For some reason, people don’t think about Hungary when they think about European small arms. Maybe it’s because most of Hungarian history has taken place under somebody’s boot-heel or the other, like the Habsburg Empire or Soviet Union. Or maybe it’s because the Hungarian language is a complex tongue, quite unrelated to Germanic, Slavic or Romance languages, that few foreigners master. (It does, fortunately, borrow some firearms words, as “rifle” is the same in Hungarian and western Slavic languages, “pushka”, for instance).
But Hungary not only has a lot of European charm that’s uniquely its own, it also has its own small arms history. Naturally, there are collectors who focus on that nation and its fascinating small arms history. Those collectors rely on the definitive information at Manowar’s Hungarian Weapons & History page. (The URL is www.hungariae.com).
Early Hungarian cartridge arms, during the period of the Dual Monarchy, were sometimes Budapest-made variants of Austrian designs, and these less common variants of Mannlicher rifles and Roth-Steyr pistols are sought as variants by Habsburg weapons collectors. But during the brief Hungarian independence 1918-44, Hungarians developed many of their own weapons. The Frommer Stop pistol and the submachines of Király would be standout designs in any nation. His fascinating delayed-blowback lever design was unique (although the French FAMAS rifle owes Király a debt).
One of the best things about the site is its “misconceptions” page, a small segment of which is shown at right. For example, we always thought the 7.65 Frommer Stop pistol was chambered for the 7.65 Browning or .32 ACP cartridge — Manowar sets his readers straight on that.
Even if you think you are completely uninterested in Eastern European arms in general, and Hungarian ones specifically, we defy you to spend only a couple of minutes at hungariae.com. We bet you can’t!