• Yugoslavian M95M Infantry Rifle (Puska M95)

    Yugoslavian M95M Infantry Rifle (Puska M95)
    (Originally Mfg by Fémáru Fegyver és Gépgyár, Budapest)
    (Converted to 8x57JS in 1938/39 by the Yakov Poshinger Arms and Ammunition Factory)

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    Caliber: ....................... 7.92 x 57mmJS (8mm Mauser)
    Rifling: ........................ 4 groove concentric rifling, 1 turn in 9.4 in. (Right Hand Twist)
    Barrel Length: ............. 19.8 in. (504 mm)
    Overall Length: ............ 43.12 in. (1095 mm)
    Weight: ....................... 8.2 lbs. (3.72 Kg)
    Magazine capacity: ...... 5 rounds.
    Qty Mfg: ...................... 120,000 (approximately) converted from 8x50R M95's.

    Source: ........................ Serbian and Yugoslav Rifles by Branko Bogdanovic, ISBN No. 1-882391-35-7; Mannlicher Military Rifles by Paul Scarlata, ISBN No. 1-931464-14-6

    Canadian Collector Market Value Estimate: $

    Yugoslavian M95M Infantry Rifle (Puska M95)

    (57 picture virtual tour)

    Observations: by Claven2
    Note: Rifle provided courtesy of MILSURPS.COM Advisory Panel member "Andy" with photo montage pictures taken by "Claven2".

    With the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of the First World War, many of the countries of Eastern Europe found themselves beneficiaries of war reparations at the expense of the defeated axis powers. One such country was the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (the Kingdom was renamed to Yugoslavia in 1929) which had received approximately 185,000 M95 Mannlicher rifles or varying patterns, all chambered in 8x50R.

    The Yugoslavian Army had little use for these Mannlicher rifles in their original caliber, having standardized on the 8x57JS Mauser round, called the Model 1924sS round in Yugoslav service. The carbines and stutzens on hand were given over to the Gendarmerie in their original configuration and caliber and the infantry rifles remained in stores until, in 1933, a contract was tendered and the Yakov Poshinger Arms and Ammunition Factory (FOMU) in the city of Uzice won the bid. Kragujevac having had neither the expertise nor the resources to effect the conversions in-house at that time, was to play only a supplementary and acceptance inspection role in the project. The contract was finalized in March of 1938 and conversion continued until 1939. Approximately 120,000 M95M rifles were manufactured from captured M95's before production ended.*

    (* production figure of 120,000 taken from the estimates at Serbia Yugoslavia Mannlicher M.95-type Rifles and Carbines)

    The conversion from an M95 to an M95M involved the following modifications:

    - The magazine assembly was removed and the clip ejection slot filled by welding on a sheet metal cover.
    - A new non-removable bent sheet metal magazine clip was permanently installed.
    - The clip retention claw was ground off leaving only she shaft to support the new fixed magazine clip.
    - The follower was extended, reshaped to direct the spitzer rounds onto the feed ramp and the dished out portion at the rear of the follower was welded over and ground flat.
    - The cartridge ejector was reshaped higher to eject the smaller diameter rounds.
    - A thumb cut was added to the receiver.
    - An "M" was stamped after "M95" on the receiver ring.
    - A new M1924 barrel supplied by the military Technical Institute at Kragujevac was threaded and fitted to the receiver. M1924 Mauser sights were used.
    - The stock was shortened and the original handguard modified to fit between the nosecap and the stock band. An M1924 handguard was adapted to bridge the space between the receiver and the stock band. The nosecap and stock band were standard M95 parts. The converted stocks were stamped with either "AT3" or "BT3" for either the "Artillery Technical Institute" or the "Military Technical Institute", both names for the Kragujevac facility (see thumbnail at bottom of list).
    - The bolt body lubrication holes were reamed to a larger diameter and corresponding holes were drilled into the bolt head shaft to bleed off gas in the event a case ruptured.
    - The forward nub on the underside of the bolt body was milled away.
    - The bolt head was shortened 1.8mm and a new bolt face recess milled to match the 8x57 cartridge base.
    - A mauser extractor claw groove was milled into the bolt head and a newly designed extractor claw made to fit the modified bolt head.
    - The bolt head and bolt handle were serialized to the rifle, as were the magazine, magazine spring housing, the barrel and the stock just below the receiver serial number.
    - The rifle was proof fired and marked on the receiver, barrel and bolt knob with the Yugoslavian "crown over T" proof mark.
    - Charger clip guides were machined into the rear receiver ring.

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    M95M rifles were made in two basic configurations; Cavalry and Infantry. The cavalry model was made using M95 bands that allowed for side-sling attachment as well as bottom sling attachment. The rear stock band is retained by a band spring while the nosecap is retained by a screw. The infantry model, on the other hand, has only bottom mounted sling swivels and both are attached by screws. In the following picture, the top rifle is a cavalry model and the bottom rifle is an infantry model.

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    Converted M95Ms can be found with one of three receiver crests (see pic).

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    Rifles originally made at Fémáru Fegyver és Gépgyár in Budapest are marked "Budapest M95M". Rifles originally made at Waffenfabriks-Gesellschaft, Steyr are marked "Steyr M95M". Rifles originally made at either factory under contract to Bulgaria are marked with the Bulgarian Rampant Lion crest over "M95M" and the original manufacturer (Budapest or Steyr) will be roll-stamped on the side-wall along with the year of the contract. Ex-bulgarian M95M's are among the most uncommon as they were made from the relatively few M95's captured during the second Balkan War of June 1913.

    The M95M rifles were issued to rear-echelon units and also served as training rifles for front line units. They were deployed during Germany's invasion of Yugoslavia and subsequently served Partisans, Chetniks and even the German Wehrmacht as the Karabiner 505(J). Italy and Bulgaria were also users of captured M95M rifles. While it does not appear that Yugoslavia rebuilt any M95Ms post-war, Italy certainly did and possibly some other countries did too. No new M95M parts appear to have been made after 1941 when Yugoslavia was invaded by Germany, therefore it is very common to find M95M rifles with mismatched parts as weapons were cannibalized to keep others going.

    The Yugoslavians used captured M95 bayonets with the 14mm diameter muzzle ring enlarged to 15mm to fit over the new M1924 barrel, and also newly made bayonets from Kragujevac. The issue frog was the M1924 Mauser frog and ammunition belts were either M1924 pattern, or modified Austrian M95 cartridge belts. Both M1924 and M95 slings were used with these arms.

    Finally, there is some speculation that the 8x57JS M1895/24 and the M95M are the same rifle, just marked differently. This is not confirmed at this time, but it seems possible given observed serial number ranges which do not appear to overlap.

    M95/24 Receiver Crest
    (Photo courtesy of Wade Morris)

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    Collector's Comments and Feedback:

    1. Bulgarian crested M95Ms are the most uncommon versions, followed by Budapest marked receivers and finally Steyr which is the most common maker. As such, Bulgarian crested rifles will often command a premium. It is VERY uncommon the find an M95M in matching condition. The vast majority encountered today are mismatched to one degree or another. It has been surmised that most "matching" guns encountered were brought back by WW2 vets.

    The weakest link of these conversions is the total lack of spare parts available to shooters and collectors. Often, one must scrap a rifle to locate any parts at all. The most commonly broken part is the extractor. The M95M was designed only to feed from the magazine, but modern shooters have, unfortunately, often loaded these guns with single-rounds. The issue extractor does not react well to "snapping over" the cartridge rim and frequently a breakage will result. Replacement extractors have been recently made using M1917 extractors, but it is most advisable to treat an original M95M extractor with care.

    The sheet metal magazine inserts are also difficult to source, so if it is missing from a rifle you are contemplating, be aware that finding a replacement will not be easy.
    .......... (Feedback by "Claven2")
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Yugoslavian M95M Infantry Rifle (Puska M95) started by Badger View original post
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