The following information on the Model 73 comes from Chapter 5 of Mauser Rifles and Pistols by W. H. B. Smith. Mauser Rifles and Pistols is also available to purchase in print.
The 1873 Model is really a converted French Chassepot. At the close of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 the Prussians seized large quantities of Chassepots.
The breech mechanism was altered to handle the cartridge designed for the 1871 Model Mauser; but the arm is not a Mauser production and should not be confused with the arms of that company. It is listed here merely because many collectors encounter specimens which do not tally with the description given herein of the standard German Model 1871; and this notice should serve to provide correct identification.
The Mauser Model 73 was issued primarily as a cavalry musketoon having an overall length of about 39-inches and a weight of about 8.38 pounds.
An adequate description of the Mauser conversion for the Chassepot has already been given in the patent papers covering the Mauser-Norris 67-69.