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Mannlicher 88/95 – A Rare World War One Update

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The Austro-Hungarian Empire went into World War One with the Steyr M95 straight-pull rifle as its standard infantry arm. Heavy losses in just the first few months of the war made it clear that the existing stockpiles of those M95 rifles would not suffice, however. Older guns were pulled out of inventory, including Werndl and early straight pull rifles of the M88 and M88/90 patterns. These rifles had been designed around a black powder 8mm cartridge, and by 1915 many had heavily corroded bores. Some of these were rebarreled for active service using new rear sights of the M95 type – and thus we get the M88/95 pattern (this is a collector designation, not an official Austro-Hungarian one).

In addition to the rear sight and new barrel, it appears that these rifles were also fitted with upper handguards held in place by spring clips. Those hand guards are often missing, including on this example and every other one I saw that was imported from Ethiopia.

Thanks to InterOrdnance and Royal Tiger Imports for providing this rifle for filming!

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