Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1588: Sig Mondragon Rifle 7 x 57 mm

Auction Date: November 30, 2012

Rare Serial Number "338" 1908 Mondragon Semi-Automatic Rifle with Original Bayonet and Scabbard

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $25,000 - $40,000

Rare Serial Number "338" 1908 Mondragon Semi-Automatic Rifle with Original Bayonet and Scabbard

Manufacturer: Sig
Model: Mondragon
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 7 x 57 mm
Barrel: 24 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 6235
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 247
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

Manuel Mondragon was an officer and later a general in the Mexican army who designed several weapons that were some of the most technically advanced weapons for the early 1900s. The Model 1890 was the first semi-automatic rifle to be adopted by any nation and it's successor, the Model 1908 was made in Switzerland by "SIG" at Newhouse as they were one of the few arms makers with the technical capability to manufacture weapons with the tight manufacturing tolerances required by Mondragon. It is estimated that only 400 of this model were delivered to Mexico before the Mexican revolution broke out with the remaining rifles all being sold to Germany prior to WWI. Most examples are very RARE with very few ever seen in the U.S. These Mondragon rifles employ some unique features such as: a barrel mounted, gas block located on the front underside of the barrel that has two gas settings, a gas driven operating rod that extends from the front of the gas block on the underside of the barrel, to the cocking handling (a very similar system was later used on the FN FAL rifle), a side mounted cocking handle that is attached to a round and rotating bolt. This bolt is very unique in that it has two race-ways machined into the bolt body where the cocking handle fits, which rotates the bolt to lock and unlock the two rows of locking lugs (four at the front and four at the rear of the bolt) during the cycling operation along with an extended box magazine. A very similar bolt and operating system was later adopter on the Schmidt-Rubin and K31 series of rifles. It is fitted with the correct military style tangent rear sight that is graduated from 400-2,000 meters with a inverted "V" front sight with a bayonet lug on the underside of the barrel. The rifle action is unmarked except for the serial number (338) which is engraved on the left side of the action, top of the bolt, top of the cocking handling and the trigger guard. The stock and handguard are both correctly made from a light colored European straight grained walnut with a flat steel buttplate. This rare rifle is complete with an original bayonet and metal scabbard. The blade is marked on the right sides "ELSENER/SCHWYZ".

Rating Definition:

Very fine as partially refinished with 90% plus of the original blue finish on the balance with wear on the edges and high spots with the only the floor plate showing an old touch up cold-blue type finish. The markings are clear and sharp. The stock and handguards are both very fine plus overall with a nice European walnut color overall with minor scratches and handling marks with some minor water stains on the right center section of the stock and handguard. The left side of the stock actually shows a light tiger-stripped appearance almost the entire length. The bayonet and scabbard are both excellent with a nice polished blade with 90% of the blue color on the scabbard. A very rare, early semi-automatic rifle in top collector condition.

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