Spanish M43: The Worst Sniper Rifle Ever Made By: Ian McCollum


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The standard Spanish infantry rifle from 1943 until the adoption of the CETME was the M43, an 8mm Mauser short rifle made at the La Coruña arsenal. As is fairly common, a sniper rifle variant was made form the standard rifles, with an early version made in the mid 1950s and a later model about a decade later.

The early type is a bit basic, but reasonably well constructed. It uses a Zeiss 4 power scope with La Coruña markings (either scrubbed and remarked or bought from Zeiss without and German markings). The scope mounting system is a bit odd, but again functional.

The late pattern of M43 sniper is truly awful. It uses a cheap Japanese-made 10x “Marine” scope (this being in the days when Japanese optics were very poor, unlike today). The mounts are a conglomeration of spacer blocks crudely welded to the receiver, bits of aluminum Weaver rail, and cheap thumb-screw scope rings. Honestly the worst actual military sniper rifle I have ever seen. And yet, they were formally adopted and used in Spanish military service for many years.