Austro-Hungarian Rifle Trials 1914-15

After the turn of the Century the Steyr factory started to turn out new designs with more effective modern cartridges for export purposes. These rifles included the 6.5mm Greek Mannlicher-Schönauer M1903, the 7mm Serbian Mauser M1910 and the 7mm Chilean and Mexican Mausers. During rifle testings at Steyr they found various advantages over the Monarchy's then currently used M95 rifles, including better ballistics with the new cartridges. Early in 1914 the Viennese Technisches Militärisches Komitee was researching for a modern cartridge with a new rifle for the Monarchy.

Only a trial quantities of these rifles had been made. The trials were cancelled and the projects were abandoned due to WW1, and the Mannlicher M95 production was restarted. A number of M1912 Mauser rifles and other weapons waiting delivery to Chile, Colombia, Mexico and elsewhere were sequestered and issued to Austro-Hungarian troops.
Note: Great Britain was also looking at replacing their .303 SMLE rifles with a 7mm Mauser type Pattern-13 rifle, but did not proceed because of the start of WW1.

Four known rifle variants were entered eventually for the Austrian trials:
1. A Mauser M1914 designated Gew.98 Mauser in an M.95 stock, in 8x50r caliber
2. A Mauser M1914 designated copy of the M1912 Mexican Mauser, in 7x57mm caliber, for details see below
3. A Mannlicher 14.M designated straight pull Mannlicher, in 7x57mm caliber
4. A Mauser M1915 designated Mauser Mannlicher-Schönauer hybrid rifle, in 7.92x57mm caliber

Mauser M1914 Infantry Trials Rifle
7mm Infanterie-Repetier-Gewehr M1914

Made by Österreichische Waffenfabriks-Gesellschaft, Steyr, 1914
Caliber: 7x57mm rimless
Integral charger-loaded box magazine, 5 rounds
Turning-bolt action, locked by rotating lugs on the bolt head into the receiver
1242mm [48.9"] overall, 4.11kg [9.1 lbs]
740mm [29.1"] barrel, 4-groove rifling, RH, concentric
Leaf sight graduated to 2000 meters
Muzzle velocity 785 m/sec with M1898 ball ammunition
Mauser M98 or Mannlicher M95 type Knife Bayonet?

This was a Mexican Mauser M1912 without the Mexican crest, submitted for the trials by Steyr.

Viennese Technisches Militärisches Komitee archives, Research by Horváth János, Article released by the Hungarian Ministry of Defense