Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1437: Mondragon 1908 Rifle 7 x 57 Mauser

Auction Date: December 5, 2014

Outstanding One-of-A-Kind Serial Number 1 Swiss Model 1908 Mexican Contract Mondragon Semi-Automatic Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $60,000 - $90,000

Outstanding One-of-A-Kind Serial Number 1 Swiss Model 1908 Mexican Contract Mondragon Semi-Automatic Rifle

Manufacturer: Mondragon
Model: 1908
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 7 x 57 Mauser
Barrel: 24 1/2 inches round
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 24705
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 190
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

Wow if you are a collector of early technically advanced semi-automatic pistol and rifles this has to be one of those "One-of-A-Kind" early rifles that you have to have in your collection! What more can you say other than this is serial number "1", the very first standard production Model 1908 Mondragon semi-automatic rifle as manufactured by the SIG factory for the Mexican Army. This rifle is all "original" and in outstanding condition with an all blued finish, bright polished bolt and cocking mechanism with a beautiful European walnut stock and top handguard. The receiver ring is roll-marked with the large crest of the "Republic of Mexico" with the top rear section of the receiver prominently marked in three lines: " FUSIL PORFIRIO DIAZ/SISTEMA MONDRAGON MOD 1908/FABRICA DE ARMAS DE NEUHAUSEN SUIZA.". The left side of the receiver, complete bolt assembly and various parts are correctly stamped with serial number "1". Additionally the various pats are stamped with the small, circled heart proof of the SIG factory. As we all know General Manual Mondragon played a significant part in the development and advancement of the weapons of the Mexican Army as well forced all other European countries to rethink the weapons being used by their own armies. Manual Mondragon, was educated at the French Military Academy at St. Cyr, and was eventually trained in the Mexican Military. He developed several new and highly advanced weapons for the Mexican Army to include some field artillery and ultimately the development of the Model 1908 semi-automatic rifle. He chose the Swiss SIG factory because they were the only company in the world at this time was the capable of producing any weapon(s) on a mass production basis with such close tolerances as required in the Mondragon design. In 1908 this gas operated semi-automatic rifle was probably the most advanced rifle in the world at that time, in an era when most countries were just starting to transition to single shot rifles to bolt action or lever action repeating rifles. It was fielded with the Mexican Army in 1908 and was the first country to issue a semi-automatic rifle to its army. The unique aspect of this weapon was the basic design itself in that it had a "10" round internal box magazine and the rifle was a semi automatic weapon. No other weapon in the world could make this claim at this time. At the heart of this rifles design is the gas block/gas port design which is mounted on the end of the barrel. The gas block is attached to an operating rod which is mounted in forend section of the stock, that cycles the bolt mechanism, much the same as on the FN FAL, M1 Garand and M14 rifles of today. Truly revolutionary in 1908, as if you just think about the US Army which had just switched from the 1898 Krag bolt action rifle to the 1903 Springfield Mauser design, still a bolt action rifle. It would take almost another 34 years, not until WWII that the US Military would adopt a semi-automatic rifle. The barrel is fitted with an adjustable tangent rear sight, marked from 4-2000.

Rating Definition:

Excellent with 98% of the original blue finish overall with the complete bolt assembly and cocking mechanism still in its original armory bright polished finish. The stock and handguard are both in excellent condition with 98% of the original varnish finish with some minor handling marks and scratches on the sides of the forend. The action is tight and crisp and hand cycles correctly. This is truly a "one of a kind" serial number "1" early original Mondragon semi-automatic rifle. Certainly for the super advanced early martial arms collector!

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