Today we welcome our newest addition to our collection: a Budapest-made Mannlicher M1895 rifle used by the Austro-Hungarians and Bulgarians in large numbers. Unfortunately, this particular rifle has been updated to the spitzer 8×56mmR cartridge, but most Mannlicher M1895s have been, so it’s pretty common to see them converted. Thankfully, it has not been converted to a carbine, it is still in the long-rifle configuration, which is necessary for it to be a WWI-era weapon.
We think that this rifle was sent to the Bulgarians during the war because of the “S”-mark, the Bulgarian bolt, and the Cyrillic markings on the underside of the barrel.
The “S”-mark is significant in this instance because if it were Hungarian, the “S” would be replaced with an “H” to denote that it has been updated to the spizter cartridge; only the Austro-Hungarians and Bulgarians used the “S” stamps. The Bulgarian bolt (which we can tell is Bulgarian because of the hole in the sleeve and the presence of a Bulgarian Lion near the bolt handle) also increases the chances that this rifle was sent to Bulgaria, although it is possible that the bolt was mix-matched to the rifle. Finally, the presence of Cyrillic arsenal markings on the underside of the rifle’s barrel helps solidify the fact that the rifle was used (or at least updated) by the Bulgarians.