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I need some help... my grand father left my dad a rifle before he passed away. Can anyone PLEASE tell me any info on it? Between the bolt and trigger is stamped 03. On the bolt action is stamped 7526. On one side of the gun is stamped BRETTA OR BREDA (not sure which) 1927. On the other side is stamped Y:1903/14. Can you give a little back ground history and value of this gun? Thanks!

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I'm on the case! Pictures would help, of course. I'll do a little digging for you and see what I come up with.

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Here's one article I found on the internet that might help:

Help! I need info. on the 1927 Breda , Bolt Action Rifle. I think it is military, because of adj. sights. Righthand bolt, crest of Greece, on top of reciever? No caliber is stamped! I think it's 7.62.54, not sure. Also, there are some markings on the left side , infront of reciever, (appears to be a horse, reared up, with a rider on the horse). 5 shot mag, I think, internal, not ext. I need a couple of bolt parts, I think, and some background. Rectangular cross, on top of reciever. The only markings, I understand are 1927 BREDA. Help if you can, Please!

The rifle is made by Société Anonyme ERNESTO BREDA of Brescia (Italy) in 1927, for export. Caliber is definitely not 7.62 x 54R but if the case is rimmed it may be 8 x 50R Austrian Mannlicher, used also in Greece. If so, the rifle (or carbine?) is a variant of Mannlicher-Schoenauer model 1903, caliber usually rimless 6.5 x 54 mm Mannlicher-Schoenauer, but some Creek units (cavalry?) had the 8 x 50R shoulder arms too. Action of M-S is easy to identify by it's magazine with a rotating feeder. Missing bolt parts may be difficult to find today, if Breda manufacture has not those spare parts in it's stock. This Italian firearms plant is still alive, but it is today known mainly as a manufacturer of shotguns. Before active search of needed bolt parts you must find out caliber of your rifle or carbine.

PS. Classes of service shoulder arms are:

Carbine...............barrel length 22 inches or less

Short rifle...........barrel length 23 to 25 inches

Rifle.................barrel length 26 inches or more

Example given: German Mauser rifle Model 98k is not a "Karabiner" but a short rifle. Letter "k" means "kurz" = short. Designation "K98k" is sometimes seen, but it is incorrect. Designation "K98" is correct, meaning a Karabiner, with barrel length less than 60 centimeters. Note the capitel "K" before model marking. A short Mauser rifle 98k has a barrel length 61 cm (24 inches). Note the letter "k". Substantives of German are written with capitels, while adjectives with "small" letters.

Hope that helps. I can confirm that Ernesto Breda is still around, and does indeed manufacture shotguns. If your rifle is chambered for 6.5x54mm Mannlicher-Schoenauer, unfortunately all major American ammunition manufacturing companies stopped producing this caliber around 1940. If you are a reloader and are willing to shoot your rifle, it would make for an excellent hunting gun; virtually every kind of game animal on earth has been successfully killed with a 6.5x54mm. I'm pretty sure no one makes the 8x50Rmm Austrian Mannlicher anymore, either. Like the Mannlicher-Schoenauer, it is also suitable for most game, though it doesn't seem to be as popular.

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Found it!

You, my friend, have a Greek Mannlicher-Schoenauer Model 1903/14/27 Infantry Rifle. These rifles were indeed manufactured by Ernesto Breda of Italy for Greece. It looks like reasoning behind the conflicting year markings is unclear. There seems to be two theories:

1. The majority of the Y:1903/14 Mannlicher-Schönauer rifles left in Austria after WW1 were delivered to Italy as reparations and Breda refurbrished them with parts and machinery supplied by Steyr. When Greece placed the contract with Breda, they assembled new rifles using some of the aforementioned Steyr-made parts and when these were exhausted they produced complete rifles on machinery obtained from Steyr.

2. This contract was completed from Steyr maufactured parts by Breda, to circumvent the military weapon manufacturing prohibition imposed on Austria after WW1.

I got that info from this website.

You should also check out this thread on the website, where they discuss extensively about Greek Mannlicher-Schonauer rifles. This excerpt from the book The Arms of Hellenes: A Historical Survey of the Small Arms of the Hellenic Arms Forces, the Security Forces, and Guerilla Bands, (1821-1992) is quite interesting:

4. The Repeating Rifle Era (1905-1941)

For Greece, the first decades of the 20th century was full of war events. The armed phase of the Macedonian Struggle (1904-1908), the victorious Balkan Wars (1912-1913), WW I (1914-1918), and the campaigns to Russia 1919) and Asia Minor (1919-1922) had all a decisive effect upon the organization and the armament of the Greek Armed Forces.

4a. Up to WW I (1905-1914)

The armed phase of the Macadonian Strggle last 4 years (1094-1908) and Greece took active part in it by sending men and arms to this region. The small arms used by the Greek armed guerillas (andartae) who participated in the conflict were Gras and Martini single shot rifles and carbines. After 1905, there was also a limited number of 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Schönauer repeating carbines, which were slightly different from those adopted by the Army. An assortment of rifles and carbines, coming from war booties (Turkish Mausers 9.5 mm and 7.65 mm and Bulgarian Mannlichers of 8 mm) and commercial sales, was also used. In the field of handguns, most were Chamelot-Delvigne and Montenegrin Gasser revolvers, but any other typoe of pistol and revolver (Nagant, Colt, Smith and Wesson, Mannlicher etc) could also be seen in the hands of Greek guerillas.

In Athens, after long debates and repeated trials, the Army adopted the 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Schönauer repeating rifle and carbine on October 28, 1904. The first contract between Greece and the Steyr company (Oesterreichische Waffenfabrik Gesellschaft, Steyr) was signed on October 29-November 11, 1905 for 60,000 rifles and the first weapons were issued to troops in July, 1907. Up to the autumn of 1912, when the first Balkan War began, 130,000 Mannlicher-Schönauer rifles and carbines had been delivered to Greece, along with 100 milion 6.5 mm cartridges bought from the Austrian Hirtenberger and G. Roth companies, and the Greek Powder and Cartridge Company. This rifle was used in both Balkan Wars, WW I, the campaigns to Russia and Asia Minor and the Greco-Italian and Greco-German Wars of 1940-41. It was also used by the resistance organizations during Axis occupation of Greece.

B. Up to the Treaty of Lausanne (1914-1923)

When WW I broke out, Greece preferred to remain neutral for a certain period. This neutrality caused her to be cut off from any possible channel of armament procurement, including small arms and ammunition. Till then, Greece had in her arsenal 190,069 6.5 mm M1903 and M1903/14 Mannlicher Schönauer rifles and carbines, 77,000 11 mm M.1874 Gras rifles and carbines, and 44,000 Turkish Mauser and Bulgarian Mannlicher rifles and carbines.

C. Up to the Eve of the GrecoItalian War (1923-to October 27, 1940)

After the Asia Minor debacle, the salvaged material, inter alia, included:

1. 96,000 6.5 mm M1903 and m1903/14 Mannlicher-Schönauer rifles

2. 8,650 M1903 Mannlicher-Schönauer carbines

3. 16,000 8 mm M1888/90 and m1895 Bulgarian Mannlicher rifles

4. 700 8 mm M1890 and m1895 Bulgarian Mannlicher carbines.

5. 26,000 7.65 mm M1890, M1893, and M1903 Turkish Mauser rifles

6. 10,500 7.65 mm M1890 and M1905 Turkish Mauser carbines.

7. 9,150 M1898 Mauser rifles

8. etc etc

All these weapons were old, worn out an short of spare parts, while most of them needed repair. In order (for) the Army to be ready for combat, new small arms had to be bought.

After long debates and repeated trials, in 1925, Greece ordered tom the Italian Breda Factory 100,000 6.5 mm M1904/14/27 Mannlicher-Schönauer rifles, which were delivered in 1927. In 1930, Greece also purchased from Steyr Werke AG (SWAG), 25,000 6.5 mm M1904/14/30 Mannlicher Schoenauer carbines, making a total of 224,700 Mannlicher-Schönauer weapons (old and new).

Hope this helps!

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Yeah, I know I do. :jester:

Let us know if there's anything else you need help with. Hope you stick around and become part of the community!

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