Mauser rifles were the super weapons of their day and among the most common found today is the Spanish Modelo 1916 short rifle.
Spain was one of the first nations to wholeheartedly adopt the new generation of Mauser rifles with their Modelo 1893 rifle in 7x57mm. This fine clip, loaded, smokeless powder-repeating rifle was quite a shock to the green American troops who landed in Spanish Cuba in 1898 armed with Krag Jorgensens and Trapdoor Springfield single shot rifles.
While Spain ultimately lost the contest, they stuck with their 7mm rifles for a long time. An improved rifle called the M1916 was adopted. This rifle was shorter, featured a turn-down bolt handle, and vents in the bolt to prevent gas blowback from hitting the shooter’s face in the event of a pierced cartridge.
The new rifle would see service in Morocco and later on both sides of the Spanish Civil War. In the Cold War, the cash-strapped Franco regime converted a lot of their existing Mauser rifles to fire the 7.62mm NATO round allowing for the M1916 to continue in service until the 1980s.
See a fine example chambered in the original 7mm Mauser round here:
The Spanish M1916 in 7x57mm is an accurate, soft-shooting rifle that feels good on the shoulder and carries well. The M1916 is encountered in both 7.62 NATO and the original 7x57mm Mauser round. Both rounds are excellent and easy to find.
Today, Mauser rifles tend to command a premium depending on country and historical significance but the M1916 is not one of them. They can be found for around $200 with friendlier recoil and better ergonomics than inexpensive Mosin Nagant rifles that are still flooding the military surplus market, in my opinion. That is something we can all enjoy.