Papuan Vrijwilliger Korps Mauser Carbine


During the transition from Dutch colonial rule to independence, the Dutch government armed a group of Papuans to help defend the territory form Indonesian military incursion. This organization was the Papuan Vrijwiliger Korps (Papua Volunteer Corps), and the Dutch provided them with Mauser carbines converted to 7.62mm NATO.

These carbines were originally Dutch police carbines chambers for 8mm Mauser, which the police forces were replacing with M1 Carbines. This left a group of several thousand compact and simple carbines that made an idea basis for the Papuan arms. A total of 2700 were rechambered for 7.62mm (it was not known at that point which new semiauto rifle would be adopted by the Dutch military, but it would definitely use the 7.62mm NATO cartridge). Magazine blocks were installed to fit the shorter cartridge length, and the guns were fitted with rubber buttplates, given new bayonets, and parkerized to make them more durable in the Papuan environment.

It is not known how many of the carbines actually made it to New Guinea, but a substantial number certainly did. They are extremely rare carbines today, as the Papua Volunteer Corps was an ill-fated group and only lasted from 1961 until 1963, with most of their arms being ultimately seized by the Indonesian military. This example was shared with me by a generous Dutch collector.