Prototype Hungarian 33M Bolt Action Rifle

When Hungary separated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War One, it began to slowly rebuild its military equipment. The eventually led to carbine conversions of old M95 rifles using the new 8x56mm rimmed cartridge, which were designated the 31M. However, the Hungarians were not satisfied with the Mannlicher straight-pull system. In cold conditions during the war, these rifles had sometimes become very difficult to operate, as the grease in their bolts solidified at low temperature. Hungary wanted to adopt a new turnabout rifle, and the 35M was eventually chosen. Building up to that, however, was the prototype 33M design.

The 33M was a rifle with a lot of fine machining and expensive, sometimes delicate, features. It used a sliding dust cover on the bolt that never would have survived field conditions. It also had a quite large oil bottle in the buttstock, accessed by pivoting the whole buttplate off to one side. Eventually the most egregious of the fancy bits would be removed, and the resulting 35M adopted by Hungarian forces (and later adapted to 8x57mm as the 43M for German troops).

Many thanks to Joschi Schuy for giving me access to film this extremely rare rifle!


  1. The M43 WAS FOR hUNHARY? The german version is the 98/40. Differnces were the front caps for the use of each national baionets and barrel bands.
    The bolt is not a Mannlicher Schoenauer one even if looking like. It cocks at closure and you cannot uncock by pressing trigger and closing, you have to close and pull the trigger while retaining the striker by the crest.
    Again the song of the 8X56 being a potent machine gun round ! stop§ Take the time to look at ballistic data for the 8X50 and 8X56, they are in the same class, not as the italian and swede 8mm. The problem was to put a boat tailed bullet in tyhe 8X50, the case had to be lengthened while keeping the main body. thus the 8X56. a machine gun intervene as the total lengthof the round had to be the same as the length of the 8X50 in order to have the Schwarzlose machine gun working withe the new round after reaming the chamber. This said, too briefly in the austrian bible about austrian Ammo (Herr Motz ?)
    The very very interesting thing about this 1935 for me is the interdiction of firing without the bolt head. I had a not so nice accident with a Dutch 1895 carbine, but normally from the 1900 model, the Mannlicher bolt was redesigned in order to change diassembly and reassembly of the bolt sufficiently different to avoid the problem. Apparently this had left some souvenir.

  2. That magazine hole is a great wayt to pack the action with mud, dirt, ice etc until it is non-operable

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