On a recent business trip to Budapest, Hungary, I made a side visit into the Hungarian Military History Museum. I spent three hours here until they kicked me out at the closing time of 4 pm. Due to this early winter closing time I missed most of the post-WWII history wing of this remarkable museum. Remarkable is probably an understated word to use. Perhaps dramatic would be more appropriate. If you doubt me, let me ask you this question. Think of an American who is eighty to perhaps early ninety-years-old. Then think of a similar Hungarian person. Can you imagine the things that this Hungarian has witnessed, many of them ugly? If some of your school history lessons don’t remind you then let me help: fighting w/ Soviet Whites & Reds plus Romanians in 1919-1920; ugly economic repercussions after WWI; siding w/ Germany as an ally during WWII; destruction of Hungary as Germans tried to hold on while Red Army rolled in from east in 1944-1945; Soviet Communist occupation from 1945-1989 which includes the failed Communist overthrow in 1956. Pretty darned awful, and there is no comparison to anything endured by anybody in our country.

Here is a link to the museum and I highly recommend that anybody coming to this historic, picturesque city visit this place. Here is the attached link

Russian-contract Winchester M1895 rifle, chambered for 7.62x54R Russian ammunition and fitted with bayonet lug and clip guides.

Russian-contract Winchester M1895 rifle, chambered for 7.62x54R Russian ammunition and fitted with bayonet lug and clip guides.

One thing that caught my eye during my museum visit was a WWI display of Soviet equipment. One of the Soviet rifles w/ a huge bayonet was a Winchester model 1895 [7.62] repeating rifle. I always had pictured this famous lever-action rifle in the hands of a Midwest American cowboy. Intrigued, I made some notes and then did some research. Apparently at the front-end of WWI the Soviets did not have enough arms for their almost 3-million man army. The standard Soviet rifle was the Model 1891 Mosin-Nagant. It was a good bolt-action, but Soviet manufacturing could not make enough of them. Thus, a contract went to Winchester Arms in America. The Soviet 7.62 cartridge when fired out of the Winchester 1895, sent a 210 grain bullet spiraling at almost 3,000 feet-per-second toward its target. Winchester would make some 300,000 rifles to aid Soviet war effort in 1915-1916, before the U.S. entered the war.

To meet the contract, Winchester had to make slight changes to their civilian 1895 model. They stretched the barrel and included a bayonet lug and a charging bar so that a stripper clip could be added. Now, you know how an American gun manufacturer became involved in the WWI war effort while the U.S. government maintained its neutrality.

Portions of info for the history of the Winchester 1895 rifle came from an Ammo & Gun article w/ the below link http://www.gunsandammo.com/2011/10/18/russias-winchester-model-1895/