By Randy Rick

The Austrian Werndl



Both Photos: Top is a model 1873/77, and bottom gun is model 1867/77. Both guns pictured are the 1877 conversion to Patrone M1877, 11mm.


The origons of the Oesterreich Waffenfabrik Gesellschaft in Steyr go directly back to Gewehr Fabrikanten Werndl. Josef Werndl was much loved by the Austrians and was known for his care for his factory workers and craftsmen.

Another brief history of Werndl's life and OEWG

Another brief history of Werndl's life and OEWG



The models of Werndl:

M1867
Barrel is 843mm. The receiver is rounded on either side. The hammer 
is mounted on the right side of the receiver, externally. The top of 
the rear sight ladder has a wedge which faces the back, but not the 
front as part of the sight notch. The rear sight base has rounded lobes on 
the front on either side of the sight ladder. The trigger guard is 
one piece with a flat band of metal running back along the underside 
of the grip. The sight is graduated from 200 to 1400 paces.

M1873
Barrel is 843mm. The receiver is flattened on either side, and the 
hammer is behind the receiver. The sight is graduated from 200-1400 
paces and the top as the M1867. The sight base has a wedge protruding 
between the legs of the sight ladder, but no rounded lobes on the 
outside. The trigger guard is one piece with a band of metal shaped 
into an elongated hand stop protruding 5cm below the gun at the
rear of the grip. 

M1867/77 
Modified from M1867 rifles to accept the new 1877 cartridge.
Trigger guard & grip modified to the 1873 type.
Sight modified to 200-2100 paces. The top of the sight also has a 
wedge protruding forward as well as to the rear. Sight base as in the 
1873, wedge between the legs of the sight ladder, no round 
projections in front outside the sight ladder. These guns
frequently seen with the origonal rear sight.

M1873/77
Same as M1873, but rechambered for the M1877 (larger bottlenecked)
cartridge. New sights graduated 200-2100 paces, or may be seen
with origonal sight.

Extra-Korps-Gewehr (Project v.J.)M1867
Barrel 593mm. One barrel band. Chambered for Karabinerpatrone M1867.
No Bayonet stud. Otherwise as the M1867. 

Extra-Korps-Gewehr M1867
Barrel 566mm. No barrel band, front sling loop attached to either 
side of forestock. No bayonet stud. Ladder sight graduated 200-600 
paces. Otherwise as M1867.

Extra-Korps-Gewehr M1867/77
Same as E-K-G M1867 but rechambered for 1877 cartridge & sight 
changed to 200-1600 paces.

Extra-Korps-Gewehr M1873/77
Cut down from M1873 rifles to barrel length of 566mm. Sight on the 
left in the old graduations of 200-800 paces, on the right 200-1600 
paces.

Extra-Korps-Gewehr M1873/77 Variant
Similar to E-K-G M1873/77 but made in 1885 and has a bayonet stud on 
the right side of the forestock cap.

Karabiner M1867/77
Cut down from M1867 rifles & chambered for 1877 cartridge. Has the 
rear sling band on the front of the trigger guard. Barrel 566mm.

Karabiner M1873/77
Cut down from M1873 rifles, otherwise same as Kar M1867/77.

Other:

Portuguese M1878 Werndl Marine rifle. 

Werndl carbines which fired the same 11mm round as the Austrian
Gasser Army Revolver. These are about 2/3 size in all dimensions.


Notes on the M1867/77:

I have seen M1867/77 rifles rechambered for the 1877 cartridge, but 
that do not have the new sight ladders. Same for the M1873/77. It 
could be that these were late conversions as the war began.

The wood from the rear barrel band forward was actually open 
where the cleaning rod fit. The rod went under the forward barrel 
band and there is a small depression in the stock end cap as well for 
the rod. The end cap is about 1 inch behind the bayonet stud.

A bayonet stud is located on the right side of the barrel.

There is a sling swivel located about 4 inches forward of the butt 
plate on the underside of the stock. It is mounted to an oval plate 
1-1/4 in long, held to the stock by a screw at either end. The 
forward barrel band holds the other sling swivel on its underside.

Seen on two M67/77

        57.L.St.B .
         1826.

        61.L.St. B. 
         1089.

I read the second as: 61st Landsturm Battalion, rifle 1089.
Landsturm is the equivalent of a 'ready reserve' as opposed to 
professional troops. Some locally mobilized Landsturm battalions 
from the eastern provinces went into early action. They fought 
the first battles on the Eastern Front (WWI/Roumania/Russia) and 
were issued with the single-shot Werndl.

On the lock plate of the M67/77:

        (eagle)
          871                             

This means the plate was made in 1871.


Stamped on the barrel:

        Werndl                 Wn 71 
                       (proofed at the Vienna Proof house 1871)

On the rear of the sight base is the Austrian eagle.

In front of the rear sight dove tail there is a "T" stamped on
the barrel.

Also noted, is that on the right of the rear ladder sight base is the
        OE
        WG    which is Oesterreich Waffenfabrique Gesellschaft

There is a pistol grip cast with the trigger guard in one piece.


Joschi Schuy's Book about the Werndl can be purchased here