M1895 Mannlicher Rifle

8-mm M1895 Mannlicher Rifle


8-mm M1895 Mannlicher Rifle

This weapon, the most widely used of all the Mannlicher rifles, was the standard Austro-Hungarian rifle of World War I, and huge quantities were surrendered to Italy under provisions of the Peace Treaty. Many small European nations acquired significant numbers of this weapon through purchases from Italy. It was widely used in the Balkan countries in World War II. The Hungarian 8-mm M 35M rifle is a copy of this weapon, but it fires different ammunition. Other weapons similar are the 8-mm Model 1890 rifle (the earlier model) and the 8-mm Model 1895 carbine. Since STEYR of Austria was the chief manufacturer of this rifle, it is often referred to as a “STEYR-MANNLICHER”.

The model 1895 rifle employs the straight-pull bolt-action. It is drawn straight back to unload, pushed straight forward to load. The Mannlicher system of clip feeding is used. The five-round loaded clip is inserted in the top and falls out the bottom of the weapon when empty.

Salient recognition features of this rifle are: (1) The straight-pull bolt; (2) the thumb safety at rear of bolt; (3) the finger grooves in the sides of the stock; (4) the lack of a windage adjustment on the rear sight; (5) the horizontal, rather than turned-down, bolt handle; and (6) the magazine well and trigger guard are of one-piece construction.


Mannlicher Rifle: Austro-Hungarian Rifle of WW1 and WW2


System of operation   Manually operated, bolt action
Caliber   8-mm (cal. .315)
Weight (including sling, bayonet):        
     Unloaded   4.0 kg (8.9 lb)
     Loaded   4.1 kg (9.0 lb)
Length over-all:        
     With bayonet    152 cm (59.5 in)
     W/o bayonet    127 cm (50.0 in)
Length of barrel   76 cm (30.2 in)
Feeding device   5-round clip, integral box
     Front   Blade, barley corn type
     Rear   Upright leaf, V-notch, graduated 600-2,600 m. battle sight set at 500 m
Muzzle velocity   620 m/s (2034 fps)
Effective rate of fire   8-10 rpm
Effective range   400 m (440 yards)
Ammunition   8-mm M1893 rimmed ball, round


Sturmgewehr 44 Assault Rifle

The following report on the German StG 44 (Sturmgewehr 44) assault rifle was published in Foreign Military Weapons and Equipment, Vol. III, Infantry Weapons, Pamphlet No. 30-7-4, Department of the Army, 1954.

7.92-mm Submachine Gun MP-44

Sturmgewehr 44 (StG 44) Assault Rifle

The German MP44 was developed in 1942 to provide an intermediate weapon between the rifle and the submachine gun. The standard 7.92-mm rifle cartridge was shortened and bottle-necked to take a 120-grain boattail bullet. With this cartridge the weapon provided better ballistic characteristics than those available with the standard German 9-mm submachine guns. It also had provisions for full automatic fire and thus a greater firepower capability.

Ease of mass production was achieved by the extensive use of steel stampings. The receiver, frame, gas cylinder, and barrel jacket are all made from stampings. The parts of the trigger mechanism are riveted in place; therefore, the trigger assembly cannot be disassembled, although a complete trigger mechanism can be quickly inserted into the weapon.

Despite its cheap construction, it is a very serviceable weapon. The various models of this weapon, including the MP43, MP43/1, and the MP44, were all designated the STURMGEWEHR 44 in 1944. They differ only in minor detail. Ballistically, they are identical.

This weapon can be recognized by: (1) The stamped receiver and barrel jacket; (2) the prominent front sight base; (3) the curved, stamped magazine; (4) the gas cylinder on top of the barrel; and (5) the short, bulky buttstock.

Large numbers of these weapons were captured by the Soviets during World War II, and many probably are still held in reserve stocks.


Sturmgewehr 44 Assault Rifle Recognition

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Soviet Infantry Weapons

Soviet Infantry Weapons of WW2:

WW2 Soviet Red Army Infantry Weapons and Guns

Basic rifle is the Mosin-Nagant Model 1891/1930, which fires a 7.62mm (.30 cal.) bullet. The gun takes a 5-round clip and weighs 9.9 pounds. Bayonet shown is the 4-fluted needle type with screwdriver tip. Modernizations in 1930 were in the front and rear sights. The M1910 carbine and the dragoon and Cossack rifles, both shorter than the 48-in. Mosin-Nagant, have not replaced the basic rifle.

The Simonov or AVS38 semiautomatic is 7.62mm, weighs 10.8 pounds with magazine and bayonet.. Rate of fire is 30 aimed shots per minute. Its 10-round magazine protrudes below the stock and is loaded from ordinary 5-round clips. The gun carries the short knife-type bayonet and can also be fitted with a telescopic sight.

This early model anti-tank rifle is very long-barreled, has a bipod mount and muzzle-brake. Caliber is about .57 and it is bolt action, single shot and operated by two men. Cartridges are carried in loops inside bags and the cartridge case has a very large diameter.

The new anti-tank rifle is shorter and apparently semi-automatic. The bolt of this gun travels under a breech cover instead of coming out into the open when pulled to the rear. It has a more conventional stock than the earlier anti-tank rifle and may be gas-operated.

The Degtyarov light machine gun is 7.62mm, weighs but 20.7 pounds with bipod, is gas-operated and drum-fed (49 rounds). It is a basic automatic arm of the Soviet Infantry squad. Lightened to 18 1/2 pounds and fitted with pistol grip and 60-round drum the Degtyarov in the tank version fires 550 rounds per minute. A heavier Degtyarov design machine gun is 12.7mm (.50 cal.), is also gas-operated. It has both two-wheel mount with split trail and shield and an AA mount.

This tommygun, Model PPSH M1941 is like the Finnish Soumi. Used widely by tank crews it is 9mm. The piece weighs 10.1 pounds and has a 72-round drum.

Grenades are both offensive (potato masher type shown above) and defensive (pineapple type). The latter hook into a regulation belt for carrying.

For use with telescopic sights the rifle is fitted with a turned-down bolt handle.

The Nagant M1895 revolver is 7.62mm and weighs 1.8 pounds which is rather light. Issued to officers and special units.

The lighter, air-cooled Maxim Tokarev still retains the shield and also has a tripod with precision traverse and elevation gauges which are absent on the Sokolov mount. The barrel is quickly removable as on our caliber .50 machine gun.

The M1910 Maxim heavy water-cooled machine gun has a ponderous (90-pound) shielded-and-wheeled Sokolov mount. Rate of fire is 250-300 rounds per minute. For AA fire the Maxim is provided with concentric ring sights. Quadruple Maxim mounts may be set in trucks, armored trains or dug in at airfields. This fires 1,000 rounds of 7.62mm per minute, one belt per gun. The Maxim heavy is recoil-operated.

Source: Newsmap, U.S. Army Service Forces, Army Information Branch, February 1, 1943.

Gewehr 43

The following report on the German Gewehr 43 semi-automatic rifle was published in Foreign Military Weapons and Equipment, Vol. III, Infantry Weapons, Pamphlet No. 30-7-4, Department of the Army, 1954.

7.92-mm Model 43 Semi-Automatic Rifle

Karabiner 43 - Kar 43

This rifle is a semi-automatic, gas-operated, air-cooled, magazine-fed, shoulder weapon. The original designation was the Gewehr 43, but this nomenclature was later changed to Karabiner 43.

It is a simplified and improved development of the 41M and 41W, earlier World War II German models. The major changes are that the M43: (1) Uses principally forgings and stampings rather than machined parts; (2) is lighter and better balanced; (3) employs a better system of gas operation, a gas vent and gas piston being used rather than a gas trap assembly and long piston rod; and (4) does not have a bayonet stud for use of a bayonet.

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Firing Positions

“Firing Positions” from The Ordnance Soldier’s Guide, 3rd Edition, Ordnance Replacement Training Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground:

Firing Positions
Rifle Firing Position
1. Sit half-face to right of aim of fire.
2. Feet apart — heels dug in ground.
3. Body leaning forward from hips — back straight.
4. Both arms resting inside legs.

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FG42 Automatic Rifle

The following report on the FG42 Automatic Rifle (Fallschirmjägergewehr 42) was published in Foreign Military Weapons and Equipment, Vol. III, Infantry Weapons, Pamphlet No. 30-7-4, Department of the Army, 1954.

7.92-mm M42 (FG42) Automatic Rifle

FG42 Automatic Rifle - Fallschirmjägergewehr 42

This weapon, referred to very often as the German “Paratroop” rifle, is designed more like a light machine gun than a rifle. It is gas-operated, has selective automatic or semi-automatic fire, is fitted with a permanently attached folding bipod, and is fed from a 20-round magazine. It was originally designed for use by parachute troops as an automatic rifle, but it can be used as a light machine gun or as a machine carbine.

The FG42 underwent extensive tests and progressed through several design stages before a final model was adopted by the German High Command. It was late 1944 before the rifle was finally introduced in combat in significant numbers. It is fitted for a bayonet, compensator, telescopic sight, and rifle grenade launcher.

The salient recognition features of this weapon are: (1) A horizontal box magazine which feeds from the left side of the weapon; (2) a pronounced rearward slope of the hand grip; (3) the attached folding bipod; (4) folding post-type sights; and (5) a selector lever on the left side of the trigger housing permitting settings for automatic or semi-automatic fire or for “safe”.


German FG42 Automatic Rifle - Fallschirmjägergewehr 42 - Diagram


System of operation Gas-operated, air-cooled, selective automatic or semi-automatic fire
Caliber 7.92-mm (.312 in)
Weight (incl. sling, bipod, and bayonet):  
     Unloaded 4.9 kg (10.5 lb)
     Loaded 5.5kg (11.5 lb)
Length over-all:  
     With bayonet 110 cm (43.5 in)
     W/o bayonet 98cm (38.5in)
Length of barrel 48 cm (19 in)
Feeding device 20-round magazine
     Front Both have special folding post sights
     Rear Graduated 100-1,200 m
Muzzle velocity 750 m/s (2,461 fps)
Effective rate of fire Semiautomatic 20 rpm; auto 40-60 rpm
Effective range 400 m (440 yd)
Ammunition Standard German 7.92-mm automatic

Additional U.S. intelligence reports: