Designed between 1911 and 1918, the Fusil Mexico was an unusual design by Rafael Mendoza, one of Mexico’s more prolific arms designers (he was also responsible for the Mendoza light machine gun in the 1930s). Intended for military use, the Fusil Mexico was a manually operated rifle that used a type of slide action instead of a traditional bolt.

To cycle the action, the barrel end of the rifle was rotated clockwise, and pushed forward. The rotation unlocked the bolt, and sliding the barrel would eject the fired round and chamber a new one from the fixed magazine. The idea behind the design is that this would allow rapid fire more easily than a bolt action without the shooter dismounting the gun, as well as allow simpler disassembly and cleaning of the weapon.

The Fusil Mexico was chambered in 7×57 Mauser (a standard caliber for the Mexican military at the time), and had several interesting features in addition to its unusual action. As shown in the patent cutaway drawings, a small plunger connected to the magazine follower was exposed behind the trigger guard to give the shooter a counter of the ammunition remaining in the magazine. The magazine loading port was also atypical, being located in the side of the stock like a lever-action rifle of the time. Finally, the rear sight was an interesting curved sliding affair, and without and range gradations (this is probably due to the experimental nature of the rifle). As with other Mexican arms of the period, the Fusil Mexico was fitted to take a Mauser type bayonet.


This Fusil Mexico surfaced for sale at a recent gun show (download the gallery in high resolution)


US Patent #1,294,295 (R. Mendoza; Rifle; February 11, 1919)


  1. How Rafael Mendoza thought he could compete against the Mausers used and ultimately made by the Mexican military with such a complex and seemingly impractical design is beyond me! Thanks for posting these nice photos of a very rare gun – these are probably the best pictures I ever saw of the Fusil Mexico. I remember seeing a single photo of a carbine lenght version, with furniture not unlike that of a Krag carbine.

    • I believe Mondragon was not alone in designing pull-apart rifle

      I can vaguely remember some patent by no one else but holy John Moses Browning, describing long gun with action that worked more or less same way
      It was never made in series (like many other of his designs , which were bought by Winchester and shelved, so no one else could make’em and compete with W)

  2. At first I thought that was dumbest thing I had ever seen, but on reflection, it makes sense on some levels. There is some really neat thinking out of Mexican arms design (Mondragon, anyone?) It is is a crying shame that almost all of it got buried by various factors.

  3. Hey ! I got this website a few weeks ago. With a little tracing I found “M” (from another websits) — turns out I know the guy. I called him and ask if there was any way I could get an up close look at this “fusli mexico” — Hee Hee,, yup ! I flew to Houston and sure enough, he had arranged for a meeting with the owner. And I not only got to examine the piece,,, I GOT TO SHOOT IT ! He’s a really great old guy that loves things like this. She shoots great, Has an excellent bore. Probably equivelent to a new M95 Mauser. By the way,,, one post thinks she’d be “hard to load” NOT ! she can be loaded through the top just like a mauser and through the side for special needs. (read the patent info and it speaks of this). Thank you so much for exposing these neat old guns.


  4. The only thing I have ever heard that endorses forend cycling was shared with me by a Marine training sergeant (of course). “It incorporates an action already familiar to most recruits.”

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