Mystery Mauser – Haitian? Czechoslovakian? Or Not?

This rifle is selling at the RIA auction on June 21.

This Mauser is one that I simply have not been able to definitively identify. It is marked “Haiti 1957” and “CZ 29 – 53”, serial numbered 10, and chambered for an 8mm cartridge (probably 8×57 Mauser). However, the rifles known to have been purchased by Haiti were FN model 24/30 short rifles in .30-06, not long guns like this and not with these markings. The chamber symbol in particular is a mystery to me. Is this an example of the elusive CZ 29/53 pattern, unsuccessfully marketed to Haiti? Why would Haiti be using an 8mm rifle in 1957 anyway? If you know the answers to any of these questions, I would love to hear form you in the comments section…

22 Comments

  1. Maybe we have some idiot’s attempt to fake a valuable collector’s rifle placed on top of another idiotic attempt to fake a collection piece!! And just how do we know that nobody took a sporting rifle and swapped parts here and there? I’m no super genius but do counterfeiters ever try making “war pieces” by forcing reproduction military stocks and bolts into sporting rifles? I hope they don’t ever do that…

  2. Good Morning Ian.
    My thought is to look at the turmoil which was happening in Hatti in and just before 1957. Then remember that the CIA liked to meddle in elections in that exact time period. The CIA has distributed armaments to various factions in various countries, with totally unique markings. Your contract prototype is probably correct, but don’t disregard the CIA’s propensity for creating uniquely marked weapons.

    • Apparently somebody wanted, that anyone examining this rifle would associate it with Haiti and he wanted make that connection very obvious. Possibly example of Denial and deception. I think it might be effect of evidence forging, just “find” that rifle in someone possession and say “we know that you have connection with Haiti”. But who was enemy of Haiti back then?

      • Wait, I know something there was also missing, it is CZ where genuine Czechoslovak rifle would be probably ČZ.

      • Period before Duvalier was marked with multifaceted social transformation in Haiti with uncertain outcome possibilities as far as regional superpower was concerned. At the end, papa Doc’s rule was the most welcome version. Tough rule, later way too tough – till the fall.
        http://countrystudies.us/haiti/16.htm

        Excerpt from page:
        “The period between the fall of Magloire (previous president) and the election of Duvalier in September 1957 was a chaotic one, even by Haitian standards.”

    • This is a plausible possibility. Since we are approaching nice round anniversary of Soviet invasion to CSSR (currently Czech republic and Slovak republic), it is fitting to bring up similar trick played by GRU. They planted at a ‘secret’ location stash of old American arms, mostly Thompson SMG. Those weapons here readily at hand since it was time when they shot movie near Prague named The Bridge at Remagen. Then suddenly the “counterrevolution’s weapons” were discovered and made into inflated affair as another proof and necessity to act. If they used similar acts of CIA in various countries as example I do not know, but this concept is universal one.

      As Daweo correctly mentions, Czech made arms have apostrophe (softening mark in form of tiny ‘v’) over letter C. So, at this particular aspect alone I can tell it has nothing to do with mentioned country.

    • The symbol on the receiver reminds me of a Voodoo art image. Possible connection to Macoute is a possibility. There was a connection between Macoute and Voodoo.

    • The symbol on the receiver reminds me of a Voodoo art image. Possible connection to Macoute is a possibility. There was a connection between Macoute and Voodoo.

  3. Perhaps some connection here? According to the excellent website “ww11afterww11” an American arms dealer called Hubert Julian “sold WWII-era guns to Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. He was one of the few American private arms dealers to broach the Iron Curtain. In 1955, he bought a load of arms from communist Poland, sight unseen, and successfully sold them to Guatemala. They turned out to be useless junk. Later, he was said to have dealt with Czechoslovakia.”
    https://wwiiafterwwii.wordpress.com/2018/01/15/flow-of-wwii-weapons-after-the-war/

    • “A government-owned company called Omnipol marketed obsolete arms worldwide independent of the proxy set-up. The reason was that Omnipol demanded payment in hard western currency like US dollars. This influx of “capitalist” money buoyed up the national economy.” (quote from article)

      Typical propagandistic nonsense. Omnipol (officially named “enterprise of foreign trade”) exported wide variety of brand new industrial products including motorcycles, sporting aircraft and sporting arms. Many customers for this stuff were in western Europe, United states and Canada.

  4. Hi,

    I think this is a “frankengun”, made out of parts from different Mauser models/variants.

    However I also think it is from Tahiti.

    Some observations:
    1. The markings look like they were not done professionally, they are not straight and one digit was punched twice (the 7). So I try to ignore them and concentrate more of specific parts.

    2. The symbol on the receiver might be Tahitian, it has the triangles and stars elements similar to the symbol (veve) of Ogun from the Tahitian Yoruba religion. Ogun represents warriors, soldiers, smith makers, metal workers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogun).

    3. The external left side of the receiver (the place where usually Czech factory markings suppose to be) looks scratched so something was probably there before but was grounded off.

    4. The bolt release has a small round dimple which is typical to Polish Mauser Wz29 (https://www.libertytreecollectors.com/productcart/pc/catalog/DSC05284.JPG).

    5. The stock does not have finger grooves or bolt disassemble disc which are features added to Mauser rifles during and after WW1, so it is probably older. But, it has the side swivel on the left side of the rifle, which is typically a later feature.

    I could do more research but It’s 2am here in Belgium. Good night.

    Y

  5. The little crosses on the rear sight slider/buttons and on the recoil lug crossbolt indicated that these parts came from an Argentine Model 1909 rifle. The rear sight leaf may have as well; I think I can make out the little anchor acceptance marking at the hinge end. Bolt release box looks like Polish Wz.29 style.

    • What we have here is someone’s attempt to fake a history treasure just to wow some poor fool into forking over half a million dollars.

  6. Well, it’s a long rifle. The barrel length of 23.5″ suggests perhaps a converted Model 1908 Brazilian. The Dominican Republic (which shares an island with Haiti) acquired a bunch of these long rifles from Brazil and converted them to .30-06 after scrubbing off all the crests, manufacturer’s marks, etc. That still doesn’t account for (1) the side sling attachment points (including the bolt through the pistol grip) which were almost always found on carbines and almost never on long rifles, (2) the goofy markings on the side of the receiver (the mysterious crest on the top of the receiver ring or (4) the rifle being chambered for 8x57mm.

  7. I kind of doubt that someone would go to the trouble of faking a gun to make it appear to be from Haiti. It seems unlikely to say the least that someone would fake a gun to appear to be for a nation that isn’t a common target of collectors.

  8. As a rifle. It is a weird one. Today, I would call it an E-bay Mauser, because it is cobbeled together by various different bits and pieces.
    Only part that is actually marked, is the rear sightblade, it is Argentine 1909.pattern (you can still see slight hint on Anchor marking). But rest of the rifle is not Argentine.
    Now possible historic explainasion..
    It has Polish action. Early Long rifle stock, that also appears do have remains of Polish marking (X mark at the butt frist). Upper handguard actually looks like Argentine upper handguard (like the sightblade) Sling attachments are Yugo/FN style.
    So most likely, it is Yugoslavia Zastava refurbished of Polish KR WZ.98. What is, for some reason gotten upper-handguard and sightblade replacement.
    Now, is a it fake. Yes it can be. But Polish early wz.98 are not exactly cheap platforms, do base a fake on. Specially unknown and unheard Haitian fake.
    Now psudo-Historic take on the marking. Odds are, that who ever purchaced Zastava surplus, was american. That means Imperial units of measurement. So CZ29-53 could easily mean an import mark „Crvena Zastava -29“ barrel- Refurbished of 1953.“
    Calibre of the rifle is not really an issue. Because at the time Haiti was runned by a proper Lunatic. Who horded all sorts of firearms, in a fear of invasion by neighbour (what was runned by another, yet more effective and sound, lunatic). He actually bought several M3-Stuart tanks from one (unknown) armsdealer in Mediterranean area (who actually refurbished his goods), so Yugo is near and fits timeframe.
    In 1994 US intervention, alot of different weapons were captured. In most known calibres, including .303 SMLEs.

    At the same time it might be thoroughly faked.
    In this case, it is a Turkish Brno VZ.22 (they are cheap) with Argentine sightblade mounted do mask Turkish numbering on the sight. And sling attachment mounted in Yugo/FN/VZ.24 pattern and bolt stop from Polish WZ.29.

    It will reamain a „Mystery“, because due do hectic history of Central-America, nobody really know, where those millions of weapons, that keep flooding their markets are really from.

  9. They are most likely Sun and Butterfly symbols. Both are not too uncommon in Central-America.

    For a gun in Central-America it would not be that unlikely marking. But Haiti is not really part of Central-American culture. If it is not a Fake. Than most likely some Arms-Dealer probably intended it for some Central-American country. Most likely to Guatemala.

    As we know H.F.Julian was more-or-less official “gun-runner” for Guatemala from 1951- early 1954. Making substantial profit. He actually had all parts available do cobble together such a gun (other possibility would be Spain) from Polish/Yugo/Argentine parts. And also contacts do to so (refurbish/re-stamp).

    In middle of 1954, Guatemalan new leader stopped dealing with him. So it is somewhat likely that Mr.Julian bought-up left-over “non-standard” stock of Mauser parts from CZ (Crvena Zastava) or Spain in 1953. Shipped them in Central-America, probably do Dominical Republic and started do but together Mausers for Guatemala, from parts he had in hand. Marking are like that because it is very hard and expensive do stamp National Crest on rifle in fairly low-tech refurbishment depot. But some marking where needed do distingush them from rifles intended for Dominican themself. Numbers actually are somewhat similar do that stamped in early Dominican rifles.

    It is likely, that rifles, with 1953 markings were not delivered before regime change in Guetemala in 1954. It is also known that Julian dealed with Haiti, selling them several M3 Stuart tanks in early 60s. It might be that Julian had left-over rifles after Guatemala contacts ended and was desperate do sell them, Papa Doc at the same time was desperate of getting any firearm.

    Double sling swivel set-up resembles that used in Guetemalan VZ.24s, also marking gun CZ29-1953 would make sense. Weird marks on the Crest would make (some) sense.

    Problem with Haiti is, that even if there where many more Rifles like that, they are unlikely do show-up.

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