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View Full Version : Steyr 95 carbine vs. longrifle


glennsche
12-03-2010, 11:03 AM
hi all,

curious to hear what people had to say about these two, if there was a huge difference in experience between one and the other. I would hazard a guess and say the carbine is louder kicks harder etc (much like the m44 vs the 91 30 or the Enfield jungle vs the NoIV or SMLEs).

any other noteworthy feature differences?

also, im really curious about the straight pull. I am a huge fanatically dedicated believer in the K31 and while ive heard the Steyr is lightyears different (makes sense...the Habsburgs had to mass produce them for their huge armies and do so during wartime, a constraint the swiss never had), Id be curious to hear what people say about the action, too.

The Steyr is necessary to round out the collection, so i know ill get one, but probably due to ammo prices wont shoot it more than a box or two worth. Anyways, curious to hear what owners of these have to say.

Greets from Zürich,
Glennsche

hybridatsun350
12-03-2010, 11:33 AM
I don't know much about the Steyr's, but just FYI, the 91/30 kicks harder than the M44. The blast may make it seem like it kicks more, but long rifles usually kick harder than carbines. The reason is that they can burn all of the powder in the cartridge and get the most out of it.

With Bulgarian HB...
http://img602.imageshack.us/img602/3591/picture1png.jpg

The M91's feel like they kick less because they weigh so much. The 91/30's don't have the weight to counterbalance the increased energy produced.

BayAreaShooter
12-03-2010, 12:19 PM
The Steyr's are great fun to shoot. The problem is finding ammo for it. Even when you do get ammo it is usually old Nazi marked surplus and in my case I rather save it than shoot it because of the history behind it. Hornady does make NEW ammo for the Steyr but it is expensive. I owned a Steyr m95 for years and never shot it do to not being able to get ammo. I came across a very nice Calgunner that had some ammo on stripper clips that he sold to me for a very good price. (If you are reading this thanks again) I have to say it is one of the funnest guns to shoot for me. The straight pull worried me at first since I had never shot a straight pull before but there is nothing to worry about. Like most old rifles it takes a bit of force to extract a round and I slam the bolt forward to make sure everything in nice and tight. The Steyr will beat you up if you shoot 10-15 rounds back to back. Its like getting kicked my a mule. If you have any other questions fire away.

joefrank64k
12-03-2010, 3:04 PM
I picked up an M95 carbine from a fellow Calgunner a while back and man, does that thing kick!

Like BayAreaShooter said, in spite of the kick, it's fun to shoot. I had my LaRue sniper target a little to close one day and that Nazi round went right through that steel...I couldn't believe how clean the hole was!

I picked up some modern ammo on sale from Graf's that wasn't too bad, price-wise (Prvi), it's not cheap like 7.62 x 54R or 8mm Mauser right now, but doable.

I like the straight bolt, you can cycle really fast...once you stop trying to "rotate" the bolt handle up! :D

I'm partial to carbines...I prefer the lines of the M44 vs. the 91/30 (but have both :D). Get whichever one comes along that looks good and you won't regret it.

gun toting monkeyboy
12-03-2010, 4:07 PM
I have both. The rifles are harder to find. They were noted for having a thin barrel that was prone to warping when it got hot. Like when you had to fire more than a couple of dozen shots. That is why many of them were cut down to stutzen length. They recoil less than the carbines do. Kind of nice, I guess. This is one that you want to reload, or not bother. The Nazi marked stuff is usually reliable, but it is mildly corrosive. And it is historical, so I don't know how much of it you would want to shoot. I still have a couple hundred loose rounds of it that I am hanging on to. Loaded up with 200 grain soft nosed bullets, the carbine makes a handy little brush gun. In terms of power, I would put it just shy of the .30-06 class. Much more oomph than the older 8x50R round that it replaced.

bigstick61
12-03-2010, 6:01 PM
I haven't gotten to shoot my Stutzen-Karabiner (a Stutzen with carbine features) but I really like what I've seen so far. It is very light (under 7 lbs.), handy, well-balanced, and short (but only loses about 100 fps) and for me it comes up very naturally. As soon as I throw it up to my shoulder the sights align perfectly. When I handled one at Big 5 I just knew I had to have one. The straight pull action isn't as smooth as the K-31's but it can still be manipulated more quickly than the average turnbolt. I also think it is neat that the sights are calibrated in paces as it makes measuring a shot off pretty easy (and it is easily converted to yards as it is an inch-based unit). Mine has the taller Bulgarian police front sight and I do wish I could find someone who could tell me how this affects POI in terms of the rear sight calibrations.

Ammo is hard to find. It is pretty much an Internet proposition. You can find it for under $1 a round, with the necessary en bloc clips included, if you shop around. The other day I got 120 rounds and 24 en bloc clips for just under $90. There is nothing wrong with the Nazi or pre-azi Austrian stuff. That is actually the best of the surplus and it is great ammo. Supposedly, if you can get the Berdan primers, it is also the best for reloading as it has a longer life than even the Prvi brass. Not sure how true that is, though. As far as commercial ammo goes Prvi seems to run anywhere between $19 and $25 a box. Nambu runs at $19.50 a box. Hornady is the priciest and I've never seen it go for less than $22 a box; it almost always runs for more than that, sometimes into the upper 20s.

Palimino Stripe
12-03-2010, 6:33 PM
I have both rifle & carbine. I honestly haven't fired my long rifle(s) yet- so I can't comment on that.

As far as other differences- Long rifles don't have the sling-swivel on the wrist of the stock- so some say it's a lot comfier to hold.

Other than the sling swivel placement & the length- they are virtually identical.

..."had to mass produce them for their huge armies and do so during wartime, a constraint..."

Keep in mind Austria-Hungary made them from 1895 to 1918 (That's almost 20 years of production before WWI). That being said- the difference between an M95 made in 1913 and 1917 isn't really that huge. Infact I own many 1917's and I haven't found any 'defects.'

True- the action isn't quite as 'refined' as a K-31, but they are ok. Some have been known to be 'finicky' but if you get your hands on an M95 with a smooth action- they can be fairly slick.

They are great guns with a lot of history, and I absolutely love [all of] mine. Every collection definitely needs one.

-Palimino

bigstick61
12-03-2010, 10:05 PM
Not all of the Stutzens have the swivel at the wrist of the stock. Most were originally made with only the bottom set of sling swivels. The Bulgarian reworks we see a lot today were modified by them by having them all fitted with side sling swivels and having all of the bottom sling swivels removed (if they were there to begin with) and replaced by wood plugs and washers.

Palimino Stripe
12-03-2010, 10:48 PM
Not all of the Stutzens have the swivel at the wrist of the stock. Most were originally made with only the bottom set of sling swivels. The Bulgarian reworks we see a lot today were modified by them by having them all fitted with side sling swivels and having all of the bottom sling swivels removed (if they were there to begin with) and replaced by wood plugs and washers.

I'm aware of that; I have 2 carbines without side swivels. I didn't say all carbines have side swivels- just that long rifles don't have them. And lets face it- any generic question about M95 carbines can be assumed to refer to the Bulgarian imports... That being said, bottom-swivel-only carbines are few & far between.... maybe not in Switzerland though?

-Palimino

smle-man
12-04-2010, 12:44 PM
If you reload you can tame the round to something less than one that kills on one end and maims on the other.

Interloper
12-04-2010, 8:52 PM
Everybody needs to own at least one carbine. Even if you can't afford to shoot it. They're cheap enough.
If you really get into the design, buy the rifle. Heck, maybe even one in the original 8x50r...but now we're really talking handload only.
The bolt is pure genius. The whole action design is. Mannlicher was the John Browning of Europe.

glennsche
12-05-2010, 2:36 AM
thanks for the good information guys, really good stuff. *tips hat*

Argonaut
12-05-2010, 10:42 AM
.........Mauser was the John Browning of Europe.......But I love all my Steyr stuff. I have a M95 carbine to go with my Hungarian wife......It kicks but not any more than any other light rifle with a steel butplate and powerful load. There are some interesting articles about rebarreling them to 7.62X54, It feeds well and the Russian case is very close to the same dimension. I have also seen them converted to left hand bolt. They really are a work of art (like the Swiss) built with incredible tolerances and workmanship. Even the 8X50 (original) ammunition is available at Buffalo Arms in Sand Point Idaho. Like most surplus, these will increase in value as the supply dries up, Mine looks nearly new. The rifle length is not as common but being as it weighs more, will have less recoil.

glennsche
12-05-2010, 12:27 PM
I'm aware of that; I have 2 carbines without side swivels. I didn't say all carbines have side swivels- just that long rifles don't have them. And lets face it- any generic question about M95 carbines can be assumed to refer to the Bulgarian imports... That being said, bottom-swivel-only carbines are few & far between.... maybe not in Switzerland though?

-Palimino

i'd like to ask you a follow up question on the highlighted portions above...

as much as i know my ww1 and habsburg history, i dont know about the history of what's happened to these guns. much like you can know about germany in wws 1 and 2 but yet not know anything about the whole "russian capture" aspect to collecting k98s, are you saying that many of the cheap (and they are really, really inexpensive) steyr carbines out there arrived here via bulgaria? whats the story there? sounds interesting!

i've seen a number of these in shops all over and at shows, and many of them look near mint. so if these are indeed bulgie resales, what happened to them between the dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy (and or the Reich) and those steyrs making it across the pond?

Palimino Stripe
12-05-2010, 2:09 PM
i'd like to ask you a follow up question on the highlighted portions above...

as much as i know my ww1 and habsburg history, i dont know about the history of what's happened to these guns. much like you can know about germany in wws 1 and 2 but yet not know anything about the whole "russian capture" aspect to collecting k98s, are you saying that many of the cheap (and they are really, really inexpensive) steyr carbines out there arrived here via bulgaria? whats the story there? sounds interesting!

i've seen a number of these in shops all over and at shows, and many of them look near mint. so if these are indeed bulgie resales, what happened to them between the dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy (and or the Reich) and those steyrs making it across the pond?


Basically (from what I understand), After WWI, M95 rifles and carbines were spread all over Europe (mostly in the form of war reparations to allied countries). However, many stayed in Austria, Hungary, and Bulgaria (who informally used them throughout WWI). In the 1930's Austria & Hungary rechambered their supplies of M95's to the new 8X56R round (and cut most long rifles down to carbine length). When Germany annexed Austria in 1938- they continued to use M95's for a short while- but within a couple years- all of Austria was using the K98. Austria had no use for the M95's since Germany was now supplying 'their' army. SO, the vast majority of Austria's M95's were sent/sold to Bulgaria. Hungary on the other hand continued to use the 31M (8X56R variation of the M95), 35M, 43M, etc. throughout WWII. Meanwhile Bulgaria now had vast amounts of former-Austrian M95's.

Post-WWII Bulgaria refurbished their stocks of M95's and kept them in storage (and in some cases used them for military duty!). Now, being a Soviet satellite country- they did not want to throw away anything. So they kept the majority of them in warehouses in virtually new condition (after being refurbished). SO about a decade ago- Century Arms International (& other importers) waved money infront of Bulgarian officials and they said "Sold!" And the rest is history.

Why are the majority of M95's coming out of Bulgaria? Because like I said- Bulgaria had the Soviet mentality to not throw anything away. Hungary had some- but keep in mind they had WWII losses, Italy got some post-WWI, but most were sent to Italian colonies in Africa where they are probably still disintigrating into the soil, and a couple other coutries (Such as Czechoslovakia) had quite a few- but they ultimately ended up in Bulgaria as well...

And while I can't substantiate the following: I assume many other countries that had them post-WWI either destroyed them when they became obsolete (in the semi-auto rifle era), or lost them in various wars in the 20's, 30's, and WWII.

-Palimino

bigstick61
12-05-2010, 5:12 PM
The older imports are mostly non-Bulgarian but the more recent stuff is from that Bulgaria deal. What would be really fascinating would be to find a shootable and not otherwise totally screwed up M95 that could be shown to have been one of the rifles sent to the anti-Portuguese Marxist rebels in Mocambique by the Bulgarians, especially if it is one old enough to have potentially been used during the Boxer Rebellion. That would be a real treasure right there, IMO.

Interloper
12-05-2010, 5:23 PM
^^^
excellent explanation and I have a few things to add.
First of all, if you aren't too familiar with the history of this part of Europe, you might not appreciate how big the Austro-Hungarian Empire was. Modern day Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, most of what we used to call Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and parts of Poland. It was the second largest country in Europe after Russia.
After the war, the Empire was shattered. You can imagine how the M95 rifles were distributed. The Austrians modified their stockpiles by converting them to 8x56r. Weapons converted in this manner have a big "S" stamped on the barrel shank. The Hungarians did the same but their weapons were stamped "H". Most rifles were cut down to the carbines we are familiar with today. The Hungarians also added a cross bolt to the stock. These are known as M31's. It's not uncommon to find mixed features. I used to own a Steyr (made in Austria) carbine in an Hungarian M31 stock. I currently own a scrubbed carbine with both H and S stamps.
Unless I'm mistaken, the Germans collected most of the M95's in occupied Europe and sent them to Bulgaria. Germany manufactured new 8x56r ammunition for them. Some rifles and carbine's were also adopted as substitute standard throughout the former A-H nations and Germany itself. There are numerous photos of Wehrmacht soldiers armed with M95's. When you look at 8x56r ammo manufactured in the Reich (it bears a swastika and the date 1938) you will notice that the enbloc clips bear a variety of stamps...from "new" made ones with the eagle/swastika to pre and post WWI stamps from many nations.
It stands to reason that Italy and Russia must have captured huge numbers of M95's by the end of WWI. Perhaps the Italians destroyed theirs or perhaps they were distributed to the nations Germany occupied. The Soviets were not known to waste captured stockpiles. Perhaps they sent all of their M95's to Spain along with all the other obsolete weapons they had accumulated since 1914. That's all speculation on my part. Many M95's also ended up as war reparations to various nations, notably Czechoslovakia. A variety of acceptance stamps can be found on the weapons.
I can think of a dozen other details but I think I've rambled enough.

I object to calling Mauser the John Browning of Europe. He's more like Bill Ruger. Read up on Ferdinand Mannlicher and you will see that he was quite possibly the most prolific arms designer in history. In the First World War, soldiers from every belligerent nation faced each other across the trenches with guns invented by the same man. Italy, Germany, A-H, and France all fielded Mannlicher designed weapons. Mannlicher had invented assault rifles, machine guns, and Garand style semi-auto battle rifles before 1900!. The man was a genius.

bigstick61
12-05-2010, 7:46 PM
The Italians mainly used their M95s (which they kept in 8X50R) for issue to colonial troops in Africa. The Russians actually purchased the long M95s before WWI for their navy and I'm sure the Soviets continued to use them. Greece also got some M95s although I'm not sure if they bought them or got them some other way.

Palimino Stripe
12-05-2010, 11:07 PM
In the First World War, soldiers from every belligerent nation faced each other across the trenches with guns invented by the same man. Italy, Germany, A-H, and France all fielded Mannlicher designed weapons. Mannlicher had invented assault rifles, machine guns, and Garand style semi-auto battle rifles before 1900!. The man was a genius.

I would say "influenced" rather than designed. Case in point: Germany used the Gewehr 1898 rifle during WWI- but I assume you are refering to their extensive use of the Gewehr 1888 (and Gew 88/05). Gew 88's weren't designed by Mannlicher at all. Infact the German Rifle Testing Commission basically took the magazine idea from Mannlicher without his consent. Infact Mannlicher (Steyr) sued and won- which is why you see Steyr-made Gew 88's (in addition to royalties that had to be paid).

Similar story with Italy's Carcano- Salvatore Carcano basically took the idea from Mannlicher (and chose to pay royalties rather than 'steal' the design)... But at this point I'm just splitting hairs-

Mannlicher was indeed a genius, who in todays world, gets far too little recognition.

-Palimino