Click on any of the images below to see a larger version of the image.

Click here to see larger image!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.

 

I found a very fleeting source of 8x56Rmm (or also known as the 8x56r or 8mm Hungarian) ammo at Aim Surplus, 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 Click here to see larger image!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 excellent 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 from Russian, Italian, French, German, (and other languages) to English.  It also works from English back.

The really great thing is it is free!

http://www.worldlingo.com/wl/Translate

German English
10 Stück 10 Pieces

Scharfe Patronen

Live Cartridge

S-Patronen S (Spitzgeschoss or Pointed Bullet)-Cartridges
 

Click here to see larger image!

Click here to see larger image!

Click here to see larger image!Each 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).

Click here to see larger image!When 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 Click here to see larger image!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.
 
Click here to see larger image!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).
Click here to see larger image!

 

There are two ways the Steyr magazine is ejected:

  1. (Automatically) When the last round has been chambered;
  2. (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 clip.

Click here to see larger image!The Steyr carbine has the following dimensions:
  1. 19.65 inch barrel;
  2. overall length of 39.5 inches;
  3. 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.

Click here to see larger image!The 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).
Click here to see larger image!When 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.
Click here to see larger image!My 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.
Click here to see larger image!Figure 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.

Wrap-up

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 instructions:

Cleaning a Rifle After Shooting Surplus Ammo

jlm;)


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 © TENNESSEE GUN PARTS