While all the manufacturing facilities of the plant were turned over entirely to this Turkish rifle, Mauser himself still found time to experiment and develop rifles to handle the new type of smokeless powder then being produced.
After considerable experimentation, he found that in spite of the French adoption of the 8mm, the finest ballistic performance with the new powder was procurable with caliber 7.65mm and he proceeded to design a rifle having a jacketed barrel and using a 5-shot magazine below the receiver which could be loaded through the top of the open action.
Thus when in 1889 the Belgian Government after intense and highly intelligent tests of all known typfs of small arms, determined to develop a new rifle to equip its army, Mauser offered his new rifle for test.
When it is remembered that for years the sole general industry of the Lut-tich area had been weapons, and the added fact that the Belgian Government was noted for its probity, the acceptance of the Mauser rifle as the official Belgian arm establishes at once the high quality of the design and workmanship of Paul Mauser's product.
At this period there began the very close liasion between the arms manufacturers of Belgium and those of Germany which resulted in the development and use of strictly German types of arms for military use and for world wide sale since that time. The Belgian Ministry of War ordered several hundred thousands of these new Mauser rifles with the stipulation that they be manufactured by the Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre, at Herstal near Liittich. This plant was established by a Liittich syndicate with Ludwig Loewe & Co. of Berlin as a partner. These rifles were also made by the Fabrique d'Armes de L'Etat at Liittich.
Thus was created the first truly successful really modern rifle.
With the Belgians completely rearming after these intensive tests and with the adoptions of smaller calibers by most of the European countries, the Turkish
Government felt impelled to change to the smaller rifles with their improved ballistic performance. Thus after Mauser had produced 220,000 of the rifles in caliber 9.5mm, Turkey formally adopted the new Model 90 in caliber 7.65mm Turkish.
By the Fall of 1893 Oberndorf had provided 200,000 rifles and carbines of this model to Turkey. Argentina even at that early date had an intelligent and aggressive military group which kept abreast of developments in arms. Argentina, therefore, approached Mauser to manufacture a rifle of the same general type as the Turkish but with a heavier bolt for their army. Since the comparatively small capacity of Oberndorf was engaged for several years ahead, Argentina placed its order for 180,000 rifles and 30,000 carbines to be manufactured at Berlin by Ludwig Loewe & Co. to Mauser's specifications. Again the part that Loewe played in obtaining this order is all too obscure, but a knowledge of the fundamental processes by which such deals are swung leads one to believe that while quality was all essential, the more prosaic matter of financial dealings also entered into the picture.
Mauser began direct negotiations with the Spanish Government in November, 1887, and endeavored to sell them his 9.5mm caliber rifle. The imminence of developments in the field of new explosives delayed the Spanish High Command from a commitment at that time; but in 1891 after his Belgian and Turkish models had demonstrated their worth, the Spanish gave Mauser an order for 1840 testing rifles of 7.65mm caliber as well as an order for 400 carbines of the same caliber for the Spanish Navy.
Paul Mauser visited Spain in 1892 after delivery of the trial orders and brought with him a rifle with improved magazine and designed to use a cartridge of 7mm caliber which he had developed for use with the new nitro powder. This new rifle had the now famous staggered magazine of Mauser construction with its fool-proof system of feeding which is the one in general military use in most countries today.
The Spaniards were so impressed with this new arm and its new cartridge that they not only placed an order with Mauser but also awarded him the Grand Cross of the Spanish Military Order of Merit, the highest decoration Mauser ever received.
Since Oberndorf under the Turkish contract could not manufacture anything but Turkish weapons during the life of their contract, the new Spanish weapons were again manufactured by Loewe, with the lone exception of 30,000 pieces which were manufactured in 1895 at Oberndorf on completion of the Turkish order. These Loewe manufactured Mausers of 7mm caliber were the famous rifles used by a small contingent of Spanish troops at San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War, an engagement where despite the tremendous numerical superiority of the Americans, the Spaniards inflicted a terrifically high rate of casualties.
Two hundred and fifty-one thousand eight hundred Model 93 Rifles and 27,500 Model 93 carbines were delivered to Spain during this period, and the Arsenal at Oviedo in Spain was specially tooled up to manufacture Mausers.
The Spanish Mauser retains an enviable record in military circles to this day for its reliability and accuracy.
In 1893 also Mauser traveled again to Constantinople to submit his Spanish Model in person to the Sultan of Turkey. The Turks grasped at once the conspicuous improvements Mauser had made, and once again passed over the monetary and practical factors involved and halted production on a rifle in manufacture. By that time 280,000 of the Model 90 Rifles had been delivered and Turkey increased the order from 550,000 to 700,000 weapons including in it 201,100 rifles under the designation of Model 93, the design being the same, but retaining the caliber of 7.65mm Turkish and using a cut-off on the magazine which permitted single shot fire while holding the magazine in reserve.
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