Dutch Mannlicher

The Dutch Mannlicher, also known as the M.95 (Model 1895), was the service rifle of the Armed forces of the Netherlands between 1895 and 1945 which replaced the obsolete Beaumont-Vitali M1871/88. At first it was produced by Steyr for the Dutch, but after 1904, production took place under license at Hembrug Zaandam in the Netherlands. It was based on the earlier Mannlicher 1893 Model that was submitted to and won the Romanian rifle trials. The M1893 was itself a somewhat modernized version of the German Gewehr 1888. Both Dutch and Romanian rifles fired the same rimmed 6.5×53 mmR cartridge often referred to as "Romanian" or "Dutch 6.5".

The Dutch issued about 470,000 M.95s. Its cartridge also saw limited success as a sporting round, including use by the elephant hunter W. D. M. Bell.

Dutch Mannlicher
Class Manportable
Type Rifles
Manufacturer Steyr Mannlicher
Production Period 1895 - 1945
Origin Austria-Hungary
Country Name Origin Year
Austria-Hungary 1895
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Austria-Hungary 1895 1945 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Steyr Mannlicher 1895 1945 470000 View

During the German invasion in 1940, light infantry armed with the M.95 proved to be easily outgunned when confronting the German troops armed with large numbers of light machine guns, sub-machine guns like the MP40 and rifles like the Karabiner 98k. M95 rifles arrived at the disposal of German forces and were used under the designation Gewehr 211 (h). In 1942, Royal Netherlands East Indies troops were issued with American and British arms, ending the use of the M.95, though postwar some East Indian rifles were refitted to use .303 British ammunition and issued as constabulary arms.


The M.95 was fairly modern when adopted, but painfully obsolete by the end of its service life. The Dutch military lacked the funds to replace it; and as such it remained in service for 47 years, making it one of the world's longest serving issue rifles. A staggering number of 9 variants (largely carbines differing only in sling swivels) were produced, among which were:

  • No.1 cavalry introduced 1886
  • No.2 for the Koninklijke Marechaussee with a folding bayonet
  • No.3 pioneer, artillery model
  • Karabijn No.4, a shortened M.95 (designed in 1909) created for the Dutch bicycle troops that had a wooden fairing on the left side of the magazine.
  • M.95 Loopgraafgeweer, a M.95 (designed in 1916) with a periscope designed for trench warfare.

Around 1930 new models of No.1, No.2, No.3 and No.4 were introduced, in 1936 a shorter No.5 carbine model was introduced.

Type Service rifle, Bolt-action rifle
Place of origin  Austria-Hungary
Service history
In service 1895–1945
Used by Netherlands
Nazi Germany
Empire of Japan
Wars Aceh War
World War I
World War II
Production history
Designer Otto Schönauer and Ferdinand Mannlicher
Designed 1895
Manufacturer Steyr Mannlicher
Hembrug Zaandam
Produced 1895–1945
Number built approx. 470,000
Variants See Variants
Weight 4.35 kg (9.6 lb)
Length 1,290 mm (51 in)
Barrel length 790 mm (31 in)
Cartridge 6.5×53mmR
.303 British
7.7×58mm Arisaka
Action Bolt-action
Muzzle velocity 742 m/s (2,430 ft/s)
Effective firing range up to 400 m (440 yd)
Feed system 5-round en-bloc clip

End notes