The Mannlicher M1895 (German: Infanterie Repetier-Gewehr M.95, Hungarian: Gyalogsági Ismétlő Puska M95; "Infantry Repeating-Rifle M95") is a straight pull bolt-action rifle, designed by Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher that used a refined version of his revolutionary straight-pull action bolt, much like the Mannlicher M1890 carbine. It was nicknamed the Ruck-Zu(rü)ck (Ruck-Zuck meaning "slapdash" and Ruck-Zurück "jerk back") by Austrian troops and "Ta-Pum" by Italian troops who even wrote a song about it during World War I.
| Infanterie Repetier-Gewehr M.95|
Gyalogsági Ismétlő Puska M95
(Infantry Repeating-Rifle M95)
Mannlicher M1895 Rifle. From the collections of the Swedish Army Museum.
|Place of origin||Austria-Hungary|
|Used by||See Users|
First Balkan War
Second Balkan War
World War I
Russian Civil War
Austro-Slovene conflict in Carinthia
Revolutions and interventions in Hungary
Austrian Civil War
Second Italo-Ethiopian War
Spanish Civil War
Sudeten German uprising 1938
World War II
Greek Civil War
1948 Arab–Israeli War
|Manufacturer||1896–1918: Œ.W.G. in Steyr|
1897–1918: F.G.GY. in Budapest
1918–1920: Zbrojovka Brno
|No. built||approx. 3,500,000|
|Specifications (M95 Long Rifle)|
|Mass||3.78 kilograms (8.3 lb)|
|Length||1,272 millimetres (50.1 in)|
|Barrel length||765 millimetres (30.1 in)|
|Cartridge||M95: 8×50mmR Mannlicher|
M95/30 & 31.M: 8×56mmR
M95/24 & M95M: 8×57mm IS
|Action||Straight-pull bolt action|
|Rate of fire||approx. 20–25 rounds/min|
|Muzzle velocity||M93 (8×50mmR): 620 m/s (2,000 ft/s)|
M30 (8×56mmR): 720 m/s (2,400 ft/s)
|Feed system||5-round en bloc clip (stripper clip in M95/24 and M95M), internal box magazine|
|Sights||Rear V-notch flip-up sight and front post (telescopic sight on sniper variant)|
Method of Operation
The M1895 is unusual in employing a straight-pull bolt action, as opposed to the more common rotating bolt-handle of other rifles. It combines a two lug rotating bolt head, similar in construction to that found on a Mauser rifle with a pair of helical grooves cut in the bolt body to turn the back and forth movement of the bolt handle and body into the rotational movement of the bolt head. The extractor performs both the usual function, and also has a tail attached which interfaces with slots on the cam surfaces of the bolt head to prevent the bolt head from rotating as a result of the striker's spring pressure once it has been unlocked.
The angle of the cam surfaces in the bolt and bolt body is different from the angle at which the locking recesses are cut in the receiver of the rifle, the result is that the first 20 mm of travel of the bolt body results in the rotation of the bolt head but only about 3 mm of rearward movement, this gives mechanical advantage to the system and accomplishes primary extraction.
The result of this is that the user can pull the bolt back and forth in two movements rather than the up-back-forward-down of conventional turn bolt rifles. It is consequently renowned for combining relatively high rate of fire (around 20–25 rounds per minute) with reliability and sturdiness, although this requires decent care and maintenance. During Austro-Hungarian trials in 1892, rifles survived torture testing of firing 50,000 rounds without any form of lubrication.
The rifle is loaded by means of a five-round en-bloc clip, which when loaded with cartridges, is pressed into the magazine of the rifle, where it is retained and acts at the feed lips of the magazine. When the last of the five rounds has been chambered, there is no longer anything retaining the clip in the magazine and it falls out a port in the bottom due to gravity. There is a button in the front of the trigger guard which allows the user to eject a partially or fully loaded clip from the magazine when the bolt is open to unload the weapon. The clip will be ejected from the weapon quite energetically as the full force of the follower spring will be pressing against it.
The rifle is not designed to be loaded by any other means but the en-bloc clip. Attempts to single feed the rifle in absence of proper clips may cause damage to the extractor as it is not designed with enough travel to overcome the large rims of the 8x50mmR and 8x56mmR cartridges used in the M1895 unless they are fed under the extractor from the clip.
It was initially adopted and employed by the Austro-Hungarian Army throughout World War I, and retained post-war by both the Austrian and Hungarian armies. The main foreign user was Bulgaria, which, starting in 1903, acquired large numbers and continued using them throughout both Balkan and World Wars. After Austria-Hungary's defeat in World War I, many were given to other Balkan states as war reparations. A number of these rifles also saw use in World War II, particularly by second line, reservist, and partisan units in Romania, Yugoslavia, Italy, and to lesser degree, Germany. Post war many were sold as cheap surplus, with some finding their way to the hands of African guerrillas in the 1970s and many more being exported to the United States as sporting and collectible firearms. The M1895 bolt also served as an almost exact template for the ill-fated Canadian M1905 Ross rifle, though the later M1910 used a complicated interrupted-thread instead of two solid lugs.
The M1895 was originally chambered in the 8mm M.1893 scharfe Patrone (8×50mmR Mannlicher) cartridge. Between the world wars, both Austria and Hungary converted the majority of their rifles to fire the more powerful 8×56mmR round.
Yugoslavia converted at least some of their captured M1895s to 7.92×57mm Mauser, fed by stripper clips instead of the original model's en bloc clip system. This conversion was designated M95/24 and M95M. The M95/24 is often mistakenly attributed to Bulgaria, but 8×57mm IS was never a standard cartridge of the Bulgarian military. These conversions are prized by collectors for their relative scarcity and chambering in a commonly available round, but suffer from a fragile extractor and a lack of replacement parts.
For the post World War I conversions see Conversions.
The "Infantry Repeating-Rifle M1895" (German: Infanterie Repetier-Gewehr M1895) was the basic variant. It was chambered for the 8×50mmR Mannlicher cartridge. Its iron sights were graduated 300–2600 paces (225–1950 m). It was used during World War I by the majority of the Austro-Hungarian Army troops.
This stutzen or short rifle (official designation German: Repetier-Stutzen M1895; "Repeating-Stutzen M1895") was mainly used by special troops (i.e. storm troops) during World War I. It chambered the 8×50mmR Mannlicher cartridge. Its sights were graduated 500–2400 paces (375–1800 m).
Weight: 3.09 kilograms (6.8 lb)
Length: 1,003 millimetres (39.5 in)
Barrel length: 500 millimetres (20 in)
The carbine (official designation German: Kavalerie Repetier-Carabiner M1895; "Cavalry Repeating-Carbine M1895") was chambered 8×50mmR Mannlicher and used by cavalry units of the Austro-Hungarian Army as a replacement of the Mannlicher M1890 carbine. The sights were graduated 500–2400 paces (375–1800 m). Although it originally didn't have bayonet lugs, during World War I it was fitted with stutzen-like front barrel band with bayonet lugs after mounted cavalry units were found ineffective.
The main difference from the standard rifle and stutzen was the telescopic sight mount. The scope was mounted slightly to the left so the rifle could be fed by en bloc clip. Approximately 6,000 long and short barreled sniper rifles were made in the years 1915–1918.
The M95/30 was a conversion in the First Austrian Republic by Steyr-Mannlicher during 1930–1940. These rifles carry the letter S meaning Spitzer stamped on the barrel. Main modification was the rechambering to 8×56mmR cartridge. Other changes were the conversion of ladder sights from the older pace unit to meters and addition of a brass front sight protector. Many long rifles were cut down to Stutzen length. Most of M95/30s were sent to Bulgaria during 1938–40, where front sight protectors were removed.
The 31.M or M95/31 was a conversion done in the Kingdom of Hungary. Rifles were converted 1931–1935 by FÉG in Budapest and carry the letter H meaning Hegyes Töltény (pointed bullet) stamped on top of the chamber. The conversion included rechambering to the new 8×56mmR pointed bullet cartridge, new metric ladder sights and the addition of a front-sight protector. Long rifles were cut down to carbine length and designated 31/a.M. They were not used for much time and were withdrawn to storage when the new 35M rifle was introduced. Some were reissued during World War II. A small number were rechambered but were not cut down for the Hungarian Governmental Guards; these had special long bayonets.
The M95M or M95/24 was a conversion to 7.92×57mm cartridge by the Kragujevac Arsenal in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. These rifles feature Yugoslavian M24 Mauser barrels, sights, similar handguards and are fed by five-round stripper clips. Their extractors are prone to breakage when being fired single-shot. Some of these rifles were found in the Kingdom of Greece by the German forces during World War II and were mistakenly attributed Greek origin.
|Cartridge||Length||Weight||Sling Swivels||Bayonet Lug||Notes|
|Rifle Model 1895||8×50mmR||128.2 cm (50.5 in)||3.63 kg (8.0 lb)||Under||Yes|
|Carbine Model 1895||8×50mmR||100 cm (39 in)||2.95 kg (6.5 lb)||Side||No||7 in (18 cm) gap between front and rear barrel bands|
|Stutzen Model 1895||8×50mmR||100 cm (39 in)||3.13 kg (6.9 lb)||Under||Yes||5 in (13 cm) gap between front and rear barrel bands|
|Carbine Model 1895 with Stutzen lug||8×50mmR||100 cm (39 in)||3.18 kg (7.0 lb)||Side||Yes||7 in (18 cm) gap between front and rear barrel bands|
|Carbine-Stutzen Model 1895||8×50mmR||100 cm (39 in)||3.22 kg (7.1 lb)||Either||Yes||5 in (13 cm) gap between front and rear barrel bands|
|Stutzen-Carbine Model 1895||8×50mmR||100 cm (39 in)||3.27 kg (7.2 lb)||Both||Yes||7 in (18 cm) gap between front and rear barrel bands|
|Rifle Model 1895/30||8×56mmR||128.2 cm (50.5 in)||3.63 kg (8.0 lb)||Under||Yes|
|Stutzen Model 1895/30||8×56mmR||100 cm (39 in)||3.22 kg (7.1 lb)||Either||Yes|
|Stutzen Model 1895/30 from Long Rifle||8×56mmR||100 cm (39 in)||3.22 kg (7.1 lb)||Either||Yes||Long rifle rear sight|
|Rifle M95M and M95/24||7.92×57mm||110 cm (43 in)||3.86 kg (8.5 lb)||Both||Yes|
There were two main variants of the bayonet; the first one was the standard bayonet, the second one was the NCO variant that featured a hooked quillion and a golden lanyard. The overall length was 360 millimetres (14 in) and the blade was 248 millimetres (9.8 in) long. The bayonet was unusual in that the edge faced upwards when mounted on the rifle. Majority of them were made by Œ.W.G. and F.G.GY. Bayonets were originally not serial numbered.
Late in World War I resources were limited and they started manufacturing replacement (German: Ersatz) bayonets. These were fast to produce, cheap and made completely out of metal.
A number of Model 1916 night (Luminous) sights were issued during World War I. The rear night sight is a small brass plate that is placed underneath the rear sight leaf. The front sight clamps around the rifle's front sight base.
A Drahtzerstörer or "wire destroyer" device for Mannlicher type firearms was also sometimes issued with the rifle during World War I. During assaults, when soldiers would run into barbed wire obstacles, the "wire destroyer" would grab one of the wires and the soldier would shoot through it. It could only be used with a mounted bayonet.
Various other improvised wire destroyers existed, some originally designed for the Mosin–Nagant rifle that were captured on the Eastern front were easily modified to fit the M95. Some were also crafted by military blacksmiths.
Albania: Approx. 4000 rifles were ordered by the Albanian Revolutionary Committee in 1911. Albania also received a number of rifles after First World War as war reparations. First Austrian Republic: In service from October 1918 to the Anschluss. Austria-Hungary: In service from 1895 to Dissolution of Austria-Hungary in 1918. They saw a lot of action during World War I as the primary weapon of the Austro-Hungarian Army. Kingdom of Bulgaria: Starting in 1898 Bulgaria began importing M95 Mannlicher rifles, in the beginning exclusively from Steyr and later also from Budapest. Approx. 83,000 long rifles and 2,000 carbines were imported. These can be identified by a Bulgarian lion crest stamped on chamber and the manufacturer's name on the left side of the receiver. M95s, including guns captured by the USSR, were used by the post-war People's Republic of Bulgaria. Czechoslovakia: Czechoslovakia had about 200,000 Mannlicher M95s in their possession. The Zbrojovka Brno factory manufactured an unknown number of M95 barrels, stocks and barrel bands before switching to Mauser series production. Most were sold to Bulgaria in the 1930s, but some remained in storage until World War II. Sudetendeutsches Freikorps Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Finland: Finland obtained approximately 2300 rifles during the 1920s in the 8×50mmR Mannlicher caliber. They were marked SA and are valuable among collectors. Ethiopian Empire: acquired Mannlicher rifles during the interwar period. Some ex-Italian carbines were also used until 1946. Nazi Germany: Used by German police during World War II. Kingdom of Greece: Greece had a number of M95/24 and M95M rifles chambered for the 8×57mm IS and after the Axis occupation of Greece in April 1941 arrived at the disposal of the Wehrmacht under the designation Gewehr 306(g). Kingdom of Hungary: After the dissolution of the dual monarchy the Hungarian part received its share of M95s. Kingdom of Italy: Captured on the Italian Front and received as war reparations. M.95s in original caliber were used by colonial troops in Italian East Africa, these are marked AOI for Africa Orientale Italiana. Rifles captured by the British were shipped to India as trainers. Kenya: very limited numbers Ottoman Empire Second Polish Republic: Surplus Austro-Hungarian rifles were used during the Polish-Soviet War and more were received by armed police in the 1920s. Portugal Qing dynasty: The elite Wuwei Corps was equipped with a significant number of imported Mannlicher rifles. Francoist Spain: During the Spanish Civil War, the Soviet NKVD Agency supplied the Republican Forces in Spain with 20,000 Mannlicher Wz.95 rifles and carbines purchased from the Polish Ministry of Defense. The rifle shipment did not reach its intended users; it was captured by Franco's Nationalists. Most Spanish Civil War weapons ended up on the U.S. surplus market during 1959–62. These guns may have additional Spanish Civil War markings and various graffiti. Kingdom of Romania: Issued to second line troops. Russian Empire: During the First World War, captured rifles were widely used in the Russian army because of the lack of domestic rifles and cartridges for them. Russian captured rifles may carry a Cyrillic letter П (P). Russian efforts to convert their service rifle, the turning bolt-action Mosin–Nagant to self-loading action were unsuccessful, that's why they decided to alter the straight-pull Mannlicher M1895 rifle, but arrived to the conclusion that development of automatic rifles requires a different approach by inventors. Kingdom of Serbia: Captured during the Balkan Wars from Bulgaria and Austria-Hungary during World War I, also received as war reparations in original caliber. Passed on to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Somalia State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs: Used in the Austro-Slovene conflict in Carinthia, passed on to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Turkey Yemen Kingdom of Yugoslavia: Yugoslavia inherited a great number of Mannlicher rifles from territories that were part of Austria-Hungary up to the end of First World War and from the Kingdom of Serbia. Rifles in original configuration were used by the Gendarmerie. Around 122,000 were converted to 7.92×57mm Mauser caliber as M95M and M95/24. Some were used by the post-war Yugoslav People's Army.
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