Rifles Found in Belfast Orange Hall After 100 Years

The authorities in the UK have uncovered a cache of illegal German Mauser Steyr-Mannlicher rifles. It seems there was a huge cache of 25,000 rifles smuggled into Belfast in 1914 during something called the “Home-Rule Crisis”.

I haven’t looked into what exactly what that is, but it doesn’t take a rocket-surgeon to figure out it was a break-away from the UK movement.

It also appears that many of these guns have been found over the years. One place mentioned in-particular was church floors! Very interesting.

The news reports about what happened to these weapons is somewhat confusing to a freedom loving American such as myself. On one hand, they made a big deal out of the weapons and ammunition being classified as “antiques” and legal to own? But then another reference was made to the police confiscating the weapons, “deactivating them” and then returning them to the owners for display.

For those new to Mauser rifles, you will notice the age of these weapons by the fact they have straight, as opposed to turned-down, bolt handles. And the magazines are single-stack that use en-bloc clips that drop out of the bottom hole after the last round is stripped from the clip.

Quite the collector’s pieces. It’s just too bad they are located behind enemy lines; in a land that panics at the merest hint of firearms.


“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”


edit: Thanks to reader Max Popenker for correcting our mislabeling these rifles as Mauser actions. They are Steyr-Mannlicher actions. My mistake. –Marky


  • Max Popenker

    those rifles have no relation to Mauser whatsoever. Those are Steyr-Mannlicher rifles, most probably Rumanian M1893 model.

    • I believe they are Mauser designs made by the Steyr plant. Hence why I called them Mauser rifles. Am I incorrect?


      • Max Popenker

        yes, you are not correct. Those are combination of the modified Schlegelmilch bolt action (as originally used in German M1888 AKA Komissiongewehr or Comission Rifle, rifles which were NOT Mausers) and Mannlicher clip-loading system which, again, had nothing to do with Mauser Werke in Oberndorf.
        My bet is that those are 6.5mm Steyr-Mannlicher Model 1893 rifles originally made for Rumanian contract. Dutch contract M1895 rifles are technically similar but feature slightly different furniture.

        • I appreciate you swinging by. Now that I look at the action a bit more, it seems closer to a Mosin / Berdan style?

          Is the M1888 that same as the GEW88/05?


          • Max Popenker

            Gew88/05 is a modification of original Gewehr M1888

          • Freeze

            Max, You are correct. Marky brought your comments to my attention and I have to say this one slipped by me. I appreciate you bringing it to our attention. We will have to update and correct the article.

          • Correction made. I thought these were GEW 88 rifles. Which I always think of as “early Mausers” with en-bloc clips.


  • Conner

    These look just like my Steyr M-95. Absolutely one of my favorites.