How many Portuguese rifles does it take to inflict numerous enemy casualties?

According to German colonial troops in East Africa early in the 20th century, only one - the 1904 Mauser Vergueiro Rifle, fondly referred to as the Portuguese Mauser.

There are Mausers...and then there are Mausers.

This little baby was designed by Portuguese army officer Jose Vergueiro. After all, Signore Vergueiro was an infantry officer, a grunt - not some rear echelon mother...

Well, you get my drift.

Jose earned his stripes in the trenches, not in the boardroom. By all accounts, Vergueiro designed a weapon most infantry troops were proud to carry into battle.

Whereas most Mausers had their bolt behind the receiver-bridge, this Polish Mauser had its bolt handle situated ahead of it, like the Mannlicher and Carcano.

You know the Carcano the Italian rifle Lee Harvey Oswald used to assassinate the 35th President of the United States - John F. Kennedy, the Italian job chambered in 6.52?

Oh, that Carcano.

The 1904 Mauser-Vergueiro replaced the Kropatschek M1886 - that late 19th century battlefield rifle designed by Alfred von Kropatschek and issued to Austrian-Hungarian, French and Portuguese troops - the latter army's standard infantry rifle.

The Portuguese Mauser came to be known as Espingarda 6,5mm Model 1904.

The Portuguese liked the Vergueiro so much they designed a cartridge for it.

The 1904 Mauser-Vergueiro saw service from 1904 until the late 1930s.

It was moderately quick, with a muzzle velocity slightly more than 2,300-fps.

In addition to the countries named above, it was used by Brazil and South Africa.

The 1904 Mauser-Vergueiro is a bolt action rifle that was made in a standard rifle (overall length, slightly more than 43 1/2inches, weighing more than 8 1/2 pounds) and a carbine version (overall length, 43 inches and tipping the scales at nearly 8 pounds).

Barrels for the 1904 were 23 1/2inches in length.

The Mauser-Vergueiro Model 1904/39 was adopted by the Portuguese Army just prior to the outset of World War II. It was chambered for the 7.92x57mm Mauser.

The 1904 Mauser-Vergueiro proved to be a reliable and accurate infantry rifle.