Designed by Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher. This pistol is often called the Model 1896/03 due to the fact that it was originally developed in 1896 (at the same time as the 1896 Mauser pistol), however, it was not commercially introduced onto the market until around 1903. The earlier design of a blow back operated Model 1896 had a fixed magazine, with this design featuring improvements incorporating a six-shot spring-loaded detachable box magazine and locked breech operating mechanism. The upper receiver is slotted for use with stripper clips, allowing two different ways of loading. Blade front and fixed notch rear sights with a Swiss "BP" proof on top of the barrel chamber and matching serial number "253" marked on the left of the barrel, receiver, hidden inside the frame and on various components, trigger and stamped on the inside of the grips. Fine rust blue finish on the upper and lower receiver, bright polished bolt, checkered cocking lever on the right of the frame, smooth trigger, and serrated safety switch at the rear of the frame. Fitted with checkered walnut grips and lanyard loop. The magazine currently in the pistol is numbered "169" on the base plate. Includes an extra magazine numbered "29" on the base plate.
Very fine, retains 98% professionally restored blue finish. Grips are also very fine with distinct checkering, a patch of light dings on the bottom of the left panel, and defined edges. Mechanically excellent. A solid representative example of a scarce early Steyr-Mannlicher Model 1896/03 semi-automatic pistol.
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