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Mauser is a German firearms company.


Peter Paul and Wilhelm Mauser were developing their new rifle in Paul's father-in-law's home. Their rifle was accepted by the Prussian government on 2 December 1871, and was accepted and used in service until 14 February 1872, after a design change to the safety lock for the weapon was requested. After which, the Mauser brothers received an order for 3000 rifle sights, while production of the rifle was given to government arsenals and large firms. The sights were produced at the Xaver Jauch house starting from 1 May 1872. After an order for 100000 rifle sights was received by the brothers from the Bavarian Rifle Factory at Amberg, they began negotiations to purchase the Württemberg Royal Armory, where a delay in the purchase forced them to buy real estate overlooking the Neckar River Valley, where the upper works was built that same year.

To fulfill the Bavarian order, a house in Oberndorf was purchased. The Württemberg Royal Armory was acquired by the brothers on May 23, 1874, after an agreement between the Württemberg government and the Mauser brothers to produce 100000 Model 71 rifles. The partnership of Mauser Brothers and Company was formed between the Württemberg Vereinsbank of Stuttgart and Paul and Wilhelm Mauser on February 5, 1874. By 23 May 1874, the Mauser partnership had three factories in Oberndorf.

Wilhelm Mauser suffered from health problems throughout his life, which were aggravated by his frequent business trips; these problems ultimately led to his death on January 13, 1882 at the age of 47. The partnership became a stock company under the name of Waffenfabrik Mauser on 1 April 1884. The shares held by the Württemberg Vereinsbank and Paul Mauser were sold to Ludwig Löwe & Company on 28 December 1887, with Paul Mauser staying as the technical leader. Ludwig Löwe & Company was fifty per cent owner of Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre, a company formed in 1889 to manufacture Mauser rifles for the Belgian government, with DWM and IWK forming soon after. In 1940, Mauser was invited to take part in a competition to re-equip the German Army with a semi-automatic rifle, the Gewehr 41.

A number of impractical requirements were specified, such as that the design should not use holes drilled into the barrel to take off gas for the operating mechanism, thereby requiring mechanisms; this proved to be very unreliable. Two designs were submitted, one by Walther and one by Mauser; the Mauser design, the Gewehr 41(W), despite being made by an extremely established company with a good reputation for bolt action rifles, performed very poorly in testing and was canceled after a short production run. The resulting design, from Walther, did not see all too much success before it was completely replaced by the simpler Gewehr 43.

During World War II, the Mauser factory in Oberndorf was strategically bombed by the Allies, resulting in the deaths of 26 workers and the destruction of the company's power plant. French forces entered Oberndorf on 20 April 1945 when the town's mayor and planning committee surrendered without any resistance; no blood was shed there on that day and the French held that area for quite a while. After the war in Europe, the factory was briefly put back in order to produce weapons for the now under-equipped and exhausted French military. The plant was dismantled by the occupying forces for the purpose of war reparations, with most factories demolished and records destroyed on orders of the local French Army commander.

For a number of years, Mauser Werke manufactured precision measuring instruments and tools, such as micrometers. Edmund Heckler, Theodor Koch, and Alex Seidel, former Mauser engineers, saved what they could and founded Heckler & Koch, while Mauser continued to make hunting and sporting rifles. In 1994, Mauser became a subsidiary of Rheinmetall, a manufacturer of autocannons such as the Mauser BK-27 and other munitions until 2004, when it was completely merged into Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH. In 1999, the civilian manufacture of hunting, defense, and sporting rifles were split off from Rheinmetall, to become Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH, which is still manufacturing weapons today.