(A Few of) The Many Faces of the Dutch M95 Carbine

When the Dutch military adopted the M95 Mannlicher rifle, they made a rifle for standard infantry, and a variety of carbines for specialist troops. these included artillery, cavalry, bicycle, engineers, and colonial service carbines. During World War I they attempted to standardize these and reduce the number of different designs, but met with only limited success. By the time World War II began, there were at least 13 different variants of M95 carbine in service with the Dutch military.

21 Comments

  1. Very interesting little revolver, but not the Dutch Carbines I thought I would see. Glad I’m not the only one these things happen to.

  2. I think there were also carbines for naval troops, gendarmerie and police. The Dutch M95 Mannlicher rifle and carbines are a great collecting subject, but it seems to increasingly difficult to find specimens in really good condition.
    I always found the carbine variations fascinating, especially the ones made for the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger, KNIL for short). According to a Dutch book on the subject – by the way, Ian, did you manage to get yourself a copy? – there were at least 12 carbine models adopted for home army and military police (Marechaussee) use; another 5, if I recall correctly, were adopted for the East Indies Army. Cannot recall how many were designed and officially adopted by the Navy, but the total must surpass the number you mention… Enough to keep any prospective collector busy for years, I guess.

      • I am glad to hear that you got a copy, for it is currently out-of-print and, yes, you are right about it being about the only information available in English atm (and in the foreseeable future). I wish they could do a revised and expanded editon.

  3. The Dutch 95 is also a smooth shooting carbine. I own a sporterized one that is wonderful for hunting. Anyone else shoot the M95?

  4. I lived in Holland for 8 years, and I never saw an M95 for sale (although I didn’t look very hard), but I waent to a lot of gunshops looking for interesting stuff.

    Apparently during the Occupation the Germans shipped the bulk of the M95’s off to the Romanians on the eastern front cos the ammo is compatible, which is why there are very few left in private hands in the Netherlands.

    • Dutch M95s are indeed quite rare in Europe, even in countries with a good market for surplus rifles.
      Thanks for information about the fate of Dutch M95s. I wasn’t aware of this, but it surely makes sense. I also suppose they must have issued some to local occupation troops, like they did elsewhere.

  5. Back in the late ’80s or early ’90s, a bunch of Dutch Mannlichers were imported into the U.S.

    I thought about getting one at the time, but the only ammunition that came in was Berdan primed, and I didn’t see any sources either for Boxer primed ammunition or Boxer cases.

    Still, being a Commission 88 fan, it would have been nice to have one of its cousins.

  6. Sorry I can’t resist the joke:

    Did they have “coffee shops” in Amsterdam already back then? Because this many different variats just begs the question: “What they were smoking?” 😀

  7. I think a bunch of these were rebarreled to 303 British also. They are thought to be as much fun to shoot as the rebarreled 8 MM Mauser Italian Carcano’s.

    • The Indonesians after independence converted KNIL rifles and carbines to .303 caliber. It’s a solid, well functioning conversion. I can’t speak for the carbine, but recoil and noise from the rifle is normal.

      • According to what I’ve read on the Indonesian converted KNIL rifles and carbines, they also tried to create a sort of single ‘standard’ carbine model, but I don’t know if they succeeded.

  8. Those are really pretty. I have never thought much about these guns and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in the wild. I hope I can put paws on one some time.

  9. I believe the Navy only had one model of carbine (plus a rifle) – I have a Karabijn Marijn, which like the army’s No.5 looks much like the Old Model No.3 (complete with long handguard) but is converted from a long rifle. The only difference is the front sight base is drilled through for a sight protector (missing on mine).

  10. I just acquired a mint specimen of the second version with a darker stock all original .what a beautiful little carbine .I have also acquired the correct bayonet . need the frog .I’m new to these and find them to be another wonderful addition to the world of military surplus rifles and carbines .love to know more about them and the usage of them .

    Scott

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