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Uruguay’s Model 1871/94 Mauser conversions – known usually as either Daudetau or Dovitiis Mausers – are a really interesting story of arms history. It begins with Antonio Dovitiis, and Italian tailor and merchant of military supplies in Montevideo, who wound up with the job of procuring some new arms for the Uruguayan military, which was using single shot 11mm Mauser 1871 rifles – obsolescent by the 1890s.
Dovitiis made a deal with the St Denis arsenal outside Paris to convert 10,000 Mauser 71 rifles and carbines to the hot new French 6.5mm Daudetau #12 cartridge – a high velocity smallbore round. Much better than that old 11mm black powder round! Alas, it seems this isn’t really what Uruguay wanted, and they were quickly scrapped after being received back home – Uruguay would end up buying fancy new 1895 pattern Mauser repeaters instead.
The Dovitiis conversion rifles can be found today every now and then, in both full length rifle and short carbine variants. The have a fantastic split personality going on, with German gothic markings on the receiver and French script on the barrel, along with Berthier-style sights and clearing rods.
At Forgotten Weapons I think the most interesting guns out there are the most obscure ones. I try to search out experimental and prototype weapons and show you how they work, in addition to more conventional guns that you may not have heard of before. You’re much more likely to find a video on the Cei Rigotti or Webley-Fosbery here than an AR or Glock. So, do you want to learn about something new today? Then stick around!