Probably the least known of the early automatic pistol designs is the Mannlicher. The design went through several stages, starting as blow-forward action (the short-lived 1894 model), followed by a fixed barrel and finally a delayed blowback in several variations. This process began in 1896 and continued until around 1904 or 1905. Like many of its contemporaries, the Mannlicher was offered in both pistol and carbine configurations (either as a pistol with detachable stock or long-barrel carbine with a permanent stock).

While there are some minor differences in the different variations of Mannlicher pistols, they are all very similar to the original 1896 model. The pistol uses a short recoil type of action with a falling block to lock. The bolt and barrel travel backwards together under recoil for a short distance, until the bolt is cammed down and out of its locked position and continues backwards to eject from inertia. The magazine is comparable to a C96 Mauser magazine, but with with the follower guide on the opposite side.



German (click to download in PDF format):

Mannlicher 1901 carbine manual


Mannlicher Carbine poster

Mannlicher Carbine poster

Full size Mannlicher 1901 Carbine poster (7 MB)

Photos of a Mannlicher 1910 (click to download high-resolution copies)


Manowar’s Hungarian Weapons has articles on half a dozen Mannlicher pistol variants (look under “Monarchy 1867-1918”, and then “Mannlicher pistols”)



  1. Is there any chance oof you posting anything that describes the internal mechanics of the gun(the pistol variant preferably) in more detail than a poster?

  2. I’m arguing for adoption of the 1901 Carbine action in .30inch x 25mm. Any idea how these would cost compared to the Thompson in 1933-1936? It is said that the UK armed forces found the Tommy gun expensive. Could they have license built something cheaper than the Tommy and the MP-28/34? Could it have done a comparable job? Carbine and submachine gun?

  3. I am attempting to have ATF remove this carabiner from NFA and officially recognize it as a curio and relic. I would appreciate any information anyone can provide me on when, and where it was manufactured. ATF tells me that if I can provide reliable documentation on its make and value they would likely remove it from NFA, since it has a 12″ barrel and would be considered a short barreled rifle.
    Mannlicher Model 1897/02 Semi-Automatic Carbine

  4. I have one of these carbines dated 1905 but is not chambered for 7.65 Mannlicher cartridge which is a straight walled cartridge. Mine is chambered for what I have measured as 7.65×22 or what seems to be extremely close to the .30 Luger cartridge which is 7.65×21. I have seen a couple others and it appears that the carbine may have been chambered for different cartridges. I will at some point get some 30 Luger and see if this is in fact what mine is chambered for. Any info would be helpful since this carbine has very limited info available.

  5. The Carbine version fascinating & very little information appears to be around about it.
    ‘Apparently’ not too popular. Does anybody have information on how many were produced & when / any production history. Also if used at all in WW1 – I would have thought it would be a very useful (if somewhat light) trench / battle range weapon.

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