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Ferdinand Ritter Mannlicher Edit Profile

Engineer , inventor

Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher was an Austrian architect and little arms originator.


Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher was born on January 30, 1848 in Mainz (Germany). His dad, a military authority, came from Brüx (Bohemia). Ferdinand returned to the Josefstadt district of Vienna with his parents in 1857.


He studied at Matura high-school. Then in 1857, he attended the Vienna University of Technology. At this technical university, he studied Maschinenbau (engineering).


He started his professional career in 1869 as an employee of the Austrian Southern Railway company and worked as an engineer at the Emperor Ferdinand Northern Railway company until 1887.

Mannlicher had early turned his interest to weapons technology, particularly breech-loading repeating rifles. His ambitions were fueled by the Austrian defeat in the 1866 Battle of Königgrätz, which he traced back to the inadequate equipment of the Imperial and Royal Army.

In 1876 he travelled to the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia to study numerous construction designs and afterwards drafted several types of repeating rifles with tubular magazines. In 1885/86 he patented the "Mannlicher System" of a breechblock on a bolt action basis, which was adopted as a service rifle by the Austro-Hungarian Army and several other armed forces.

Mannlicher joined the Austrian Arms Factory company at Steyr in Upper Austria, which under the name of Steyr Mannlicher soon became one of the largest weapon manufacturer in Europe. The model Steyr-Mannlicher M1895 was widely used by the Austro-Hungarian Army up to World War I.

At the time of his death, Mannlicher was working on a prototype semi-automatic rifle chambered in 7.92×57mm Mauser, utilizing short recoil operation, a Schönauer rotary magazine, and sights copied from the Mauser Gewehr 98.

He died on January 20, 1904 (aged 55) in Vienna, Austria-Hungary.


  • Along with James Paris Lee, Mannlicher was particularly noted for inventing the en-bloc clip charger-loading magazine system. Later, while making improvements to other inventors prototype designs for rotary-feed magazines, Mannlicher, together with his protégé Otto Schönauer, patented a perfected rotary magazine design, the Mannlicher–Schönauer, which was a commercial and military success.


Though he became famous for his rifle engineering, and supplied war related weapons to the imperial army he never had involved with politics beyond his limits and so he never had shared his political views for his country.


He was married to Cäcilie Mannlicher. They had two children.

Josef Mannlicher

Albertina Mannlicher

Cäcilie Mannlicher

Marie Mannlicher

Karl Mannlicher

Friedrich Mannlicher

Cäcilie Rostock

Albertine von Manndorff