- Manufactured: Loewe Berlin Germany
- Weight: 8.6lb
- Barrel length: 29"
- Cartridge Caliber: 7mm (7x57mm) Smokeless
- Service in Spanish Army: Since 1893
The 1893 Mauser bolt action rifle is considered by many to be one of the most revolutionary firearms in history and way ahead of it's era. Accuracy of the rifle being unmatched during its time. The Mauser rifle saw little improvements to its design through out its service. It would be used by nearly all countries up to and during the second world war. Even by todays standards it is considered extremely accurate next to modern firearms. Nearly all bolt action rifles produced today take some design from the Mauser rifle. The 7mm round created a distinctive sound when whizzing by, the American soldiers called it the "Spanish Hornet".
Spain contracted Mauser in Loewe Berlin to produce these rifles for their entire military in the early 1890s. The Mauser were to replace outdated rifles like the Remington Rolling Block. The Mauser later shined and gained an infamous reputation during the Spanish American War at Cuba. The Battle of San Juan Hill would be the most famous battle of the Spanish-American War, as well as being the turning point of the war. 800 Spanish soldiers held the hill against an opposing force made up of nearly 20,000 armed men. 15,000 being made of US Soldiers armed with Krags and Springfield Trapdoor rifles. Although the fight lasted only 2 days and the US gained control of the hill, the end result was near disastrous for the Americans. 200 US soldiers lay dead with 1,100 being wounded. The Spanish resulted in only 58 deaths and 170 wounded. The Spanish Mauser rifle was quickly noted by the US military and the US government for its lethality and superiority in this one battle.
At the same time in the Philippines, the 2nd phase of the Revolution was in motion and the Philippine Army trampled across the Spanish troops through out the islands. The Filipinos began to equip themselves with captured and left over Spanish firearms. They would also account for the superior performance in the Mauser. Each battalion would have a separate special unit of expert riflemen/snipers(known as Tiradors); and all were to be armed with nothing but Mauser rifles. The most popular Filipino riflemen unit being under the command of General Geronimo, whom he would name "Tiradores de la Muerte"(Shooters of Death). After the outbreak of the Philippine American War, the Tiradores de la Muerte would gain fame in Dec 1899 when the unit defended the town of San Mateo against 800 US troops under the command of Gen Henry Lawton. On the morning of the battle Lawton walked along the firing line in open field to gain a better view of his troops and the opposing force. The troops noted the distinct firing sound of the Mauser rifles and advised the general to take cover. The general ignored their warning and at that instant was struck in the chest by round fired by one of the tiradores Mauser rifle. Gen Lawton would die with in a few minutes. The rifle shot coming from a distance of 300 yards during a storm with rain.
Also during the Spanish American War in the Philippines, in the town of Baler a small detachment of 50 Spanish soldiers barracked themselves inside the towns fortified church. Lt Col Teodorico Luna(relative of Juan and Antonio Luna) would lead the attack against the Spaniards and surrounded the church. The Spaniards would hold this position from July 1898 to June 1899. During their stand, the Spanish American War would end, America would purchase the islands, and Philippine American War was in full swing. The Spanish troops finally surrendered to the Philippine Army and were received as friendly allies. The dominance of the Mauser rifle was accredited for the 11 month long stand off.
Due to the superiority and success of the Mauser rifle over the newly issued Krag rifles through out the Spanish American War, the US Government took captured Mausers and gave them to Springfield Armory for their own research and development. The US Government would give Springfield Armory the order to build their own Mauser type rifle. In 1900 Springfield had a prototype rifle with similar characteristics of both the Mauser and Krag rifle. The US Government approved the design, and the end result is the M1903 Springfield bolt action rifle in 30-06. It should be noted that Springfield Armory at the time was under government control, but in itself was still a separate entity as a firearms manufacturer. The US Government in a way did not purposely copy the designs, but being Springfield Armory fell under the control of the US Government, Mauser took action against the US government and not Springfield Armory. Both Mauser and the US Government realized the similar features and agreed it infringed on Mausers design patents. The US Government willfully agreed to pay royalties to Mauser for patent infringement with out trial.
|Company of the Philippine Army. (Circa 1899) |
Riflemen standing are armed with Spanish Remington Rolling Block Rifles.
Riflemen kneeling are armed with Spanish 1893 Mauser Rifles.
|Early Philippine Constabulary Officers. Originally issued Mausers captured and surrendered by Spanish Troops.|