Mannlicher Pistols

Mannlicher Model 1894

Type: automatic pistol (blow forward)
Caliber: 6.55mm or 7.6mm
Length overall: 215mm [8.46"]
Weight unloaded: 850g [30oz]
Barrel: 165mm [6.5"] rifled
Magazine: 5-round charger-loaded internal box

The earliest Mannlicher pistol was a blow-forward design in which the barrel was projected forward against a spring on firing. An extractor on the standing breech held the spent cartridge case until it could be ejected by the next round rising beneath it. The barrel was held at the end of its forward stroke and, when the firer released the trigger, ran back to chamber a new round. The rebounding-pattern hammer struck a firing pin in the standing breech. It had to be thumb-cocked for every shot, or could be tripped by pulling through on the trigger in revolver fashion. Prototypes may have chambered an 8mm rimmed round, apparently the Salvator-Dormus pattern, but production models accepted a new 7.6mm M1894 Mannlicher cartridge. It has been suggested that prototypes were made in the workshops of the North Austrian Railway Company but that production was undertaken by Waffenfabrik von Dreyse in Sommerda, Germany.

Two slightly smaller models were made by 'Fab. d'Armes Neuhausen' (SIG = Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft) for trials in Switzerland. Several first-type 7.6mm guns (230mm long, weighing 1,000g) were made in 1894, followed by 50-60 pieces of a modified second type (215mm, 850g) chambering a 6.55mm cartridge, another straight rimmed round. Production continued until 1897.

The caliber is shown on the bolt. Excepting those made in Switzerland, shown above, M1894 Mannlichers are usually marked 'MODELL 1894' or 'MODELL 1895', according to the year in which they were made. There is no essential difference between them. Owing to the incorporation of changes in the design whenever convenient, variants may be found without the automatic barrel-retaining system or with single-action locks and an assortment of grip safeties. As the entire production was less than 200, these early Mannlichers are extremely rare.