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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I placed a bid on this rifle rifle and somehow won it at only $275 + auction fees. It was very poorly advertised, but appears to be a World War I original Austrian captured M91. UPS just dropped the rifle off. It's an overcast day here, but I went out and took some photos. It's an interesting rifle, no doubt!


The sling swivels are clearly Austrian in origin. That along with the "W" on the top of the buttstock seems to solidify that the stock is at least WWI Austrian in origin. There is a faint cartouche on the side, but I can only make out the Imperial eagle and the "19". Seems lightly sanded perhaps (very smooth) but the finger grooves are still very strong. The graffiti on it is clearly very old.


Ok, as for the barreled action here is what I've determined. It's a 1915 Izhevsk with no Finnish marks on it. There is also no import mark. I cannot get the barrel out of the stock as someone buggered up the rear barrel band screw and I don't dare mess with it more. There is also a small screw keeping it from moving, but it is not Finnish in origin.The bore is a mess, with dirt and cobwebs and little rifling showing. It's clearly sat around unused for a long time. The only real unknown marking is the "T" on the receiver right under the Imperial eagle.


All the parts on this rifle are correct WWI era as far as I can tell. Several are Chatellerault marked, but none are WWII era that you'd expect on an M91 that was left in the Communist block post-WWII.


Is there any idea on the sling? It's ratty, but I'm not sure if it's military or civilian in origin. There are no markings at all on it.

EDIT:
UPS just dropped the rifle off. It's an overcast day here, but I went out and took some photos. It's an interesting rifle, no doubt!


The sling swivels are clearly Austrian in origin. That along with the "W" on the top of the buttstock seems to solidify that the stock is at least WWI Austrian in origin. There is a faint cartouche on the side, but I can only make out the Imperial eagle and the "19". Seems lightly sanded perhaps (very smooth) but the finger grooves are still very strong. The graffiti on it is clearly very old.


Ok, as for the barreled action here is what I've determined. It's a 1915 Izhevsk with no Finnish marks on it. There is also no import mark. I cannot get the barrel out of the stock as someone buggered up the rear barrel band screw and I don't dare mess with it more. There is also a small screw keeping it from moving, but it is not Finnish in origin.The bore is a mess, with dirt and cobwebs and little rifling showing. It's clearly sat around unused for a long time. The only real unknown marking is the "T" on the receiver right under the Imperial eagle.


All the parts on this rifle are correct WWI era as far as I can tell. Several are Chatellerault marked, but none are WWII era that you'd expect on an M91 that was left in the Communist block post-WWII.


Is there any idea on the sling? It's ratty, but I'm not sure if it's military or civilian in origin. There are no markings at all on it.


So what's the overall opinion? I'll post this on the World War I forum as well. In any case I'm glad I was able to pick it up at the price I did. First rifle I've used my new C&R license with too!



















































































 

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Field Editor ~ GUNS Magazine, Co-Author ~ Serbian Army Weapons of Victory &PH - Kudu Safaris
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Ya dun real good Bud!

That is a nice find, absolutely Austro-Hungarian and the original M95 sling is damn near worth what you paid for the rifle! If the buckle hadn't come lose, it WOULD BE worth as much as you paid for the rifle! Still, you can buy some waxed linen thread, a proper needle and carefully re-stitch the buckle to the sling.

An excellent rifle that IMHO is absolutely as issued to a member of the Landsturm or possibly even a soldier in the Landwehr.

That "T" is interesting as well? I've never seen that before?

Well done! Please post some new photos to share once you have the sling restored.

Warmest regards,

JPS
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the information JPS! I had a feeling it was an Austrian sling after looking at a few examples online but I wasn't sure. I'll look into getting the buckle back on. It's in good shape otherwise. I figured the "T" must be some kind of Austrian/German mark as it just doesn't look Russian in origin. I also own the 1896 Tula with Austrian sling swivels, unit markings on the butt plate, and the pre-1908 flat rear sight that you've commented on before. DO you have any idea how these rifles may have entered the US in this condition? Could they have sat in Europe in this state all through WWII or were these imported in some form prior to the import stamp laws? Or are they part of captured war booty given out to the Allies at the end of WWI?
 

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Ya dun real good Bud!

That is a nice find, absolutely Austro-Hungarian and the original M95 sling is damn near worth what you paid for the rifle! If the buckle hadn't come lose, it WOULD BE worth as much as you paid for the rifle! Still, you can buy some waxed linen thread, a proper needle and carefully re-stitch the buckle to the sling.

An excellent rifle that IMHO is absolutely as issued to a member of the Landsturm or possibly even a soldier in the Landwehr.

That "T" is interesting as well? I've never seen that before?

Well done! Please post some new photos to share once you have the sling restored.

Warmest regards,

JPS
Ditto to everything John said above, a lovely rifle with a RARE sling as confirmation of it's WW1 Austro-Hungarian origin. The sling can be easily repaired but be sure to find someone that knows how to handle antique leather, sewing can be damaging because of inherent dryness. You did very well lthilsdorf!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Took me about a year, but I finally decided to have this professionally reattached.

Not sure if it's on the rifle in the correct configuration, but I'm glad to just have it in one piece again. As I originally posted, this sling was on the rifle when purchased, so I feel it's original to it given the state of the rifle itself. Here are a few poorly lit photos from inside, due to the horrid NYS weather.










 

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Field Editor ~ GUNS Magazine, Co-Author ~ Serbian Army Weapons of Victory &PH - Kudu Safaris
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Beautiful! Very well done.

I'm green with envy! That's Irish green of course.

Happy Easter!

JPS
 
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