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Historically Significant Swiss Model 1894 Type IIB Experimental Mondragon Rifle in Rare 5.2 X 68 mm

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  Lot #1611  (Sale Order: 612 of 889)  
Sold for: $25,000.00 to onsite
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Historically Significant Swiss Model 1894 Type IIB Experimental Mondragon Rifle in Rare 5.2 X 68 mm Caliber

This is an exceptionally scarce example of an early Model 1894 Swiss/SIG experimental Type IIB Mondragon. This model can be identified/differentiated from the Type IIA, by the large "Lange" military type rear sight and the front barrel band that is designed for use with the Swiss bayonet. This is such an extremely rare and all original rifle that very few examples even exist today with almost all known specimen contained in European museums. This series of rifle was actually a further development of the original 1893 Mondragon rifles that was made by the famous Swiss factory of SIG, in Neuhausen. These were based on the original 1893 designs of Colonel Mondragon with improvements, that were coupled with the very unique Swiss "5.2 X 68 mm" high velocity piston cartridge designed by the brilliant Swiss designer Col Edward "Eduard" Rubin, who was the director of the Swiss munitions factory at Thurn as well as the inventor of the full metal jacket. During the development of the M1893 rifle Col. Mondragon came into contact with Col. Rubin, who had actually been working on a small caliber high velocity cartridge. Both seized on the idea of using this new cartridge in the Model 1894. This rifle has several very early and unique features such as the 1) original "en bloc" type magazine, 2) a straight pull, rotary rifle bolt that employs three sets of five locking lugs; one set of locking lugs is position around the front and rear of the bolt body with an additional set around the cocking knob assembly; 3) a manual/automatic type switch mechanism located on the right side of the stock, is marked "A," "L," and "R." (as designed on the 1893 rifle) that allowed the rifle to be fired on a continuous, rapid fire type succession without pulling the trigger each time by simply cycling hand cycling the bolt back and forth. The idea was that if the soldier positioned the rifle butt under his right arm, left hand on the upper forend with his right hand on the bolt handle he could either charge and fire in rapid succession or use the same method in a defensive mode to fend off a frontal assault, by just pulling the bolt to the rear and slam it forward into battery and the rifle will fire. Certainly a very unique and forward thinking battle improvement for 1894! The designs of the Swiss Schmidt/Rubin and K31 series of rifles can clearly be seen on this rifle especially in the rotary locking bolts. The rifle itself has a two-piece stock with an all machined receiver and bolt group. The forend is a full length one-piece round Mannlicher style that completely encompasses the barrel. It is fitted with a one-piece, front barrel band that double for the front sight base and has the early Swiss bayonet lug underneath. The rear sight as noted is the larger military "Lange" style that is very unique in that it has two rear sight leafs; the front one was probably used as a battle sight for 100-300 meters. Next it has a second folding rear sight leaf that is marked "400" on the back side, obviously intended for shooting at 400 meters. Then top, left side of the base is calibrated from 600-2000 meters with the left side of the base marked for 1000, 1500, 2500 meters. It is fitted with a single sling swivel, mid way underneath the forend held on by two screws with a corresponding lower sling swivel on the butt. The cartridge that was designed for this rifle was the 5.2 X 68 mm, which is actually similar to the short bottle neck high velocity cartridges we have today chambered in 22 caliber, only this cartridge has a piston inside the case. The concept was that the cartridge contained an actual piston inside the case with the powder charge located below the piston. The top of the piston rod was positioned below the actual bullet and that once the primer and powder were ignited the pistol would drive the bullet at a hyper-velocity, muzzle velocity (remember at this time they were just developing smokeless powder) with most velocities around the 1,500-1,800 fps. An extremely unique rifle for the 1893/1894 time frame. The only real markings on the rifle are the serial number "98" which is stamped on the various parts to include the receiver, barrel, bolt assembly, magazine follower and cocking knob. The rear of the upper tang is stamped "FAB. D'ARMES/NEUHAUSEN". This rifle has an all walnut stock, full length forend and is fitted with one steel buttplate. It has an all blue metal finish except the bolt which is left bright. There is a small sticker or label on the right front barrel that is marked "L1/1031", which may indicate that this rifle was once in a museum. Certainly worth doing some research on it.

Class: Antique

Very fine with 80% of the faded original blue finish overall with wear on the edges and high spots
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This item is part of Premiere Firearms Auction - Day 2
 Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 | 9:00 AM  Central
 
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Historically Significant Swiss Model 1894 Type IIB Experimental Mondragon Rifle in Rare 5.2 X 68 mm
Historically Significant Swiss Model 1894 Type IIB Experimental Mondragon Rifle in Rare 5.2 X 68 mm
Lot number: 1611
Seller: Rock Island Auction Company
Event: Premiere Firearms Auction - Day 2
Ends: Saturday, April 30 | 9:00 AM  Central

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