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For years people have asked me to take a Mondragon rifle to the range, shoot it, share and compare its shooting style with other guns. It was a really nice day in the neighborhood so I decided now is the time.

A quick history; conceived and patented by the Mexican government during their revolution. Contracted with the Swiss , SIG, to build it.(That's why its in the Swiss Forum....I couldn't find another place for it) It is typical superb Swiss workmanship and quality. Only 400 were sent to Mexico out of 4000 made.(Mexico ran out of money) Rest went to Germany when WW1 broke out. It's tolerances were much too tight for trench warfare, it was designed for the desert where it worked fine. Germany lost and after the war the rest were destroyed. That's why they are so rare today. I have been keeping track of serial numbers for about 30 years and I only have about 50 in the database. Anyway.... onto the range!

First of all you will notice how advanced the rifle is. Considering it was conceived in the late 1800's it became part of the pattern that most semi's share today. This Model 1908 is the definitive design for the Mondragon. Some of its features are, stripper clip loading into a fixed internal magazine. Trigger mechanism is modular like a Garand. Charger handle is on the right side, it can disconnect the Operating Rod and be manually cycled like Austrian Mannlicher M95. The gas tube is much like the AK but diverts gas under the barrel to push the Operating Rod. Exhaust Gas never touches the bolt. Sights are conventional European style. The majority of the Mondragon's are in 7mm Mauser.




Shooting is pleasant for a military gun, the recoil could be controlled by any woman or 12 year old boy. The case ejection is spirited and ejects usually to the right and lands about 3 feet away, there is an occasional vertical ejection that drops onto to the shooter (yes, very hot brass!!) Ammunition quality was a huge factor when the gun initially came out, much like the problems the Luger had when it came into being. Some of the WW1 glycerin based powders caused major jamming in semi and full-auto guns.

As you can see the action is hard on civilian brass, however it did group somewhat. The military ammunition held up better but the accuracy wasn't up to snuff. First round was a bullseye the rest kept climbing up and right.



I'm thinking about a disassembly of the gun, cleaning, lubing, check wood pressure points and try to bring it back to its true potential.
 

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Premium Member
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Awesome write up! Thanks for sharing. Hopefully, that will keep the savages at bay with requests to see range reports on such a rare gun. :)
 

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Very cool. One wonders what WW1 would have been like had the primary combatants picked up on the design and perfected it prior to 1914.
 

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Wow !! I'm impressed; the photos of the rifle, the actual firing, and the brief history make this the best GB post of the week. Thanks for your time and effort.
 
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