This is a Spanish Model 1893 Mauser that almost certainly was captured in Cuba during the Spanish American War of 1898 and brought back to the United States. It has mostly a light patina with very little original finish remaining in addition to a slightly weathered look that is similar to other Captured 1893's we've seen over the years. About 6 years ago, we found one that was sold from a defunct GAR hall that had the same look as this one.
This is not a later licensed Copy of the Mauser made in Spain but an early production gun manufactured by Ludwig Loewe of Berlin in 1894. It has the Spanish Crest on top of the receiver along with "Berlin 1894" just below. The left side of the frame is marked "MAUSER ESPANOL MODELO 1893. (over) MANUFACTURA LOEWE BERLIN."
Overall, its in NRA Antique Good condition with all matching numbers except for the bolt. Most of the captured 93's we've found have had mismatched bolts and have clearly been with these guns since their days of service in the Spanish Army. The guys were using these guns in combat were in harsh conditions and probably had other things to worry about besides keeping a matching numbered bolt in their gun to please us collectors 100+ years later. That one we mentioned earlier from the GAR hall also had a mis-matched bolt just like this one...they had been together forever. Overall, metal has nice sharp markings, good edges, no pitting, and has mostly a mixture of faded original blued finish and patina. The bolt still shows evidence of its original bright polish but has mostly subsided to a grey patina that's slowly frosting over to brown. Internally, the magazine charger still has nearly all its original fire blue intact. Original sights. No ramrod present. The wood also numbered to this gun underneath the buttplate. Although the wood has been cleaned, you can the outlines of a Spanish Crest and date stamped on the left side of the stock. Overall, the wood is fairly nice and smooth with mostly minor nicks and scratches. There's a little bit of abuse just forward of the rear barrel band on the right side of the stock...otherwise, it looks better than avg for a 1893. Action works well. Bore is fair with rifling intact but frosty with dark grooves. No rings or bulges. We spent a little time cleaning the bore and it improved quite a bit...it may improve some more with some attention.
This was almost certainly one of the guns that gave American troops so much trouble in Cuba back in 1898. The smokeless powder 7mm cartridges these rifles used were impossible to spot in heavy jungle conditions. In contrast, the American Trapdoor rifles used black powder 45-70 rounds and easily gave away American positions with its large plumes of smoke. The Mauser was also easy to load with 5 round stripper clips unlike the our Brand new US Model 1896 Krags were cumbersome and had to be loaded one cartridge at a time. The Mauser was simple, easy to field strip, and very accurate and it put both the Trapdoor and the Krag to shame. Future President Teddy Roosevelt even had a pair of his glasses shot off his face...more than likely from a Model 1893 Mauser while going up Kettle and San Juan hills. Fortunately, Teddy kept an extra pair underneath his hat for just such an occasion. Fortunately, the Americans won and American officers took note of what they were up against with great concern. These captured Mausers provided the U.S. Military an opportunity to catch up with Europe as the Krag rifle was soon discarded in favor of the Model 1903 Springfield which not surprisingly, borrowed almost all its features from these little Mausers. Fortunately, we learned our lesson early and didn't go into World War One still armed with Krags.
Today, Spanish Mausers aren't particularly rare...as they were built in Spain for many years. However, finding an early German-made Model 1893 that went to Spain during the 19th century is considerably tougher because most saw combat and were subsequentally lost or destroyed. A few were brought back as War trophies and a few even sold as surplus during the mid-20th century. This is the 3rd one we've marketed in 6 years and we look through more Mausers than we can count before one of these turns up. If you've been looking to fill that spot in your collection by your Span-Am War era Krag, here is your chance to own a part of history!