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Discussion Starter #1
Gentelmen,
Recently, while sorting some 300 plus small arms for a collection I encountered a rifle with no mark/stamp/etc. other than the numeral “2” . It has a Mannlicher/Gewehr-1888 type magazine and fins under its bolt similar to those in M-95 Mannliher However, this is a turn-bolt with a solid bolt head.I cleaned the bore and the chamber. The 8x57JS ctg does not fit into the chamber but sticks out about 3-4mm’s. The bullet does not fit close to the muzzle but stays rather high. This may be because the rifle was built for the pre 1903 8x57J or it was built and chambered for the 7.65x53 which has a bullet diameter of 7.95mm. 8x57J is 8.02mm and the 8x57xJS has a bullet diameter of 8.2mm. Naturally, as the rifle was supposed to be loaded with a Mannlicher type en-bloc clip the lone cartridge wouldn’t stay in the magazine.
The sharp tapered tip at the front of the fore-end fits into the groove in the upper sling swivel stud, then the action is lowered down into the stock and screwed down in the standard manner with two screws, one behind the trigger guard and the other in front of the magazine.
When the screw marked with a red dot in the rear view of the bolt is turned counter clockwise half a turn the firing pin/main spring/locking sleeve/knob assembly comes out as a single unit.

The only mark; “2” can be clearly seen in the photos.
Full length 129.8 cm
Bbl length 79.5 cm
Bbl sleeve dia”” 26.38 mm
(Bbl S. Dia/Gew-88 24.75 mm - for comparison)

The stock, Gew-88 like barrel sleeve, long range rear sight look military. A very dainty bolt handle looks very unmilitary. The bolt has strange looking fins at 45 degree angles moving in contact with opposing 45 degree lips in the receiver.

Although the clip fed single row magazine is very Mannlicher, the solid bolt head, the claw type extractor moving 90 degrees radially around the bolt, and the bolt handle behind the rear receiver ring reek of later Mausers.
I couldn't see anything like it in Olson's Mauser Bolt Rifles, Ball's Mauser Military Rifles of the World, Walter's The German Rifle, Scarlata's Mannlicher Military Rifles and Collecting Classic Bolt Action Military Rifles, and Ford's The World's Great Rifles, nor in W.H.B.Smith's "Mauser, Walther and Mannlicher Firearms."
I am going to try to attach some photos.
I think this may be a Mannlicher prototype submitted to the GPK in 1887, which was later sent also to Turkey as we were not very happy with our M-1887 Mauser choice.
The bolt fins/rails were used on the straight-pull bolts of M-90 carbine and the M-95 rifle. Just about the only solid head turn-bolt Mannlicher used was in the M-96 rifle. It had the same firing pin fixing principle and the same “civilian” bolt handle & knob, but that one head 8 locking lug(let)s(???) in 2 rows while this one has 2 rather blocky lugs.
I am a 67 year old gun nut and haven't seen anything like this before.
I would appreciate any help you may give and any leads you may provide. Especially a lead to the STEYR-Mannlicher Museum or collection in Austria.
Sincerely,

alikozanoglu
Ankara, Turkey

P.S: I can't attach photos. If interested please send me a message at [email protected].
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you very much John.
As almost every site has a different system of attaching photos, as a computer semi-illeterate I often have problems.
I am much obliged. I hope you've got my last msg about the W.H.B.Smith book.

alikozanoglu
 

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Hi Ali,
Yes, I received it and will answer tonight. I've been looking through the original book of patents by Von Kromar, hoping to find the dates when von Mannlicher registered his patents, but after checking every page in this source document, there is no indication when the patents were filed, other than the model number (as in "M.1895") which appears in the top border on each page. More this evening after I get home from work.
Best Regards,
John
 
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