Make: Steyr, Austria
Model: 1888/1890 Mannlicher Infantry Rifle (M88/90)
Serial Number: None
Year of Manufacture: 1888 to 1896.
Caliber: 8x50R (8x50mm Rimmed).
Action Type: Straight Pull Bolt Action, Clip Fed Fixed Magazine
Markings: There is no visible import mark. The top of barrel shank is marked “OE / WG” which is for the Steyr factory in Austria (see page 28 of Joe Pulleo’s book, Bolt Action Military rifles of the World). The top of the barrel shank and the top of the receiver each are marked with small “lines” that meet. The front of the bottom metal is marked “K” and the rear is marked “L”. The left side of the nosecap is marked “K”. The buttplate is marked “K”. The underside of the bolt is marked “K” and “L”. The underside of the bolt handle is marked “K” and with what appears to be an “A”. The rear of the bolt handle is marked “L”. The wood ahead of the bottom metal is marked “K 1”. The bottom of the buttstock is marked “M” and with an “L”. The left side of the buttstock is marked “550”. The right side of the butt has the metal numbers “121” nailed to it with two small nails in each number.
Barrel Length: Approximately 30 Inches
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a dovetail set inverted “V” post atop a small base. The rear sight is a “V” notched blade that is attached to an elevator assembly. The sides of the riser are pinched together to raise or lower the sights. The top left of the rear sight base is marked “6 8 10 12 14 16 18” and the left side is marked “”5 6 12 18”; both of these are to be used with the sight elevator.
The right side of the barrel band has a pointed front post attached to it. This is the front volley sight. The rear volley sight is stored under the rear sight blade. It is stuck in position; we did not try to force it out. The top right of the rear sight base is marked “20 22 24 26 28 30” and the right side is marked “5 24 30”; both of these are to be used with the volley sights.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The hardwood stock has a semi pistol grip, finger grooves, nosecap with stacking rod & bayonet lug, barrel band with volley sight, two sling loops and a metal buttplate. The stock shows scrapes, scratches and compression marks throughout. Many are deep but have been finished over. The left side of the wood, below the finger grooves, shows scrapes which have removed the finish of the wood. The LOP measures 13 ¼ inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in about Very Good Plus overall condition, for a refinished antique.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Refinished
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the fling is deep. There is light frosting in the grooves at the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 96% of its metal finish, as refinished. Imperfections on the metal, such as frosting on the magazine, show through the new finish. The front of the barrel is scraped and shows thinning. The butt plate shows scrapes and thinning. The rear sight shows some discoloration from oxidation. The metal shows light scrapes and small scratches. The screw heads are intact. The markings are deep. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good to Fine condition, as a refinished antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork& Accessories: None
Our Assessment: This Steyr Mannlicher Model 1888/90 Infantry Rifle is chambered for the 8x50mm Rimmed cartridge. It started life as a Model 1888 chambered for the 8x52mm Rimmed black powder cartridge. In 1890 when semi smokeless powder was adopted a new cartridge, the 8x50R, was developed. Most Model 1888 rifles were updated for the new cartage. The update included recalibrating the sights; volley sights were recalibrated as well. These rifles were used through WWI and even into WWII. The rifle has been refinished nicely and looks great. A Model 1888/90 in this shape is rare. It should add to nicely your collection.