• Argentine Model 1909 Sniper Rifle (Mfg by DWM)

    Argentine Model 1909 Sniper Rifle Serial # A5356
    c/w Nedinsco-Zeiss 4x31 Scope Serial # 28755
    (Mfg in 1910 by Deutsche Waffen und Munitions Fabriken, Berlin)

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    Caliber: ....................... 7.65 x 53mm
    Rifling & Twist: ............. 4 Groove, Right Hand Twist
    Barrel Length: .............. 29.13 in. (740mm)
    Overall Length: ............ 49.2 in. (1250mm)
    Weight: ....................... 10.4 lb. (4.7kg) (with scope)
    Magazine Capacity: ...... 5 rounds (staggered column box)
    Qty Mfg: ...................... Estimated 1,500 based upon scope purchases (1923-1927)

    Source: .... Argentine Mauser Rifles 1871-1959 by Colin Webster - ISBN: 0764318683

    Canadian Market Value Estimate: $

    Argentine Model 1909 Sniper Rifle

    (55 picture virtual tour)


    In the mid 1880’s the Argentine army was using the Remington Rolling Block Rifle, after which they switched to the Model 1891 Mauser and finally, the Model 1909. The 1909 Argentine Mauser was manufactured under contract by DWM in Germany for the Argentine government. It was also later produced in Agentine factories and it's built on the large ring Mauser 98 style action. It was made in 4 versions, the 1909 Rifle, the 1909 sniper, 1909 Cavalry, and the 1909 Mountain Carbine, each of the last three in limited numbers. The earlier model 1891 rifle made by DWM or Lowe of Germany, was small ring Mauser almost identical to turk 1890. On the model 1909, besides the larger ring for strength, the extractors were improved, as well as improving the gas porting and adding a third safety lug on the bolt.

    Collector's Comments and Feedback:

    1. Model 1909 Argentine Mauser Article .... by Steve Comus .... (click here)

    Originally published in Guns & Ammo Magazine.

    To many collectors, this superbly made bolt-action military rifle represents the crown jewel of all Model 98 variants.

    By modern standards the Model 1909 classifies as somewhat unwieldy, thanks to its 29-inch barrel.

    I can't recall the exact date in the mid-1950s, but I can remember what happened like it was last week. There, on a table at an Ohio gun show, was this beautiful rifle. It talked to me, and I listened despite my father's warning that there was no sense in buying some "foreign" rifle that shot ammo no one could get. But who ever said gun deals have to make sense?

    At the time I had no clue that there was any difference in status between that pristine Model 1909 Argentine Mauser still in cosmoline and any other garden-variety surplus rifle. Yes, I knew what Mausers were, but I couldn't have discussed the differences among them. All I knew was that I wanted that rifle and was willing to put down the 40 silver dollars it took to walk away with it. I used silver dollars for all gun purchases during that era, and 40 of them was a healthy price for a surplus Mauser. In fact, it was more than the rifle was probably worth on the market at that time, but the Mauser was in considerably better condition than most surplus rifles available during those years. Fortunately, the purchase also included a bag of corrosive military ammo. About half of the cartridges failed to fire despite fairly deep firing-pin indentations on the primer. But somehow that didn't really matter. The rifle shot well, looked great and functioned like a Swiss watch.

    Although I've shot the 1909 Argentine extensively through the years, it's been used for nothing more exotic than putting holes in paper or busting dirt clods--but what a dream to shoot. It would be many years before I realized just what a great rifle I had purchased that fateful day.

    Because 7.65 Argentine ammo was generally unavailable at the time, I was forced to begin reloading centerfire rifle ammo, which was a blessing in disguise. It made me understand how firearms work in much more detail than I would've bothered to learn under other circumstances.

    It wasn't long before I took simple reloading of Norma cases to another level. I purchased a form/trim die from RCBS and began converting .30-06 cases into 7.65x53mm brass--something that I continue to do to this day.

    As full-length Model 1909 Argentine Mausers go, this particular specimen is typical of those imported during the 1950s, complete with the Argentine crest ground off the top of the receiver ring. Since then there have been many Argentines released with the crest intact. To me this has no particular meaning since I bought the rifle as a shooter, and it has exceeded all expectations in that department.

    Accuracy? On a good day with the open military sights I can put five shots into about a 11?4-inch cluster at 100 yards. There is no way I can suggest precisely how accurate this rifle is because I've never scoped it. However, for me this rifle is about much more than accuracy. It is an entire package.

    Fit and finish of the metal parts are beyond mere imagination. Few custom rifles these days are better finished, both internally and externally. In fact, the 1909 Argentine action became one of the favorites of custom riflemakers for decades. This was because it was not only extremely strong but also dimensionally correct and consistent. Some of the finest custom rifles made have 1909 actions at their core.

    Open and shut: The Model 1909 Argentine feeds from a five-round box magazine. Countless straight bolts were bent down to produce "scope-friendly" sporters. Unlike other Mausers of the time, the bolt release continues over the top of the receiver bridge.

    Yes, I was approached many times over the years by others who suggested that I do any number of things with the rifle to "make it better." The first was a common procedure in the late '50s, when small-town gunsmiths routinely reamed the chambers on Argentine Mausers for the .30-06. This procedure made no sense to me at the time, and it makes even less sense to me now. After all, the bore dimensions for the 7.65 round make it a true .31 caliber while the '06 is a true .30 caliber. Why would anyone want such a combination? I've never seen such a conversion shoot very accurately. Anyway, why fix something that ain't broke?

    There were also those who suggested I use the action for the basis of a fancy custom rifle. But if I'd have wanted a custom rifle, I would have it built on an action that came from a surplus rifle with a bad barrel or from a new commercial action. The days of converting military-surplus bolt-actions into sporters is pretty much gone, though. Reasons are legion, including the fact that such a procedure no longer makes economic sense. Relatively few folks these days have access to the machine tools it takes to do a good conversion job, and the market itself has precluded the economic advantage of such conversions.

    The 7.65mm Argentine cartridge predates any rifles Argentina ever had chambered for it. Technically, it is the 7.65x53mm Mauser cartridge (or 7.65x53mm Belgian Mauser) introduced in the Model 1889 Belgian Mauser rifle. Over the years, a number of other countries adopted the round for military purposes including Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Turkey. Military rifles to shoot it were made primarily in Germany as export rifles, but a "clone" factory was established in Argentina, and many of the Argentine Mausers were made locally.

    My rifle was made by Berlin's Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM), one of the better-known German Mauser manufacturers at the time. It has always fascinated me why the export rifles made for other countries were always so much better made than the rifles Germany made for itself. But that's another story.

    Model 1909s generally came in two configurations: the full-length rifle and the carbine. I have owned both and prefer the full-length rifle, which weighs a nominal 9.25 pounds. It has a five-round magazine capacity and sports a 29-inch barrel with .301 bore and .311 groove diameters. The four-groove rifling has a right-hand twist rate of one turn in 9.8 inches. Although the military bullets were .313 of an inch in diameter, the Argentine Mausers shoot .311 and .312 bullets just fine.

    There were two primary military loadings for the cartridge. One sent a 211-grain bullet out of the barrel at a nominal 2,132 fps while the later loading shot a 185-grain bullet at 2,467 fps. This is just shy of the modern .308 Winchester cartridge in performance, and it's easy (and safe) to duplicate .308 performance in the Model 1909. (However, it's not a good idea to shoot the faster loads in the earlier '91 Argentines.) Norma factory loads for the 7.65x53mm include a 150-grain bullet at 2,920 fps and a 180-grain bullet at 2,590 fps.

    The left side of the receiver shows that the author's particular Model 1909 Argentine Mauser was made by DWM.

    Sights on the 1909 Argentine are classic Mauser tangent propositions with an inverted-"V" front post and a "V"-notched rear sight that is calibrated to a "harassing fire" range of 2,000 meters, with a bottom setting for a 300-meter battle sight. This means that most unaltered rifles shoot roughly four inches high at 100 yards. With judicious handloading, however, you can create loads that shoot right to the point of aim at 100 yards--handy for general use.

    Model 1909 Argentines have been available on the surplus market off and on for nearly a half-century. However, most now are odds and ends picked up here and there around the world. Most of the others are available on the regular used market, having been put up for individual sale.

    I have owned literally hundreds of surplus Mausers from countries around the world. But somehow, none has quite the same place in my heart as my first Argentine Model 1909. It helped launch my lifelong commitment to the shooting sports. When I have this rifle in my hands, all is right with the world.

    In many ways it was the best gun deal I ever made.
    ......... (Article by Steve Comus in Guns and Ammo Magazine)
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Argentine Model 1909 Sniper Rifle (Mfg by DWM) started by Badger View original post
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