WWI Steyr M95 Sniper Carbine

RIA’s catalog page for this rifle

During World War One, Austria-Hungary produced about 13,000 sniper rifles and carbines – and while the significant majority of these were full length rifles, the Empire was the only major power to produce a scoped sniper carbine during the war. These continued to be produced until about 1920 or 1921, to be used as war reparations to Italy. However, Italy never made use of them, and the vast majority were eventually scrapped. For this reason, they are very scarce rifles today.

Because the M95 loaded using a 5-round Mannlicher type en bloc clip, the scope on the M95 snipers had to be offset to the left of the action. Scopes from 5 different manufacturers were used, including many purchased form Germany in the early stages of the war. This particular one is a Reichert scope, but Kahles, Suss, Fuess, and Oigee were also used. Most, including this one, were of 3x magnification. The reticle is a German post type, with a dial adjustment on the scope for 100 to 600 meters, which moves the reticle vertically in the field of view.

Several numbers are stamped on the various parts of an M95 sniper. There will be an assembly number on the front scope base which should match the number on the right side of the rear scope ring. In addition to matching the scope to its base during assembly, this also indicates production number, as sniper rifles were numbered sequentially by AZF, where they were built. There will be another number on the left side of the rear scope ring, which should match the barrel serial number of the rifle or carbine.

5 Comments

  1. Before I start commenting about the rifle in question, I’d like to apologize to Daweo for the confusion yesterday. I wasn’t in my best thinking mood and messed up a whole lot of stuff during our argument.

    An offset scope to accommodate clip-loading trades “intuitive aiming” for a faster reload. And no, detachable magazines are NOT a good option for this era as detachable box magazines for bolt-action rifles were FREAKISHLY EXPENSIVE TO MANUFACTURE at the time unless you wanted them to fall apart should a jumpy recruit accidentally drop his rifle on the ground. To make things more confusing, the detachable magazines were only detachable for cleaning purposes.

    Perhaps the Swiss solution was the best with the angular offset action. Clip-loading like the usual service rifle and a centered scope!

    As for self-loading rifles with scopes, perhaps the Heinemann action would work, with its side-mounted magazine and side-swinging toggle (so it won’t whack your helmet). Clip loading is possible because the magazine is not inline with the scope then! I hope I got this right.

    • Most repeating military rifles used during Great War as default, were developed in end of 19th century/dawn of 20th century, when so far I know major military powers do not see need for usage of rifle with scopes. I am not sure about MAS-36: does they consider scope usage during design process?

  2. Mountains, against the Italians… Scoped Carbines might have been handy.

    The Italians wouldn’t adopt the “bastards” rifles, afterwards.

    Because they didn’t like them.

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