Mannlicher M.95 Rifles and Carbines in Italy
The M1895 rifles and carbines were used by the Italians in WW2 - who had captured some during WW1, and received them in large quantities after WW1 as war reparations. The M.95 rifles were designated as 'Fucile Mannlicher Modello 95', the M.95 stutzens/carbines were designated as 'Moschetto Mannlicher Modello 95', the older M.88-90 rifles were designated as 'Fucile Mannlicher Modello 88-90'. These weapons were issued only to non-frontline units.
Many of these rifles/carbines were used by the Italians and colonial troops in East Africa, these marked with the large letters 'AOI' stamped on the stock.
AOI is/was the abbreviation of Africa Orientale Italiana, or Italian East Africa, consisting of Ethiopia (1936-1941), Somalia (1907-1941) and Eritrea
(1885-1941), colonies under Italian control. It was considered a single colony during 1936-1941. The Italians gradually lost their control of the territory
to Britain starting in 1941 and finally in 1943.
Some sources incorrectly identify the 'AOI' markings as Greek.
These rifles are found in the original 8x50mm caliber, unlike other countries, the Italians or their Colonies did not convert these to a different caliber.
Some of these rifles were used up to an additional 40 years by the Colonies in their battles to win their independence. (Ethiopia 1945, Somalia 1960,
In addition to the 'AOI' on the side of the stock, the Somalian issued guns were also marked "C.A.S." (Corpo Arabo Somalo = Somali Arabic Corps) on the underside of the wrist of the stock.
Many of these AOI marked rifles captured by the British were sent to India, Palestine, and dispersed throughout other British controlled regions in Africa, as far down South as Rhodesia by internal trading and black market.
Italian 'CE' and 'AC' marks shown on this Stutzen.
"Whilst a lot of the Booty M95 type rifles from the AH Empire were NOT acceptance marked by Italian ordnance, some were, usually during major arsenal
repairs, or to test suitability of older model rifles for the later (M93) smokeless cartridge. The usual mark is a crown and oval mark, either with the
Cross of St.George of Savoy, or the letters ID'ing the Inspector."(DocAV)
'DM', believed to be an Italian marking.
Standard bayonet for the Mannlicher M.95
Italian made Ersatz bayonet for the Mannlicher M.95