Know Your Weapons: Mannlicher M1895 Rifle

AUSTRIA-HUNGARY’S M-95 Rifle

 

“The M95 proved itself one of the finest battle rifles of the First World War. It weighed around a pound less than its equally lengthy peers and was slim and almost delicate by comparison. The soldiers who carried it appreciated its light weight but the Allied soldiers facing the M95 in the icy Alps and trenches took note of its high rate of fire compared to their turn-bolt action guns. The M95 was capable of 30–35 rounds a minute while turn-bolt actions were generally limited to 15–20 shots a minute. The simplicity of the straight-pull’s forward-backward bolt operation certainly made it easier to master than a turn-bolt action, which requires twice the number of motions to cycle. In addition, the upward motion to lift a cock-on-opening bolt handle — for example the Lebel, Berthier, M1903 Springfield, Carcano — is physically more difficult and more disruptive to the aim. The British SMLE, which cocked on the forward stroke like the Mannlicher, was the M95’s closest rival in speed of operation.”