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Mauser in China: Mauser System Model 1893/95

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Chinese Sailors marching in New York. Imperial Chinese Navy cruiser “Hai Chi” visited New York City in September 1911. These sailors were carrying Mauser system Model 1893/95 rifle.

The Mauser Archive does not show any records of selling 1893/95 rifle to China. But China must obtain a number of such models from other sources. From Qing government archives, I am able to find several documents related to purchasing Mauser Model 1893/95.

In 1900, Fujian Province signed a contract with Mandl & Co., H for 600 pieces of Chilean 1895 Mauser rifle. However the contract was not realized since China was banned from importing weapons according to the articles of Boxer Protocol. Two years later, Fujian Province renewed the contract with Mandl & Co., H for 400 pieces of Mauser 1895 rifle in 7m/m caliber, each rifles with 500 rounds of ammunition alongside fees costs 145 German Marks. Mauser Company did not make Chilean Mod.1895 which were manufactured by DWM.

Another Model 1893/95 contract was between Telge & Co and General Yi Gu dated 1904. General Yi Gu ordered 600 pieces of Mauser 1893 rifle as well as 250 pieces of Cavalry carbines in 7m/m. The consignments were delivered in Tiansien, Chinese delegate refused to take the delivery since the rifles and carbines were used ones. In the end, Chinese took only 100 rifles and required a refund or exchange.

Prior to General Yi Gu’s order, in the same year, Governor of Shanxi Province purchased 2500 Mauser 1893 rifles and 500 carbines from Telge & Co, which also were found being used ones and rejected by Chinese.

Besides these contracts information, I also have various Chinese records of issuing so called “Chilean Mauser rifle” to some units.

Jiangnan Arsenal had produced Chilean smokeless powder rifle cartridge no later than 1903. In the product catalog, Jiangnan Arsenal listed a “1897 pattern” Chilean cartridge which has 7 m/m-0.282in caliber with overall length of 3.05 inch. It implies that China imported a substantial number of Model 1895 Chilean rifle so large that Chinese would like to produce ammunition domestically.

The most fascinating part is China even managed to produce some Mod.95 Chilean Model in domestic. Henan Provincial Arsenal reported in 1903 that there were two self-fabricated samples of Mauser Chilean model. Fujian Provincial Arsenal reported in 1904 that 100 pieces of Chilean rifle made by the Arsenal itself were in stock.

FN sold 10000 rifles to China in 1894. Unfortunaly, the FN archives does not have details on this contract rifle. Mr.Vanderlinden’s book said it’s FN Brazilian Model 1894 which were chambered in 7 m/m. China even imported some Mauser rifle in Belgian 7.65 m/m caliber which I will discuss in another article.

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