Ludwig Loewe & Company 1891 Argentine Mauser


The Argentine Mauser is a bolt-action rifle chambered in 7.65x53mm Argentine. Germany actually produced the rifle in 1891 for the Argentinian military. Depending on condition, the Argentine Mauser can be sold anywhere between $80 to $600 or more.

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Argentine Mauser
Caliber: 7.65x53mm Argentine
Capacity: 5
Sights: Rear sight adjustable for elevation and front sight adjustable for windage
Features: Manual safety; and Mauser action
Action: Bolt
Stock: Wood
Material/Finish: Steel/blue
Weight: 8.8 pounds
Barrel Length: 29.13"
Overall Length: 48.6"

Editor Review

Anything from 1891 begs a history lesson – I’ll try to keep this one painless. The same year the military issue Argentine Mauser rolled into production, collegiates in Massachusetts played the first basketball game, Thomas Edison patented the motion picture camera and a Hatfield married a McCoy, ending the 20-year-long feud over a stolen pig.

Twelve decades later, it still isn’t hard to find one. Mine cost $80 in a gun shop. Somewhere along the line someone sporterized it with a floating barrel, which in theory makes it a little lighter and more accurate. More on accuracy in a minute. 

Slender. Elegant. Heavy. At first glance, it seems implausible that modern-day hunters covet this relic and regularly use it to bring home a winter’s worth of meat. But after the first shot, it’s clear this rifle not only shoots impressively, but its sounds to guns what a 440-hemi sounds to car enthusiasts. It might leave you deaf, but you’ll be grinning like Jack Nicholson and swaggering like Clint Eastwood. 

Many consider this the first modern bolt-action rifle, and the Mauser design is still widely used in today’s high-powered hunting rifles. Manufactured in Germany for the Argentinean military, it was also one of the first rifles operate from a 5-shot internal magazine loaded with stripper clips, changing the game by turning single-shot military rifles into fast-reloading weapons.

It is an old rifle, and comes with its quirks. Finding 7.65x53mm ammo can be difficult, leading many to load their own bullets. But because of its age the ATF considers it an antique instead of a firearm, which means that even in highly regulated states, like California, anyone can pick one up from the gun show and walk out the door paperwork free.

Back to its accuracy. Three of us “occasional” shooters recently took it to our favorite firing range, out on a friend’s land. The “target” we use is a hole in a cliff face that our mountain-man friend blasted out over the years with his .50 cal. Twelve hundred yards away, up an 800-foot incline we all repeatedly hit the hole the size of a range silhouette, without trigonometry or even elevating the sites. Yep, I just heard you mumble bullshit. It’s fine. I don’t blame you. I didn’t believe it either. But the rangefinder did.

It is just plain fun to shoot something that old and know as soon as you squeeze the trigger that you’ve got it nailed. It’s the kind of rifle that will leave you wishing that you had a few manhole covers hanging in the backyard to turn into Swiss cheese, a month’s worth of ammo and a cooler full of sandwiches. You might end up with a bloody shoulder, but are guaranteed a smile.