The correct name of this Austria
s manufacturer is Steyr-Mannlicher. They are famous for their high-quality hunting and marksmanship rifle
s and pistol
s, but are also producing the best military
weapons systems in the world.
The company was founded in April 1864 by Josef Werndl bearing the name "Josef und Franz Werndl & Comp. Waffenfabrik und Sägemühle in Oberletten" - Josef and Franz Werndl and Company. Weapons factory and sawmill in Oberletten.
The factory was later renamed "Österreichische Waffenfabriksgesellschaft" -Austrian Arms manufacturing company. And subsequently the companies "Steyr Werke AG", "Steyr-Daimler
Puch AG" emerged and the today's group subsidiary "Steyr Mannlicher
The company's great invention was a simple and cheap breechloader repeater
with tabernacle lock called the "Mannlicher
System" with straight line pull-locking and centre stock magazines for 5 cartridges. The idea was successful and in 1989, the number of workers exceeded 10.000 for the first time.
The next step in development was the "System Schwarzlose" - a machine gun
construction sold to nearly every country in Europe
at the dawn of the 20th century.
However, a more important acquisition was the manufacturing and distributing rights of the two designers Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher and Otto Schönauer. Precision, durability and reliability, as well as an attractive design resulted in the world-famous "Mannlicher-Schönauer Hunting Rifle".
During World War I
, the company moved to a new and ultramodern location that spurred production and development. Steyr was soon the leading arms manufacturer in Europe.
After the war, Steyr was forced to change its production line from weapons to automobil
es due to the peace treaty of Saint Germain
. But as soon as the restrictions imposed loosened, the company switched back to its original merchandise. A cooperation with the Swiss company Solothum AG, which developed the MG 34
for the German Wehrmacht
, helped Steyr to gain market reputation and kickstart their production again. During World War II
the company was expanded to house production of not only weapons, but also tank
s, engines, shells, etc.
At the fall of the Third Reich
, the company was overrun and dismantled by Soviet
soldiers in 1945.
Again, production came to a standstill after World War II
and not until 1950 could the company start producing weapons again - and only after an approval of the US high commissioner.
At first, the company resumed the production of its Mannlicher-Schönauer hunting carbine
s and other small-bore rifles. But with the reintroduction of the Austrian Armed Forces the military weapons production was also started again.
And In 1987 the small arms production was set up under the name Steyr Mannlicher, by the mother company Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG as a separate, independent company.