Wänzel Rifle

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Infanteriegewehr M1854/67, System Wänzel - 14x33R Wänzel
Jägerstutzen M1854/67, System Wänzel - 14x33R Wänzel

The Wänzel Rifle was developed by Franz Wänzel as a breech-loading conversion of the M1854 and M1862 muzzle-loading Lorenz Rifle. After the defeat at Königgrätz in 1866, the K.u.K. army leadership endeavored to draw the consequences of the defeat in terms of armament, equipment, and uniform, as well as in terms of army organization and deployment. The introduction of breech-loading rifles, which had been delayed for a long time until then, came about very quickly since their use on the Prussian side was considered to have a decisive effect on the war. Thus, the previous Lorenz muzzle-loading system was converted to breech-loaders according to the suggestion of the Viennese gunsmith Karl Wänzel which among other applicants won the selection against the system of Czech gunsmith Sylvester Krnka. The infantry, Extra Corps rifles, and Jägerstutzen carbines, which were converted to single-shot breech-loaders in this way, were standardized under the designation "Muster 1854/67" or "Muster 1862/67" and issued to the corresponding branches of the armed forces. However, the Wänzel system was not to get beyond the status of a temporary stopgap.

Approximately 70,000 rifles (of all variants including Infantry, Jäger, Extra Korps, and wall rifle lengths) were converted and were used by the Austro-Hungarian Empire until enough Werndl Rifles could be produced. Despite being woefully obsolete by the time of the First World War, severe equipment shortages led to the Wänzel being pulled out of storage and issued to rear echelon troops.

Contents


Specifications

(1867 – 1872)

  • Type: Single shot trapdoor rifle
  • Country of Origin: Austro-Hungary
  • Caliber: 14x33R Wänzel
  • Length: Infantry Rifle: 41.4 in (105.2 cm) , Jäger Short Rifle: 52.6 in (133.6 cm)
  • Fire Mode: Single shot

The Wänzel Rifle and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:

Film

Title Actor Character Notation Date
Paths of Glory French soldiers 1957

Television

Show Title Actor Character Note / Episode Air Date
Famous Brigands Stories: Václav Babinský Radoslav Brzobohatý Václav Babinský 1st episode 1986
Rudolf Jelínek Josef Slavík
Jan Schánilec Wolf
Soldiers, Prison guards
Famous Brigands Stories: Schinderhannes Miroslav Vladyka Schinderhannes 4st episode 1986
Otakar Brousek Corporal
Milos Kopecký Jew Pereles
Soldiers
Famous Brigands Stories: Róza Sándor Veronika Freimanová Katarína 5th episode 1986
Jirí Schwarz István
Marcel Vasinka The gendarme


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