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Thread: 1891 Mauser serial numbers.

  1. #1

    Default 1891 Mauser serial numbers.

    I own a 1891 Mauser, manufactured by Loewe of Berlin for Argentina, Serial Number A87xx.

    My son also owns a 1891 Mauser by Loewe made for Argentina, Serial Number E6xxx.

    My question concerns how the serial number system works and can a year of manufacture be estimated from the serial number. Why the letter at the beginning of the serial number?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2

    Default Serial Numbers

    All mauser serial numbers are four digit. When they reach 9999, they bump up the letter one step, and start over again.

    This makes it very difficult to figure out manufacturing date from the serial number.

    Year of manufacture should be somewhere on the gun.

    There are some South American rifles serialized like we do it, but this was done at the request of the buyer, and Mauser went along with it.

  3. #3


    Jeb, there's a rule here that if you talk about a rifle that you own that you have to post a picture. Just kidding! Is it in original condition? Does yours have the crest & cleaning rod? Bayonet? How does it shoot?

  4. #4


    To Stonewall56

    I purchased my rifle as a barreled action in 1965. The barrel had been shortened when I purchased so I turned it into a hunting rifle. The crest is there but covered by the scope mount.

    I spent many hours cleaning the bore but it paid off. The rifle shoots great; limited only by the owner. :-) I handload, shoot 150 grain bullets and limit the pressure. It has been my favorite hunting rifle for many years.

    The question about serial numbers, after all these years, came up when my son was recently given a 1891.

    This is my first response in the new Jouster so please excuse any goofs. The "old dog" is learning a new trick.


  5. #5


    To Bill

    Thanks for the info on the Serial Number system. As usual, I am better educated for having asked a question on this forum.


  6. #6


    As previously stated, It is hard to determine the year of MGF if it's not in the original stock. A way to tell if it's early or late madel is to see if it has the magazine locking flange in front of the magazine well. The earliest ones did not have it. I usually assume these are pre 1898 which puts them in the legit C&R category.

  7. #7


    To Musketshooter-

    My 1891 does not have the flange in front of the magazine well and to the best of my memory neither does my son's.

    Do you have any info on the total number of 1891's produced for Argentina? Also, the approximate end date of model 1891 production.
    Using the serial number info the production number for my sons rifle would be in the 40,000's.

    I am not a collector. My son and grandson's are the gun collectors in the family. I am just an outdoorsman with an interest in guns as a "tool of the trade".

    Thank you for the info on the magazine flange change.


  8. Default

    The use of a limited length serial number and prefix/suffix was just a way to avoid long serial numbers and simplify the numbering process itself, which was largely a manual operation. Numbers would run 1-9999, then A1-A9999, then B1-B9999 and so on. When Z9999 was reached, the next number would be AA1-AA9999, then AB1-AB9999, etc.

    In WWII, arms were marked with the year of manufacture, and serial numbering started over with the new year, regardless of where it left off at the end of the previous year. That allows some idea of the quantities produced, and hence an approximate date for a given number, but only in a general way.

    BTW, some Mausers, even military contract rifles, did have more than four digit numbers, as did commercial rifles.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Waushara County, Wisconsin


    This may help...

    Argentine M1891 Mauser - Ludwig & Loewe
    1892 A0000 – C4999
    1893 C5000 – F9999
    1894 G0000 – L4999
    1895 L5000 – M9999
    1895 Military School BU00 – BU199
    1895 Military School EM00 – EM199
    1895 Military School EN00 – EN74
    1896 N0000 – O9999

    YEAR CARBINE Ludwig & Loewe
    1893 A0000 - A4999 & B0000 - B4999
    1895 A5000 - A9999

    Argentine M1891 Mauser – DWM
    1899 O5000 – T7999
    1900 T8000 – V3999
    1901 V4000 – W9999

    1899 B5000 - C5999
    1900 D3000 - E5539
    1901 E5540 - E8039

    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" - Benjamin Franklin

  10. #10


    I had a nice 91 arg.... it shot 4 inch group with FN 78 surplus at 300 yards with iron sights and it shot 4 inches high.

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