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  • Mondragon Rifle (Fusil Mondragon) Semi-Automatic Service Rifle

    The Mexican Mondragon Rifle was one of the first self-loading service rifles adopted for frontline military service.

     Updated: 3/23/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The Mondragon Rifle became one of the first semi-automatic service rifles to be adopted in quantity by a major military force as well as one of the first to see combat service anywhere in the world - this during a period when the standard service rifle was a manually-actuated bolt-action long gun. The rifle received its name from its designer - Manual Mondragon (1859-1952), a general serving in the Mexican Army from 1880-1914. Mondragon began work on a new automatic rifle concept in 1882 and was granted its patent in 1887. The weapon would go into see combat action in the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), World War 1 (1914-1918), the 2nd Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), World War 2 (1939-1945), the Ecuadorian-Peruvian War (1941), the Chinese Civil War (1927-1950), the Korean War (1950-1953), and the Vietnam War (1955-1975).

    The driving principle behind the revolutionary Mondragon Rifle was its use of a gas-cylinder operation (tapped from the barrel) which drove a piston and featured a rotating bolt with locking lugs and a grooved receiver. Such a design was ahead of its time in a world where trust was still placed in the proven yet cumbersome manual bolt-action. Another unique facet of the rifle - and this instilled into its design by governing authorities who mistrusted such automated mechanical functions in weaponry - was that the automatic system could be disconnected from the bolt and allow the rifle to be fired as a standard, "straight-pull" bolt-action weapon. The Mondragon Rifle was chambered to fire the 7x57mm Spanish Mauser cartridge to which the base rifle was produced with an eight round box magazine.

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    Mondragon Rifle (Fusil Mondragon) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1900
    Type: Semi-Automatic Service Rifle
    National Origin: Mexico
    Manufacturer(s): Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft (SIG) - Switzerland

    Design (Internal, Dimensions and Weights)

    Firing Action: Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt; Also Manual Bolt-Action
    Available Caliber(s): 7x57mm Mauser
    Ammunition Count / Feed: 8-, 10-, or 20-round box; 30- or 100-round drum magazine
    Overall Length: 1,105 mm (43.50 inches)
    Barrel Length: 577 mm (22.72 inches)
    Weight (Empty): 9.22 lb (4.18 kg)
    Sighting Assist: Iron Front and Rear; Optional Optics


    Muzzle Velocity: 2,300 feet/sec (701 m/sec)
    Rate-of-Fire (RoF): 1,000 rounds-per-minute (rpm)
    Typical Range: 1,804 feet (550 meters; 601 yards)

    Global Operators / Customers

    Austria-Hungary; Brazil; Chile; China; Vichy French; Imperial Germany; Imperial Japan; Lithuania; Mexico; Nazi Germany; Peru; Philippines; South Korea; Soviet Union; Taiwan; Vietnam

    Model Variants

    "Mondragon Rifle" - Casual Naming Convention

    Fusil Mondragon Modelo 1900 - Initial Production Models; 8-round magazine; production by SIG of Switzerland.

    Fusil Porfirio Diaz Sistema Mondragon Modelo 1908 - Local Mexican production version; 20-round magazine; production until 1943.

    Modragon LMG - Light Machine Gun Variant; fitted with bipod; available with 30- and 100-round drum magazines.

    Fliegerselbstladekarabine Modell 1915 - German Empire aerial gun; fitted with 30-round helical magazine.