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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well Folks, here's one for the experts. I have no idea if the nomenclature is correct or not.

It was a GB Auction for an Austro-Hungarian M90 conversion to M95 configuration. Here's the auction:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=118353648

Following is the stamp on the top of the chamber. It is a "KK/8" in a circle. According to the reference in Karl Heinz Wrobel's second book on Mosin Nagant rifles this mark is Czech. Can't find reference to a time period though.

Anyone have any ideas as to the time period, background, etc. on this carbine?

- Best Regards! Mike
 

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Very cool. Difficult one to find. I was sleeping!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Very cool. Difficult one to find. I was sleeping!
Hi Sean -

Yup, I was surprised it went for what it did. Threw a bid in the day before and there it was the day after. But I'll confess, I didn't really know what I was bidding on. Did the research on the mark 'ex post facto.' :eek:

- Mike
 

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Hello i dont know about czechoslovak marking similar to KK6 or 8 but this OEWG looks little suspicious, never seen like this, i believe Steyr name was done by independent dies. best regards,Andy
the lion looks like Bulgarian to me, when real
 

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Only the barreled receiver (not even the rear sight) is from M.90, everything else is from M.95. I've seen a bunch of these. The bolt body is Bulgarian and that's the only attraction in this auction IMHO.

I was watching it, but the ugly importer's stamp turns me off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The seller did provide a lead to this reference that might explain the model, but not the Czech stamps. It will be interesting to see what's under the hood.

http://www.sunblest.net/gun/Mann9030.htm

Yes, the bolt will most likely go elsewhere, unless it is matched to it. Which I doubt.

Nick - I agree with you on the 'billboard,' horrid...., at least they have changed. However, the genius who came up with the idea has no doubt been promoted!
 

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?M90/30?

Firstly, if it is in 8x56R calibre then it is definitely Bulgarian.
The Czechs never adopted or used the M30 8x56R cartridge.

If this rifle carries Czech Zonal or other markings, then it was doen whilst the rifle was in 8x50R (betwqeen 1919 to about 1929, or even later.

The Czechs disposed of their 8x50R carbines and rifles as soon as they had sufficient 7,9mm Mausers (Vz98/22 and Vz24, etc.) as the Czechs had used the M95 types mostly for Border guardsa etc, these would have been replaced about 1933-35 (after the issue of the Vz33, very short Mauser, to Customs etc guards).

Bulgaria and Austria would have acquired any 8x50R weapons for conversion to 8x56R (the Austrians to 1938, the Bulgarians from 1936-37.)

M90 Hybrids. As the AH army uised all it had in WW I, many M90 Carbines were repaired using M95 parts (bolts and their parts, stocks, etc) so the presence in 1918 of "Hybrid" M90/95 Karabiner is not unusual. Some even ended up in the italian reparations, and went to Italian East Africa(where they remained in their Hybrid condition) others went to the Czechs, also as reparations.(and un-converted) until sold to Bulgaria or Austria before the Anschluss(1938).

Since Germany despatched almost all the M95/30 rifles in Austria to Bulgaria in late 1938-39, this rifle could have been one of them; alternately, as said above, Bulgaria could have bought it directly from the czechs in the mid 30s (as they were also buying 8x50R ammo from Bratislava (Circle M) at the time...as they themselves were converting ammo production to 8x56R (1935-36).

So a careful reading of the markings leads to a truer Picture of the item.

An OEWG Steyr built M90, hybridised by AH Empire during WW I, given to Czechoslovakia in 1919, Sold off, still in 8x50R in the 1930s (to Austria or Bulgaria), and ending up rebuilt in Bulgaria(or Austria) to an M90/95/30 sometime in the 1930s, or even 1940s. (Bulgaria did do some conversions to 8x56R, but not many...most were done by Austria prior to the 1938 Anschluss).

Interesting History wrapped up in one gun.

Regards
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Doc AV -

Many thanks for the most insightful and thorough (as usual) description and background!

It will be most interesting examining this one up close to see how much has survived through the transition periods. Think I'll start with the underside of the barrel to check for a match. It appears there are the remnants of an old AH acceptance stamp beneath the Czech marking, on the chamber.

More to come...

- Best Regards! Mike
 

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Andy, I recall this is the second time that you have said that a marking is not Czech, but on other weapons it is accepted as being Czech. I can't imagine that a pretty specific mark like that being used by one country in some circumstances and then the same marking be used by someone else. I don't see this as a marking used by anyone other than the Czechs.

I guess what I am trying to say is how can you say it's not Czech?
 

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MikeS

I've seen the KK/8 mark on other Bulgarian refurbed M95/30's for sale this year. IIRC the ones I've seen with the mark on the barrel shank always had a banded front sights even though they had carbine rear sight leafs and bases. Does yours have a banded front sight? Are there any Austro-Hungarian acceptance marks on the barrel shank? I have two M95/30s with banded front sights, short carbine rear sites and bases with no Austro-Hungarian marks. Only the S conversion mark. The bore on one is like new and the other one only shows slight use. I suspect these to be re-barrels and I wonder if the KK/8's are re-barrels as well but their barrels could have been made by the Czechs or someone else? Just speculation on my part. Feel free to tear it apart.:) The Czechs made Comission rifle parts for the Turks thus it's possible they could have made barrels for Mannlichers.
 

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Doc did not categorically rule out all and any Czech involvement sometime in this M95's life. He just gave out a slew of facts, one of which is that they did not use it after it was converted to 8x56Rmm. He did not make any comment about the KK6 (8?) mark.

M95's with replacement barrels - and I have seen KK6 (8), circle T, and maybe others - have front sights on bands around the barrel. I have seen an M90 action with a converted long rifle rear sight, so whoever did the rebarreling apparently used whatever rear sight was available.
 

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Unfortunally there is no evidence of that this stamps were used in czechoslovakia, as i have enough literature of czech and slovak origin, other point is that the majority of weapons Mannlicher avialable in 1938 in storages went in war to Austria and were probably there rebarelled to 8x56R, and then sent to Bulgaria as german ally , they never went back to Czechoslovakia.
Other point is the T in circle, it was used as Tormentation stamp, but it could be used in similar reason in Bulgaria. The T on barell is not the same like used by CS tormentation. best regards,Andy
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Well, my knowledge in the post-war years is pretty limited, but here is the section from KHW's (most excellent) book on Mosin Nagant rifles. Still available I believe. So apparently this mark appears on the M91s. Can't say what his source is, but have PM'd KH regarding this.

Werksabnahmestempel = Factory acceptance stamp

Won't know any more on the sights and other markings until it arrives. Hopefully this next week.

- Best Regards! Mike
 

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Hello Thanks for scan, but i am very sceptical about it, where it was stamped? on what a carbine, i know Mr. Wrobbel, but it doenst mean he couldnt made any errors, many books about bayonets have some errors and the czechoslovak area was hidden for 40 years for serious investigation about markings. You have there a very reworked carbine, that would be not realised by any army rework facillities in Czechoslovakia. Its not the good caliber.best regards,Andy
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Hi Andy -

I can't answer your questions about the location of the stamps from the book. Hopefully KH will chime in. It looks like they are on steel and since there are four examples shown, there should be a common thread. Not like a single spurious stamp.

They are on (presumably) Mosin Nagant rifles, so it is very interesting that they are showing up on Mosin Nagant and M95 Mannlicher rifles.

Did a bit more digging, and here is a pic from the 7.62x54 site, of a Czech Mosin M91/38 made from a cut down M91. The 'KK' mark appears here also, on the top of the receiver.

Link to the page: http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinMarks03.htm

Still interesting though, as one has to wonder if it is an earlier mark or was added during the '38 conversion!!

- Best Regards! Mike (Hope I don't get in trouble for grabbing these pics!! :eek: )



Czech arsenal marks (and Russian eagle)
M91/38 cut down from M91
Receiver

- Best Regards! Mike
 

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This is the point i awaited this marking on M91/38 pieces, i believe that this conversion is problematic, not mentioned in our sources. It was some export when made from older rifles. The majority of rifles M91 avialable in old Czechoslovak prewar republik were sold to other countries, so only possibility would be M91/30 rifles brought by the cs.unit served under Red Army, but they should be not have a old russian imperial proof. I believe the answer is the doubble star on lower part, when anyone know whos it represent it ? certainly not a czechoslovak stamp. the T in circle is problematic, as i believe it was used in other country, and KK10 should be explained what is a rework stamp? best regards,Andy
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This is the point i awaited this marking on M91/38 pieces, i believe that this conversion is problematic, not mentioned in our sources. It was some export when made from older rifles. The majority of rifles M91 avialable in old Czechoslovak prewar republik were sold to other countries, so only possibility would be M91/30 rifles brought by the cs.unit served under Red Army, but they should be not have a old russian imperial proof. I believe the answer is the doubble star on lower part, when anyone know whos it represent it ? certainly not a czechoslovak stamp. the T in circle is problematic, as i believe it was used in other country, and KK10 should be explained what is a rework stamp? best regards,Andy
Thanks Andy!

I have to confess that I didn't know what a 91/38 was until I started looking for this marking. Seems like the only point that is certain for now is that the Mosins and M90/95s with this stamp passed through a similar location. It will be interesting to see what else may appear on the carbine when it arrives.

As an aside, I have an M1890 Austrian Stutzen (Naval-Torpedo?) rifle that has the circled T on the right side of the barrel, all the other (visible) Austro-Hungarian marks have been defaced. It has not been refinished.

- Best Regards! Mike

PS - Good discussion!! :)
 

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... I have an M1890 Austrian Stutzen (Naval-Torpedo?) rifle...
Really? Could you show some pictures? That's a rare gun!
 
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