M95 Straight Pull Run and Gun

Alex C.
by Alex C.

The Mannlicher M1895 “M95” straight-pull rifles were the backbone of the Austro-Hungarian military during World War I, and served through WWII in a limited capacity. These unique rifles fire 8x56r ammunition and are fed by 5 round Mannlicher en-bloc clips. So how will it fare on the run and gun course?

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Full transcript below …

– [Voiceover] Hey guys, this is Alex C with TFB TV.

And for today’s run and gun we’re actually gonna do somethin’ that’s been requested by quite a few people, and that’s gonna be an M95 Mannlicher Straight Pull rifle.

A straight pull rifle means basically you don’t have to rotate the bolt handle up to cycle the action, you just pull back, and push straight forward.

The M95s were made in two places, that’s gonna be, well they were made by Steyr and they were made in Hungary with (mumbles) March Steyr in Budapest, respectively.

These fire eight by 56R, this is actually the same exact overall length as 7.62 by 54R that you’d find next to your Mosin-Nagant, and they do have a very, very generous shoulder.

They feed via five round in block clips that are, you know, one directional, you can’t put them in either way like a Garand clip.

So, when I said they’re straight pull, basically you just pull that handle right back, and then push it forward, but to load it, you would pull it back, insert a five rind in block clip, and then you’d be ready to cycle the gun.

To eject the clip, there’s a little button inside the trigger guard, just press that and it will pop right out.

So, we did encounter a little problem on the run and gun, the minimum sight, sorry, distance on this is going to be 300 meters, and that’s by pulling the ladder up, and pulling the slider all the way up, but the slider on this gun is very, it doesn’t have much tension, so after one shot, it would actually work its way all the way down, and then you’d be stuck at about 700 meters.

So, we just said screw it, we’re going to roll with it the other way on 500, but a lot of people say straight pull is faster.

We’re going to test that myth today.

You can see how the placement of the bolt handle is a little awkward, I have to remove my hand completely from the trigger guard, trigger, to cycle the gun.

This is pretty common on most straight pull rifles, even the Swiss straight pull rifles, you have to almost remove, you do have to remove your whole hand.

Whereas with an infield, you’re pretty much left with optimum bolt position when you close the bolt, your fingers naturally go right down onto the trigger, which is not the case with most straight pull guns.

So, let’s see how it works on the course.

As usual, the course will be 25 shots, with four reloads, and that’s going to be at about 60 yards, with 20 shots fired at steel, the last five shots are gonna be fired at a paper silhouette for safety reasons.

Let’s get to it.

Alright, here we go with the Steyr 95.

I’ll see if the straight pull’s faster, I don’t know if it will be or not.

(gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) Alright, let’s go down range and check that out.

Alright guys, so it looks like we got about 12 or 13 on the silhouette here.

Not that great, I noticed I had to aim really low, like below the actual silhouette to nail it.

But you know, that’s what happens when you have a gun with sights like this.

So, we can move over to the paper silhouette, where I took the last five shots, I was actually aimin’ about right here, and all the shots definitely would’ve got the guy, a couple of neck shots, and two center mass hits.

So, all in all not bad, it’s fast, but not as fast as something like a Lee-Enfield.

I’m gonna have to say the turn bolt guns, even though in theory, require a little bit more to operate, doesn’t really mean that they’re slower.

Okay, so admittedly on that run, the sights gave me a little bit of trouble being as how the (mumbles) setting we were using was 500 meters cause the 300 meter setting wasn’t really working, and the slider kept falling down, but whatever, so 19 out of 25 hits was not that great, however, I’m sure with the sights doin’ what they needed to do, it would’ve been a lot better.

That being said, the fact that the straight pull didn’t really affect the speed of the run that much was kind of mind blowing.

In theory, you would think because it eliminates two operations when it comes to cycling the bolt, it should be faster, but bolt handle placement really comes into play here.

That being said, this was a really fun run and gun.

Loading it with Manlicher style packets was awesome.

That was actually very fast.

It was convenient instead of having to kind of fumble with the stripper clip, you knew that once that one was in there, it was good to go.

And that did make it faster.

So, I guess we’ll leave it at that, if you’d like to see Patrick’s run, click the link in the in card, other than that, big thanks to Ventura Munitions.

Hit that subscribe button, it helps us out.

Hope to see you next time guys.

(gun fires)

Alex C.
Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.

More by Alex C.

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  • TheAnnoyedMan TheAnnoyedMan on Dec 26, 2015

    It occurs to me that you guys might have fun at this event: http://www.okrunngun.com

    Pawnee Winter Run 'n Gun

    January 30, 2016

    Featuring the mil surp bolt action challenge -- special trophy for the highest 10K score using an as-issued military surplus bolt action rifle with iron sights.

    A friend of mine is going to be competing with his '03-A3 Springfield instead of his usual AR. Could be fun.

  • LAMan LAMan on Dec 26, 2015

    Enjoyed the video & discussion!! I owned a M-95 Stützen in the original 8x50R back in college, when it was cheap at the gun show ($50?) but ammo was unobtainable, pre-Internet and non-existent budget :-) But I, too, was a History major (+German) and it was too interesting to pass up! After lugging it in my Army household baggage for 10 years a bit later, it got swapped off for something shootable.

    But here's my actual point: the infamous nasty kick of the 1930's 8x56R M-95 conversions doubtless contributes to the difficulties of handling this old weapon system, which was designed for the much milder 8x50R. Maybe someday Santa will provide you an unaltered 8x50 and ammo for it--admittedly TOUGH to find--and you could do another "run and gun" with it. Of course it's mostly of antiquarian interest, since most surviving examples are rechambered and 8x50 ammo is so scarce.

    Too bad the 1930's conversions went with such short barrels and the powerful, heavy-bullet 8x56R. The result was handy to carry, hard to shoot. If they HAD to get full-power equivalency to the 8mm Mauser, they could have cut the rifles to a 24" barrel. Of course, the popular and numerous Stützens already had the shorter barrel....so, how about just changing the 8x50R bullet to a 160-ish bullet at 2400 from a 24" rifle barrel, perhaps 2150 from the shorter Stützen tube? Idle speculation & counterfactual history, of course.

    Thanks again for a great video!!!

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