Original Portuguese Kropatschek M.1886 Infantry Rifle made by ŒWG Steyr dated 1886 - Serial E385
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 excellent 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. There is even still the original Steyr cartouche dated 1886 on the right side of the butt stock.
Serial number E385 is marked on the barrel and receiver, while the marking on the stock is MM404. The bolt is an arsenal replacement marked E729 and JJ902, very common to see on these rifles, which were in service for some time. Interestingly, there is no royal cypher on the receiver, which would usually be marked for King LUIS 1st who reigned 1838 until 1889. This may have been removed by cleaning and servicing, or maybe when sold out of service.
Offered in very good service used condition with 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, but almost no fouling or oxidation. The rifle cycles correctly, and the magazine cutoff functions as designed. The rear sight is functional, however the retainer clip on the top is missing.
The exterior condition is consistent with long service, however it has not been reconditioned, as many were, so the stock markings are still partly clear. It has a nice dark brown color, with scratches and dents as would be seen from service. There is also a small chunk missing at the left rear end of the receiver. The metalwork has a lovely gray patina, faded from the original blue. There is still a lot of the original bluing around the receiver and chamber area.
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: 48 Inches
Action type: Bolt Action
Feed System: 8 Round Tube Magazine w/ Cutoff
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