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The Vault

M1908 Mondragon Semiauto Rifle at RIA

The M1908 Mondragon is widely acknowledged to have been the first self-loading rifle adopted as a standard infantry arm by a national military force. There are a couple earlier designs used by military forces, but the Mondragon was the first really mass-produced example and deserves its place in firearms history. Designed by Mexican general Manuel [...]

RIA Premier Auction (Part II)

Continuing yesterday’s post, today I want to take a look at some of the long guns that jumped out at me while I was perusing the catalog for the RIA Premier Auction coming up in two weeks (September 13th-15th).

First up, I noticed a pretty nice selection of early American bolt-action rifles. The [...]

Original Mendoza HM-3

Mexico has more of a history of domestic arms design and production than many people expect – from the many designs of Manuel Mondragon to Rafael Mendoza’s light machine guns, the Trejo machine pistols, and the recently developed FX-05 Xiuhcoatl combat rifle. Another indigenous Mexican firearm still in current production is the Mendoza HM-3 submachine [...]

Vintage Saturday: Stinkin’ Badges

They may not have any stinkin’ badges, but they are definitely Federales.

Published in Osprey’s “The Mexican Revolution 1910-20″ book, this photo postcard shows a very rare Hotchkiss 37mm automatic cannon. It was designed to compete with the Vickers Pom-Pom, and apparently was only bought in small numbers by the Mexican Army and the [...]

Mondragon Model 1894

The rifle we are looking at is an early Mondragon bolt-action design, model of 1894. Prior to designing his self-loading 1908 rifle (which is notable as the first self-loader adopted by a national military), Manuel Mondragon created this bolt action design. He was working in Switzerland at the time, and the guns were actually built [...]

Obregon Automatic Pistol (Video)

One of the more interesting (and rare!) variations on John Browning’s iconic 1911 automatic pistol is the Obregon. Developed in Mexico in the mid 1930s, this pistol uses a frame nearly identical to the stock 1911, but has a completely different locking system. It uses a rotating barrel, like a Steyr 1912, instead of Browning’s [...]

Vintage Saturday: La Decena Tragica

I don’t think these two jóvenes have ever been in combat before

La Decena Tragica (the Tragic Ten) is the common name for the ten days in February 1913 when Mexican president Francisco Madero was deposed and executed by military coup.

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Mendoza LMG Photos

We were able to find a Mendoza light machine gun in a private collection, and took a number of photos of it. Sadly, the gun is deactivated and we were not able to disassemble it, but the external photos are still nice to have. This is the original variant of the gun, chambered for 7mm [...]

Vintage Saturday: 1904 Maxim in action

Very flat hat brims? Springfield rifles? Lots of yucca? Oversized muzzle booster?

Yep, that’s an American 1904 Maxim in action in Mexico!

Video Book Review: Mexican Military Arms, by James Hughes

James Hughes’ Mexican Military Arms is a pretty good book on a subject not often written about. It covers all the rifles used by the Mexican Army (both locally designed and purchased elsewhere) from the Spencer repeater up to the adoption of the M1 Garand. It is a bit limited in coverage, though, with [...]