The Earliest Mauser Rifles

In the interests of historical documentation, the following literal translation from the German of the description given by Theodor Schmid, Director of the Waffenfabrik Mauser A.-G. at the turn of the century, is of distinct value.

Schmid was a personal friend and confidant of Paul Mauser, and his description of the earliest Mauser rifles, as well as his sidelights on Norris, had the approval of the great inventor.

These details, therefore, constitute the best available authority on one phase of Mauser's activities and weapons which has long been the subject of conjecture and misinformation. (Note: Schmid uses the term "chamber" in reference to the long cylindrical bolt body. The term "shoe" means the receiver.

Single-Loader With Cylinder Lock, Mauser-Norris C. 67/69

History: The single-loader described below was created in the years 1867-1869, with the financial support of the American Samuel Norris, whose assistance enabled the brothers Paul and Wilhelm Mauser to work out in Luttich the novel ideas, conceived especially by Paul Mauser, relating to the improvement of the then still very imperfect breech-loading system with a cylinder lock, with particular consideration to the use of metallic cartridges. The efforts of the two brothers were crowned by success; the experimental weapons then produced in Luttich (see the pictures which follow for a complete representation of these rifles) embody already all the essential improvements which carried the later Mauser rifles, first as single-loaders, to triumph and glory all over the world.

Principle: As the picture shows, this first complete Mauser-Norris rifle already displays the following arrangements, so important in principle:

1) The lock is designed for self-cocking.

2) The cylindrical block, the so-called "chamber," bears on its forward end a rotatory bolt-head which, due to its rotatory connection with the chamber is not affected by the rotation of the latter, so that when the chamber is opened or closed, this bolt-head retains its position, i.e. does not turn.

(This arrangement resulted in a better obturation of the then still used paper cartridges in particular, inasmuch as due to the nonturning of the bolt-head during the closing, the bottom of the cartridge was

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