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Old December 23, 2011, 06:02 PM   #1
johnm1
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Steyr M95 Long Rifle Proof/Property Mark

For those who visit the Parralexs Curio and Relic forum you will note that I have posted this question there.

I have a M95 Long Rifle that I just aquired yesterday and the barrel marking has me unsure of a couple of things. It is a steyr M95 but the barrel does not have the Wm and date mark on the barrel. It also doesn't have the 'S' or 'H' indicating it was re-chambered in 8x56R. What it does have is an 'S (lion) 10' in small type.

The Hurgarie website indicates that this is a Czech property mark that was used in the early 1920's. If that is the case and the barrel is Czech, I am unsure what caliber they chambered them in and if the Czech's used the S or H to indicate it was chambered in 8x56R. If this is a Czech property mark and it was used only in 1920-22 I don't think the newer 8x56R was available. Though I really can't confirm that. The real problem is if it is a Czech barrel I am unclear what caliber it is chambered for. I figure I will be making a chamber cast but was hoping someone here might know.

Any experts that can shed some light on the proof/property mark and maybe confirm the caliber?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Steyr Proof Mark.jpg (28.6 KB, 68 views)
File Type: jpg Steyr M95 Proof 2.jpg (34.5 KB, 56 views)
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Old December 23, 2011, 08:58 PM   #2
RJay
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The whole affair can be very confusing, but my understanding is that the Czechs did not receive any M95s after WWI. Greece, Italy,Hungary, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia did, the Czechs did not even have a country until 1919. They did produce approximately 5000 Model 95's in 1920/21 before they switched to the VZ-23 and VZ-24 in 1924, but those were clearly marked as Czech, The only reference for the S is that when the 95 was updated for the 8X56R they were stamped with an S ( for the 40 inch barrel ).
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Old December 23, 2011, 10:39 PM   #3
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Thanks Rjay,

There is a lot of information to take in on the Hungarie website.

It does not seem that the S (lion) 10 is overstamped over the Wn, year. But I suppose it is possible. There is what could be the first part of a W on the barrel adjacent to the receiver before the letter S. The area where the lion is stamped looks like it could have been scrubbed before the lion was stamped. I just can't see any reason to do this. From what I have read on other websites the S (lion) 1-11 is definately a Czech property mark. It is the lack of Austrian proofs on the barrel that has me confused. All could be explained with a replacement barrel made in a country other than Austria I suppose.
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Old December 24, 2011, 12:22 AM   #4
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Upon Further Review

Using higher magnification it does appear that there was a W n date stamped into the barrel that was overstruck by the Czech property stamp. It also appears that there was an attempt to scrub the W n stamp before the Czech stamp was struck. In the photo titled Steyr M95 Proof 2 you can see (zoom to 150x) there is the start of a sarif letter W to the left of the 2 and a partial strike in the zero of the 10. These are very shallow as if the steel was ground/sanded to remove these marks. All of this is easier to see with an eye loupe.

Still, any information on Czech M95's is still appreciated. Goggle Fu comes up with ony so much information.
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Old December 25, 2011, 09:34 PM   #5
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Rjay,

I believe you are correct, though it is a bit sketchy still in my mind, that the Czech's didn't receive any M95's as reparations. But it is my understanding that they did have around 300,000 Austrian rifles, mostly M95's, in country when it was created. They did purchase the equipment to manufacture the VZ-23 VZ-24's after the war but until that operation was up and running they did have a program to repair what was in country.
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Old January 1, 2012, 05:45 AM   #6
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It seems to me that I saw a while back some photos of Czechs in Russia shortly after WWI ended (ca. 1920, I think) coming back from Siberia and they were carrying Steyr 95 long rifles. I will go crazy now trying to remember the website where I saw those photos, but I also think that they had the canvas covers on the forearms, but I could be wrong on both counts.

Edit: In retrospect, they may have had Mosin-Nagants in the photos.
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Old January 1, 2012, 10:14 AM   #7
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Normally I would not refinish a stock on a historic rifle but this one is the exception. Here are some before and after photos of the M95. I had to remove the polyurathane as it just looked terrible. I used a chemical stripper and I am pretty happy with the result. Scraping the stripper off removed very little color and the after wash pretty much spread the color back into any areas that were scraped off. In the end, the change was not drastic and that is what I was looking for. I just wanted to remove the glossy sheen. I take terrible photographs and these before pictures don't show how bad the poly was. Here is the photograph from the first post showing the poly on top of the stock. The sides were just as bad:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6032394...in/photostream

Before Pictures:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6032394...in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6032394...n/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6032394...n/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6032394...n/photostream/

After Pictures

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6032394...in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6032394...n/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6032394...n/photostream/

I am concerned about how tight the action is to the wood on the right side of the receiver/barrel. It is also very tight at the tang. I believe that I will have to relieve this before firing.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6032394...n/photostream/



Overall I am pretty happy with the stock. This is put together from two rifles. The first was a decommissioned rifle. All K marked Steyr parts. The chamber was drilled, bolt face welded and firing pin trimmed. The bolt functioned OK. It did drag on the receiver rails a little and I had to be careful removing the bolt from the receiver or it would lock up. I would hate to have to do that under fire. The second rifle was sold as a parts gun but was mostly functional. All parts except triger, sear, and butt plate were K marked Steyr. The blue was nearly perfect but the bolt was very loose and I would have been careful about firing it in the condition received. I was able to piece together one good bolt that functions the way it was designed and the bolt stays in the out of battery condition when removed from the receiver. A switch of the safety and it also works as designed. I put the trigger and sear from the decommissioned rifle into the receiver of the parts gun to keep all parts K marked Steyr. As a result I got a much nicer trigger pull.

Mechanically I am satisfied with the end result. I really can't wait to shoot this one.

The parts gun was sold as a sporter. As it turns out the only sporterizing done was to cut the stock and lose the handguard. When I checked the stock, the serial number stamped on the butt matched the barrel/receiver. There were no other serial numbers on the stock. So the sporterizing operation cut the original stock. Who knows if that was a new stock put on during some arsenal overhaul or if it was the original. But darn I wish I had that stock in one piece.
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Old January 1, 2012, 10:28 AM   #8
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Gyvel,

It is entirely possible that they were M95's. What became Czechoslovakia had around 300,000 Mannlicher type rifles in their possession when they became a country in 1918. Most of those were M95's. I expect they had Mosin Nagants as well. I would be interested in the photograph if you can find it.
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Old January 1, 2012, 05:54 PM   #9
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Johnm1,

Some of it is starting to come back to me now. I beleive it was an article that I stumbled upon about the Czech Legions in Siberia after WWI. I'll keep looking.
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Old January 1, 2012, 10:09 PM   #10
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M95 Bolt Issues

OK, I know that this is off the track but I need help.

I just acquired a Steyr M95 and was attempting to take the bolt apart following the instructions in some videos that I found on the internet.

Everything went well as far as removing the cocking piece. I understood that I had to pull out on the bolthead while rotating it. The bolt head went straight forward rather than rotating and now seems to be stuck in the forward position.

What do I do now? Your assistance will be greatly appreciated.
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Old January 2, 2012, 01:16 AM   #11
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Bigdaddy

I wish I were home to look at mine. I am stumped on how it moved without rotating. I'm also not an expert, just an owner. Did you remove the extractor before trying to remove the bolt head?
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Old January 3, 2012, 02:23 PM   #12
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Continued Problem

John,

Thanks for your response. There must be something binding within the bolt. Even before I started the dis-assembly, the bolt was difficult to cycle. I tried spraying some WD-40 inside in hopes that it would loosen things up so but so far it hasn't helped.

The guys with the videos on the internet simply rotate the bolt head as they move it forward and the whole bolt head and spiral mechanism comes out. That doesn't happen with my rifle.

As I rotate and pull the bolt head out of the bolt body, it turns the 90 degrees or so and clicks in place. Once that happens, it take some tapping to get it to retract again.

I have not attempted to remove the extractor so far.
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Old January 4, 2012, 12:27 AM   #13
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BigD

I just got back from 2 days of skiing and am paying the price a 50 year old has to pay to out ski a 17 & 12 year old. Will you be available by phone tomorrow evening? I have 2 of these bolts and I bet we can figure it out by having 1 in the correct state and 1 we can mess with. As long as you can receive cell phone pics we won't have to do it totally blind. I'm no expert but willing to try to help.
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Old January 4, 2012, 12:32 PM   #14
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Let's give it a try!

John,

Thanks for your willingness to help with the M95 bolt issue. Call me at 205-789-5957 and we will give it a try.

Bigdaddy
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Old January 4, 2012, 02:11 PM   #15
johnm1
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Send me an e-mail via this site (my account should be set up to do that) and I will reply giving you my e-mail address. Send what ever photo's you have or can take. Quality isn't important so a cell phone picture will work. I just want to see what position it is in and what it would take for me to put one in that position. Maybe we can work backwards from there. Either that or we will have 2 bolts locked up.
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