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35M Rifle. From the Swedish Army Museum.
|Type||Bolt-action service rifle|
|Place of origin||Kingdom of Hungary|
|Used by||Kingdom of Hungary, Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, People's Republic of Hungary|
|Wars||World War II, Hungarian Revolution of 1956|
|Cartridge||8x56R, 7.92×57 IS|
|Feed system||5-round en-block clip, internal box magazine|
|Sights||open Partridge rear sight, square post front sight|
The FÉG 35M was a bolt-action rifle, chambered in 8x56R. Though superficially still resembling the 95/31M Carbine it was a new design. An easily recognizable distinguishing feature was the placement of the bolt handle, which was further forward than in the 1895 design. It was used by Hungary in the years leading up to and during World War II, and after World War II before being gradually phased out by both Red Army surplus and locally produced Mosin–Nagant carbines.
After the World War, modifications were made on the 95M carbines, recalibrating the sights to the newly adopted metric system, and later adopting the Austrian-developed longer spitzer cartridge, all this resulting in the 31M rifle. But the army was not satisfied. After analytic World War I performance, amongst deficiencies were listed that the straight-pull Mannlicher could freeze in great cold; that the bolts were hand-fitted thus non-interchangeable, and could be replaced only by trained gunsmiths; and a cock on opening operation. In the end it was decided that the new rifle should use the simpler, more conventional Mannlicher–Schönauer rotating bolt mechanism.
All springs in the rifle except the one in the sight are coil springs. The new safety could be engaged both when the rifle was cocked and uncocked. The barrel was lengthened and the distance between front and rear sights was increased. A British-style two-piece stock avoided the need to import extremely dimensionally stable wood. A new bayonet was also designed for the weapon.
43M and Gewehr 98/40
During World War II, military cooperation with Germany and a shortage of standard Mauser K98k rifles German army led to modifications to the 35M. It was rechambered to the standard German 7.92×57 IS cartridge with a fully enclosed flush magazine, the bolt handle was made angled, the bayonet socket was changed to accept German bayonets and some alterations was made to the sling mount. In addition, the rifle was adopted to use standard Mauser 5-round charger clips and its sights were recalibrated to match the ballistics of the 7.92mm IS cartridge.
In German service this modified weapon was known as the G98/40. Hungary also adopted this version, slightly modified, as the 43M.
Comparable contemporary firearms
- Detailed article on the website of "Military Technics", a journal by the Hungarian Ministry of Defence, on its development and differences between the older 95/31M (Hungarian)
- Kokalis, Peter G. (2 January 2006). "Hungarian Small Arms in Germany's Service". Shotgun News 59 (36): 10–12.