Argentina’s Slightly French Model 1909 SOM Sniper

Argentina was one of the first countries to adopt Mauser rifles, with the Model 1891. These were replaced by newer Model 1909 rifles a couple decades later, and in 1913 they bought 500 telescopic sights to make sniper rifles. All of them appear to have been put on cavalry carbines like this one, rather than full-length infantry rifles. The scopes were 3x fixed power types made by SOM in France. The mounting system was either developed by the French or later copied by the French, as it is very similar to the late-war WW1 pattern of scope mount used by the French Army on the Lebel (and the Argentine scopes are very similar to the APX 1916 French scopes).

This is a quite rare complete matching rig, with the rifle, mounts, scope, and scope case.


  1. The case made of Argentine leather. Argentina supplied much of Europe’s beef. The Gauchos of the Pampas and the Cowboys of the Plains would have understood each other well.

    “Cattle were first brought to Argentina in 1536 by Spanish conquistadors. Due to the geography of the Pampas and a small national market, the cattle multiplied rapidly. Railway building within Argentina and the invention of refrigerated trains and ships in the late 19th century made an export market and Argentina’s beef export industry started to thrive. The flipped seasons between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres meant that Argentine beef came onto the market at a time of year when beef was less at hand in the Northern Hemisphere, which further lifted the potential export market in the United States and European markets.

    Argentine beef and its production have played a major part in the culture of Argentina, from the asado to the history of the gauchos of the Pampas. Landowners became wealthy from beef production and export, and estancia owners built large houses, important buildings in Buenos Aires and elsewhere, and contributed to politics, philanthropy, and society. The agricultural show La Rural each winter in Buenos Aires became a major part of the social season since it started in 1886.”

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