Schützenauszeichnung für die Kavallerie

Hussar wearing a normal pattern variant badgeOn the 13th of June 1871 this qualification cockade was introduced for all cavalry troops. The criteria for the award was theDragoon of DR. 15 wearing the smooth rim variant pattern badge same as for the marksmanship lanyard for the infantry troops including the annual re-qualification. This brass cockade displayed the stylized images of a Werndl rifle and a Gasser revolver with their barrels crossed. When the Mannlicher rifle was introduced in 1895 this badge remained in use but from then on newly produced models displayed the image of the new rifle. The introduction of the Steyr pistol, slowly replacing the Gasser-revolver, in 1907 did not change the design of the badge! In 1906 it was decided that the soldiers of the k.u.k. and the k.k. cavalry should have their badges painted black in the centre and those of the k.u. (Honvéd) cavalry painted red. The newly produced badges were received painted direct from the manufacturers before being delivered but the badges of the 1st and 2nd type which were still in use by the regiments were to be painted at unit level. This was often not carried out because the soldiers much preferred the "golden" look of their highly polished badges. Similar to the marksmanship lanyard of the infantry further awards of this badge ceased when the war started in 1914.

There exists a variant pattern of this badge with a smooth  instead of a ribbed edge around the centre shield. There is no explanation for this variant pattern, probably simply a  manufacturer's variant. By examining the original photos in my collection all the soldiers I have found wearing this variant pattern with the smooth rim are from dragoon regiment number 15. But this could of course be just coincidence..

 1st Type badge produced between 1871 and 1895.  2nd Type badge produced between 1896 and 1914.
1st Type badge with centre painted black at unit level. 1st Type badge - variant pattern with smooth rim.
Miniature Variant Obverse Miniature Variant Reverse

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