An example of an early semiauto conversion of an M1888/90 Steyr-Mannlicher straight-pull bolt action rifle. The housing for the clip has been opened up to fit a magazine, and a pistol grip has been rather crudely added.


(click here to download high-resolution copies)


  1. I believe that is a Model 1888 Mannlicher. Interesting weapon (I miss mine)! Does not feature a rotating bolt like the M1895, rather as you press the bolt home a flap (located towards the rear of the bolt) drops down and engaes a slot in the receiver.
    Not the strongest mechanism from what I’ve heard, altho that may have more to do with the metals involved in it’s production. The original was also chambered in 8x50r Mannlicher (not to be confused with 8x50r Lebel) I wonder if that conversion had been bored out to the more powerful 8x56r? Anyway, that thing doesn’t look like something I would be to excited to pull the trigger on!

  2. Feels like some post-apocalyptic modification with that pistol grip. Did they take the “broomhandle” name literally?

  3. This appears to be a Snabb (sometimes called the Snabb38) conversion. This was attempted on the M1917 “Enfield” but was not very successful. there is more info on the Web about this conversion, should anyone care.

  4. Sorry guys, this has nothing to do with The Netherlands. The rifle is not a Dutch M1895 Mannlicher, but appears to be an Austrian M1888/90 (look at the side panels on the rear sight, aded for the new 8x50R cartridge. Very interesting rifle, though.

    • Not that I’m aware of. The photos were taken by a friend, way back when 35mm film cameras were the technological standard, and I don’t have any additional information on it. I believe it was in the collection of the Delft Legermuseum.

  5. The Russians did a similar conversion of the M95 Mannlicher during WWI, using Stutzens, fitting a side gas tube and Piston, with return spring. The Magazine was left at the 5 round clip, and the calibre unchanged at 8x50R.

    Seen on GB a couple of years ago (from Russian Publications)

    Doc AV

  6. The Serbs did a similar conversion of the Mannlicher M.95 / 1941 ……

    The shown M1888-90 got Bulgarian type of rear sight and dual numbering also typical for the BG issued M88s .
    According to a Bulgarian report from 1918,there were 1200 M88 rifles converted to semi-autos.
    After WWI all of the existing semi-auto rifles were supposed to be destroyed following the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine.
    It’s just a guess, for I’ve never seen one.

  7. Sorry for mistype ,but the number of semi-auto rifles from the 1918 report is 1300 …just like the number of years The Bulgarian Empire exists

    • Hey, do you have any more informations about these semi-auto conversions ?
      This comment is so far the only time i have ever heard of these conversions, and i’d love to know if there’s anything more

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