FOUNDING OF THE COMPANY BY JOSEF WERNDL
On April 16th 1864 the young industrial pioneer Josef Werndl founded the “Josef & Franz Werndl & Company, weapon factory and sawmill in Oberletten” together with his brother, which became the foundation stone of many important high-tech companies of the present and became the home of many important innovations in the weapon industry.
THE WERNDL-HOLUB BREECH-LOADING RIFLE BECOMES THE STANDARD RIFLE OF THE AUSTRIAN ARMY
The breech-loading rifle developed by Josef Werndl and Karl Holub locks by a cylindrical drum breech which could be turned for loading and back for shooting. It was loaded with two varieties of 11 mm centre fire cartridges, one for the rifle the other for the carbine. In 1877 both cartridges were improved and even used as secondary weapon in the First World War.
CHANGE OF THE WERNDL & COMPANY TO THE WEAPON FACTORY ŒWG
In order to fulfil the increasing order situation it was necessary to make major capital investments. Therefor the firm was converted on August 1st, 1869 to a stock corporation with the help of the Austrian bank “Österreichische Bodencreditanstalt” and was then called Österreichische Waffenfabriksgesellschaft (Austrian arms-manufacturing company ŒWG)
STEYR IS THE FIRST EUROPEAN CITY WITH ELECTRIC STREET LIGHTING
To solve the complex order situation in the firearms business, Josef Werndl turned to a new field of industry, electrical engineering. These efforts culminated in the “Electricity Exhibition of the County, Industry and Forestry Commission of the City of Steyr” in 1884, which was the fourth of its kind worldwide. During the exhibition the lanes and streets were illuminated – making Steyr the first European city with electric street lighting.
INTRODUCTION OF THE STRAIGHT-PULL REPEATING RIFLE M. 85
From 1885 onwards the rifles of Austro-Hungarian Forces were equipped with the outstanding Mannlicher straight pull repeating system. The special feature was the cartridge clip which enabled the shooter to load five or more cartridges with only one grasp. This loading system was also introduced in Germany, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Romania, and France.
FIRST STRAIGHT-PULL HUNTING RIFLE M. 86
Just one year after the introduction of the M. 85 the ŒWG introduced the repeating rifle M. 86 the first straight-pull hunting rifle.
PRODUCTION NUMBERS EXCEED 500.000 RIFLES A YEAR
With the models M. 85, M. 88, M. 90 und M. 95 the factory becomes the biggest weapon producer in the world. Rifles from Steyr are exported in more then 20 countries among those also the Royal Prussian Ministry of War with an order of 500.000 pieces.
START OF THE BICYCLE PRODUCTION
With the start of the bicycle production in 1894, the foundation for the important automotive industry was laid.
START OF PRODUCTION OF THE ORIGINAL MANNLICHER-SCHÖNAUER
The engineers Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher and Otto Schönauer developed the “Original Mannlicher Schönauer”. This hunting rifle has a Mannlicher turn bolt system with a Schoenauer rotary magazine. It was offered all over the world in a variety of calibres, direct trigger or set trigger and also as a take-down model. After the years the “Mannlicher-Schönauer” became a legend among hunting rifles and was produced until 1973.
1912-14 NEW FACTORY ON THE “PLATTNER” SITE IN STEYR
Due to the increasing demand before World War I the factory was moved to a new and bigger site in Steyr.
THE HISTORIC WEAPONS HALL IS OPENED
The hall was built in the Nordic Revival Style and completely panelled in wood by an unknown artist. The year 1915 on the mantelpiece clock gives a hint as to the date of origin. Originally this hall, called “Waffensaal” was in the management building of the production plant in Steyr. When the weapon production was demerged from STEYR-DAIMER-PUCH. A.G. and became the STEYR MANNLICHER GmbH, the hall was taken to Steyr Münichholz. In the course of the latest relocation, it was taken to the new headquarters in Ramingtal and rebuilt true to the original.
FIRST CAR PRODUCTION
1916 starts the car production, wich became even more important after the bann for the production of firearms as result of WWI in 1918.
REBRANDING AS ”STEYRER WERKE AG“
To take account of the economical changes the company was renamed as ”Steyrer Werke AG“ und subsequentliy the production of off road trucks started.
RESTART OF PRODUCING FIREARMS
After cooperatoins with ”Solothurn“ form switzerland and ”Rheinmetall“ from gem any the firearms production restarted after easing the bann in 1930.
MERGER TO BECOME ”STEYR-DAIMLER-PUCH A.G.“
In 1934 the “Steyrer Werke AG” merged with “Austro-Daimler-Puchwerke A.G.” to become the “Steyr-Daimler-Puch A.G.”
”ANSCHLUSS“ TO NAZI-GERMANY
After the occupation by Nazi Germany the owner, Creditanstalt, was forced to give up their industry portfolio. Among these was the Steyr-Daimler-Puch A.G. which was dissolved and incorporated into the Reichswerke Hermann Göring where firearms, vehicles, aviation engines and ball bearings were made for the German military.
After the cessation of weapons production at the end of World War II in 1945 it was not until 1950 and only with the permission of the Allied Forces that the production of the ”Mannlicher-Schönauer“ sporting rifles could be taken up again.
PRECISION FOR HUNTING AND THE MILITARY
Towards the end of the 1960ies two trend-setting rifles were produced by Steyr. The sniper rifle SSG 69, the first serially produced high precision rifle with compound stock. As early as in 1970 an Austrian army officer shot world record with it. The Steyr hunting rifle with compound magazine, hammered barrel, and new locking system became a worldwide bestseller.
STG 77 – BIRTH OF AN ICON
In the late 1960ies the company started the development of a completely new assault rifle, the STEYR AUG. In 1977 the Austrian Federal Army decided to establish the AUG A 1, which eventually was named StG 77 (Assault Rifle 77), as its new standard assault rifle. Up to this day, this rifle has been one of the world’s most favourite assault rifles. Because of its unmistakable shape the AUG has hit the screen in many major Hollywood productions.
STEYR MANNLICHER AG BECOMES INDEPENDENT
The Steyr-Daimler-Puch A.G. is broken up in different industrial sectors, so the STEYR MANNLICHER AG becomes independent again.
STARTING A NEW PISTOL LINE
With the new pistol M1, Steyr Mannlicher salutes the new millennium by introducing an innovative product in a trend-setting design.
MOVE TO A NEW LOCATION IN THE ”RAMINGTAL“
Following a first relocation in 1989, STEYR MANNLICHER moved its headquarters to the Raming Valley in 2004. New innovative products such as MANNLICHER CLASSIC, the new MANNLICHER Luxus or the SM12® were launched and were praised due for their high finishing quality and precision on the one side and the elegant timeless design on the other.
CELEBRATING 150 YEARS OF STEYR MANNLICHER
In its anniversary year STEYR MANNLICHER not only celebrates ist history, it also presents new products such as the first ever LEAD FREE edition, the RESET ACTION or special training movies developed for shooting cinemas leading to a successful future …
STEYR MANNLICHER GETS HONORED WITH THE MILITIA SEAL OF APPROVAL
STEYR MANNLICHER supports the militia and got distinguished with the militia seal of approval by the Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports in June 2017.
Presentation of the STEYR MONOBLOC
With the MONOBLOC, STEYR introduces the first hunting rifle, where the housing is integrated into the barrel. Numerous technical innovations and an ergonomic stock design make the MONOBLOC a hunting rifle of the future.
Renaming to STEYR ARMS
To be in accordance with the company’s international orientation, STEYR MANNLICHER will be renamed to STEYR ARMS by 1st January 2019. The headquarter with its R&D and production remains in Kleinraming; the international sites should get strengthened and expanded.