Original Portuguese Kropatschek M.1886/89 Colonial Infantry Rifle made by ŒWG Steyr dated 1886 - Serial Q640
Original Item: One one Available. In 1886 ALFRED VON KROPATSCHEK designed an 8mm rimmed cartridge rifle that became the fore runner to the French LEBEL. Known as the 1886 Kropatschek Rifle it's big customer was PORTUGAL. Production lasted from 1886 until 1898, however many saw service in the First World War and later in the Spanish Civil War of the 1930's. Kropatschek's rifles used a tubular magazine (constructed of nickel-plated steel) of his design, of the same type used in the German Mauser Gewehr 1871/84 and the Japanese Type 22 Murata. While designed for black powder, the Kropatschek action proved to be strong enough to handle smokeless powder.
Our example is an very good condition long colonial rifle version officially designated the Espingarda de Infantaria 8 mm m/1886/89: 8 mm Infantry Rifle. It is fitted with a 32.3" barrel and a full length 8 round tube magazine under the barrel. The only difference between the m/1866 and m/1886/89 is the addition of a wooden handguard on top of the barrel for colonial service. This is only the second example we have had of one with an intact handguard, which were retrofitted onto the already produced m/1886 rifles.
Ours is marked on the left rear receiver with M.1886 and the metalwork is a bit worn, which has made the receiver markings somewhat faint, but definitely still legible. The front end is marked with Œ.W.F.G. STEYR / 1886, for Österreichische Waffenfabriksgesellschaft, (ŒWG, Austrian Arms-Manufacturing Company), also commonly referred to as Steyr Werke. Steyr is an Austrian City just outside Vienna and at the time was the home of the entire Austrian arms production. They made Kropatschek rifles under contract for shipment to Portugal.
The receiver is marked in the left center with CROWN / L.I., for King LUIS 1st who reigned 1838 until 1889. There is also a matching cartouche stamped left side of the butt stock. The Œ WG STEYR cartouche on the right side of the butt stock is still crisp, and bears an 1886 date.
Serial number Q640 is marked on the barrel and receiver, while the bolt is a non matching arsenal replacement with different serial numbers. The stock is also non-matching. This is very common to see on these rifles, which were in service for some time, especially the colonial service examples.
Offered in very good service used condition with both sling swivels and original side mounted cleaning rod present. The bore is in good condition, with clear lands and grooves and a part bright finish. The grooves are bit dark from use and fouling, and the lands rounded, but overall this is a great bore considering the colonial service. The rifle cycles correctly, and the magazine cutoff functions as designed. The rear sight is fully functional and complete.
The exterior condition is consistent with long service, showing wear and light oxidation on the metalwork. Overall it shows a gray polished patina, with no signs of catastrophic rust. The stock is actually very nice, with a lovely dark brown color, and lovely "flame" figuring in the wood on on the butt stock and part of the left side. The handguard is in similar condition, showing a wear consistent with service.
Hard to find in this original condition with an intact hand guard. Ready to display!
Years of Manufacture: 1886
Caliber: Portuguese 8×60mmR
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 32.3 inches
Overall Length: 52 Inches
Action type: Bolt Action
Feed System: 8 Round Tube Magazine w/ Cutoff
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