Sunday, September 17, 2017

Probably the least known of the early automatic pistol designs is the Mannlicher Model 1896/03, manufactured by Steyr.

The pistol is called the Model 1896/03 due to the fact that it was originally developed in 1896 (at the same time the 1896 Mauser pistol was) however it was not commercially introduced on to the market until approximately 1903.

The design went through several stages, starting with the short-lived M-1894 blow-forward action model, followed by a fixed barrel and finally a delayed blowback in several variations. This process continued until around 1904 or 1905.
These later Mannlicher pistols have several other unique features such as a barrel that screwed into an upper receiver, vs the one-piece design of the 1896 Mauser, it has an internal hammer with a small short external cocking indicator on the rear of the pistol. The front sight and front sight base are actually a complete separate unit that is secured to the barrel via a key on top of the barrel.

The following pistol is fairly unique in that it has a 6 inch long barrel with an adjustable rear sight graduated from 50-200 meters that is base actually machined directly into the top rear section of the upper receiver. Most of these models have a simple notch.

It is fitted with the desirable detachable magazine box which allows the pistol to be loaded with strippers just like the rest of the Mannlicher rifle and pistol designs, as well as just removing the detachable magazine.

It also has a slotted back strap, obviously intended to be developed as a substitute for a short rifle, like the Mauser and Luger pistol carbines.


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