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Mauser Selbstlader M1916

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Mauser Selbstlader M1916 Fliegerkarabiner - 7.92x57mm Mauser

The Mauser Selbstlader M1916 (Selbstlader is German for autoloader), also known as the Mauser Selbstlader M1915, is an early German semi-automatic rifle, based on the mechanisms of the experimental Mauser Model 1906/08 pistol. A rare weapon, it was adopted in limited numbers by the Imperial German Army during the First World War. It was officially designated Selbstlader-Karabiner Mauser M 1916 by the Ballon-und-Zeppelin-Truppe, and Fliegerkarabiner 15 by the German Air Force.

The Selbstlader M1915/1916 is the final result of the successive evolution of Paul Mauser's semi-automatic designs, the very first of which was the ill-fated "Construktion 98" with a movable barrel (during which trials, Paul Mauser lost sight in his left eye due to a gun rupture), patented in 1899, and its improved version from 1902. In 1906, Mauser presented a new prototype self-loading rifle, this time very different from past models. In 1908, this prototype rifle was modernized as the "Selbstlader 06/08". It is a semi-automatic rifle, superficially reminiscent of the Gewehr 98, and fed by a built-in magazine for 5 or 25 rounds. In 1910, the Selbstlader M1910 was introduced, the main innovation of which was a new 25-round detachable magazine, and then a slightly updated M1910/1913 in 1913.

The rifle was trialed at the start of First World War. It performed well, but was very sensitive to field conditions, as the rounds had to be lubricated in grease. It was rejected by the German Army, but was adopted by the German Air Corps and the Ballon-und-Zeppelin-Truppe, both of whom do not face the dirty troubles of the ground troops down below. Since aircraft-mounted machine guns were not fully developed yet, air crews and semi-automatic rifles fitted each other's needs quite nicely early on. Later, the German Air Corps replaced the Selbstlader M1916 with the cheaper Flieger-Selbstlader-Karabiner 15 Mondragon Rifle (some sources also say that it was the other way around, that the Mondragón rifle replaced the M1916). The self-loading rifles were soon phased out entirely when aircraft-mounted machine guns became commonplace.

The real difference between the M1915 and the M1916 is minimal, and depends on the year of manufacture; there also exist some rifles marked "1917". Two variants of the M1915/1916 rifle exist, a infantry rifle version (which were eventually transferred to aviation) and a carbine version specially created for air crews. The carbine version (pictured on the right) is noted by a much shorter forend, a small front grip just in front of the magazine, and a shorter barrel. Although it is generally believed that 1000 was made (or possibly ordered), approximately 600 of the M1915/1916s were confirmed produced, about 1/3 were rifles, and the rest being the carbines. In light of its purpose, each of the rifles were equipped with eight magazines, which gave a full 200 rounds of ammunition ready for use.

The same design of magazines were used in the later MG13.


(1915 - 1917)

Caliber: 7.92x57mm Mauser

Length: 45.3 in (115 cm)

Barrel Length: 23.6 in (60 cm)

Weight: 10.8 lbs (4.9 kg)

Capacity: 25-round detachable box magazine

Country of Origin: Germany

The Mauser Selbstlader M1916 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:

Video Games

Game Title Referred as Mods Note Release Date
Deadfall Adventures "Selbstlader" 2013
Battlefield 1 "Selbstlader M1916" 2016
Battlefield V "Selbstlader 1916" 2018
Call of Duty: Vanguard "M1916" Added in Season 3 (2022) 2021

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