Austro-Hungarian MANNLICHER M1890 Short Rifles and Carbines



MANNLICHER Model 1890 Cavalry Carbine

Kavallerie Repetier-Carabiner M1890, Also called Osterreichisches Repetier-Carabiner M.90
Lovassagi Karabely M.90

Made by Osterreichische Waffenfabriks-Gesellschaft, Steyr, 1891-96
105,000 Carbines and Stutzens were made combined
An additional 6000 was made for Bulgaria
Caliber: 8x50mm rimmed
Muzzle velocity 545 m/sec with M1888 ball cartridge
Integral clip-loaded box magazine, 5 rounds
Straight-pull bolt action, with two lugs on a detachable bolt head engaging the receiver
1005mm [39.6"] overall, 3.3kg [7.3 lbs]
498mm [19.6"] barrel, 4-groove rifling, RH, concentric
Several photos courtesy of John Wall from Gunboards

Perfection of the M1888 rifle turned thoughts toward a carbine. In 1889 the experimental guns were simply cut-down rifles, with the weak dropping bar lock, but only a few were made. This weapon introduced the straight-pull bolt with rotating head to the Austro-Hungarian Service in 1890. Although Mannlicher had introduced a rotating straight pull bolt in 1884 it was not very successful, and it was never made in quantity.

The bolt is of two-piece design with the bolt handle and bolt body are one piece; mounted within the bolt body is the bolt shaft or bolt cylinder. The locking lugs are mounted on the head of the bolt cylinder and the bolt cylinder rotates within the bolt body during the locking and unlocking process. This bolt is used with all the later Austrian straight-pull bolt-action Mannlichers and, since it provides for frontal locking, is considered to be a stronger system than that of the Models 84, 86, and 88. The magazine system adopted with the M1886 is used in the M1890 carbine and the later rifles.
Original quadrant sight graduated 500-2100 schritt

Altered quadrant sight graduated 500-1800 schritt?

The receivers were marked with 'OE WG STEYR' and the Austrian Eagle as shown. Acceptance dates can be found as late as 1912
The new action reverted to the helically-grooved bolt head system of Mannlicher's first straight-pull action, patented in 1884, as this had proved much stronger than the bar-lock. The M1890 cavalry carbine embodied a much shorter action than its predecessors, allowing the trigger guard to flow straight into the magazine casing and the cocking piece lay almost directly above the trigger.

The original cocking piece shown on the left is round. Later models have a thumb-shaped cocking piece, similar to the M.95's. The older cocking pieces were gradually replaced with the newer ones in the armories when the M90's went in for repair.

The M1890 carbine had a one-piece walnut stock with a simple nose cap without a bayonet lug or stacking hook. The gun has no handguard and the sling swivels are mounted on the left side of the fore-end and stock-wrist.

The buttstock had a cleaning equipment compartment with a sliding cover in the buttplate.

During WW1 socket type Ersatz bayonets were used

Some carbines were converted to the M95 pattern and to the 8x56R caliber during the 1930's. The weapons converted in Hungary carry an 'H' mark on the top of the chamber (M90/31). Austrian converted guns were stamped with an 'S' (M90/30). An original unconverted M1890 is a relatively rare piece.


MANNLICHER Model 1890 Gendarmerie Carbine

Gendarmerie Repetier-Carabiner M1890, Also called Osterreichisches Extra-Corps-Gewehr M.90
Csendorsegi Karabely M1890

105,000 carbines and Stutzens were made combined
The Gendarmerie [Csendorsegi] (Country Police) Carbine, a variant of the cavalry gun was introduced in 1892. It accepted the standard M1888 type knife bayonet. It had the bayonet lug on the right side. It did not have a stacking hook. The gun had its sling swivels on the bottom.

Some carbines were converted to the M95 pattern and to the 8x56R caliber during the 1930's. The weapons converted in Hungary carry an 'H' mark on the top of the chamber (M90/31). Austrian converted guns were stamped with an 'S' (M90/30). An original unconverted M1890 is a relatively rare piece.


MANNLICHER Model 1890 Short Rifle

Osterreichisches RepetierStutzen M.1890
Osztrak Kurtaly Puska M.1890

Another variant of the cavalry carbine was introduced in 1894 and was adopted by the Navy. It accepted the standard M1888 type knife bayonet. The bayonet lug was on the left side of the nosecap and had a stacking hook on the nose cap under the barrel. The gun had its sling swivels on the bottom. 105,000 Carbines and Stutzens were made combined.