The Portugeuse Mauser general History
The M1904 was the Portuguese military’s new standard issue rifle, replacing the Austrian 1886/91 Kropatschek. Competition for the upgrade was fierce, with the following contenders: Passavicino Carcano (Italy), Krag-Jorgensen (Norwegian), Daudeteau (France), Styer Mannlicher (Austria) and the Mauser (Germany).
The German Mauser was finally selected in 6.5 x 58mm, following positive feedback from the recent Anglo-Boer War in South Africa, with the added condition that the bolt to be used should be the Mannlicher inspired design by Captain Vergueiro.
Jose’ Vergueiro was born in the village of Gebelim on 8 December 1851. He became an infantry soldier in the Portuguese armed forces, eventually attaining the commissioned rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
Vergueiro designed a split-bridge receiver, with the bolt handle turning down ahead of the bridge so that it acts as an additional safety lug. Operation is of the ‘slide and rotate’ type using only 7 parts, instead of the original Mauser’s 10.
Production of approximately 100,000 units were undertaken at the Deusche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) in Berlin, and delivered between 1905 and 1907
Crest of King D. Carlos I
A distinctive crest marks the M1904′s receiver, just above the chamber. The crest is of the pen-ultimate Portuguese king D. Carlos I (1963-1908). The marking consists of the king’s crown, above of a large “C” monogram, vertically crossed by an “I”.
M1904 crest (above the South African Union Defence Force “UDF” markings)