Mannlicher M95 Rifles and Carbines
Made by Fegyver és Gépgyár Rt.(F.G.GY.), Budapest, 1897-1918. (This rifle was designed by Ferdinand Ritter
von Mannlicher and also manufactured in large quantities by Österreichische Waffenfabriks-Gesellschaft, Steyr, 1896-1918).
2.5 million were made total, approx. 25% in Hungary
Caliber: 8x50mm rimmed. Muzzle velocity 620 m/sec [2030 fps] with M1893 ball cartridge
Action: Straight-pull bolt action, with two lugs on a detachable bolt head engaging the receiver. Integral clip-loaded box magazine, 5 rounds
1272mm [50.1"] overall, 3.78kg [8.3 lbs] 765mm [30.1"] barrel, 4-groove rifling, RH, concentric
Barrel threads: 27mm (1.062") major diameter, 12tpi, 19mm (.750") shank length
Trials in 1892 failed to convince the Austro-Hungarian Army authorities that ultra-small calibers were effective enough to change from 8mm. However, it was
equally clear that even the new 1888-pattern rifles were ineffectual compared with the latest European advances, and that their weak bar-locks could not
withstand the pressures generated by new high velocity cartridges. In 1895 an improved infantry rifle was adopted, incorporating a straight-pull bolt
adapted directly from that of the M1890 Mannlicher Cavalry Carbine. The M1895 differed in several important respects from the
earlier service rifles, for example, it had a full-length handguard and a leaf-pattern rear sight. Sling swivels lay on the under-edge of the butt and
under the barrel-band, while the nose cap (which carried the stacking hook) had the bayonet lug on its underside. The magazine clip could be ejected by
opening the bolt and pressing the catch in the front edge of the trigger guard.
This rifle was the principal Austro-Hungarian rifle of WW1. It withstood a so-called torture test of firing 50,000 rounds through a single rifle without lubrication of any kind.
As shown on the picture on the left, M95 rifles also served during the bloody 3.5 month long 1919 Hungarian Communist Revolution.
|Rear leaf sight graduated 300-2600 schritt (225-1950m)|
[Schritt = Pace = Lepes = .75 meter]
Rifle front sight mounted on band
|Receivers marked with 'BUDAPEST M.95'|
Barrel shank marked with 'Bp' + St.Stephen's Crest + year of mfg. The last 2 digits of the year was used, except
a few early years (901 as shown) when the last 3 digits were used. The 'Bp[Shield]Date' signifies that a weapon was issued for the first time to the
Honvédség, the Hungarian equivalent of the of the Austrian Landwehr.
A 'Bp[DoubleShield]Date' signifies the same thing. The difference between the single shield and the double shield is the change of Monarchy, which took
place when Emperor Franz Josef died on November 21, 1916. Weapons which were acceptance marked during the reign of Emporer Franz Josef, were marked with a
single shield. Weapons accepted after his death, during the reign of Emperor Karl I, were marked with either the double shield (Honvédség) or double eagles
(Landwehr). As a result, all "double" marked weapons will bear dates of 1916 or later. Occasional late war weapons are found with single marks, but these
would have been marked with old acceptance stamps.
In Austro-Hungarian ordnance practice, the BARREL was the serialized part, not the receiver. (The barrel also carried the Acceptance mark, 'Wn Eagle date'.)
On pre-1920 manufactured/assembled M95s, the barrel, receiver and Stock were numbered. This was done in the Germanic method (start at 1A, go to 9999A, then
restart at 1B and so on, and repeat each ordnance fiscal year. On "S" Reworks, (Post 1930), especially the Bulgarian ones, the Bolt was matched to the
receiver (with Stamps or mostly Electro-pencilled) and the bands were also numbered with last two digits. Stocks on reworks are usually re-numbered (either
on opposite side, or under original serial of stock. Sometimes three sets of stock numbers are evident. (DocAV)
Serial numbers originally appeared on the left side of the receiver and barrel, side by side where they are joined, on the side of the stock parallel with the buttplate and the last two digits were found on a small flat spot on the left side of the top handguard just below the rear sight. Austro-Hungarian bolts were never numbered, due to headspacing the rim of the cartridge, these rifles were not prone to headspace problems such as the Mausers were. No other M95 parts are numbered, but all parts should match by manufacturer code: 'K' for Steyr or 'R' for Budapest.
A second Wn30 to Wn40 stamped over a previous Wn20 or earlier stamp shows the caliber change date. Single Wn30 to Wn40 stamp shows the gun was rebarrelled. 'HV' or other acceptance stamps maybe used, see the Rifle Markings page for more details.
No new receivers were manufactured after 1918, however large stocks of unfinished and ready to assemble receivers were still on hands, and were assembled
into complete guns. The receivers carry the end of 1918 suffixes (X, Y, Z) with the acceptance marks Wn-19 (X,Y) or Wn-20 (Y,Z) barrel dates. 1919 accepted
rifles fall within the H, I, and J serial number blocks of Steyr manufacture. Most 1919 and 1920 accepted weapons also have Czech proof marks (S lion #).
During 1919-28 the Entente limited infantry weapon manufacturing in Austria and in Hungary to 3600 rifles per year each.
Gun parts were usually marked with an 'R' (Budapest manufacture) or 'K' (Steyr manufacture).
The various stocks were made from walnut, birch, mahogany(?), oak, ash, elm and beech.
Rack numbers on M.95 barrel shanks
Barrel shank stamped 'Hege' for Hege Waffen, Germany
Due to headspacing the rim of the cartridge, these rifles were not prone to headspace problems like the rimless cartridge Mausers were. For correction of the rare headspace
problems 3 types of bolt heads were made and marked:
K (Kurz = Rovid = Short),
M (Mittel = Kozepes = Medium),
L (Lang = Hosszu = Long)
Receiver proof marks Hungarian St.Stephan's Crest on the left, Austrian Eagle on the right
German Nitro-Proof marking on the barrel.
Bolt diasassembly/assembly instructions
M95 Buttplate Variations (by Prez1981 on Gunboards):
1. Large indentation with an I bar running the entire length. This has been observed on several long rifles, not on original carbines or stutzens.
One example it has been observed on is a 1916 dated long rifle, all matching, with Italian capture stamps and marked on the buttplate to the 78th Infantry Regiment.
2. Small indentation. These have only been observed on Steyr made rifles, carbines, and stutzen. I have not encountered this variation on any matching Budapest. Often marked K, but not always.
3. Large indentation. This variation has only been observed on Budapest made rifles, carbines, and stutzen. This variation is encountered from 1898 dated pieces to 1918 dated pieces. Often marked R, but not always.
4. Small indentation, I stamp in middle of indentation. Observed on a II LR marked Steyr made rifle. The buttplate fits normal. An unmarked example was found on a Bulgarian rebuilt Stutzen.
M95 Rear Sling Swivel Variations
Standard (Common) Post Mount
45deg. Rotating 45deg. Rotating
Dual Butt Swivels
Accessories such as Bayonets, Slings, Sniper Scopes, Night Sights, Grenade Launcher Sights, Ammunition and others are discussed
on a separate dedicated M95 Accessories page to save bandwith here.
The M1895 rifle was successful enough to inspire an update to the Mannlicher M90 carbine/short rifle, two patterns of which were
made starting in 1896. They had full-length stocks and hand guards. Swivels appeared on the left side of the barrel band and on the left side of the
butt-wrist. The Cavalry Carbine version of the M1895 rifle, can be distinguished from the Stutzen (Short) Rifle by the following:
1. sling swivels on left side of stock only;
2. no provision for bayonet lug;
3. no stacking hook.
The original unaltered M95 Repetier Karabiner, which lack both a bayonet lug and stacking hook, have a screw that enters the barrel band from right to left, with the screw head showing on the right side of the band. ALL other front bands produced for the other M95 variations have a screw that is inserted from left to right with the screw head showing on the left side of the barrel band. An original matching M.95 Karabiner is rare, may worth up to $US 1000. The Budapest Karabélys are even more rare.
Weapon designations based on original sling swivel and barrel band configuration:
2 configurations with 125mm (5") average distance between the front and rear bands:
- M95 Repetierstutzen: Stutzen with bottom mounted swivels
- M95 Repetier-Karabinerstutzen: with side sling bar & bottom swivel on rear band, side & bottom swivels on buttstock
3 configurations with 180mm (7") average distance between the front and rear bands:
- M95 RepetierKarabiner: Side-mounted swivels, no bayonet lug
- M95 Repetierkarabiner mit Stutzenring: Stutzen nosecap - bayonet lug and stacking hook
- M95 Repetier-Stutzenkarabiner: Stutzen nosecap, side & bottom swivels on rear band, side & bottom swivels on buttstock side swivel on rear band
There are other original minor variations:
- Carbine with bayonet lug, without stacking hook
- A rotating rear swivel
- Front band with an experimental folding Reidl bayonet
Note: Many weapons were rebuilt, cut down, parts intermixed, originally configured guns are very difficult to find.
Fake RepetierKarabiners: Nearly all of the original RepetierKarabiners had their front bands replaced with the standard Stutzen type band with bayonet lug and stacking hook prior to WW1, believed to be occurred in 1907-1909. An original, matching RepetierKarabiner is extremely rare, its worth over US$750. Unfortunately many RepetierKarabiner front bands are being faked. The key to identify an original, unaltered M95 RepetierKarabiner is the screw that holds the front barrel band/nosecap in place on the stock. The original carbine bands, which lack both a bayonet lug and stacking hook, have a screw that enters the barrel band from right to left, with the screw head showing on the RIGHT SIDE of the barrel band. ALL other top bands produced for the other M95 variations have a screw that is inserted from left to right with the screw head showing on the LEFT SIDE of the barrel band. This can't be faked by simply removing the bayonet lug and stacking due to the small, flat, "platform" which is raised above the surface and contains the thread grooves on the barrel band. Original bands were not serialized, it's impossible to know if a band is original to a particular carbine. (JPS)
During 1907-1909 some carbines were given additional swivels under the buttstock and under the front band, so that
they could be used interchangeably for mounted or foot use. However, probably by Bulgaria in the 1930's or after WW2, a number of the butt-swivel additions
were removed and their 'hole' filled in wooden plugs. According to some sources these are called post-WW2 'Police Carbines' (for 'Internal Security') and usually come with the
side-mounted fixed front sling loops, with bottom swivels removed and replaced with a spacer washer. See more info at Bulgarian M95's.
Photo courtesy of Dennis Kroh (Empire Arms)
Made by Fegyver és Gépgyár Rt (F.G.GY.), Budapest, 1897-1918.
(Originally this rifle was designed and manufactured in large quantities by Österreichische Waffenfabriks-Gesellschaft, Steyr, 1897-1918)
Caliber: 8x50mm rimmed. Muzzle velocity 580 m/sec [1900 fps] with M1893 ball cartridge.
Action: Straight-pull bolt action, with two lugs on a detachable bolt head engaging the receiver. Integral clip-loaded box magazine, 5 rounds.
1003mm [39.5"] overall, 3.09kg [6.8 lbs]. 500mm [19.7"] barrel, 4-groove rifling, RH, concentric.
The M1895 Stutzen or Extra-Corps-Gewehr, otherwise similar to the 1895-type Cavalry Carbine, had swivels on the underside of the butt and barrel band. The M1895 "Stutzen" is frequently confused with the M95 carbine. It apparently was designed for use by special troops, i.e. Engineer, Signal, etc., and not for Cavalry, since it is fitted with a bayonet stud and has sling swivels fitted to the underside as well as the side. This weapon also has a stacking hook which screws into the upper band. The standard Stutzen M1895-type knife bayonet (360mm overall, 248mm blade length), was the same as shown for the rifle above.
|Standard military Stutzen or Carbine sight on the left. The tall sight on the right is for close range/police use. (Not everybody agrees with this usage, however no other explanations were provided for the tall sights)|
Standard Stutzen leaf sight graduated 300-2400 schritt