Austro-Hungarian Früwirth Model 1872 Carbine
|Photos courtesy of John Wall and Stan Zielinski of Gunboards|
|Made by Osterreichische Waffenfabriks-Gesellschaft, Steyr, 1870-75|
Caliber: 11.2x36mm rimmed
Tube magazine under barrel, 8 rounds
Turning-bolt action, locked by the bolt-handle rib abutting the receiver ahead of the bridge
1038mm [40.9"] overall, 3.69kg [8.1 lbs]
570mm [22.4"] barrel, 6-groove rifling, RH, concentric
Muzzle velocity 298 m/sec with M1867 Carbine round
|Ramp-and-leaf sight graduated to 600 schritt|
|This early bolt-action repeating mechanism originally from 1869 is credited to a Viennese gunsmith, Ferdinand Früwirth. The basic Werndl-Holub drum breech was soon seen as cumbersome and incapable of transformation into a magazine-loader. Though experiments with quickloaders were undertaken throughout the 1870s, none was deemed acceptable; nor did the younger Krnka's experiments with 'Schnell-lader' rifles in the 1870's provide lasting results. Shortly after the first Werndls had been introduced, the Früwirth rifle appeared with a tubular magazine beneath the barrel. Though clearly based on the then-new Swiss Vetterli rifle, the Fruwirth carbine had sufficient merit to be issued to Gendarmerie units.|
|On May 23, 1872 the Früwirth was officially adopted for the Cisleithanischen Gendarmerie. The bolt-handle rib sufficed as a lock; no ejector was fitted; and the cocking piece had a prominent spur. The straight-wrist stock had a trigger-guard with a spurred rearward extension, similar to that of the Werndl carbine. There was a small nose cap, a swivel on the under-edge of the butt, and a sling loop anchored laterally through the fore-end.|
In 1873 the army briefly considered the gun as an Extra-Corps-Gewehr, but it proved to be too fragile even for the 1867-pattern carbine cartridge.
In 1874 issue of the Früwirth was extended to the Tiroler Landesschtitzen, but surviving guns had all been withdrawn into storage by 1890.