Mannlicher M1888

Within military 8 mm firearms, the Repeating Rifle Mannlicher 1888, better known as the Mannlicher M1888, was a bolt-action rifle used by several armies from 1888 to 1945. Derived from the M1885 and later M1886 models, it was Ferdinand Mannlicher's third rifle that utilized the "en bloc clip".

Repeating Rifle Muster 1888
Mannlicher M1888 rifle, from the collections of the Swedish Army Museum.
TypeBolt-action rifle
Place of originAustria-Hungary
Service history
In service1888–Present
Used bySee Users
WarsChilean Civil War[1]
First Sino-Japanese War
Philippine Revolution[2]
International intervention on the island of Crete
Boxer Rebellion
Second Boer War
Xinhai Revolution
First Balkan War
Second Balkan War
World War I
Russian Civil War[3]
Austro-Slovene conflict in Carinthia
Revolutions and interventions in Hungary
Hungarian–Czechoslovak War
Polish–Ukrainian War
Retaking of Czech Borderland (1918-1919)
Polish–Czechoslovak War
Polish–Soviet War[4]
Greco-Turkish War[5]
Pacification of Libya[6]
Second Italo-Ethiopian War[7][8]
Spanish Civil War[9]
Sudeten German uprising 1938
World War II (limited)
Greek Civil War[10]
1948 Palestine war[11]
Production history
DesignerFerdinand von Mannlicher
ManufacturerSteyr-Mannlicher, Fegyver És Gépgyár
No. built1,095,000
VariantsM1888-90, M1888-95, M1888/24[12]
Specifications (M88)
Mass4.41 kg (9.7 lb)
Length1,280 mm (50 in)
Barrel length765 mm (30.1 in)

CartridgeM88 8×52mmR
M88-90 and M88-95: 8×50mmR
M88/24: 8×57mm IS
ActionStraight-pull bolt action
Muzzle velocity530 metres per second (1,700 ft/s) with M1888 ball cartridge
Feed system5-round en-bloc clip (stripper clip in M88/24), integral box magazine
SightsIron sights

It was succeeded by the Mannlicher M1895 as the standard service rifle of the Austro-Hungarian Army. The M95 uses a more secure rotating-bolt, in contrast to the M88's wedge-lock bolt.


Mannlicher M1888 mechanism.

The M1888 was a direct and immediate descendant of the M1886 Austrian Mannlicher. This rifle too was a straight-pull, bolt-action, box magazine repeater. As early as the beginning of production of the M1886 the need and desirability for a small-bore rifle was evident. This rifle is virtually identical to its predecessor but for chambering a newly designed 8 mm cartridge, loaded originally with black powder and denominated 8×52mmR.

A Slovene soldier of the Austro-Hungarian Common Army posing with his M1888 service rifle and fixed bayonet.

M1888-90 rifleEdit

Shortly thereafter, the M88 cartridge was converted to semi-smokeless powder. The new cartridge was designated 8mm M.1890 scharfe Patrone and its dimensions were 8×50mmR. The sights of existing black powder 8mm Mannlicher rifles were converted to accommodate semi-smokeless ammunition by the functional arrangement of screw mounting re-graduated sideplates onto the outsides of the existing rear sight walls. The converted rifles were denominated M.88–90.

M1890 rifleEdit

When in 1890 semi-smokeless powder became available, manufacture of rifles with a longer and thus stronger chamber and modified sights began. Although the smokeless powder filled M.93 8×50mmR cartridge can be used in this rifle, the generated pressure at 40,000 psi (275.8 MPa) is marginal, as the wedge-lock bolt system this rifle uses was originally designed to be shot with less-potent black powder filled with 11×58mmR ammunition.

Kuaili 1888 Kiangnan Rifle 7.62x55Edit

China also used this rifle extensively during the Qing dynasty and the Republican era. China first bought Mannlicher 88 rifles before the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894–1895 and after that started production of the unlicensed Kuaili 1888 Kiangnan copy.[13][14]



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  11. ^ [1] Archived 17 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine
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