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One of the most
requested rifle sections on Surplusrifle.com has been the
STEYR Mannlicher M95
Carbine. It is kind hard to believe I waited so long to
get one since they usually only cost around $100 for an
excellent specimen. The holdup has not been the price or
availability of the rifle - but the availability of the ammo. Unless you reload or
keep an ever vigilant eye out for available surplus and then snatch
it up as soon as you find it, you are never going to be able to
shoot the Steyr. Of course this has not stopped me in the
past with other acquisitions I have made. I have Arisakas and
other rifles that are just as difficult to provide ammo for.
a very fleeting source of 8x56Rmm (or also known as
the 8x56r or 8mm Hungarian) ammo at
so I picked up 200 rounds. I have since checked their website
and they don't appear to have anymore available.
Since I was able to pick up at least enough ammunition for a
good range report and to have some additional fun as well, I
decided to proceed and picked up a really nice little Steyr
carbine for only $80.
Most of the surplus ammo I have found was
manufactured in 1938/1939 and appears to be in very good shape.
In 1940 the Austrians officially adopted the German 8mm Mauser
cartridge and a large number of their rifles were rechambered
(I don't think they really had a choice).
The ammo I ordered came 10 rounds per original cardboard box.
Each box was marked with the original Nazi manufacturing
information from 1938 (including the small Nazi eagle and
swastika as shown in figure 2).
Ammo Box Translations
I was able to translate some of the markings on the box at an
website (worldlingo.com) that
performs automatic translations of both text and websites. I
have used the site on many occasions that I wanted a quick
translation of markings on a mil-surp rifle or accessories.
All you do is type in
the word to be translated, choose the originating language, and then choose
the desired destination language. The site even allows you to slant the
language interpretation to what type of writing style the
originating document is (I was able to choose military
document type). They also have a simple way of handling the
special characters so often found in languages (Ex: Stück).
I find this site to be an excellent resource for translating
Italian, French, German, (and other languages) to English.
It also works from English back.
The really great thing is it is free!
or Pointed Bullet)-Cartridges
cardboard box contained two, five round clips. Some of the clips were
marked with the Hapsburg crest (double
headed eagle), while others were stamped
with the Nazi eagle as shown in figure 4.
The bottom of
each cartridge had the Nazi eagle and swastika stamped as well
as the date of manufacture (as shown in figure 5).
compared to the 8mm Mauser cartridge, the 8x56Rmm
cartridge has some noticeable dimensional differences. In figure 6, the cartridge base on the
left is the 8mm Mauser while the cartridge on the right
is the 8x56Rmm cartridge. The base of the 8x56Rmm is much
larger than the 8mm Mauser. The 8x56Rmm appears to be similar in size to the
Russian 7.62x54R case in base diameter. I have read several
articles that discuss the use of resized 7.62x54R cases for
8x56Rmm brass. This is something I will research further and may
use as a subject for a future article.
|The Garand enbloc clip
is similar in functionality to the Steyr Mannlicher clip. It is
loaded through the top of the receiver as shown in figure 8,
but unlike the Garand the Steyr's clip exits from the bottom of the rifle's
magazine (like the Carcano).
There are two ways the Steyr magazine is ejected:
- (Automatically) When the last round has been
- (Manually) When you press the magazine release at the front- inside
of the trigger guard.
When the clip drops to the ground the sound is very
reminiscent of the Garand ejecting its clip. The one noticeable
difference is the Steyr is supposed to eject the clip after the
last cartridge has been chambered. My specimen did not
consistently do this. I had to manually eject about every third
Steyr carbine has the following dimensions:
- 19.65 inch
- overall length of 39.5 inches;
- weight of 7lbs;
In comparison the Steyr carbine is 2lbs
lighter than any of my Soviet m44s. I love to shoot my m44s, but they
have VERY stout, but manageable recoil. I anticipated the m95 carbine
would have considerable recoil to say the least.
I very smartly "wimped out" and
installed a slip-on rubber butt pad (as shown in figure 10)
to lessen the impact on my shoulder.
Steyr's sights are similar in functionality to the U.S. m1917.
With the sight laying flat they are in the battle sight
configuration (as shown in
figure 11). There is a number 5 stamped on the left side
of the battle sight that I believe denotes 500 meters in range (a
fairly optimistic distance if true).
the rear sight leaf is lifted (as shown in figure 12),
the tangent gradient ranges from 300 meters to 2200 meters. I
decided to only shoot out to 50 yards with the Steyr carbine.
If I was able to achieve fair groupings than I would take it out
to 100 yards and see what she could do.
first target at 50 yards was not very promising (as shown in
figure 13). The recoil was substantial and may
account for some of the problem or shortcomings. I continued to shoot and was
able to produce better groups as time progressed.
14 is an average example of the groups I was able to achieve
after I became familiar with the trigger and the anticipated
recoil. I really recommend using some sort of a slip-on
recoil pad if you shoot a Steyr carbine, it helps considerably
and makes what could be a very uncomfortable situation something
enjoyable. I shot a total of 100 rounds
through the little carbine before I tired and wanted to shoot
something else. I wanted to give my shoulder a rest and decided
after all not to shoot at 100 yards.
The bolt on the Steyr is a straight pull type bolt similar to
the Swiss Schmidt-Rubin rifles, although not as refined in my opinion.
The Steyr's bolt was simple to operate, functioned well, but was a little stiff to
open and close.
Loading and feeding of ammo occurred without any errors,
excluding the clip ejection issue.
Outside of the carbine being the size and weight it is (very
small), I cannot think of any negative comments to make.
If you can find the 8x56r ammo, the Steyr carbine is a
affordable and necessary addition to any mil-surp
collection (but aren't they all?).
Note: All the ammo 8x56Rmm ammo I fired through the carbine was
corrosive. I went home and cleaned the Steyr using the following
a Rifle After Shooting Surplus Ammo