Dutch infantry rifle during WWII


November 6, 2006, 01:17 PM
A Dutch friend and I were discussing rifles, and we started to wonder what arms the Dutch army used during the Second World War. He wasn't sure, and neither of us was able to find out through a simple internet search. We figure they must have been made by one of the bigger nations (France, perhaps?) but beyond that we don't have any idea. So, can anyone tell me what the standard infantry weapon was for the Dutch army when they were invaded by Germany in 1940?

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November 6, 2006, 01:19 PM
I think it was the Mannlicher turnbolts.

November 6, 2006, 02:13 PM
Thats right, the Steyr Mannlicher M95. Its a straight pull rifle that you loaded by inserting a clip full of ammo into the rifle like you would the Garand. A number of countries used them throughout the years most famously Austria and Hungary, though by WW2 it was truely an outdated design.

November 6, 2006, 02:24 PM
No no. The Dutch Mannlicher was a turnbolt. I'm sure of it. It's based on the same design as the M-95 straight pull and also used the clip system, but had a turnbolt not a straight pull. It fired a unique 6.5mm cartridge not the more powerful 8mm designs of the Austro-Hungarian straight pulls.

Here's some:



November 6, 2006, 02:54 PM
It was the Dutch Mannlicher M95 Turnbolt, in 6.5x53R Dutch Mannlicher chambering. These are often (erroneously) confused with the Austrian Steyr M95 straight-pull guns, but are an entirely different design. The Dutch 6.5x53R is a rare cartridge, and preceded the more popular rimless 6.5x54 Mannlicher-Schonauer cartridge by just one year.

I have two of the carbines. Info I've collected reveals that some of these guns were rechambered and rebarreled to accept .303 British rounds. :what:

Randy Rick has some info on the rifles and carbines at his website:


Another source of info:


My own M95 Dutch Cavalry Carbine, manufactured by Steyr in 1896:


November 6, 2006, 05:26 PM
My boss is from the netherlands and after WWII during the early cold war he was in their service for a time. He said that they used the M1 Garand and he hated it. To him it shot wonderfully but when they would train "tiger crawl" it would get so filthy in the dirt it would not function and was a pain to clean. I told him that I like mine and don't let it get that dirty.

November 6, 2006, 05:35 PM
Everyone, thank you. I knew this was the right place to ask my question! I appreciate the pictures and links as well. I may have to look into picking one of these up one day as a collectors piece. :)

Was there any particular reason they chose the 6.5 x 53R? It seems like an odd caliber (though I'm certainly no expert).

November 6, 2006, 07:13 PM
While the Germans were doing a great business selling the 7x57 Mauser to new customers, the Swedish had gone to the 6.5x55 in 1894 with the Model 94 Carbine, then the Model 96 rifle, and the Norwegians adopted it for their own Krag rifle. The Italians saw fit to go with the 6.5x52 Mannlicher-Carcano round in 1891. Japan adopted the 6.5x50 Arisaka round in 1897, while the Greeks adopted the 6.5x54 Mannlicher-Schonauer round in 1903.

So the 6.5mm bore wasn't too terribly rare at the time, and the 6.5x53R was right in the middle of the range from 6.5x50 - 6.5x55. ;)

November 6, 2006, 08:11 PM
It's ironic we're looking back at the 6.5 to 7mm range for new military cartridges today.

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