Steyr sheet metal rifle

I had the opportunity to visit with Mel Smith and look at some very interesting weapons from his collection. Today’s write up is about one of the most interesting ones. This is a Steyr bolt action sheet metal stamped prototype rifle. This rifle was made as a contender to replace the 98 mauser. It was made to be produced with less expensive sheet metal stamping instead of the usual forged and machine method of making a rifle.

Studding this rifle I can tell you that the stamping dies and equipment would have been extensive. It is truly a work of art. I hope you enjoy the photo essay.

This is the Steyr G42 (St)

Starting with the rifle.

steyr model 20001cs

steyr model 2cs

steyr model 20002cs


DSC_0952czNow for the receiver.

steyr model 20004_Page_12csThe sheet metal in that receiver is thick. The tonnage for that pressing would be quite large.

steyr model 20004_Page_11cs

steyr model 20004_Page_10csJust look at that pressing.

steyr model 20004_Page_07cs

steyr model 20004_Page_06cssteyr model 20004_Page_05cs

steyr model 20004_Page_04ssteyr model 20004_Page_03s

The sear assembly.

steyr model 20004_Page_02cs

steyr model 20002cs

The bolt group.



steyr_Page_3csI like the design of the bolt and the removable bolt handle.


steyr model 20004_Page_20cs

steyr model 20004_Page_19csInteresting design bolt





steyr_Page_5cssteyr model 2a_Page_5s

steyr model 2a_Page_4sThe safety

steyr model 2a_Page_3s

steyr model 2a_Page_1s

The magazine and follower. What a set of stampings.







Trigger and Trigger guard.







Stock and hand guard.







The rear sight. Even this stamping is interesting.

steyr model 20004_Page_14cs

steyr model 20004_Page_13cs

steyr model 20004_Page_09cs


Again I would like to thank Mel Smith for allowing me to look at this rare and unusual rifle.

11 comments to Steyr sheet metal rifle

  • Thanks for that interesting rifle, it is hard to believe that they were pursuing a bolt action rifle at a time when the MP44 sheet metal rifle was going into production. The Steyr rifle is a beautiful piece of machinery but would not have made any sense as a combat weapon. Harry

  • Hrachya H.


    Are locking recesses machined into the barrel (or barrel extension) or there is a front trunnion there?

    • Chuck

      There is a front trunnion that is swagged in the sheet metal receiver.

      • Hrachya H.

        Got it, thank you.

        Another unusual thing is that channels (4 of them) in the rear portion of the receiver … I wonder what they are for?

        My best guess is they add structural strength to the stamping … but maybe they guide the bolt or give room for dust and mud not to jam the action (considering that it is a military rifle)??? Any ideas?

  • Mac

    Your right Hrachya H, It is cool! The barrel to receiver transition caught my attention too…
    Chuck, What did they use between the barrel steel and the stamped receiver?

  • Bill

    If they had ever got all their ducks in a row they could have stamped those out much faster than milling all the K98k parts like they were doing in 42. I agree time and money would have been better spent manufacturing MP44s. But they learned a lot I am sure from this project that would have been later applied to the production of the MP44. Bill

  • John D.

    Chuck – Would this Steyr rifle be less expensive or faster to manufacture than the Kar.98k, given the manufacturing technology of the day? Looks to have a greater parts count and a number of tricky welding operations.

    • Chuck

      Given time and tooling I think it would have cost less and been fasted. However with that said I think they would have been better of spending there money and time on an improved semi/full auto rifle.

  • S.N.A.L

    low cost sheet metal gewehr….. the mix of a k98 and a citro├źn 2cv :)

    i think I can do most simple.

  • S.N.A.L

    what is the thickness of the receiver steel sheet? 2,2 mm ?

  • […] Here is a cool article on a prototype Steyr stamped replacement for the Kar98k […]

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