Don't confuse this little shootin' iron with the Italian rifle that made Lee Harvey Oswald infamous - the Mannlicher-Carcano Model 1891/38, chambered in 6.52x52mm. And don't confuse the 1903 MS with its older Austrian-Hungarian cousin, the much- distributed Steyr-Mannlicher M1895 straight-pull bolt action chambered in 8x56mmR.

Oswald's murder weapon was chambered for the 6.52x52mm.

And the Steyr-Mannlicher M1895 features an en-bloc clip feed.

No, the 1903 Mannlicher Schonauer is chambered for the 6.5x54mm MS.

6.5x54mm ammunition has a rounded head, not a spitzer configuration. And despite this feature, the 1903s round was accurate with a muzzle velocity of about 2,200 feet per second. Fired through the 1903, it produced minimal recoil. The 1903 MS proved to be an accurate shooting system with a high rate of fire, thanks to its rotary magazine.

The 1903's five-round magazine is fed by a stripper system.

The 1903 MS was sold to a single military customer, the Greek Army, by Osterreichische Waffenfabrikgesellschaft (the Austrian Arms-Manufacturing Company). It has doubled in years past up to the present as a big-game sporting rifle, indeed, its reputation has been made famous by big-game African hunters such as author Ernest Hemingway. But its commercial viability fell short of expectations.

Produced in Austria-Hungary at the outset of the 20th century, this turn bolt, rotating action rifle harkens back to the Mauser design rather than the straight-pull bolt mechanism typical of some Mannlichers. The 1903 MS action was designed by Austria's Ferdinand Mannlicher with Otto Schonauer contributing its rotary magazine. About a third of a million 1903s were built at the company that bears the name Steyr Mannlicher.

The 1903 MS military service rifle saw service from 1903 to 1941. It weighs nearly 8 1/2 pounds and measures 48 1/4 inches overall with a barrel length slightly more than 28 1/2 inches. What sets this weapon apart from others of its day is its rotating or revolving spool magazine. The 1903 Mannlicher-Schonauer in 6.5x54mmMS was a formidable military weapon that can accommodate more powerful cartridges like .30-06.

Today's civilian rifle is chambered in many calibers, but not the 6.5x54mmMS.