In a nod to the Carnival celebrations that may or may not be occurring this week in Latin America's largest country, we here at look at some of the better-known Brazilian firearms. 


While Brazil is not the first place that comes to mind when you hear the word "Mauser," a good case could be made that the country was one of the longest and most devoted users of this classic bolt-action rifle. Starting with the Model 1908, a 7x57mm-caliber DWM-produced Gew 98 just before World War I, Rio continued buying German-made rifles into the 1930s with the Mauser-produced Model 1935. This gun was augmented by 100,500 updated Model 1908/34s ordered from Brno in Czechoslovakia and quantities of Model 1922 carbines from FN in Belgium. 

The Brazilian military used Model 98 style rifles from Brno, DWM, FN, and Mauser as well as producing them domestically, keeping them in front-line service for over 60 years. Complete with a distinctive national crest on the receiver, a number of these are in the hands of American collectors. 

Moving to roll their own, Brazil established the Itajubá factory in 1934 specifically to make Mausers, which they chambered in .30-06, dubbed the confusing Model 1908/34.30. The country continued producing domestic '98 style Mausers as late as 1968, while often restocking and refurbishing imported models and variants are still used for training and ceremonial purposes by the Brazilian military. 

Ironically, the Brazilian army division that fought in Italy during WWII with the Allies used U.S. equipment for ease of support, leaving their Mausers at home in favor of M1903A3s, M1 Carbines, and M3 sub guns.




Although the Brazilian military is switching to the IA2 rifle in 5.56 NATO, the classic M964 in numerous versions – a side folding Para FAL MD1 shown – is still very much in use (Photo: IMBEL)

Testing the FN FAL in the 1950s and early 1960s, Brazil adopted the 7.62 NATO battle rifle as the M964, putting the gun into licensed local production at the Itajubá arsenal which, after 1975, was rechristened IMBEL.

The M964 is still in production by IMBEL in several formats and was exported to the U.S. in a sporting version with Springfield Armory bringing the semi-auto-only variant as first the "pre-ban" SAR-48 and later the "post-ban" thumbhole-stocked SAR-4800. Many IMBEL receivers and parts are floating around the U.S. as well. 

A great T-shirt from a fan, who was a Brazilian army mountain infantryman in a former life. 




Itajuba/IMBEL has been in the business of making high-quality M1911 clones in not only .45 ACP but also .380, 40 S&W, and 9mm. The company currently lists them in standard, commander, and officer-lengths. While they have washed up on American shores complete with Exercito Brasileiro markings, they have also been extensively imported by Springfield Armory over the years. Look for the IMBEL markings on the frame's dust cover. 



The reason Taurus PT 92s look so much like Beretta 92s is that they are made in a factory the Italian company originally established in Brazil to make pistols for that country's military. This pre-loved model is up for grabs in the Vault. 

Beretta established a factory in Sao Paulo in the 1970s to fulfill a contract for Model 92 pistols for the Brazilian military. Once the initial contract was covered, the Italians sold the concern to Taurus in the early 1980s and that company reopened the line to produce the gently modified PT-92. Since then, the pistol has undergone generational changes and is often seen with Brazilian hardwood grips. It has also been marketed in .32 ACP (as the PT-57), .380 (PT-58), .40 S&W (PT-100), as well as in different finishes and lengths. In production for almost 40 years, the PT-92 can be found across the U.S. and has a reputation for reliability. 

Taurus Judge

The Judge series, which can use either .45 Colt or .410 shells, have a big following. This five-shot Judge Public Defender is available in the Vault. 

Perhaps no other Brazilian gun has brand recognition in the U.S. than the Judge series of revolvers offered by Taurus. Following in the path of similar wheel guns like the Thunder 5 and S&W Governor, Taurus introduced the Judge in 2006. With a cylinder designed to be used with either .45 Colt or .410 shot shells/slugs, the revolver has a lot of versatility and almost a cult following. 

Sure, there are other Brazilian-made guns out there, such as the Stoeger Condor and the Rossi series, but we have to save something for next year.

Banner photo via Pixabay.

Read More On:
revolver barrel loading graphic