Hungarian Weapons - Mannlicher Infantry Rifles

Mannlicher Model 1933 Prototype Infantry Rifle
Gyalogsági Puska 1933. Minta (33.M) Prototipus


During WW1 in the Eastern Front the M95 Mannlichers experienced problems with their straight pull bolts. The bolts were designed to be operated with interior grease lubrication. The grease inside the bolts became hard during extreme colds making the rifles practically inoperable. In 1933 the Hungarian Military started to work on a new infantry rifle with a Mannlicher-Schoenauer type turning bolt action, while retaining the best features of the M1895-pattern Mannlicher and designed specifically around the new more powerful 31.M 8x56mm rimmed cartridge and thus more durable than its predecessors. The prototype rifle was designated '33.M'. This rifle was adopted with small modifications in 1935 as the Puska 35.M.
As a sidenote, the Hungarians found the solution to the 'freezing' M95 bolts: the Puska 31.M's with their M95 bolts were reissued on the Eastern Front in 1940, with low-temperature bolt lubricants and functioned in extreme cold as well as the turn-bolt actions.

Made by Fémáru Fegyver és Gépgyár Rt. (FÉG), Budapest, 1933
Est. 100-200 made for trial purposes
Caliber: 31.M 8x56mm rimmed
1120mm [44"] overall, 600mm [23.6"] barrel length
4.2kg [9.2 lbs]
Muzzle velocity 730 m/sec [2400 fps] with 31.M cartridge
Integral clip-loaded M95 Mannlicher-type projecting box magazine, 5 rounds

Action: Turning-bolt action, locked by rotating lugs on the detachable bolt head into the receiver. The rifle has a two-piece bolt with the bolt handle positioned behind the receiver bridge when the bolt is forward. The bolt handle is hollow. The bolt is an improved Mannlicher-Schoenauer type, while it retains the well liked M.95 type knurled cocking piece. Unlike the M.98 Mauser, this rifle can be cocked or uncocked quietly while the bolt is closed. The Mauser-type wing safety can be engaged in both cocked or uncocked position.

Two sets of sling swivels are located on the left side and on the bottom, so the same rifle could be used by the infantry and the cavalry.
This 33.M rifle has a British Lee Enfield-style two-piece walnut stock. The two-piece stock was a result of shortage of hardwood, because most of Hungary's wood-producing mountainous regions were given to Romania and Czechoslovakia after WW1.

Mauser-type tangent-leaf sight graduated 200 to 2000 meters in 100m increments. 33.M front sight protector is a single piece snap-on type.
The bayonet lug is on the front band touching the barrel, similar to the Gew.98.
Acceptance markings were not added to the rifle originally. A letter 'E' was stamped on the barrel shank. The model designation '33M' is only marked on the buttplate. Most parts of the rifle are serialized
An Arisaka T-38 type sliding action cover is utilized.