The Story of the „Mannlicher-Schönauer“ Hunting Carbine
At the beginning of the 20 th century, the two Weapon makers Karl Ritter von Mannlicher and Schönauer
developed the 1903 model of the “Mannlicher-Schönauer” repeater hunting carbine, which became
world-famous during its 70-year production period. The most important development in the area of hunting
rifles in the last quarter of the 19 th century was the introduction of the smokeless propellant powder and,
connection with this , the development off small calibre jacketed bullet
In 1903, the legendary “Mannlicher Schönauer” came onto the market: it was a very modern repeater rifle for
those days, which may undoubtedly be regarded as a sensational event in hunting weapon production. This
model, shafted in one, and equipped with a barrel only 45 cm long, was to become world-famous. It became
an extremely popular weapon among high mountain hunters, due to being so easy to handly.
Throughout the rest of the Danube region, the Carpathian Mountains
and even Africa, the “Mannlicher-Schönauer” likewise became a
household name among hunters. It was used to hunt powerful
Carpathian stags, bears, wild boar and, in Africa, even big game
– including elephants. One must remember, however, that at the
time when this weapon and cartridges were introduced, rifles were
used almost exclusively without telescopic sights – i. e. with the
In the 50´s, the “Mannlicher-Schönauer” was adapted for many modern
calibres. A silent sliding safety catch was also added, and it was enlarged for the use of telescopic sights. The
device for loading with loading strips was regarded as being out-dated, and removed from the design. It was
also no longer produced exclusively as a hunting carbine, but also as a rifle.
The legendary “Mannlicher-Schönauer” is still a fascinating hunting weapon today. Easy to handle, well-balanced
and indisputably attractive as well, it conveys a strong sense of nostalgia and the memory of a vanished world with
a highly-developed hunting culture. The design of the breech-block and gun lock, with its outstandingly smooth action,
is still very up-to-date today. And the design of the cylinder magazine, with its unique unloading method, has design
of the breech-block and gun lock, with its outstandingly smooth action, is still very up-to-date today. And the design
of the cylinder magazine, with its unique unloading method, has never or hardly been improved upon in modern times.
In this respect, the “Mannlicher-Schönauer” represented a huge technical advance and, as a result, certainly the most
famous hunting weapon of the last century.
We are now producing rifles according to the “Mannlicher-Schönauer” system once again. Only very few experts
have the ability to produce this weapon. Mr. Erich Schoder can claim the privilege of having been the last apprentice
to thoroughly learn the craft of producing this legendary rifle.