Mexico’s President for nearly 30 years, Porfirio Diaz was very interested in modernizing the Mexican Army. He invested in new artillery, magazine guns, and small arms – such as the Mondragon semiautomatic rifle. In addition, Mexico tested the Luger pistol circa 1903-1905. They found it to be quite satisfactory, and appear to have been interested in purchasing them for artillery and cavalry use, but never followed through – presumably political or monetary problems prevented doing so (and Diaz was removed from power by 1911). Mexican property Lugers are extremely rare, as only a small number were purchased for testing. They can be identified by an “EJERCITO MEXICANO” mark engraved on the left side (done in Mexico, not by DWM). They are otherwise standard Old Model Lugers, in 7.65mm, with the typical traits such as dished toggles and a flat leaf mainspring.
The rifle we are looking at is an early Mondragon bolt-action design, model of 1894. Prior to designing his self-loading 1908 rifle (which is notable as the first self-loader adopted by a national military), Manuel […]
This may come as a surprise to some folks, but the first semiautomatic rifle adopted for military use was the M1908 Mondragon rifle designed in Mexico by Manuel Mondragon. He was granted a US patent […]