Original Austrian Model 1867/77 Werndl–Holub JAEGER 11mm Infantry Rifle with Internal Hammer - Dated 1877

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The M1867 Werndl-Holub was a single-shot breech-loading rifle that the Austro-Hungarian army adopted in 1867. It replaced the Wanzl breech-loader conversion of the muzzle-loading Lorenz rifle. Josef Werndl (1831-1889) and Karel Holub (1830-1903) designed and patented their design; Werndl later bought out all the rights.

This wonderful example has been expertly cleaned, and even still has regimental markings on the steel butt plate. It is nicely dated 1877 (77) on the lock below the Œ / W G maker marking. It is also marked St.82 on the barrel. The rifle is also marked with matching serial number 7798 S on the sight, receiver, and breech block.

The original 1867 model of the Werndl–Holub featured an external hammer mounted on the lock plate however in 1877 the second model moved the hammer to the inside of the lock plate, and are called "internal" hammers, though they are still exposed. Second models such as this example are far rarer than the original 1867 model. Additionally, this example, is in fact a rarer version than the normal infantry Rifle in that it is classed as a WERNDL JAEGER RIFLE, having an extra steel hand rest behind the standard trigger guard. These were issued only to Special troops such as Pioneers and Sappers.

Metal condition is good with a nice gray patina from years of polish, and the stock is in great shape for its age, with a wonderful color and nice finish. The cleaning rod is still in place, as are both sling swivels. Unfortunately, as a precaution so "Little Johnny" didn't shoot his younger brother, some father dropped a blob of weld in the chamber and obstructed the bore of the rifle directly in front of this with a welded in bar. It also is missing the breech block axis pin. This ANTIQUE Rifle can now also be considered deactivated as far as shooting is concerned.

This is the one you want for your collection!

ŒWG (Österreichische Waffenfabriksgesellschaft) produced the Werndl and chambered it for the 11mm scharfe Patrone M.67  (11.15×42R) cartridge. In 1877 the military rechambered the Werndl for the bottleneck 11mm scharfe Patrone M.77 (11.15×58mmR) cartridge. Some were marked WERNDL on the receiver, while others such as this are marked  with the Œ / W G logo.

In spite of the Werndl being long obsolete by World War I, the Austro-Hungarian forces issued Werndl rifles to rear-echelon units to free up more modern rifles for use by front-line troops.

It was adopted by the Imperial Austrian Army in 1869 to replace the WANZL breech loading conversion of the muzzle loading Lorenz Rifle. The Wendl saw extensive service even after it was declared obsolete in the 1880s as it was issued to reserve regiments during the First World War and only finally becoming fully retired in 1918.

The principal feature of the M1867 was the drum-breech, which, while sturdy and secure, compromised extraction. The rifle had a one piece stock with a straight wrist, a back-action lock and an external hammer. There were two screwed barrel bands and a nose cap; swivels lay under the middle band and butt. A cleaning rod was carried beneath the muzzle. A bayonet lug appeared on the right side of the muzzle. Standard infantry-pattern trigger guards were plain ovals, but a finger spur was substituted for Jaeger units.

This is the rifle that got Steyrwerks off the ground! As a result of the obvious superiority of the Dreyse Needle guns shown at the battle of Sadowa, Austria decided to adopt a small calibre metallic cartridge breech loader. The Austrians knew that the Wanzl conversion of the M1854 Lorenz was a stopgap at best and they engaged in extensive trials to adopt a successor. The Werndl was principally the invention of Karel Holub who associated with Josef Werndl, director of Styerwerks, to manufacture the rifle. At trials at the Vienna Arsenal, the Remington Rolling Block system was the clear front-runner until submission of the Holub and, when a decision could not be made, both rifles were submitted to the King who, (surprise!) chose the Holub.

This is a rotating drum-action breech loader that can't easily be missed for anything else. When the hammer is drawn back the longitudinal drum breechblock is rotated on a central pin by means of a flat lever protruding from and integral with the drum. The drum has a section cut out to allow loading of a fresh round and, when loaded, the drum/ block is rotated back, the cut-out being replaced by the solid face of the block. The firing pin is located offset within the block in a manner reminiscent of the Snider and Trapdoor blocks and recessed within the block allowing the block to pivot within the receiver.


Year of Manufacture: 1877/82
Caliber: scharfe Patrone M.77 (11.15×58mmR)
Ammunition Type: Center-Fire Cartridge
Overall Length: 50.4 Inches
Action:  Rotating drum bolt with Back Action Lock
Feed System: Single Shot

Made by Österreichische Waffenfabriks-Gesellschaft, Steyr, 1867-74

Quantity: 600,000

Action: Rotary-block breech, with an external hammer. Single Shot.

Caliber: 11x42mm rimmed

1278mm [50.3"] overall, 4.43kg 9.7 lbs

855mm [33.7"] barrel, 6-groove rifling, RH, concentric

Ramp-and-leaf sight graduated from 200 to 1400 paces

Muzzle velocity 436m/sec with M1867 rifle cartridge

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