Rare 1890's St. Denis Daudeteau Mauser Model 71/94 Dovitis Rifle ** Unique Uruguayan Military Rifle **
Guns International #: 101291889 Seller's Inventory #: CBP19-
Category: Military Rifles - Antique - Mauser Rifles - Military
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Seller: Antique & Modern Firearms, Inc.
Company: Antique & Modern Firearms, Inc.
Member Since: 4/27/15
First Name: Charles
Last Name: Layson
Country: United States
Phone: (859) 276-1419
Fax: (859) 278-0838
Number of Active Listings: 346
Total Number of Listings: 5341
Seller: FFL Dealer
Return Policy: 3 day inspection and return policy on used guns.
Payment Types Accepted: Visa,Master Card, Discover,Check
In the early 1890's the relatively poor Uruguayan Military was looking for a way to modernize their main standard battle rifle, which at the time was primarliy U.S.-made rolling blocks and the Mauser 1871. The hard part was they were trying to do it in the cheapest way possible while still keeping up with the neighboring countries around them, which were all arming their troops with small-caliber smokeless powder rifles. How the Greek immigrant named Dovitis got involved is not known, however he would be tied to the rifle to this day. Dovitis connected the Uruguyan Military to the Société Française d’Armes Portatives in France, whereupon it was agreed to send 10,000 Mauser 1871 rifles to the French arsenal to be converted to 6.5 Daudeteau caliber. This conversion consisted of refitting the 1871 with a new barrel, barrel bands, and a new rear sight (all of these parts nearly identical to the French Lebel Mle.1886). The rifles were shipped to St. Denis, converted, and shipped back to Uruguay along with a large supply of ammunition by 1894. While still a single-shot rifle after the conversion, the Uruguayans had hoped that the rifle could be converted a magazine at a later date, and the conversion accomplished the goal of standardizing to a small caliber smokeless ammunition. Once put into military service the rifle was a near-complete failure. They had weak firing pin springs and that combined with hard primers in the rimless ammunition resulted in major feed problems and numerous misfires. The Daudeteau Mauser was bad enough that the Uruguayan Military demanded their money back. Whether they got any of it back is not known, but Uruguay did end up scraping up enough money to buy Mauser Model 1895's for their military, thus ending the Dovitis Daudeteau Mauser chapter in very short order. What happened to all of these 10,000 these "Dovitis rifles" is not known entirely, however there is some information out there that most of them were dumped into the Rio de Plata river to keep them out of the hands of anti-government forces. Regardless, today there are very few of these rifles floating around the collector's market here in the U.S., and this is the first one we have had here at the shop in many decades. This example apears to be an all-original gun as it was rebuilt in France, with the original matching bolt. The action screws, buttplate, and stock are not number's matching, but they are original parts and correct for this French arsenal conversion. As you can see from the pictures, this rifle has a very good look to it with a consistent patina on all of the metal parts. The original blue finish has turned to an aged blue/gray, and the brass triggerguard is a nice mustard yellow color. The bore in this rifle is a little dark with light pitting, mainly in the grooves. The rifling is still strong throughout, with nice sharp lands. The original stock is in good overall shape and solid, with the worst damage showing on the left side of the buttstock. We are not sure what caused this damage, it looks like it might be a burn. All of the original stock hardware is intact and in good condition, and the buttplate is unit marked on the top "tang". This Daudeteau Mauser seems to be in perfect working order, with a nice smooth and tight action and a nice trigger. If you are a collector of interesting and unique military weapons this Uruguayan Dovitis would be a neat addition to your collection.
Manufacturer: Société Française d’Armes Portatives, Saint Denis (France)
Model: Daudeteau Mauser
Serial Number: 87834
Caliber: 6.5 Daudeteau (6.5x53.5mm)
Barrels: 30.5" Inches
Manufacture Date: 1890's