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Original Portuguese Kropatschek M.1886 Infantry Rifle made by ŒWG Steyr dated 1886 - Serial C479

Item Description

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 a very good condition long rifle version, officially designated the Espingarda de Infantaria 8 mm m/1886: 8 mm Infantry Rifle. It is fitted with a 32.3" barrel and a full length 8 round tube magazine under the barrel. Ours is marked on the receiver with M.1886 and :- 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.

Serial number C479 is marked on the barrel and receiver, with the same number marked faintly on the left side of the butt stock. The bolt is an arsenal replacement marked L422 and HH224, very common to see on these rifles, which were in service for some time. The receiver bears Portuguese Crown over L.I., for King LUIS 1st who reigned 1838 until 1889.

This rifle still has both butt stock cartouches mostly intact, a real rarity. The left side has another Portuguese Crown over L.I., while the right side is has the Steyr dated rondel:

M * 1886
W. G.
STEYR 1886

Offered in very good service used condition, the rifle still has both sling swivels and original side mounted cleaning rod present. Bore is in very good condition, with a mostly bright finish and clear lands and grooves. There is some wear to the lands, with the grooves showing just a bit of fouling and oxidation. The rifle cycles correctly, and the magazine cutoff functions as designed. The rear sight is fully functional and complete, though stiff.

The exterior condition is consistent with long service, and does not look to have seen an arsenal reconditioning during service, which is why the cartouches are still legible. It has a nice dark brown color, with scratches and dents as would be seen from service. The metalwork still retains the blued finish quite well on the receiver, with other components worn to a gray patina. We do not see any sign that it was ever fitted with a top handguard for colonial service.

Hard to find in this original condition. 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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