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Mannlicher-Schoenauer M1903, M1903/14 rifle (Austria, Greece)

Mannlicher-Schoenauer rifle was designed and patented in 1900. It is named after famous Austrian gun designer Ferdinand von Mannlicher and technical director of the Osterreichishe Waffenfabrik Gesellschaft (OWG) factory, Otto Schoenauer. In 1903 this rifle was adopted by Greece, and used in rifle and carbine forms until after WW2.


Greek Mannlicher-Schoenauer M1903/14 rifle
Greek Mannlicher-Schoenauer M1903/14 rifle


Prior to WW1 production of the Mannlicher-Schoenauer rifle was carried by OWG. During 1920s, military rifles for Greek contract were produced under license in Italy, by Breda factory. Last military Mannlicher-Schoenauer rifles were produced in Austria by Steyr in 1930. Recognizing merits of the Mannlicher-Schoenauer system, manely the smooth bolt action and compact and reliable magazine, OWG introduced commercial hunting rifles based on the M-S action as soon as 1905. Sporting Mannlicher-Schoenauer rifles were produced by OWG and later by Steyr actories in Austria until early 1970s, in numerous versions and calibers. Easily recognized by their characteristic flattened “butter-knife” bolt handle, Mannlicher-Schoenauer hunting rifles often were equipped with dual set triggers. Those classic rifles are still popular among many hunters and collectors, despite being long out of production.


Mannlicher-Schoenauer hunting rifle, early model
Mannlicher-Schoenauer hunting rifle, early model


Mannlicher-Schoenauer rifle is manually operated, rotary bolt action rifle. Its bolt is based on German Gew.88 design, with dual locking lugs t the front of the bolt body and a detachable bolt head. Rotary magazine, designed by Otto Schenauer, is fitted flush with the stock, and can be removed from the bottom for maintenance or repair. Loading is achieved through the top of the action, with single rounds or stripper clips. Safety is positioned at the rear of the bolt. Receiver has split rear bridge to allow passage of the bolt handle, conveniently located at the middle of the bolt. Military rifles featured straight bolt handle with round knob; carbines had bolt handle bent down, Rifles were equipped with iron sights graduated up to 2000 meters, carbines had sights marked up to 1800 meters. Commercial hunting rifles often featured scope mounting points on the receiver.


data for M1903 military rifle

Specification Value
Full text name Mannlicher-Schoenauer M1903, M1903/14 rifle (Austria, Greece)
Caliber cartridge 6.5x54 M-S
Action type manual
Trigger type sa
Overall length, mm 1226
Barrel length, mm 725
Weight loaded, kg 3.6
Magazine capacity, rounds 5