August 05, 2022
Question: Of interest to me is a German-made Mauser I purchased several years ago that was used by Argentine forces. It has great patina and appears to have been well maintained. It also has various markings and symbols on different areas of the rifle, which I tried to capture in photos. On top of the receiver is “Mauser Modelo Argentino 1909” and “Deutsche Waffen-Und, Munitions Fabriken. Berlin.” On top of the receiver is a symbol of two hands shaking with what appears to be a toboggan on a handle surrounded by a laurel wreath. The toboggan symbol also appears on the forward sling mount and on the front sight ramp. The rear elevation sight has what appears to be a ship’s anchor at the front of the ramp. Finally, on the right side of the stock is the Star of David in a circle with the letter “B” in the center. Included in the photos in various places are numbers, of which I’m not sure any are the actual serial numbers. When I purchased the rifle many years ago, it was, and still is, missing the buttstock metal plate, and the corner of the stock has been broken off and re-attached. If you could give me any insight on the history and value of this Mauser it would be greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work at G&A.
-L.J. via Email
Answer: As the gun’s markings indicate, you have a Model 1909 Argentine Mauser. This one is an infantry rifle. There was also a shorter cavalry carbine. The crest on the receiver is that of Argentina. This arm, which was a variant of the Gew. 98 Mauser, was adopted by Argentina in 1909 and remained in service until a decade or so following the end of World War I. The manufacture of your piece was Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) in Berlin. Some 285,000 were made. The caliber was 7.65x53mm, a round that first appeared in the Model 1889 Belgian Mauser. Early guns were built to take the German-type bayonet, but later ones were set up to mount the Model 1891 Argentine bayonet. These are beautifully-made rifles and they shoot very well. Your particular piece was imported by Century Arms International as indicated by the importer’s stamp on the barrel. The photos you sent suggest the condition of the piece is not too bad, I’d say 70 percent. As such, it’s worth in the $400 to $500 range, assuming it has a good bore and you can find a replacement buttplate.
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