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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This one is a very rare gun: it is a Stutzenkarabiner Sniper rifle from the Inter-War period. But to start with a bit of history:

In the inter-war period Austria gave order to count the weapons they have, especially regarding sniper rifles. They received back charts that contained Zielfernrohrgewehre, Zielfernrohrstutzenkarabiner and Zielfernrohrstutzen. The equipment however should only consist of Zielfernrohrstutzenkarabiner. Therefore the Zielfernrohrgewehre had to be sent to the Waffen- und Zeughauptdepot in exchange for Zielfernrohrstutzenkarabiner. The Zielfernrohrstutzen however had to be converted to -Stutzenkarabiner by the Waffenmeister. The parts required for this conversion were supplied to them by the Waffen- und Zeughauptdepot. At the same time the Waffen- und Zeughauptdepot were ordered to set up 145 Zielfernrohrstutzenkarabiner.

The particular rifle features scope bases that have the internal AZF assembly number still on them, additionally the newly given serial number #18. The original AZF mount assembly number make it obvious the bases already originate from either a Stutzen or a Stutzenkarabiner. It however cannot be said for certain whether the rifle is a Waffenmeister conversion from Zielfernrohrstutzen to Zielfernrohrstutzenkarabiner, or a newly set up rifle by the Waffen- und Zeughauptdepot. Based on the very low serial number I however tend to assume it is more likely this rifle was set up by the Waffen- und Zeughauptdepot, since the Waffenmeister would not change over the serial to a new one.

Worth mentioning in this context is the barrel shank stamps. Note the rifle originally carried what appears to be a Wn?5 proof, therefore most likely Wn15. This then got overstamped HV25, most possibly the date the rifle got changed over to Zielfernrohrstutzenkarabiner. This stamp however is overstamped a third time with what reads 27 - means it was repaired again in 1927. The second repair very well could also had been a change of the scope only, since the huge mixture of various scope manufacturers with many of them requiring repair was another problem Austria faced post WWI.

The caliber of this rifle is still 8x50R since the Army was not happy with the accuracy of the S-Patrone (8x56R caliber); the sniper rifles at least up to 1936 never got converted to 8x56R. On 1st May 1936 the Staatsfabrik was ordered to set up 4 M.17/30 as well as 4 8mm M.95 S-Stutzen with scope in "neuer Befestigungsart" ("new mount style"). This trials confirmed a worse accuracy of the S-caliber, despite the rifles for this experiment were hand selected. Since the request for new sniper rifles to be M.17/30 got neglected, at least up to end 1937/beginning 1938 only trials sniper rifles were in S-caliber. At around this period the "neue Befestigungsart" got approved, but were stopped since Austria was occupied by Germany.

To in the end get back to the particular rifle: it most possibly was handed out to the Volkssturm at the end of WWII since it was found among German equipment, well hidden in an attic until recently. I do have several spare scopes with mounts, however had not found time yet to check if either of them would be a rather tight fit to this rifle.

PS: small side note, I also have M.95 Stutzenkarabiner sniper rifle serial #5 in my collection. That rifle however came with a sportered stock and is "only" a restored item. This one now is of higher quality.

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Amazing!
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am not sure what you mean by "combined frog and swivel mount", can you elaborate?

The scope mount you see on this rifle is basically a modified Goerz Single Claw mount. The Austrians obtained a license in WWI to produce this mount themselves since Goerz was not able to supply the requested amount of scope mounts and scopes. The front scope ring features a claw, the front scope base allows lateral adjustment by moving the dovetailed part (and affixing it with that screw). The rear scope ring has a pivot pin and locks with a downward spring pressed lever at the front edge of the rear scope base; the rear scope base may also be adjusted lengthenwise and affixed with a screw from bottom.
 

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Very nice.
I've been looking for a M95 sniper for a while now but a combination of price, lack of money, and/or bad luck seems to dog me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Digging through documents sometimes pays off: found order to set up newly 15 M.95 Zielfernrohrstutzenkarabiner, as well as overhaul and match optics to 3 Zielfernrohrstutzenkarabiner. This makes a total of 18 Stutzenkarabiner-Snipers. They were to be kept as stock with the Waffen- und Zeughauptdepot. Document dates 26th November 1925. Find attached a screenshot of it.

This rifle has a HV25 stamp, is serial #18 and seems to remain in unissued condition. It sounds safe to assume this is the final rifle set up per this order.

Text Photograph White Style Line
 
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