1903 Mannlicher Schoenauer 6.5x54, Questions

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Dean Macdonald, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Brian Rothhammer

    Brian Rothhammer AH Senior Member

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    Interesting.

    Unloading the Mannlicher Schönauer, however, is done with the bolt open. With the bolt opened fully, the button to the right of the magazine well is depressed and the magazine neatly unspools the cartridges to the waiting right hand (with practice).

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Brian Rothhammer

    Brian Rothhammer AH Senior Member

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    From the 1939 Stoeger:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Vienna proofs
     

    Attached Files:

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  3. Brian Rothhammer

    Brian Rothhammer AH Senior Member

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    Hammergun said:
    A common problem in 1903's with Privi ammo. Mine does it too. On another forum a poster said that the 1903 is very sensitive to over all length of the cartridge. He stated the Privi is a bit shorter than spec and this causes the problem. I just polished the feed ramp and work the bolt smartly and they feed good enough.

    This has been discussed at length on NitroExpressForums.

    The Schoenauer magazine works much the same as a roller bearing. The cartridges themselves act as the 'pin bearings', the walls of the magazine well as the outer race which maintains the proper clearance between cartridge and the 'star' rotor while the cartridges make their rotational journey around the spool's center.
    The shape of the cartridge nose and overall length are crucial to maintaining clearance without binding, as the cartridge will become 'jacked' if too short or too narrow about 1/3 back from the tip as it falls into a void.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Here are (6.5X54) cartridges in a Schoenauer magazine, out of the firearm for display. Normally the magazine would only have cartridges loaded while in the arm, as otherwise there is nothing to hold them in place. When loaded (from above, best when aided with a 'stripper clip'), you can see how they are guided by the magazine well and the machined areas at the front and rear of the magazine's lower housing (below).

    [​IMG]
    Note how the tip will fall into a void if too short or narrow. There is little to prevent a cartridge that is too short from shifting fore and aft.

    [​IMG]
    Magazine housing (viewed from above. spool removed). Note the machined areas to guide cartridges by the nose (left) and the base (right).

    Here are some 'prewar' MS magazines:
    [​IMG]
    At left is an M1903, at right an M1924. A ring was added to the M1924 and subsequent MS of prewar manufacture ('High Velocity' in the '39 Stoeger) and throughout postwar production. The ring eliminated the need for such careful feeding, as they held the cartridges at proper clearance and alignment at the shoulder. To ensure smooth and effortless feeding of the M1903 (6.5X54), M1905 (9X56), M1908 (8X56), or M1910 (9.5X57), obtain or load cartridges as close as possible to the original DWM or Eley specifications.

    Make them like this, they'll feed smoother than snot:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My advice is to have your reloader build you five 'dummy' rounds to the exact length, bullet shape, and overall profile as the Eley drawing above (or acquire some original DWM 477*) and work them through your magazine (you will be impressed!). That will show you how flawlessly the magazine functions with proper fitting cartridges and give you a baseline to work other profiles from. The most critical thing is to have enough 'meat' about 1/3 back from the bullet tip and keep them long enough. *I wouldn't recommend firing vintage DWM, as it would almost certainly be loaded with Cordite and corrosive primers.

    Also, Qual - Cart (Quality Cartridge) makes properly headstamped MS brass at a reasonable price.
    [​IMG]


    Enjoy!
     
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  4. HWL

    HWL AH Fanatic

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    You are wrong....

    The bolt release was changed with the Model 1924.

    461_2.jpg

    HWL
     
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  5. HWL

    HWL AH Fanatic

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    What I fear is, you are wrong again,... the ring in the magazine came 1950 or 1952, I am not sure.

    I have never seen one in a pre WWII rifle.

    But i will check this.... on my Schoenauers... would be nice you would check yours....

    HWL
     
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  6. Brian Rothhammer

    Brian Rothhammer AH Senior Member

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    Here is an animation of a '1903 Greek Contract' MS. Other than the difference in the bolt handle shape and the military trigger (also used in the 'factory takedown' prewar MS), the bolt, magazine, safety, et. al. are identical to pre ww2 MS sporting arms in form and function if not as well finished.

    Click link below:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=OUUBIq_ce7E
     

  7. Brian Rothhammer

    Brian Rothhammer AH Senior Member

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    Mine is a M1910 (factory takedown) proofed in 1922. No ring.

    Axel Eichendorffer, who posts to several 'sites as Kuduae, is a Saxon forester who is very familiar with various models of MS and their detailed histories (he uses an M1910 on the job!) That information was from him, I'd be just this side of amazed if it is not absolutely correct.
     
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  8. HWL

    HWL AH Fanatic

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    This is a model 1924

    HWL
     

  9. Brian Rothhammer

    Brian Rothhammer AH Senior Member

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    'By crackey', it appears that you are quite right on that one.

    I've just Googled up some images of MS 'Sequoia' rifles (the first batch of M1924) and they do, indeed have the rectangular bolt release.

    I'd edit the previous post so's not to leave bad information to others, but it's not giving me that option.
     
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  10. HWL

    HWL AH Fanatic

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    Do not believe anything, you have not had in your own hands...

    Your M1910 has the old bolt release and no ring, witch is correct.

    The change of bolt release came with the Model 1924 and the ring came after WWII.

    Should I be wrong, nobody knows, a picture from the rifle, please, you made .


    HWL
     

  11. Brian Rothhammer

    Brian Rothhammer AH Senior Member

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    I just noticed your 'sign off' salutation. I think you'll like this:

    My M1910, held by My Grandfather who bought it 'second hand' while he was a Goodyear executive in Colombo, Ceylon. I believe the leopard hunt was in Burma. The MS wears a Gerard claw mounted scope (not in photo), has the flip up tang sight and removable horn grip cap options, and its original fitted case.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    John Forrest Easton, center, with M1910 'factory takedown model'.
     
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  12. Brian Rothhammer

    Brian Rothhammer AH Senior Member

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    The original post from Kuduae to NE:

    In the pre-1924 Mannlicher – Schoenauer models M1903, 05, 08 and 1910 magazines the cartridges are held to the cartridge carrier rotor by flanges machined in both receiver and magazine bottom. The rear one, about 5.5 mm = .22" wide guides the cartridge bases and is no problem. The front one, about 8 mm = .32" wide, holds the bullet noses.M 1924 and later models introduced a seperate guide ring instead of the machined bullet guides. My old photo shows M1910 magazine parts on the left with the bullet guide at the front end. On the right are the simplified parts of a post-WW2 6.5x68 "Magnum" magazine without such bullet guide, but with the neck guide ring.
    [​IMG]
    Cartridges for all these old M03 -10 rifles must be loaded close to maximum oal, so the bullet noses may be held to the carrier spindle by the guide flange. If, f.i. you try to convert a M03 6.5x54 into a flat shooting varmint number by loading light, short, pointed bullets that are too short to be engaged by the guide flange, the front ends of the cartridges in the magazine will drop away from the carrier spindle and jam. This is your "third round problem"! To avoid such jamming all cartridges for the old M-S models have to be seated close to maximum magazine oal, disregarding any existing crimp grooves. In the 9x56 M05 the 200 gr .35 round noses, designed for the .35 Remington, are too short if seated to the crimping groove. This applies especially to bullets with slimmer noses than the old blunt round nose, like the TTX or the Speer 235 gr. Loaded cartridges for the M1910 should at least have a Diameter of about 7.5 =.30" at 70 mm = 2.75" from the base for proper function in the magazine. Other bullets with very slim, pointed noses will be hopeless, as they may be too slim 8 mm behind the point to be held properly to the spindle.
     

  13. Brian Rothhammer

    Brian Rothhammer AH Senior Member

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    From the German Gun Collectors 'site;


    Axel E
    11-19-2017, 05:24 PM
    I have one of those "sent back" M1924 Mannlicher – Schoenauers, Steyr serial number 299, with a K. Kahles , Vienna, "Heliavier" 4x scope in the typical Vienna style pincers mounts.
    https://up.picr.de/10149950nv.jpg
    https://up.picr.de/10149820mj.jpg
    These M1924s that were returned to Europe or never sent to America were not rebarreled. Only the receiver ring inscription was altered from "M. 1924" to "KAL:7.62x63", a forgotten metric designation for the .30-06. American cartridges and their "inch" names were about as unknown and unpopular in continental Europe before WW2 as metric cartridges were in the USA. The slightly later M.1925 was the first Mannlicher-Schoenauer offered in several chamberings, 7x64 Brenneke and 8x60 Magnum at first, so their receiver rings were not marked "M:1925", but with the cartridge name. As Steyr sold the left over M.1924s alongside the M.1925s, they altered the receiver ring inscription accordingly.
    https://up.picr.de/10149915lg.jpg
    Some late-1920s catalogs show the Mannlicher-Schoenauer rifle without a model year, but with a picture of a M.1924 with the distinctive 3-leaf "Express" rear sight and the slightly stubbier foreend tip, but in 7x64, 8x60S and 7.62x63 /.30-06. The rifles in .30-06 were offered at a 10% discount on the other chamberings.
    Scopes mounted with the Vienna-style mounts were offered by the Steyr factory as a special order option on all their models. But the mounts were not made at the factory in house. Instead, the scopes were mounted by several outworking gunsmithes in the Steyr area. As the mounts were handmade and fitted individually, they are all different in detail. Here is a photo of another M.1924 "Sequoia" with a similar scope, but the mounts differ in detail from mine.
    https://up.picr.de/10149958no.jpg


    Axel E
    11-19-2017, 05:26 PM
    Another most often missed detail of the M.1924: It was the first M-S model to use a cartridge guide ring inside the magazine to accommodate cartridges loaded with different bullet shapes. Such rings were used in all subsequent models too. But in the M.1924 it was placed forward and kept the bullets to the cartridge carrier spindle. From the M.1925 on it was placed more to the rear and guided the cartridges by the case neck and shoulder.
    Magazine innards, left to right: M.03 6.5x54, M.10 9.5x57, M.24 .30-06, M.25 8x60S, 1958 "Magnum" 6.5x68

    MS Mags Kuduae.jpg



    As you've stated, don't believe what you do not have 'in hand', and I do not have an M1924, but Herr Eichendorff does and I've never known him to be incorrect before.

    What is the proof date on your M1924? Is it marked 'Sequoia'?

    MS Sequoia.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  14. HWL

    HWL AH Fanatic

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    This picture shows exactly what I said,.... ring in post-WW2 Model 1950/52, NOT in M1924.

    In #34 YOU said: "A ring was added to the M1924 and subsequent MS of prewar manufacture".

    Now, I really would like to see a M1924 with rings..... stamped pre WW2

    HWL
     

  15. Brian Rothhammer

    Brian Rothhammer AH Senior Member

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    See post above.

    Also, Herr Eichendorff said:

    In the pre-1924 Mannlicher – Schoenauer models M1903, 05, 08 and 1910 magazines the cartridges are held to the cartridge carrier rotor by flanges machined in both receiver and magazine bottom. The rear one, about 5.5 mm = .22" wide guides the cartridge bases and is no problem. The front one, about 8 mm = .32" wide, holds the bullet noses.M 1924 and later models introduced a seperate guide ring instead of the machined bullet guides.
     
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  16. Brian Rothhammer

    Brian Rothhammer AH Senior Member

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    Yours (as pictured) is a very early M1900, as evidenced by the location of the button that empties the spool magazine. Only the very first of the M1900 (which were truly prototypes anyhow) actions had the button on the outside of the rail as yours does. The later M1900 (likely all made prior to the 1903 Greek contract) and subsequent M1903, 05, 08, 19, 24 had the button further toward the center and surrounded by steel.

    Historians say the M1900 were all made as prototypes for marketing to gain military contracts (as succeeded with Greece) yet some barreled actions (or perhaps complete rifles - there is disagreement) were shipped to such Gunmakers as Westley Richards to be made up as 'Sporting Rifles'.

    It does seem to have suffered a bit of a polish and rebluing, though?

    MS M1900.jpg
     
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  17. Brian Rothhammer

    Brian Rothhammer AH Senior Member

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    You 'stole' it.

    Any viable pre WW2 MS in the condition yours appears to be is worth at least that, and the M1903 has the advantage of readily available ammunition second only to the .30-'06 M1924.

    You have won the Mannlicher Schönauer lottery, but it'll likely spoil you a bit. Once you start handling and shooting a 'prewar' MS, nothing else will measure up to it.

    Here's a neat trick. With the MS unloaded, open the bolt , pull it back, and hold the gun level. Now with trigger pulled lower the muzzle and watch the bolt slide forward, turn and fully lock itself. It's not 'loose', that's just how smooth a 'prewar' Mannlicher Schönauer is.

    As for value, those who know what they are want one and they only become more rare and desirable over time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019

  18. Brian Rothhammer

    Brian Rothhammer AH Senior Member

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    Truly historical and possibly a bit 'creepy' to some of those in the know, depending upon date of manufacture.

    Anschluss 2.jpg Anschluss.jpg

    After the Anschluss, or German occupation of Austria (thus the 'Made In Germany' stamp and Deutsche proofs), the Steyr factory was taken over by the Nazis and turned over to none other than Hermann Göring.

    From Mauthausen Memorial - Forced Labour in the Arms Industry:
    Shared economic interests between the arms companies and the SS, as well as personal relationships between company managers and Nazi functionaries, played an important role in the deployment of concentration camp prisoners. The first firm in Austria to make use of concentration camp prisoners as forced labourers was Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG, the largest arms company on Austrian soil. In March 1942 a subcamp of the Mauthausen concentration camp was set up in Steyr-Münichholz. Later Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG also used concentration camp prisoners to manufacture armaments in Gusen, Melk and in St. Valentin in Lower Austria, as well as in Leibnitz and Peggau in Styria.

    From Steyr-Arms.com - Steyr Mannlicher Group History:

    1938 – ”ANSCHLUSS“ TO NAZI-GERMANY

    After the occupation by Nazi Germany the owner, Creditanstalt, was forced to give up their industry portfolio. Among these was the Steyr-Daimler-Puch A.G. which was dissolved and incorporated into the Reichswerke Hermann Göring where firearms, vehicles, aviation engines and ball bearings were made for the German military.

    Did this include limited production of sporting arms?
     
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  19. Steve Ausband

    Steve Ausband AH Member

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    Ernest Hemingway wrote about using that rifle and cartridge in Africa. Pretty interesting endorsement. As someone remarked, the tremendous ballistic coefficient of the 160 grain round nose must have made up for what it seems to lack when you look at the ballistic tables.
     
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  20. Brian Rothhammer

    Brian Rothhammer AH Senior Member

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    In The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, Francis' wife (Margot) takes him out with a "six point five Mannlicher".

    Hemingway knew the Mannlicher Schönauer, but was also fond of shooting sharks with a Thompson Submachine Gun.
    Tommy Hemingway.jpg
    A(nother) drink, a Thompson, a kid... at least the magazine is out.

    Here are some shots of John Huston while in Africa to shoot The African Queen:
    MS Huston African Queen Mannlichers.jpg
    MS Huston African Queen Mannlichers (2).jpg MS Huston African Queen Mannlicher Bogey Bacall (2).jpg
    Detail from above image, and from image below.

    MS Huston cropped.jpg

    Huston holding MS, with Bogart and Bacall

    Clint Eastwood with MS portraying Huston in White Hunter, Black Heart:
    MS Eastwood Still 3.jpg
    "And I'll have a couple of these Mannlichers, the six point fives."
    MS Eastwood 6.png MS Eastwood poster 2.jpg

    MS Bell.jpg
    W.D.M. Bell
     

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