This is an excellent example of a Mauser Model 1893 rifle built for the Spanish Naval Infantry in 1896. Sorry, it took a while to get a description done for this one but this wasthe best example of a Spanish Mauser we've ever offered and we had to do some research on the markings. These are not very easy to find and most of the ones that turn up are in pretty rough shape. This 1893 still has most of its original blue, all matching #'s, great Spanish Crests, and fantastic tiger striped European walnut. It came to us from rifle a dealer on the East Coast. He told us he acquired it from a family who claimed it to have been in their house for the past 70 years. This was almost certainly one of the cache of weapons captured in Santiago Cuba in 1898 during the Spanish American War. There were 4 battalions of Spanish Marines serving in Cuba in 1898 when the war broke out between Spain and the United States. The US Army learned the hard way how effective the smokeless powder 7mm Model 1893 Mauser was in comparison to the single shot 1884 Springfield Trapdoor rifle and Krag rifles. Teddy Roosevelt nearly lost his life to one when he had his glasses shot off his face riding up Kettle and San Juan Hills with the Rough Riders. The 1893 was directly responsible for the development of the Springfield 1903 rifle which served well through both WW1 and WW2. Following the Span-Am War, the US Military brought all of the captured Mausers back to the United States where they were sold by public auction at the Springfield Armory in 1899. Bannerman's of NYC acquiring most of them. Sometime later, the Company also acquired Spanish weapons captured in the Phillipines. Bannermans sold these Spanish Model 1893's to the public up through at least the 1930's.
Spanish Naval Rifles: The Spanish Navy ordered these rifles in two different contracts for a total estimated production of 11,000. According to Robert Ball's book, Mauser Military Rifles of the World, the Spanish Navy had their own "unique serial number format" with italic prefixes "Ma" and/or "M" before or after the number. The first contract was in 1894 followed by a second in 1896 both by Ludwig Loewe of Berlin. Even with two contracts, the Spanish Naval Model was small in comparison to the Spanish Army Contracts. This is a very interesting gun because according to Ball's book, the earliest 1896 contract rifle he's observed was Ma 5157 but this rifle is Ma 5062 and has an 1896 reciever date so its definitely an 1896 contract. This may be the earliest or one of the earliest 1896 contracts known. Its at prior than the one earliest known gun mentioned in the Ball's book. Furthermore, the crest on the stock is dated "1894" also suggesting early production using an extra stock probably left over from the 1894 contract. This one just keeps getting more and more interesting...to see one of the earliest known 2nd 1896 contracts dated receiver ring with a matching numbered stock dated 1894 from the 1st contract. The rifle has all matching numbers except the cleaning rod which, like many is missing. It has markings that denote its purchase by the Spanish Navy for its "Infanteria de Marina" Naval Infantry, or Marine Corps. These rifles do not share the Spanish Army proofmarks but show they were inspected by a different organization. Here is a breakdown of the markings and numbers:
- Receiver ..."Ma 5062 M" and MAUSER ESPANOL MODELO 1893/ MANUFACTURA LOEWE BERLIN.
- Spanish Crest on top of the receiver over "BERLIN 1896".
- Stock ...."Ma 5062" below receiver number and "M" behind triggerguard. Spanish Crest on left side of stock over "1894".
- Bolt ...."Ma 5062" across handle and lower case "m" on top of knob
- Rear of Bolt "M 62"
- Trigger Guard....."Ma 5062" over "M"
- Floorplate "62" over "M"
- Rear Sight: "62" stamped on ladder, elevator, and elevator stop.
- Bolt Release: Greek Alpha symbol on the top.
- Screws: These are not marked which is correct for a Spanish Naval Contract 1893.
Overall condition is NRA Antique Fine+ with with 90% original receiver blue with crisp markings mixing with patina. Bolt release still has 80% bright vivid fire blue. The bolt is bright on the more protected surfaces and has turned to a smooth light untouched patina on the exposed surfaces. Barrel has 95% original blue with a few brown speckles. TG and Floor plate have 80% original blue with 70% remaining on the buttplate. The wood is in Fine condition with strong curly tiger stripes down both sides from buttplate all the way to the front barrel band. Never sanded or refinished with strong Spanish Crest and a nice serial number just below the action. There a small spot behind the front barrel band where it looks like someone pried a screw driver into the wood...probably in attempt to free the front barrel band....otherwise, the wood looks perfect. Action works nicely with most of the original fire blue present on the magazine charger. Bore has strong rifling but dark down in the grooves with some scattered pits. No rings, bulges, or serious pitting. Currently, it grades at about Fair but should improved to good with cleaning. Comes with an original black leather Spanish Mauser Sling in VG++ condition.
This is one of the nicest Spanish Mausers we've seen in a long time and it seems to have everything...Antique....probable Span-Am War capture, a scarce Spanish Marine Contract (how many of these ended up at the bottom of Manila Bay with rest of the Spanish Navy?), all matching no's, super condition, and great tiger striped walnut. A fantastic rifle that would be the center-piece of any Span-Am War or 19th Century Mauser collection.