RIA has an excellent article up on Mannlicher and his innovations today.
Mannlicher is most known for his creation of the en bloc clip loading system used in his later bolt action rifle designs. However, Mannlicher only developed the clip in 1885 because his concept of pre-loaded, detachable magazines was not yet an economically nor industrially feasible solution. You read that right, Ferdinand Mannlicher pioneered the concept that is nearly ubiquitous today in military arms of detachable, reusable magazines. When the idea of magazines was kaboshed, in a stroke of brilliance he came up with en bloc clips, an idea much easier for the government to financially swallow. The en bloc clip was the basis for John Pedersen’s and of course the beloved M1 Garand, each which came decades later.
The en bloc clip of an 1886 Mannlicher as seen in a video by Bloke On the Range.Click image to watch full video.
Another widely popularized firearm by Mannlicher was the Model 1895 rifle. The long gun saw use by Austria-Hungry in World War I and other European countries who took the original design and made their own conversions of the rifle. It was made as a rifle, stutzen, sniper rifle, and several carbine configurations in its almost 50 years of use. The M1895 used the same straight-pull bolt action as the M1888, but did revert back to the rotating lock that Mannlicher had initially used in M1884 (and the more recent M1890 carbine). Some were later converted to semi-automatic rifles by adding a gas port and piston under the barrel attached to the bolt carrier. The operations of the rifle are akin to that of an M1 Garand and the design is strikingly similar. It should come as no surprise that a Mannlicher en bloc clip was used for quick and easy reloading.
Mannlicher made more than just long guns, in the early 1890s he began working on pistol designs. Perhaps his most interesting handgun design was his Model 1901 semi-automatic pistol. Very unique for its time, the pistol operated using a blowback system and its own proprietary ammunition. The gun was originally patented in 1898 and saw production in 1900, before hitting the civilian market in 1901. Mannlicher’s pistol design was manufactured around Europe with Germany taking a particular liking to it, however it wouldn’t see any military adoption until the slightly modified and larger Model 1905 was sold to Argentina.
Desirable Mannlicher Model 1901 Semi-Automatic
Read the full article at the link below. It is well worth the time.