Ethiopian AOI M90/95 carbine help?
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Thread: Ethiopian AOI M90/95 carbine help?

  1. #1

    Default Ethiopian AOI M90/95 carbine help?

    I got this carbine from the recent batch imported from Ethiopia. I'm no Mannlicher expert, but it looks like an 1890 carbine (proofed in 1892) updated to 1895 pattern. The cocking piece, handguard, barrel band, and nosecap all look like M95 parts to me. There is no legible number on the stock, but the barrel and receiver match. Is there any way to tell if this modification was done by the Austrians (presumably during WW1?) or after it got to Ethiopia? I can see either being plausible. And yeah, it's been abused and neglected for a long time, and a good cleaning will only do so much to make it slightly more presentable. Anyway, any information would be much appreciated!

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  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
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    I can only guess, but judging by the poorly fitting upper band it's a local Ethiopian job.
    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

    "Бросая в воду камешки, смотри на круги, ими образуемые; иначе такое бросание будет пустою забавою." - Козьма Прутков

    "A який чоловiк горилку не п'є - то вiн або хворий, або падлюка." - Невідомий українець

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    Ian:

    Please post a photo of the AOI markings. I have a M95 full length rifle with the AOI brand on the right side of the buttstock and I'd like to compare the markings.

    Thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I can only guess, but judging by the poorly fitting upper band it's a local Ethiopian job.

    I fully concur. No way this was done by Austrians.

  6. #5

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    Richard, the AOI on the carbine is really only detectable by feel; it's almost completely worn away. I do have a Mannlicher 88/90 from Ethiopia with one that is visible:

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    Is there any way to tell if this modification was done by the Austrians (presumably during WW1?) or after it got to Ethiopia?

    The Italians had no capacity for such conversion in Italian East Africa. What was sent to the Colonies from Europe were Austrian war reparations.

    You want further information? Check your PMs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Story View Post

    The Italians had no capacity for such conversion in Italian East Africa.
    Then who modified this long M.95 into a short rifle and renumbered the rear sight?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails M95 AOI Rear Sight.JPG  

    M95 AOI Rear Sight 1.JPG  

    M95 AOI.JPG  

    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

    "Бросая в воду камешки, смотри на круги, ими образуемые; иначе такое бросание будет пустою забавою." - Козьма Прутков

    "A який чоловiк горилку не п'є - то вiн або хворий, або падлюка." - Невідомий українець

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    I suppose a better question would be; are there any distinctive indicators of Austrian 90/95 conversions? Did they remark the guns in any way? Did they use a specific pattern of sling swivels? This has only bottom swivels, for instance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForgottenWeapons View Post
    are there any distinctive indicators of Austrian 90/95 conversions?
    I am not aware of any Austrian mods. All conversions of M.90 to M.95 configuration that I have seen are Bulgarian.
    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

    "Бросая в воду камешки, смотри на круги, ими образуемые; иначе такое бросание будет пустою забавою." - Козьма Прутков

    "A який чоловiк горилку не п'є - то вiн або хворий, або падлюка." - Невідомий українець

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I am not aware of any Austrian mods. All conversions of M.90 to M.95 configuration that I have seen are Bulgarian.
    Oh! I did not realize that. Seems like that would pretty well rule out this being one of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ForgottenWeapons View Post
    I suppose a better question would be; are there any distinctive indicators of Austrian 90/95 conversions? Did they remark the guns in any way? Did they use a specific pattern of sling swivels? This has only bottom swivels, for instance.
    I am not aware of any Austrian mods. All conversions of M.90 to M.95 configuration that I have seen are Bulgarian.
    We have to be very cautious in terminology. The Austrian 90/95 designation would indicate rework of a M.1890 RIFLE to M.95 configuration. There are official orders for these conversions from the WWI period.

    When speaking of the inter-war period Austria DID convert M.90 Carbines to M.95 Carbines. This however was done by replacing the barrel with a new M.95 barrel, as well as with a replacement M.95 stock. These can be identified by OEWG marked receivers.

    Both variants are covered in original Austrian documents. I therefore may not concur with Nick on what he had written. What I may on the other hand confirm is that what comes up on the market are Bulgarian reworks and therefore can lead to this assumption.

    Much knowledge of the Austrian Straight Pull bolt action rifles is still "hidden" in the original documents and in the brain of the few collectors that have studied them. I am not among them, though I have partial document knowledge on specific topics, such as sniper rifles. It is tough for non-native speakers since these of course are written in German, sometimes even hand written, which are tough to read and understand even for native speakers. There however might be a future publication treating this topic.

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    M.90/95 rifle is a completely different story. This discussion is clearly about the M.90 carbine.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails M90-95.jpg  

    Last edited by Nick; 09-08-2020 at 01:56 PM.
    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

    "Бросая в воду камешки, смотри на круги, ими образуемые; иначе такое бросание будет пустою забавою." - Козьма Прутков

    "A який чоловiк горилку не п'є - то вiн або хворий, або падлюка." - Невідомий українець

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    Nick,
    I just wanted to make clear there are two possibilities on how to answer the question Ian had asked and that therefore we have to be careful. He asked on Austrian 90/95 conversions and very simply there can either be the 1890 rifle or the 1890 carbine converted to 1895 specs. Nothing more, nothing less. Otherwise persons joining this discussion might be mislead, especially since the conversion from 1890 rifle is much more common than the one of the carbine.
    Secondly, as I had expressed there indeed were also Austrian conversions of the 1890 carbine which however are different from the one of the OP. This therefore indicates the "rework" of the OP rifle is NOT Austrian. And as a final side note, post WWI Austria only supplied Machine Guns (for what I know Schwarzlose) to Ethiopia.

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    I see they have M90 rifles, M95 long rifles and carbines in 8x50R. Which rifle did you order that you got this one if you don’t mind me asking.

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    I asked for an 1890 carbine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForgottenWeapons View Post
    I asked for an 1890 carbine.
    Might have to pick up something Austrian from them here soon lol.

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    FWIW, I have an AOI marked m.90/95 rifle....unfortunately, someone chopped the stock and I have to rebuild it.
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    Nice and definitely worth restoring. The wood is doable, the barrel bands could be difficult.
    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

    "Бросая в воду камешки, смотри на круги, ими образуемые; иначе такое бросание будет пустою забавою." - Козьма Прутков

    "A який чоловiк горилку не п'є - то вiн або хворий, або падлюка." - Невідомий українець

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Nice and definitely worth restoring. The wood is doable, the barrel bands could be difficult.
    It actually came with the middle and rear bands, they just aren’t in the photo. And I have multiple front bands that I got from Russel at Springfield Sporters before he sold the business. I have the barrel channel cut in the forend, but time is the hardest thing to find, as always.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lgm View Post
    I have the barrel channel cut in the forend.
    And a hand guard!
    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

    "Бросая в воду камешки, смотри на круги, ими образуемые; иначе такое бросание будет пустою забавою." - Козьма Прутков

    "A який чоловiк горилку не п'є - то вiн або хворий, або падлюка." - Невідомий українець

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    And a hand guard!

    I don't think my rifle ever had a handguard; the stock is not cut for it, and the bluing wear on top of the barrel is consistent on both sides of the middle band.

    However, I also think there is a chance that my stock is an Italian replacement, if that is possible. The finger grooves are smaller than typical, and the serial number is in a much larger font than any Austrian numbered gun I have. Then again, the numbering on these is a little different anyway. And I swear the stock looks like beech wood. I will know for sure once I cut the mangled forend off, but the grain and flecking looks exactly like my Carcano and Berthier beech stocks. I know it sounds far-fetched, but I've seen several (5-6) other m.90/95 stocks, and they were cut for handguard clips, and were all very normal looking walnut.

    I have only ever seen one m.90/95 on the loose with an intact handguard, not counting the photos you have shared in the past Nick. Seems like their survival rate was not good.

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    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

    "Бросая в воду камешки, смотри на круги, ими образуемые; иначе такое бросание будет пустою забавою." - Козьма Прутков

    "A який чоловiк горилку не п'є - то вiн або хворий, або падлюка." - Невідомий українець

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post

    Looking at the video, the entire bolt and mag assembly are from a m.95, so the only thing m.90 about it is the barreled receiver and sights. The AOI stamp on the stock was most likely put there when the stock was on a m.95 short rifle or early stutzen (judging by the rear swivel and the rearward end position of the finger grooves). Otherwise, I think the stock work would have been better if it were done by the Italians. End result is an assemblage of parts done in Ethiopia.
    Last edited by lgm; 09-15-2020 at 01:28 PM.

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails M90KarSet1.jpg  

    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

    "Бросая в воду камешки, смотри на круги, ими образуемые; иначе такое бросание будет пустою забавою." - Козьма Прутков

    "A який чоловiк горилку не п'є - то вiн або хворий, або падлюка." - Невідомий українець

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