In my recent article (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/06/09/brazils-7-62x51mm-mosquefal/) on the Mq 7,62 M968 rifle made by Fábrica de Itajubá (Itajubá Factory) for the Brazilian Army, I also showed said gun in a photo alongside two shorter carbines, one clearly based on the 7.62x51mm “Mosquefal” and another, with different (Mauser-type) sights, which was referred to as a “sports” model.
The two short carbines shown in the earlier TFB post, the “Mosquefal”-based model in the top position.
Thanks to my good friend Mauro Pellegrini, an enthusiastic part-time firearms researcher, I was soon able to learn a little more about that second gun. It seems that the Brazilian Army at some time wanted to make a good number of long guns available for transfer to higher-ranking reserve officers, then asking the Itajubá Factory to transform some still-stored DWM-made 7x57mm M1908 rifles (Musketoons, or Mosquetões in the local military parlance) into shorter carbines. The Army industrial facility just went ahead and did as requested, but it seems that the resulting weapon, designated “Mosquetão DWM M908/ Officer”, never found its way to the intended hands. One hundred eleven of them were finally sold in an auction in 2001, when Fábrica de Itajubá was already a part of the IMBEL – Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil S.A. conglomerate.
Part of the official Fábrica de Itajubá 2001 auction document for the Mosquetão DWM M908/OFFICER in 7x57mm caliber. It can be seen that 111 examples, some in the 600+ serial number, were put up for public sale for a minimum bid of R$ (Reais) 150 each (about US$ 50, at today’s rates). They eventually went for an average R$ 350 (or US$ 120, present rates).
Hope you like the photos that follow, all courtesy of Mauro Pellegrini, showing the example numbered “606 EB” sold in that public auction.
The resulting DWM M908/Officer came out as a compact carbine with a 370mm barrel and an overall length of 890mm.
The relative sizes of the M908 Officer carbine and the basic Brazilian Army Model 1908 Long Mauser rifle, both in 7x57mm chambering.
Right-side view of the gun, which kept the original “MOD.1908” markings on the chamber area. Note recess in the wooden stock to accommodate the curved-down bolt handle.
Also duly kept were the original DWM BERLIN markings on the left side, while the accompanying canvas (originally, leather) sling was a later addition.
Although the Brazilian Army M1908 Long rifle (gun on top) had a straight bolt handle, the Officer variant came out of Fábrica de Itajubá with a curved-down handle typical of the Short M1908 and the later, locally-built M1908/34.
Top view of the “606 EB” receiver, with the Brazilian national crest on chamber area. Applied Parkerized finish is evident.
The protected front sight fitted to the carbine.
While the, V-notch tangent rear sights of the M1908 Long and Short rifles were graduated all the way to highly optimistic 2,000 meters, the one fitted to the Officer has the maximum setting, shown in photo, of 1,400 meters (market “14”), also very hopeful. This was typical of some Mauser-based carbines, such as the FN MOD.1922 and the CZ Vz. 24, both also supplied to Brazil.
The M908 Officer carbine with the action open and some five-round clips of Brazilian CBC – Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos 7x57mm ball ammo of 1943 and 1946 manufacture. The MG on the cartridge base stands for Ministério da Guerra (War Ministry), while the green on the five bullets is just a protective lacquer used at the time.