chileans, since they had extensively conquered both Bolivian (Rendering them landlocked) & Peruvian territories after the 1879 war, and against Argentinians for border claims in the common southern Patagonian zone. Brazil was indeed considered as a threat, specially for Paraguay, but not even close to the level Chileans were.

The only Ecuadorian rifles I've seen here were all battlefield pickups & captured from the 1941 war against us. Official military reports clearly describe "Czech short rifles" (VZ-24s) and "Steyr long rifles" (Gew '88s) along with "non-standard Czech ammo" (8mm Mauser) but no clearly recognizable (By Peruvian troops) 1891s. Not saying they didn't had them, but if they did, they were probably stored since they would have become a logistic disadvantage, even though Ecuadorians couldn't spare having a batch of still serviceable rifles not deployed to their troops and police units under an invasion. Too bad I didn't visited any Army museum or private collection when I was visiting Guayaquil back in '93.
 

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about the rifle:
sorry, but the whole rifle seems to be a fake!

1. The serial # A0310 would be one of the earliest samples (the 310th), made in 1891. At this time, the Argentinans used the old system crest, shown in geladen's post # 23 (the sun rays are different). Yours is the new system crest, which indicates a later build. The same is also described in Webster's book.
2. the fonts of 'A0310': the fonts of barrel and system do not match (compare the '1' and '3'). The '3' on the system does not look like typical Argentine font (i compared to my A8107 and S8391). Also, the 'A' on the system is not perfectly upright (we're talking about DWM in the prime of it's quality!). This all looks like renumbered.
3. the stock is obviously renumbered.

For me, it seems that system, barrel and stock are renumbered to make the rifle older. The original no's might be somewhere in the S or T range (like action or magazine).
But: the crest is intact, so i's still a nice (and collectible) rifle.
Chris

PS: correction: it's 'Loewe' made, so before 1897. This indicates a serial # up to 'N' or 'O' for the system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Some great info here guys - thanks.

The Peruvian link intrigues me as its not something I had even considered considering.

I would have thought the different font between the receiver and barrel/stock would indicate a replacement receiver and stock, and numbered to match the barrel of what was left of the existing rifle. Whether this was done in Peru or Argentina - who knows?

Or...

There were a pile of parts laying around the armoury and they were assembled into new rifles, and took the serial number from an older condemned rifle that had been struck off the books?

This rifle had been in a collection since these were imported in the early 1990s, and it was covered in old, dirty cosmo so I don't think anything has been spuriously done to it since it has been in private hands. Incidentally, the people I bought it from also imported it.

Regardless, it was bought for my Fathers enjoyment, I like the rifle, and I received my Grafs brass yesterday so it will be shot in the weekend!
 

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Different country different prices. Like the much lower prices of the SVT 40's prices in Canada versus the US. If I was in the OP's position as he describes it I would have done the same thing.
Fernleaf I spent a month touring your country from Aukland on the North Island to Invecargill o the South Island. What beautiful country and very friendly people. Ate tons of Hokey Pokey (as well as every other flavor) ice cream at every stop. Christ Church was absolute favorite place I have ever visited. Now every time I see Lord Of The Rings or the Hobbit I yearn to go back to your beautiful country. I got hooked on the All Blacks while there and was very happy to watch them win the last 2 games live on TV here in the US and win the Championship last year.
Cheers
 

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So no possible way the Peruvians could have replaced the barrel thus the difference in font if the armorer chose to use that style of stamps? And what looks to be an overstamping on the stock couldn't be as simple as an arsenal replacement, from a different point in time than the barrel replacement, and performed by an armorer having a similar font style as the reciever?......
I sincerely doubt it. Back in their time when these rifles were bought the war against Chile was still fresh in the minds of our Military & civilians, so they were mostly heavily used; damaged or worn ones were stored and stayed in the same condition until the replacement S.J.G. barrels were purchased about a decade later to both refurbish the '91s and keep them as a reserve somewhat "compatible" with the then newer '09s, and have a stash of spare barrels for the '09s.

Peruvian armorers have always been trained in serviceability, not looks; they repaired and assembled rifles not caring about correct looks, matching numbers or other "delicacies" we collectors (Or maybe some anal Germans before both fronts crumbled in late WWII) care so much about. S/Ns on repaired/"upgraded" '91s were only crudely stamped in the receiver as a 4-digit s/n if needed (Due to excessive wear or rust & pitting polishing); other parts were either mismatched or had their S/Ns buffed, replacement barrels kept unnumbered (Only S.J.G. stamp showing) and stocks replaced with no care about the s/n (If still present).

Could this particular rifle be a '91 carbine receiver that someone, wanting the crest they (Unlike the rifles) still kept, mated to a rifle barrel and loose stock? Didn't the carbines had their own letter & s/n batch?
 

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To add to the confusion:

Here are photos from the web showing an A block carbine. It has the same type crest as the rifle in post 1. Maybe the subject rifle has a carbine receiver or maybe it was a rifle with this type of crest.

This carbine seems to have a German number on the receiver and Argentine numbers on the barrel and stock. All three numbers on the subject rifle look to be Argentine.

Regards,
Bill
 

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Here are photos from the web showing original German numbers. Note the flat top 3 and the shape of the 1.

Also note the inspection marking under the stock serial number. An unsanded stock without this marking is a replacement stock.

Regards,
Bill
 

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to even add more confusion:

my carbine # A8107:
Gun Rifle Firearm Trigger Shotgun
Auto part
Gun Firearm Rifle Trigger Shotgun
Metal


Engineer's carbine with 'old style' Argentine crest and 'Loewe Berlin' address. Has an 'old style' bolt (the wings on the bolt sleeve are missing; round bolt handle).
Should be made in 1895 according to Webster (2nd batch 'A'-series carbine). The stock seems to be renumbered.
It's an Engineer carbine, so it never went to Peru: the rings with bayonet lug for the engineer carbines were attached 1931 in Argentina.

From this carbine, i thought that the style of the crest would indicate the manufacturing date of the rifle. Looks like this won't work!
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Finally shot the rifle today....



Set myself up at the 100m bench, targets were 200m 'Full Blacks' taking a six o'clock hold.



Ammunition was my handloads using a Hornady 150grn SP in front of 43grn of AR2208 powder (sold in the US as Varget) in Grafs cases with CCI primers, with an OAL of 2.89. Three fired cases on the left.



Shot six five-round groups, with the group shown below of about 90mm being the best of the day - thats 3MoA. Not bad, but I bet it could do better if I experiment with seating depths and/or switch to a longer bullet like the 180grn Sierra (which I will do). What a great rifle to shoot - mild recoil, great trigger, and slick action. Don't like the sights.





And because I can, here's a photo of the M91s shooting buddies for the day...



...best group of any rifle for the day went to the Swede...a shade under 2MoA.

 

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Thanks Dale.

I found it interesting that Hodgdon/ADI didn't have Varget/2208 in their data for 7.65mm.

The burning rate of 2208/Varget sits nicely in between IMR4895 and IMR4064, and these were both listed in the Sierra manual data for 7.65mm, so I picked a mid-range load for each of these two powders, and split the difference for Varget which came to about 43 grains.

Given the lack of firm data for 2208/Varget I won't do any more load development with this powder - I'll stick to AR2206H/H4895 (which I would have used if I hadn't loaded the last of what I had into 7.7x58mm cases).

Didn't even think to chronograph the load. My chrony is out of action as the aerials got shot late last year.....
 

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Thanks for the update.
Nice group of rifles too.
Looks like you have good safety procedures, flag in open breech, bolts out.
I really like shooting these long barreled rifles. Glad it is shooting good for you. the challenge of shrinking the groups a little will extend your enjoyment.
 
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