Hungarian Weapons - Mannlicher 43M Infantry Rifles

Hungarian Mannlicher M1943 Infantry Rifle
Gyalogsági Puska, 43.Minta. (43M)

Made by Femáru Fegyver és Gépgyár (FÉG), Budapest, and possibly by Danuvia Gépgyár, Budapest 1943-45 [or 1948?], approx 91500
Caliber: 7.92x57. Muzzle velocity 760-780 m/sec with S.S. cartridge
1110mm [43.7"] overall, 4.1kg [9 lbs]
600mm [23.6"] barrel, 4-groove rifling, RH, concentric, 1 turn/240mm
Integral charger-loaded Mauser type box magazine, 5 rounds
Action: Turning-bolt Mannlicher action, locked by 2 rotating lugs on the bolt body into the receiver plus by the bolt handle. The rifle has a two-piece bolt with the bolt handle positioned ahead of the receiver bridge when the bolt is forward.

In 1943 the success of the G98/40 German contract rifle persuaded the Hungarian Honvedseg to adopt a new rifle along with the 7.92x57mm Mauser cartridge. The 43.M, which had a Mauser-type magazine, was a G98/40 with Hungarian 35.M-style barrel band, nose cap/bayonet lug and sling swivels. The 43M's magazine release had to be operated with a tip of a bullet, while the G98/40 had a thumb-operated button for that purpose. Mannlicher 43.M Assembly Drawing and Parts List

Production data:
1943:    22000 pieces
1944:    54000
1945:      500 or less
1047-48: 15000 post-1945 manufacture is unconfirmed
Total:   91500 manufactured
Production was interrupted several times during the 2nd half of 1944 by the Allied bombers and by the Soviet invasion of Hungary. Half-finished guns and parts and movable machinery were scattered all over the city, setting up a number of gunshops in basements and atticks to finish and assemble as many weapons as possible. Manufacturing continued even after the Red Army surrounded Budapest. Delivery was direct from the assembly line or from the small gunshops to the front until the Soviets took over the weapon factories and gunshops in a street-by-street fight, Heroic street fighting by the Hungarians was continued long after the Red Army declared that Budapest is taken. It was only 11 years later when the Hungarians were fighting the Soviets again in Budapest during the 1956 Hungarian Freedom Fight
Based on unconfirmed reports, work began again using restored machinery in about 1947, but ceased under pressure from the USSR to adopt the Russian 7.62x54mm cartridge and the Mosin Nagant M1891/30 and Mosin Nagant M1944 type rifles and other Soviet military equipment.

Some of the safety levers are marked 'Ny' on one side and 'Z' on the other. Ny = nyitva (open) and Z = zárva (closed).
The bolt was turned down about 45deg. with knurled flat surface on the bottom of the handle. All parts, including the bolt were originally blued.

Tangent-leaf rear sight graduated 100-2000 meters

Front sight with hood

35.M Cavalry issued Sword bayonet, scabbard and frog. Bayonet is made with front sights. Infantry issued bayonets were made without the front sight. Bayonet is 480mm overall, 340mm long double edged blade. 15mm dia socket sleeve. Weight .50kg. Blade width 25mm, thickness 11mm. Serial number prefixes are A through E. Some blades were blued, others not. Blades made after 1942 were all blued. Usually costs US$100 and up. Original scabbards were painted black.

35.M NCO bayonet with hooked quillion

Acceptance markings were similar to the Hungarian markings used in the Monarchy: Bp. [St.Stephen's Crown] and Year of acceptance

The 43.M was normally serial numbered on the buttplate. The location of other serial numbering varies. On some occasions trigger guards and bands are serialized. Some rifles have no serial numbers on the barrels.
The rear band had a fixed sling loop on the left and a swivel on the bottom.
Some stocks were made from laminated wood.

Hungarian Mannlicher 43M Study and Survey

Please, participate in the 43M rifle survey. The results will be continuously posted and updated on this webpage, see below what we have so far. [The survey is temporarily out of service, I need help from a php expert]

Prefix - Known or estimated serial number range and Year of Manufacture:
A -       898 - 22000   1943
A -   22000 - 45626   1944
B -   12396 - 33129   1944
C -    ?    - 27347   1944-45?
D -    ?
E -    ?

100% of the 43M's were serial numbered on the buttplate
40% of 43M's were serial numbered on the buttstock
Earlier examples seem to have more parts serialized
20% of the bolts match, although 100% was serialized
60% of the receivers carry serials, which all match
60% of the barrels carry serials, which all match
80% of the trigger guards carry serials, of which 75% match
20% of the front bands and 0% of the rear bands are serialized
100% of the receivers show 43M only
0% are Bp-shield-date Military acceptance marked
40% of barrels marked E (believed to be an acceptance mark)
40% of the safeties marked 'Ny' and 'Z'
100% of the bolts are bent and blued originally
80% has both bottom and side mounted sling swivels
100% of the rear sight graduated 100-2000 meters
20% of the stocks are laminated wood, all A and B series are hardwood
Some floor plates and sight leafs are also serialized
Some replacement parts show G98/40 origin with WaA marking possibility