Home Intro People Events Equipment Places Maps Books Photos Videos Other Reference FAQ About

World War II Database

Y1903 file photo [27849]

Mannlicher-Schönauer M1903 Rifle

Country of OriginAustria
Caliber6.500 mm
Capacity5 rounds
Length1.226 m
Barrel Length725.000 mm
Weight3.830 kg
Range600.000 m
Muzzle Velocity678 m/s


ww2dbaseMannlicher–Schönauer bolt-action rifles were designed by Otto Schönauer (rotary magazine) and Ferdinand Mannlicher (rifle action) in the late 1890s. This innovative design was introduced to the public at the World Fair in Paris, France in 1900. In 1903, the Greek Army reached a deal for what it had designated as the Model 1903 (Y1903) rifles, purchasing both the long rifle and short carbine versions of the weapon, at the quantity of 130,000 across both versions. Despite these Mannlicher–Schönauer rifles being of high quality, the high cost and the unusual caliber meant their home country of Austria-Hungary, and in fact no other powers except for Greece, would purchase them. However, due to war demands, a small number of them would indeed be used by Austrian troops during WW1. In 1914, Greece signed another contract for 50,000 rifles; these would be designated as Y1903/14. From 1927, Greece purchased an additional 105,000 Mannlicher–Schönauer rifles (designated Y1903/14/27) from Breda of Italy, which had taken the design from the defeated Austria-Hungary, to replenish the great losses incurred in its war with Turkey. In 1930, an additional 25,000 weapons (Y1903/14/30), all carbines, were ordered from Steyr of Austria. A great number of them saw action during the Italian and German invasions of Greece during WW2. In 1941, Lieutenant Rigas Rigopoulos submitted a redesign of the Y1903 to improve firing performance; it was approved by the Greek military, but production would never take place due to German occupation. After the war, they saw action in the 1946-1949 Greek Civil War.

These rifles were also sold to the civilian market beginning in 1903. They were popular with hunters across Europe and North America. The civilian version of this design remained in production almost continuously through the start of WW2, and resumed between 1950 and 1972.

Source: Wikipedia ww2dbase

Last Major Revision: Jul 2018

Mannlicher-Schönauer M1903 Rifle Interactive Map


Troops of 1st Battalion of Greek Army of National Defence with Y1903 rifles, Thessaloniki, Greece, 1916Greek soldier with Mannlicher-Schönauer rifle, Albania, late 1940

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Change View
Desktop View

Search WW2DB
Mannlicher-Schönauer M1903 Rifle Photo Gallery
Troops of 1st Battalion of Greek Army of National Defence with Y1903 rifles, Thessaloniki, Greece, 1916Greek soldier with Mannlicher-Schönauer rifle, Albania, late 1940

Famous WW2 Quote
"All that silly talk about the advance of science and such leaves me cold. Give me peace and a retarded science."

Thomas Dodd, late 1945

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!