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M1886 & M1886/90 Austrian Mannlicher

(Infanterie Repetiergewehr M1886 M1886/90)  


M1886 Austrian Mannlicher (Infanterie –Repetier-Gewehr M1886)      

  We also graciously acknowledge the help of Heino Hintermeier with information and pictures for this page.


  The historical context of the M1886 Mannlicher is identical to that of the M1885 Mannlicher, please view that page for more information.


  The M1885 Mannlicher trials rifle proved promising, and with a number of improvements, it became the M1886, officially adopted June 20, 1886.  The M1886 Mannlicher consisted of the following improvements: a fundamental modification to the ammo clip and the magazine, modification to the rear sight to be extendable and volley sight on the side of one of the arm bands, a compartment for a cleaning rod, a pyramid spike on the front of the rifle end cap and spot to mount the bayonet on the bottom of the barrel.  This new design was then adopted by all Mannlicher rifles in Austria-Hungary and used througout the world.


A cleaning rod chamber in some of the buttstocks of the rifle - Photo Credit Heino Hintermeier


Extendable rear sight - Photo Credit Heino Hintermeier


Volley sight on the 2nd barrel band and rifle pyramid peg- Photo Credit Heino Hintermeier


New mount for bayonet on the bottom of the barrel -  Photo Credit Heino Hintermeier

M1886 Mannlicher.png

M1885 Mannlicher side cut - Photo Credit Heino Hintermeier

M1886 Mannlicher.png

M1886 Mannlicher side cut - Photo Credit Heino Hintermeier 


  In 1887 the Reich Ware Ministry ordered 143,000 M1886 Mannlichers from the OWEG in Steyr, however only 90,000 were delivered.  The M1886 Mannlicher went into full production at a time when 8mm cartridges were already showing greater potential, and the radically new Lebel 8mm smokeless cartridge was making all of Europe's rifles obsolete. Work on a rifle firing an 8mm cartridge began almost immediately, and production on the M1886 soon stopped in favor of a nearly identical rifle, chambered for the more modern cartridge. This became the M1888 Mannlicher. It appears that a large number, if not nearly all of the Austrian M1886 rifles were converted to 8mm, denominated M1886‑90. Practically all of the M1886 rifles encountered in the US today were contract rifles for South America, principally Chile.

M1886 Mannlicher (Infanterie Repetiergewehr M1886)  


M1886/90 Mannlicher (Infanterie Repetiergewehr M1886/90)  

  With the move to the 8mm cartridge, the existing M1886 Mannlichers needed to be converted.  The Austro-Hungarian Ministry of War ordered an additional 94,000 rifle barrels in 8mm from OEWG (contract date of April 1890).  The rifle barrels had to keep the same dimensions of the original M1886 in order to keep using the same stocks, fittings and bayonets (Vertragsbuch der OEWG Seite- Contract Book of the OEWG Page 7,2)



  The first straight‑pull military rifle adopted for regular infantry, the M1886 is distinguished by a very large box magazine that drops down below the receiver, ahead of and separate from the trigger guard. It chambers the 11mm Werndl cartridge (now also known as the 11mm Mannlicher). The stock is inletted for a finger grip below the rear sight. It has no rod but the nosecap is fitted with a short stacking rod similar to the M71/84 Mauser.


spike added to pyramid the rifles.

Bottom of the magazine where the clip falls out


The stock is inletted for a finger grip


Updated Magazine without the M1885 Mannlicher ejection lever

  The rear tangent sight is graduated from 200-1,500 paces (166 - 1,250 yds, 151 - 1143 meters) along the top left edge of the rear sight body. The sight is also graduated from 1,600 - 2,100 paces (1333- 1,885 yds, 1218 - 1723 meters) along the right top edge of the sight body, and these rangings correspond to use of the long range (volley) sight, 

  The volley sights consist of a small slide dove-tailed into the back of the sight leaf, which extends outward to the right approximately 13mm (.5 in) and corresponds to a front sight mounted on the right side of the middle barrel band. The sight leaf has a pair of integral locking wedges, which positively lock into ridges built into the inner edge of the rear sight wall.


Volley sight mounted on the right side of the middle barrel band



  The M1886 is an improved version of the M1885 trials rifle, and they operate substantially similarly, with the exception being the M1885 clip, whose lever is on the right side of the magazine. That of the M1886 is at the rear of the magazine. The action is locked by the dropping down of a locking bar at the back of the bolt into a recess in the bolt-way floor as the bolt chambers a cartridge. The bolt of this rifle does not turn to lock into battery or to unlock, but rather by  pulling straight back on the bolt handle for the first 7/8” (the bolt handle and rear locking part of the bolt move independently of the main body, which remains locked in place). After its initial travel, continuing to draw the bolt back disengages the flat locking bar, which had been dropped into a recess in the bottom of the receiver, lifting it up and unlocking the main bolt body. Continuing to draw back withdraws the spent casing, which upon pulling the bolt fully to the rear, allows the mouth of the spent case to clear the receiver, and the tension of the spring steel extractor acts to eject the spent case.

  The M1886 is a box magazine repeater, and is loaded by pushing a metal clip (referred to as an en banc clip) containing 5 rounds into the magazine. The magazine contains an internal v-spring actuated lifter which pushes up against the lowermost cartridge, keeping pressure on the column of cartridges and the clip. The topmost cartridge is maintained within the clip by the upper edges of the clip having small ears folded over sufficient to hold the cartridge in place, but opened up enough to allow the bottom edge of the bolt to freely strip the top cartridge during each firing cycle. The clip is held in the magazine by a lever on the back of the magazine engaging a notch in the back of the clip. The clip may be ejected while still partially full by pressing on the magazine release button at the back of the magazine just ahead of the trigger guard. When the last cartridge has been stripped from the clip and chambered, the empty clip falls out the bottom of the magazine by gravity through a hole specifically for that purpose.


M1886 Mannlicher- Photo Credit Heino Hintermeier


  The safety consists of a small flat rotating cam at the back of the receiver, opposite the bolt, that when applied engages the firing pin, drawing it back a couple of millimeters and preventing it from moving forward through the bolt, even if the trigger is pulled. It also locks the bolt closed, preventing action via the bolt handle.



  During its service life, the M1886 was used by a variety of countries, and will be found with a concurrent variety of markings. All rifles appear to carry the “OEWG” marking on top of the receiver ring. Rifles accepted for Austrian service may also carry the Imperial double-headed eagle, but virtually all of those were converted to 8mm (M1888 Austrian Mannlicher). The M1886’s will carry inspection marks on the barrel bands, magazine and trigger tangs, as well as the base of the buttstock ahead of the lower sling swivel.  We don't have any pictures of a M1886 Mannlicher that has Austrian acceptance markings as they are extremely rare, but hopefully the pictures below help show what it would look like.

double eagle and STEYR 1882.jpg

Austrian-Hungarian double-eagle and a the acceptance mark St. 82 (Steyr 1882) on a M.1872 Fruwirth gendarmerie-carbine. - Photo Credit Heino Hintermeier

  The serial number that is stamped on the side of the barrel can provide some indication of where the rifle was issued to but it's not definitive.  There are no mechanical differences between the rifles with different letters in the serial number.  The only way to confirm that the rifle was Austrian issued and not part of an export is to:

  • confirm it has Austrian acceptance markings on the barrel under the rear site. 

  • date (two digits).

  • Eagle.

  • WN.

  This example has a "K" in the serial number however it does not have the other markings listed above, so it was therefore not an Austrian issued weapon.  According to the OEWG contract book 26,919 M1886 Mannlichers were sent from Steyr to Mr. August Schriever (Liege) ((“Vertragsbuch der OEWG” page 125f. & 140f.).  This rifle appears to be part of that group.


A Note on another Rifle with the K marking from Matteo Zapelli:


My specimen does not bear either the indication of the Austrian arsenal making the proof (Wn for Wien or Bt for Budapest) or the year of manufacturing, which according to the books should be found on Austrian ordnance M1886. However, my rifle does not bear any Chilean or other non Austrian mark. Serial number is 44K, clearly indicated on the barrel, receiver and butt. All metal parts (magazine, bands, etc.), bear the letter K (which should stay for "Kontrol"). The receiver is marked as usual "OE WG".  Under the barrel, there are some isolated letters and numbers, as well as a small typical Austrian eagle proofmark (I own a M 1842 Austrian ordnance tube lock, bearing many proofmarks of same kind).

Best regards

Matteo Zapelli

stamps om an Austrian M.95-30.jpg

Here is an example of a M95 Mannlicher (Repetierstutzen M.95) with the Austrian acceptance stamps. - Photo Credit Heino Hintermeier


  M1886 Mannlichers with the "II" or "IIQ" markings were manufactured for export and never issued in Austria.  These rifles were exported to foreign countries, see more in UTILIZATION BY OTHER COUNTRIES.   



M1886 Austrian Mannlicher (Infanterie –Repetier-Gewehr M1886)      

Overall Length:  1326 mm (52.3 in)

Weight, empty:  4530 g (10.45 lbs.)

Barrel Length:  806 mm (31.8 in)

Rifling:  6-groove; RH, concentric

Magazine:  Integral clip-loaded box magazine, 5 round capacity.

Sight:  Ramp-and-leaf, graduated from 200-1,500 paces (166 - 1,250 yds, 151 - 1143 meters)



  No carbine or short rifle version of the 11mm Mannlicher rifle was produced, as the rifle was recognized as being obsolete due to its ammunition, even as it was going into full production.



  The M1886 Mannlicher used the M1886 knife bayonet.  The cutting edge of the blade faces away from the barrel.  

M1886 Bayonet 2.jpg

M1866 knife bayonet - Photo Credit

M1886 Bayonet 1.jpg

M1866 knife bayonet - Photo Credit



  The M1886 Mannlicher utilizes the M77 11x56R improved Werndl cartridge, developing a mizzle velocity of approximately 442 mps (1,445 fps).


Bullet diameter: 11.3 mm

Neck diameter:11.2 mm

Base diameter: 13.84 mm

Rim diameter: 15.67 mm

Case length: 58 mm

Total length: 74 mm

Total weight: 24 grams

Muzzle velocity:  442 mps (1,445 fps).



  The Reich War Ministry ordered 143,000 M1886 Mannlichers from Österreichische Waffenfabriks-Gesellschaft, Steyr in 1887.  However, with the caliber reduction to 8x50R4, only 90,000 rifles were delivered.  Below is the production of Mannlicher rifles from "The Contract Book for reservation of the Austrian Waffenbriks-Gesellshaft in Steyr" (Die Gewehrproduktion in Osterreich-Ungarn 1867-1918 - Heino Hintermeiter)

Rifle                                                                                        Quantity

11mm M1885 Mannlicher                                                        5,500

11mm M1886 Mannlicher(later changed to M86/90s)             90,000

8mm M1888 Mannlicher (later changed to M88/90s)             1,067,517

8mm M1888/90 Mannlicher (new production)                        16,850


  As we stated earlier, according to the OEWG contract book 26,919 M1886 Mannlichers were sent from Steyr to Mr. August Schriever (Liege) (“Vertragsbuch der OEWG” page 125f. & 140f.)  These mannlichers were exported to different countries throughout the world.


  Chile was in the middle of a civil war and modern firearms were needed on both sides.  A shipment of M1888 Mannlichers headed to the dictator/president Balmaceda was intercepted by the "Congressionalist" forces.  Later in the conflict roughly 10,000 M1886 Mannlichers were purchased by the "Congressionalist" forces.  This shipment is believed to be the origin of most M1886 Mannlichers in the US.  There is a great article with more details here: How much does a revolution cost? – Surplused


The ‘MdelE’ crest is Chilean and stands for Ministerio del Esercito. Found on most of the 10,000 M1886s shipped to the Congressional side in September 1891. Chilean Mannlicher M.1888 had similar crest but with ‘RCh’ (Republic of Chile) although a few had the ‘MdelE’ crest in addition. Credit - Robert Wilsey 


 5,000 M1886 Mannlichers were sold to Siam according to the records of Osterreichische Waffenfabriks-Gesellschaft.


  The Arabic countries also needed weapons and it appears that roughly 5,000 M1886 Mannlichers were sold to Persia according to the records of Osterreichische Waffenfabriks-Gesellschaft.


Predecessor Rifle: M1885 Mannlicher


Follow-On Rifle(s):  M1888 Mannlicher




M1866 Mannlicher sights


M1866/90 Mannlicher sights


Die Mannlicher-Repetiersysteme in Österreich-Ungarn 17 (2004) 143-151 - Heino Hintermeier

Manuskript für den PALLASCH Die Mannlicher-Repetierkurzwaffen M.1890 im k.u.k. Heer - Heino Hintermeier

Stuart C Mowbray & Joe Puleo, "Bolt Action Military Rifles of the World'

Page built February 15, 1999
Revised September 25, 1999

Updated: Oct 28, 2021

Updated : Jan 23, 2022

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

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