...skirmish warfare, partisans, heck just raiding a neighbouring village has been the way things have been done on the Balkans forever. So a shorter handier rifle that is easy to load and cycle should fit the requirement nicely...
Not only that, but people were generally short and long rifles were not liked - main complain about Mosin in Serbian service was that. Anyway, since it is related I have full list of complains by Serbian soldiers:
- Main problem was too much length, 130cm vs 114cm for Serbian Mausers. That made problems since average height of the soldier was 165-167cm (note that Montenegrin soldiers did not report that problem as much, since average height of their soldier was about 177-178cm). Problem got worse once it was found out you need to have a bayonet on in order for it to be properly sighted. This was especially noticeable in prone position, or firing from a tranches;
- Way less reliable than Mauser, more susceptible to failures, especially bolt, which was main source of problems;
- Long sight line length aided long range shooting (once people realize you need bayonet on for it), but hindered quick shooting.
- Sights were bad for a rapid target acquisition. Sight is bad for quick range change.
- More susceptible to dirt tham Mauser, plus more open surfaces that enabled dirt to come inside.
- Only good thing was excellent accuracy when properly sighted, in post-ww1 trials, while estimated as "partially suitable" it was most accurate rifle trialed;
- Some of the rifles came with had old sights, but new ammo while some came with new sights and old ammo (I am not sure if this was Russian or local fuckup)
Post war trials:
Suitable (in order of preference):
- Serbian 1910, German 98, and Austrian 1912 Mausers - main problem was length which was seen as trivial to solve
- Romanian Mannlicher 1893 - length and rimmed ammo
- A-H Mannlicher 1895 - length and rimmed ammo
- Lee-Enfield - main problem - shortest sight base, not suitable for very high pressure ammo, rimmed ammo - while it got lowest score notes say all of those are good and that differences minor and not in favor of one or other in any significant way.
- Mosin (best accuracy of the all tested, but nothing more to commend it)
- Serbian 1899, Spanish 1893, Turkish 1890 Mausers - lesser strength of action, somewhat marginal for 7.9x57mm which was already decided on as future cartridge
- Berthier with 5 rounds - hard to convert to 7.9x57, long, rimmed ammo, weak action;
- Berthier with 3 rounds - too little ammo, convertible to 5 round configuration however, weak action, hard to convert to 7.9x57
- Carcano - barrel life only 3000 rounds, weak action, long, hard to convert to 7.9x57
- Lebel - obsolete tube magazine, rimmed ammo, weak action, non-suitable for conversion to short rifle
- 8mm Kropatschek - same + very weak action
- Vetterli (does not say which one, but I suspect 1915 conversion, since all other rifles were small bore smokeless) - nothing positive was found out.
Vetterlis were only ones to be scrapped, and considering that Werndls and other single shots were kept it says a lot about it...
Edited by bojan, 18 May 2018 - 0643 AM.