Mannlicher Model 1896 Pistols

With the Model 1896 pistol, Ferdinand Mannlicher made an effort to improve the ballistics of his pistols and make them less awkward, by moving to a locked breech action and a bottlenecked higher velocity cartridge. The very first Model 1896 was a blowback, but this was almost immediately replaced by the locked system seen here.

In 1897, a further improvement was made by replacing the 7-round fixed magazine with 6-round detachable magazines (although stripper clips could still be used to reload them). Some confusion exists about the dates of these guns because they were patented in the 1896/7 time frame, but not released onto the commercial market until 1901/3. Presumably Mannlicher was attempting to garner military contracts before putting in the time and money to market them commercially.

In addition to standard pistols, these were available with longer barrels, shoulder stock lugs with combination holster/stocks, and as sporting carbines.


  1. This pistol has a hidden hammer with an outside partner lever to cock and recock jobs. The outside lever also violently rotates at each shot as prone to give an accident and why a brilliant genius like Mannlicher did not think a similar device remaining its uncocked position is questinoable. Such a lever would be spring loaded and return its upright position after cocking and if uncocking desired, it would be taken rearward manualy. However, the breechbolt reciprocal motion remains all inside giving no outside protection at shots. This should be a good point for stocked shooting or carbine versions. The barrel return spring is separate and it points out a design hesitate, again not matching with F.V. Mannlicher.

    • “not matching with F.V. Mannlicher”
      I guess that in fact Mannlicher originally might want to design carbine rather than automatic pistol, if his original patents could be found it might give hints if have drawings showing automatic pistol xor carbine.
      Also information more info about this cartridge:
      would be useful. Does Mannlicher starting designing around this and later downscaled or reverse?

    • It’s generally easier to have a charging handle fixed to the hammer than to have a handle separate from the hammer. A non-reciprocating handle needs a separate track/groove and would add dead weight for very little gain, especially if the bolt jams on returning to battery-no way to force the bolt forward. Did I mess up?

      • Afraid could not clearly describe the part what l would like to point out. It was the “S” shaped lever at right integrated with hidden hammer inside. Breechbolt related comments true generally.

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