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Silver Bullet member
2,320 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The following are pictures of my Peruvian Model 1891 "Short Rifle" and emails between myself and Mr Antonio Cuba regarding my rifle. He is a Mauser collector who lives in Peru and is knowledgeable of Peruvian Mausers. I thank him for his willingness to help. I do have his permission to post this but I have blocked out part of his email address to protect his privacy. I agreed with Antonio to insert the following disclaimer

Hi Ed;
Please feel free to publish this data. It would be nice of you to
also put a disclaimer on it telling them that the information provided
is a mere gathering of loose recollections and stories heard from old shooters
and veterans in local ranges, and empirical observation; almost none
is properly documented and even if so, such stuff can't be properly
relied on since apparently most, if not all, official documents regarding
arsenal upgrades, repairs, number of rifles, parts, etc. have been lost
in time both intentionally or by neglect

From: mauserdad
To: adcc1970
Subject: Peruvian Model 91 short rifle.
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2009 23:17:02 -0500

Hi Antonio. Hope you are doing fine. I bought this Peruvian Model 91 Short Rifle from a friend. It has a 23" barrel.It has no import marks. Only numbers are on the stock and on the right side of the receiver. I have heard of two other short rifles and all of them have the number 1968 on the buttstock. Is it possible this was the year of rebuild ?. The bolt has no markings or numbers. The bore is very nice. Some pitting under the wood but it appears to have been blued over during the rebuild. My opinion is the rifle seems to be a genuine Peruvian rebuild. I cannot find any information on "Short Rifles". Is this the real thing and can you provide any information? I have provided detail pictures. If you need any more please let me know. Thank you for any help. Ed

Hi Ed; everything's fine, thanks for asking.

As far as I can see, it's a correct Peruvian Army
arsenal rebuilt of a 1891 rifle into a "short rifle" or "carbine"

It's not uncommon for these to have a new arsenal-applyed s/n. Yours
is unusual for still having a crisp-clear crest and lettering; usually
those were caressly buffed away while trying to eliminate rust, dents
and remaining original finish before the rebluing process.
I've seen some of those in worse condition still showing the original
letter and 4-digit s/n, and others renumbered. Haven't discovered
yet the logic behind the renumbering process....maybe each armed
forces branch had its own numbering policy, but so far no distinctive
pattern other than usually a new 4-digit s/n with sometimes an
apparently random letter included.

Rebuilding was made apparently before 1920. Back then Peru bought
a large supply of spare barrels from Sig in Switzerland (Yours may have
a "SJG" stamp hiding below the wood line or even under the rear sight
base band) to repair all the 1891s worn down by the old 7.65 ammo,
corrosive primers, careless storage and abuse; some 1909 barrels were
also purchased and in fact I have one of those in a well-worn 1909.

The upgrade was made for the then new Spitzer-pointed 7.65 ammo,
so also complete rear & front sights were bought from an unknown but
probably European source. Although the same "Lange Vizier" or "Rollercoaster"
style like the ones used in the Peruvian 1909 and the German Gew 98, these
had a smaller-diameter rear sight base ring.

Stocks were shortened and fitted. Both rifles in full-lenght and "carbines"
are observed and locally known by collectors as Peruvian Modified 1912s
(Apparently the year such conversion was done).
New wood handguards were also manufactured to fit between the front of the
rear sight base and the rear barrel band; apparently only 1 piece of wire was
used to fix the front part of this part to the barrel.

Haven't seen yet a properly shortened cleaning rod. Don't know if
such alteration was included in the rebuilt.
Many if not most of this guns were apparently stored after the rework,
since most have excellent barrels showing little or no use; poor storage
conditions made most of the damage usually observed.

Congratulations for the rifle; hope it's a great shooter. If you do a test-fire
please remember to tell me about it.


I hope the above information is of help to our fellow collectors. Thanks. Ed

Diamond Bullet Member
2,304 Posts
A tough South American rifle to find.I have had the 1891 long rifle but have not been able to find a short one.Yours is in really great shape for the model! Sharp crest-my 91 had a faint crest but no pitting.Most of these seem really used.Interesting R stamped above SN and in stock-something to do with Short rifle conversion process? "reformado" maybe.

Silver Bullet member
2,320 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the comeback. Acoording to Antonio, at this point there is no information on why they numbered their rifles that way. I also have a M91 Long Rifle and a Carbine. Like you said they do show quite a bit of use.

Silver Bullet member
1,351 Posts
Peruvian Short rifle

I have one that I posted earlier this year. It has a Belgian proofed barrel, is in almost "new" or re-arsenaled condition, but is not as nice looking and well finished as yours. No crest, either.
But it does have a cleaning rod. It is a steel tipped 22.25 inch rod that still has a U series four numeral serial number on it, though the rifle itself has a four digit number with an R over it.
I am still of the opinion that these could have been for cadet use. The lack of a steel reinforcer under the bayonet band seems to indicate that the use of a bayonet for any serious purpose would be a one-time affair.

Silver Bullet member
2,320 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Mosin46,you are right about that.
Bandook any chance of seeing PIC's of your's. Thanks
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