Czech Mannlicher M.95 Rifles and Carbines



Czechoslovakia - Mannlicher M1895 Rifle, Stutzen & Carbine

Originally made by Österreichische Waffenfabriks-Gesellschaft, Steyr, 1897-1918 and by Fegyver és Gépgyár Rt, Budapest, 1897-1918 in caliber 8x50Rmm
Action: Straight-pull bolt action, with two lugs on a detachable bolt head engaging the receiver. Integral clip-loaded box magazine, 5 rounds
Caliber: 8x50mm rimmed
Rifle muzzle velocity 620 m/sec [2030 fps] with M1893 ball cartridge
Stutzen/Carbine muzzle velocity 580 m/sec with M1893 ball cartridge
Rifle: 1272mm [50.1"] overall, 3.78kg [8.3 lbs] 765mm [30.1"] barrel, 4-groove rifling, RH, concentric
Stutzen/Carbine: 1003mm [39.5"] overall, 3.09kg [6.8 lbs] 500mm [19.7"] barrel, 4-groove rifling, RH, concentric

After WW1 the Czechs received independence from Austria and received Slovakia from Hungary. The newly formed Czechoslovakia had about 300,000 Mannlichers of all models in their possession. The M95 was the most common. They also started manufacturing the M95 short rifles/parts. However, cca. 1920 an official decision was made to adapt the M98 Mauser - a possible political decision to further distance themselves from the Monarchy. Zbrojovka Brno still had to maintain the Mannlichers until enough Mausers were produced for the Army. Brno produced a number of Mannlicher M95 parts: stocks, barrels, bands - usually un-numbered.
As the Army gradually replaced the Mannlichers with Mausers, the Mannlichers were transferred to other Czechoslovak armed forces. The 8x50R Czech Mannlichers were most commonly 'Financial Guard and Gendarmerie' issue. They were on issue until 1933, when gradual replacement was started by the Vz33 Mauser specifically made for the 'Financni straz a cetnictvo', Czech Financial Guard and Gendarmerie Service. After the M95's were withdrawn from service, they were reconditioned and were offered for sale on the world surplus arms market. Most M95's were purchased by Bulgaria in the late 1930's. Most Czech marked examples can be found rechambered to 8x56R with typical Bulgarian refurb features.
At the start of WW2 the Czechs still had some unsold Mannlichers in storage. Czechoslovak owned/rebuilt guns may have a small 'v' inspection mark on the receiver or on the barrel.

The Brno Factory delivered to the Czech Army 5,000 specially marked M95 Stutzens, which were assembled from Austro-Hungarian parts and/or newly manufactured parts in Brno, Czechoslovakia in 1920. These are marked 'Cs.St. ZBROJOVKA BRNO' on the top of the receiver.

This 1st example shows that the Czechs utilized Austro-Hungarian made parts (such as the WW1 Hungarian proof marked barrel).

This 2nd example lacks any Austro-Hungarian markings and it appears to be an original Brno manufacture, or Brno finished raw Austrian parts.

The very few existing examples of these Brno marked carbines are found re-chambered to the 8x56R round, and marked with the 'S' on the chamber. These Czech guns most likely were also sold to Bulgaria and were converted there in the late 1930's.

Long rifles rear leaf sight graduated 300-2600 schritt (225-1950m) [Schritt = Pace = .75 meter]

The Czechs retained the standard Stutzen leaf rear sight graduated to 2400 schritt

Czech E-Lion property stamps starting from the left: On the receiver, On the barrel shank superimposed over the 'Wn' acceptance mark, On the buttstock near the buttplate, On the Bayonet handle. (Pictures courtesy of Goexfff on Gunboards).
Comparison of Czech and Bulgarian Lions

A wrist mounted flanged butt swivel, apparently a Czech addition

Standard M.95 Bayonets

M1895 knife bayonet. 360mm overall, 248mm blade length. Muzzle ring 15.5mm dia. Grips held by rivets and spanner nuts. Steyr made bayonets stamped 'OEWG', Budapest made bayonets stamped 'F.G.GY.'. Czech CZ Brno made bayonets are marked with 'Cs.St.' or 'CSZ' or 'CET', and usually with the Czech Rampant Lion proofmark: E [Lion] Date. Original bayonets were not serial numbered.
Markings Explanation

Auxiliary front sight on top of the muzzle ring. This compensated for the change in point-of-impact caused by firing the Stutzen with the bayonet fixed. The effect was much more noticable in the short-barrel Stutzens than the full-length rifles. [Several experts doubt the "change in point-of-impact" by the mounted bayonet, mainly because only the M95 has this feature, however they provide no logical explanation for the sights on the bayonets.]

Most bayonet pictures are courtesy of Old Smithy's Bayonets

F.G.GY. (Fegyver és GépGYár, Budapest) Hungarian made and marked bayonet and scabbard

Austrian Steyr made 'OEWG' marked bayonet

Czech made/marked/accepted bayonets:

WaA63 acceptance mark on an M95 scabbard. Based on available information, the WaA63 was used 1940-45 on Brno produced Mausers and bayonets. If this stamp is genuine, it would indicate that the M95 Mannlichers were still in Czech service at least as late as 1940.

Bayonet Frog

'T' circled = Tegelstahl. Gun rebarrelled with a new type quality steel barrel. Originally an Austrian mark. Mark maybe located under the woodline. The 'T' stamp can also be found on Czech guns made after WW1

An early Slovak Army marking, 'CM' or a Moravian 'MO' (Moravske Ocelarny, Olomuc) maybe found on some rifles or bayonets.

Ammunition

8x56R production year identification:
The number at the 9 o'clock position shows the year of manufacture. A Roman numeral at the 3 o'clock position indicates the month of manufacture. 'I' would be January. The marking at the 6 o'clock position is the manufacturers mark. The Rampant Lion at the 12 o'clock position represents Czechoslovakia. The Czechs were also contracted making both 8x50 and 8x56 ammo for Bulgaria.
"M" in a half circle was the pre-1936 mark of a small ammunition producer in Slovakia. This plant was partly owned by Zbrojovka Brno, which took over complete control in 1936, and changed the headstamp to "Z". In the 20's and 30's, this plant supplied most of the Czech export military ammo contracts around the world.

Ammo Safety: the M95 rifles chambered for the 8x56mm cartridge are not recommended to be used with the old conical-nosed 8x50mm cartridge. Although both cartridges are rimmed, and headspaced at the rim, the 8x56mm is 6mm longer and more powerful. The spent 8x50 cartridge cases will be re-formed to the 8x56 shape. Many shooters used these 'exchanged' cartridges without any injury or damage, however these cartridges are not guaranteed to be safely interchangeable.

Brno M95 Serials reported: 738, 1122, 1452, 3711g


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