Romanian Mannlicher Model 1893 Infantry Rifle & Carbine

Romanian Mannlicher Infantry Rifle Md.1893
6.5mm M.93 Rumanisches Infanterie RepetierGewehr

195,000 Made by Österreichische Waffenfabriks-Gesellschaft, Steyr, 1893-1914
120,000 rifles and 14,000 carbines were delivered to Romania
Turning-bolt action, with two lugs on a detachable bolthead locking into the receiver
Caliber: 6.5x53mm rimmed (some in 8x50mm rimmed - see 8x50 rifle below)
Muzzle velocity 731 m/sec with 6.5mm M1893 ball ammunition

1227mm [48.3"] overall, 4.06kg [8.8 lbs], 725mm [28.5"] barrel, 4-groove rifling, RH, concentric

These Mannlicher type weapons were designed using lessons learned from the Gew.88 rifles. They had straight grip stocks and two barrel bands. Receiver tops were marked Md.1893 beneath the Romanian crown. Stocks were marked with the full crest of Romania

The hanguard ran from the receiver to the rear band, fastened to the barrel with two spring clips

The sling swivels were under the rear band and the butt edge

The front band was used as a nosecap and the bayonet lug was on the right side, the stacking hook was on the left side. A half-length cleaning rod was located beneath the muzzle

Integral clip-loaded box magazine, 5 rounds.
The lower sides of the magazine housing had unique reinforcing ribs, which makes these rifles easier to differentiate from other Mannlichers

Inspection marks on the receiver's flat

M1893 Knife Bayonet with 260mm long blade
The bayonets have Austrian 'OEWG' manufacturer's marks, the Romanian eagle proof mark and Romanian unit markings.

Romanian Mannlicher Cavalry Carbine Md.1893
6.5mm Rumanisches Cavaliere Carabine Md.1893

A carbine version (Carabine Md.1893) of the rifle was introduced for cavalry and artillery unit use. Overall length was shortened to 978mm, barrel length was 450mm, and the weight was reduced to 3.29kg.

The bolt received a turned down handle.

The rear band was omitted, the front swivel loop was on the left side of the barrel band, the rear sling swivel was on the left side of the buttstock.

The manufacturing of carbines started in 1894. While all guns were marked as "Steyr", various parts were made by "Budapest" and marked with an "R".

Sequestered 8x50R Romanian Mannlicher Rifle Md.1893
8mm M.93 Adaptiertes Rumanisches Repetier Gewehr

At the start of WW1 in 1914 Steyr was working on the last Romanian contract and their warehouse contained 75,000 Md.1893 Mannlicher rifles. Many were only partially complete. The completed rifles were issued in their original 6.5x53R caliber under the designation '6.5mm M.93 Rumanisches Repetier Gewehr. A few incomplete rifles were assembled with 8x50R caliber (8mm M.1893 Scharfe Patrone) barrels, with the designation: '8mm M.93 Adaptiertes Rumanisches Repetier Gewehr'. These barrels are marked with the standard Austrian acceptance mark W-n[eagle]14 above the chamber (hidden under the handguard). These 8x50R Wn-14 accepted rifles are extremely rare. The chamber-top Romanian crown was not applied to these rifles. The handguard groove behind the rear sight is deeper on the 8x50 rifles than on the standrd 6.5mm ones.

These rifles were assigned to the Austrian Landwehr, example unit marks: '26.LR.271', '3LR.870', LR16.1085.
Please, contact the author on the home page if you know anything about the history of these units.

The standard Romanian Md.1893 had a tangent leaf sight graduated 300-2100 meters. The rear sight of the converted rifles were the same style as the M.95 rifles and graduated 300-2600 schritt.

Many additional Md.1893 guns were captured in 1916 when the Austro-Hungary took over most of Romania. Some of the Monarchy re-issued rifles were unit marked on the buttplate.
Some of the 8x50R Md.1893 rifles were captured by the Germans in Yugoslavia during WW2. The Germans referred to these rifles as "8mm Puschka M93/30 Rumanisches". Assumably Serbo-Croatia received these rifles originally from Austria and Hungary after WW1 as war reparations. The Yugoslavian designation was 'Puska 8mm M93.'
Czechoslovakia too received a shipment of these 8x50r M93 guns as war reparations. Interestingly these weapons could have ended up in Romania when the Czechs were disposing of all their 8x50R M95's (before the Romanian VZ24 contract).

Several of these rare 8x50R Md.1893 rifles are in the collection of the Legermuseum in the Netherlands and several photographs on this webpage are from the courtesy of drs. Mathieu Willemsen, Conservator of the Museum. The route of these rifles to the Netherlands is a mystery. The most likely route is that these were German captured rifles from Yugoslavia, which ended up in the Netherlands during WW2. Another source might be interned Austro-Hungarian troops during/after WW1. Any info would be appreciated.