In 1890 the Turkish government decided to fill the remainder of their contract for the Model 1887 Mauser (which was now obsolete, due to the invention of smokeless powder) with the Model 1890. Approximately 280,000 rifles were produced in caliber 7.65x53mm for the Turkish military between 1890-1893. These rifles are based off of the Belgian m1889 and are similar in appearance to the Argentine m1891 Mauser rifles.
Many of the Turkish m1890 rifles were captured by the British during the Mesopotamia and Gallipoli campaigns during the First World War. Due to the rifles being in the same 7.65x53mm caliber as the Mausers in use by the Belgian army many were rebuilt and used by the Belgians. The rifles that went to Belgium were modified by replacing the rear sight and removing the hand guard, as well as heavily proofing the barrel and receiver with Belgian proofs. All the original Turkish marking were left in place and no additional markings were added by the Belgians aside from the proofs. There are also rumors of the Ottomans sending m1890 rifles to Belgium as war reparations after the war. A few m1890 Mausers converted to 8x57mm in the 1930’s during the Turkish upgrade programs have surfaced but it appears that very few of these conversions were done.
Turkish m1890’s are a fine addition to any Turkish mauser collection and finding one in any condition can present quite a challenge. The following photos should assist in telling one of these rifles apart from the other similar Mausers that are often seen. The rifle shown in the photos is from my personal collection and is one that was sent to Belgium and received modifications there.Right side view of the rifle which clearly shows the protruding 5 round magazine that distinguishes the m1890 from other Turkish Mausers. The magazine is nearly the same as the one used on the m1891 Argentine Mauser except that it features no magazine lock and has a release button inside the guard to allow it to be removed. The original rear barrel band spring would have been on the opposite side of the band and was similar to the one used on the 71/84 and m1887 Mauser rifles.
View of the Arabic script on the left side of the receiver. The script basically states that the rifle was made by Mauser in Oberndorf, Germany. The date in Turkish numerals is in the left of the photo under the Arabic numerals stamped by the Belgians. The Turkish date is the year 1310 which means the rifle was manufactured in 1893.
Top view of the receiver showing the Toughra, which is the formal signature of the Sultan Abdulhamid II. Note that there is no bullet cut out in the receiver ring like on other Turkish rifles that were upgraded because this rifle was never converted to 8x57mm.
Side view showing the Belgian m1889 rear sight installed in place of the original. The original rear sight had a slider and flip up sight notch similar to the Gew88 and the numerals were in Turkish. The rifle would’ve originally also had a small handguard fitted in front of the rear sight. The Turkish numbers on the receiver ring are the original serial number.
Mauser Military Rifles of the World By: Robert W.D. Ballhttp://www.turkmauser.com