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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Gentlemen, I would like to share these pictures with you and hope that you can tell me what I have here. I think it is a mannlicher but I have no idea of year or model. There are a few letter marks K and R. My father served in a NJ National Guard unit in England and Europe during WW11 and when the war ended he was near Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. I am guessing that he may have "liberated" this weapon there. But he was also in Austria, Germany, Belgium and France. He sent many items home. I am new to this hobby as this rifle and a Colt 1911 were left to me when my dad passed on. Any and all help identifying this rifle would be welcome along with any advice on caring and preserving this gun, Thanks in advance,, Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Some more Pictures, I hope they help. I could not find a serial # I probably am not looking in the right place. I am guessing that the name on the barrel is that of the original owner. These pics will show the crack in the stock and other dings.
 

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It appears to be customized Mannlicher M.95. Georg Gabriel is likely the name on the gunsmith who did the customization and Breslau is the city.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
more pics

more pics
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
and finally more pics

last of pics Should and or can any of the damage be repaired and is it the right thing to do or leave it as is? All and any advice is welcome. Jim
 

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The wood shouldn't be a difficult repair to a stockmaker.
 

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That is really a beautiful rifle well worthy of some minor restoration. If it were mine, I'd have a very good stock maker repair the toe of the stock by carefully matching the existing grain & color. I would try to do this in such a way that you don't sand & refinish the whole stock. The fore end tip, grip cap, and butt plate are made of horn & it appears that "horn worms" have been at work. Actually it is a type of moth larva that causes this. I would contact a museum conservator to have the stock fumigated just in case there are any of the little bugger's eggs still around. I would not try to repair the insect damage, however I have used dark bee's wax to fill holes in horn before and it looked better. If you do go that route just remember that in temperatures above 80 degrees it will soften. The engraving is very interesting. Acid etched on the magazine assembly & then engraved. You don't often see Model 1895 straight pull Steyr Mannlicher's made into hunting rifles. I suspect it is from the Pre-World War I era. The ammo looks like it's post World War II commercial made. I'm envious of you, that's a fine rifle.
Dan in Texas
 

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Very Nice "Belle Epoque" ( 1890-1914) European style Hunting Rifle ( Austria-Germany- "Mittel-Europa" style).

Gerg Gabriel, Buchsenmacher, Breslau.
Action is an M95 Action; There should be Austrian or German Commercial proofs on barrel, possibly under woodwork.

Ammunition "8,2x50R" is the Sporting (Civilian) designation for the 8x50R M93 Cartridge (the FMJ Military version). The ammo is "PS" Povaske Strojarne, based at Povaska Bystrica ( Pron. "Bystritza") in Slovakia. The Company was owned by ZB (Brno) and successor to the Old Jiri Roth Factory of Bratislava... Moved in late 1930s. to the new location.

Packet looks like immediately Post-war, before all Czech enterprises were "Communistized" and Became "Narodni Podnik" ( "People's Enterprise").

Ammo will be Berdan primed ( Corrosive, probably .199" Roth style Primer... but being Post-war, may be .217 Two flash primer(?).

Very Nice , Both Collectible and Usable (North American Deer, even Moose/Elk at short range...the 244 grain bullets will take down anything up to Rhinos). Forward sling hanger is typical of the European Alpine "Mannlicher" style Hunting stock

BTW, Breslau was in Pre-WW I German controlled Poland..it became the Polish City of Wroclaw after 1945, when the region of Silesia was incorporated into the Polish State.

Silesia had been part of the Medieval German area and eventually became part of the German Empire in 1871. The Majority of the Population of Silesia were German, and German was the Language. Silesia borders on the Sudeten ( a German area of Bohemia...eventually part of the Czechoslovakia post-1918... So it is no surprise that such a "Germanic" Hunting carbine be found in CZ after WW II.

A very Nice find. Please document all the details of how it was "acquired" and by whom. That is a part of its History...a bit more than just a "Austrian Hunting Rifle"!!!

Good stock-toe replacement/repair can be done by a good professional stock maker. Depends on extent of cracks and damage.

I will try to research "Georg Gabriel" to see when he operated... More later.

PSD if you want to reload for it, take 8x56R Steyr cases (Graf's, PRVI) and resize and trim to 8x50R Austrian; Use either Cast Bullets (.329" diameter), or Swaged down (Lee die) .338" to .329" diameter Spire Points...as a last resort, a Flat Based .324 Cylindrical Bullet ( 196 grain) will do. Loads in the 40-43 grains of IMR #4895 area...#4064 and #4350 and #3031 may also be tried. Load down, and work up.

Original Loads were German Gewehr Blattchen Pulver ( Rifle Flake) at around 45 grains with a 244 grain cylindrical soft Point RN. A Clone load can be made by using the Flake Powder in 8x56R Austrian/Bulgarian ammo from the 1930s.

NB, five round clips (asymmetrical) must be used for Magazine fire. ( and even Single Loading).

Doc AV
 

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Further Info on G.Gabriel- Breslau.

The Old (German) firm of Paul Mossiers, 20 Koenigstrasse Breslau, was held by G.Gabriel ("inhaber"). The Mossier name is found on many Pre-1914 G88 Mannlicher Sporters of High quality, both in Alpine and Normal style ( octagon Barrels, Double triggers, etc) See NitroExpress .com Forums ( 2012 etc.). The HS "Mossier-Gabriel" is also found on a lot of Shotshells ( they also made Drillings and Shotguns..both in-house and assembled/engraved on Factory Parts ( Krupp or Bohler Barrels, Rheinmettal/Simson/Haenel Actions, etc.)

The Name "Gabriel" seems to signify membership of Breslau's Jewish community ( quite extensive in the Trade and Finance sectors of Breslau.). Most of the Breslau Jewish Community were classed as "
German Jews" and given particular treatment by the Nazis, in comparison with Polish Jews in Silesia. All were eventually deported by 1944, to make way for the Remains of the Warsaw Ghetto...

More research is needed ( sadly, I don't read Polish, where a lot of info on the pre-1945 status of Breslau is to be found ).

Maybe some of our Polish contributors can be of assistance.

Doc AV
 

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I think Doc AV has it nailed down about as good as we can hope for. These European hunting rifles from the early days of smokeless powder are difficult to research unless you are multilingual. It's a really nice rifle and I admire it as much for the art work of the engraving as I do for it's classical lines and workmanship of it's construction.
Dan in Texas
 

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suggakane: Beautiful rifle. Congratulations. "K" marked parts made in Austria, "R" marked parts made in Hungary.
DocAV: Nice job of research.
 

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DocAV, there is absolutely no reason to assume Georg Gabriel being a Jew. Georg is the name of a christian saint and Gabriel is a quite common German family name. On the contrary, Gabriel was promoted to the Silesian top master gunsmith in 1935 during the Nazi era, impossible even then if there were jewish Connections, and is last documented afaik in 1940 by an advertizement. He was most likely driven out of Breslau in 1945 together with the other 95% German population.
 

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He was most likely driven out of Breslau in 1945 together with the other 95% German population.
Is it PC to talk about the genocide committed against the Germans? Everyone knows they are all evil...
 

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I mentioned the Jewish connection, because the family-name Gabriel was found during my Google-fu to be linked to various Jewish organisations etc in both Germany and Britain.... Could be an individual connection lost in the mists of time ("Christianization" was common during the Prussian and early Empire eras). Even though the famous Composer, Mendelsohn ( son of Mendel) was cristianised early on, the Nazis refused his "conversion", and still banned his "decadent" Music.

The State Expropriation of German Jews really didn't get underway until after "KristallNacht" in 1938...before that it was "forced sales" by Nazi Party Thugs ( "We will make you an offer for your business you can't refuse!")...

as to the Expulsion of Germans from border territories,in 1945-46, this was a stated Stalinist Policy in occupied countries with mixed ethnicities....Most of the Germans were only too glad to escape the Soviets, anyway (irrespective of their Politics, in any case.).

More research is definitely necessary. Even into the Hated "Nazi" archives....

Doc AV
 

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More research is definitely necessary. Even into the Hated "Nazi" archives....
Probably not, this is not a political forum. Let's just talk guns.
 

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Talking Guns Talks History...and sometimes, whether we like it or not, History IS Politics...whether we subscribe to the Ideologies or NOT. It is time we cut the "Politically Correct" Krap that is creeping into our Boards ( ie, not researching "politically incorrect" Ideologies' Archives for fear of "upsetting" somebody.... Like Seneca ( CE 50 or so) said, (and I paraphrase) "it is not the sword that kills, but the hand that wields it" ...the same can be said of History....History is History, it is only the Interpretation of it that can be dangerous...or instructive...

Getting back to Guns...a lot of info about German Gun Industry is still buried in the Archives held at Koblenz and other places (Military and Civilian)...Germans (Bless them) kept every scrap of paper and wrote everything down. And if Allied Bombing and Russian rapacity didn't destroy them, the papers are all still there ( after a Thirty-Year sojourn in the USA, where approx. only 1% was examined!!!! before returning them to the BDR.

Doc AV

pardon my Curmudgeoness....
 
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