Saturday, September 02, 2006

Boomsticks: "Somehow, I thought you'd be... shorter."

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.

Only not.

TOP: Chilean M1895 Carbine
BOTTOM: Venezuelan FN24/30 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.

9 comments:

B&N said...

Thanks for the photos and history lesson Tam.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, you could make a nice scout rifle out of those.. New barrel, new stock, have Shannon do a trigger job.. :)

Randy said...

There's no such thing as a nice "scout" rifle. ;)

s&w 24 said...

I think the 98 base carbine looks better and I would probably like either one.

Alex said...

They're both nice pieces, so what's not to like? Old rifles need a good home, so you did the right thing.

Mark@C said...

They're not old, they're just experienced...
hehehe

phlegmfatale said...

You know, despite the weight gain of one pound, it's gratifying to see what appears an arc of design evolution in these weapons, at least to my untrained eye. They are both lovely, actually.

By the way, there is a marvelous museum of militaria in Brussels, Belgium where they have an extraordinary collection - worth the trip to Belgium just for that. Oh, and then there IS the matter of their superb beer.

Anonymous said...

Look like FR8

Tam said...

Compared to these svelte little carbines, my FR8 is downright bulky.