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Old 06-30-2010, 07:48 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 921

Greek crest on the receiver.

Greek cross trench art on the butt.

Another one I've bought since coming home - this was too good a deal to pass up. It's a Greek Mannlicher-Schönauer Y:1903/14 rifle, made by Breda in 1927. It shoots a 6.5 x 54mm round from a unique rotary magazine. Combined with the improved Mannlicher turnbolt (it has a reinforcing rib to prevent bolt wobble) it's supposed to be really smooth to operate - though I don't find it any better than a Mauser 98 and not as good as a Lee-Enfield.

It's hard to find militay Mannlicher-Schönauers in any condition for a few reasons - up until the end of WW2 they were really well-regarded high-end sporting rifles, so the military ones tended to get sporterised more than other models. The Greeks were actually the only military ever to issue them in any number, as the rotary magazine was expensive and didn't offer any real advantages. They were used in 6 wars in 40 years, all of which went badly for the Greeks, so they're hard to find today.

The other interesting thing about them is the Greeks always had trouble getting them in wartime - mostly because they ended up going to war with the country supplying them. They fought on the allied side in WW1, cutting themselves off from Steyr in Austria who was originally the ones making them. After WW1, when Austrian arms production was limited by the treaty of Versailles, they contracted from Breda in Italy - who of course ended up invading Greece in 1940. By that time they'd also ended began supplementing them with Mauser Model 1930s from FN - which of course was cut off when Germany invaded Belgium. If ever there was an argument for domestic arms production, there it is.

Last edited by Nyles; 06-30-2010 at 07:50 PM.
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