Boy was I all stoked about that Venezuelan carbine. I could hardly wait to get it home; I just lurve handy little Mauser carbines, and with its 17.6" barrel, this one should be even shorter and lighter than my Chilean 7mm carbine.
As it turns out, due to the fact that the Fabrique Nationale-produced gun is built on the large-ring '98 action, it is (despite having almost an inch less barrel) a pound heavier and a quarter inch longer overall than the earlier carbine. It's a nicely-made weapon; FN Herstal was originally formed to make Mausers under license for the Belgian army, and after WWI, as part of their war reparations from Germany, they recieved licenses for the latest Mauser designs and the right to sell them worldwide. (Incidentally, so did CZ Brno, and both companies eagerly took up the slack left by the absence of Oberndorf on the military arms export scene.)
The Chilean M1895 is about forty years older, and built on the small-ring Mauser action. My example was made by Ludwig Loewe in Berlin to the usual precise antebellum standards of German weaponry. These weapons are an interesting illustration of the proliferation of the European arms industry in the dying days of the colonial era. European arms houses cheerfully sought out contracts with emerging nations, who were all eager to have the latest and greatest weaponry. These two carbines, coming from former Spanish colonies, are chambered in the round originally developed for the Spanish army by Mauser in 1892. Folks can talk about the ubiquity of the AK or the service of the Enfield with a globe-spanning empire or the M16's forty-plus years in the hands of GIs, but from Oberndorf's first foreign contract with China in 1878 to the last shipments from Brno and Herstal in the '50s, when the world wanted rifles, it went shopping for Mausers.