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lionart99
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210 Posts
Posted - 01/31/2004 : 11:00:49 PM
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The rifle is a bolt action tube fed oal.52" barrel 32" came with a bayonet and cleaning rod. I haven't been able to determine the caliber as of yet. contacted steyr and they have records on a magazine fed rifle not tube fed. Help anyone?

Don Blosser
Rest In Peace Don



USA
877 Posts
Posted - 01/31/2004 : 11:32:54 PM
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If the caliber is 8 m/m and their is a fancy CI monogram on the receiver ring I would say it is a model 1886 Kropatschek built for Portugal. It should have a magazine cut off control left on the right side of the receiver and a spur in the trigger guard tang. If it has an upper hand guard it will be the colonial version. Very smooth action and very nice rifles.

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"Young people are indeed too apt to be captivated by this splendour of stile....it is but poor eloquence which only shews that the orator can talk." Sir Joshua Reynolds, Knt., f.r.a., 'Discourse IV, Dec. 10, 1771.
Don B. in Kansas


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 02/01/2004 : 06:58:21 AM
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If it is a Portuguese Kropatschek, the cartridge should be virtually identical to the 8x60R Guedes, which I´ve used a good deal. A minor snag (though you should slug the bore to check this) is that it probably needs a .330in. diameter bullet. NEI (neihandtools.com) make a good one. It would be a good idea to check the chamber with a cast, as the Kropatschek is sometimes described as 8x56, and I think this represented a change in the course of production. I certainly have some blank rounds of the late 1890s which, apart from a single undated example, are about 56mm. long. This is quite handy if you are making your cases from .348 Winchester, which is better, cheaper and easier than the .450 nitro Express sometimes recommended.

Ch4D (www.ch4d.com) do dies in both 8x56R and 8x60R for $69, and I´ve been very impressed with their quality and service. Note that there is another 8x60R which you need to avoid. Another good source for a mould is http://users.bigpond.com/ammodump/ in Australia, who are good value due to their dollar being low. www.mountainmolds could make you one by CNC machining to your own design, and do very good work at a surprisingly moderate price. For this specific application, however, they have the disadvantage that they can only do flat noses, of a minimum of about .2in. in diameter.

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed

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Edited by - John Wallace on 02/01/2004 07:00:02 AM


lionart99
Gunboards Premium Member



210 Posts
Posted - 02/01/2004 : 1:54:54 PM
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Thank you gentlemen your info was very helpful. It does have a spur on the trigger guard,also a lever on the right side and a small crown stamped in 2 places. It had a loaded bullet setting in the barrel end but wasn't sure if it was a warning. I just miked the bullet and it reads .320. The other problem I have is the safety is stuck on fire and I can't get it to release (not a very safe situation)Any ideas?
Lionart99


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 02/01/2004 : 2:33:46 PM
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Here is a picture of a particularly good Portuguese Kropatschek, from www.collectiblefirearms.com (whom, incidentally, I recently found very efficient and helpful over a Swiss 1889.)

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123.11 KB

That safely, unless the wrong one has been forced into place by brute force and ignorance, should be freeable by soaking in light oil, preferable the special sort sold for penetrating and easing purposes), and a few cycles of gentle heating and cooling. It is useful if you have really got a specimen cartridge which suits this rifle, but I wouldn´t invest in cases and tooling without checking that it really does.

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed


lionart99
Gunboards Premium Member



210 Posts
Posted - 02/02/2004 : 12:06:20 AM
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Don it does not have an upper hand guard. Can smokeless powder be used instead of black powder if i do get to a point for loading ammo? I'm a rookie at this that's why I need expert help and really appreciate the help so far.


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 02/02/2004 : 03:19:24 AM
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The absence of a handguard slightly increases the likelihood of its being Portuguese, since they received at least the earlier rifles without handguards, though they added some in Portugal. What Don says does suggest that rifles for home service were left without. In my picture it looks like a fairly amateurish addition, since a new and larger band would have been a better way of securing it.

The monogram might well be LR or LIR (the middle I being a number, and the R Rex or Rey), since Carlos only came to the throne in 1889. His predecessor had the name variously rendered as Ludovicus, Louis, Luis or Luigi, or in Portugal probably something slightly different. The monogram on my Guedes is large and ornate, but nothing of the kind if visible in the above picture, perhaps because the curved surfaces lend themselves less well to it.

The first ammunition certainly did use black powder, 71gr. with a 247gr. bullet, and the coarsest you can get would be best. You will get less into a thicker modern case. You could also, in complete safety, will the case with all the pyrodex it will hold, and that might be easier to get. But I think smokeless powder was used pretty early on. Although this is an extremely good and usable rifle, its small bore and fast twist mean that it is crying out for smokeless, as the bore would foul very quickly. It is a well-made and strong action, and you could probably, in stages, step up the loads considerably beyond what I did with my Guedes. The limiting factor with the Guedes, which won´t exist in the Kropatschek, was that the hammer-action probably has some tendency to rebound, and the hammer-nose leaves a bit of a gap in its hole in the block. So I got a ruptured primer which merely left my wrist tingling, but cracked the complex mainspring, which I had to replace with one carved from a piece of van spring. According to the 1904 War Office Textbook of Small Arms, chamber pressure of the black powder Kropatschek load, at 15.75 long tons per square inch, was identical to the early cordite Lee-Enfields, although it probably fell off more rapidly after an early peak.

I began with 24gr. of Reloder 7, giving about 1525 ft./sec. with the NEI bullet, at which it will penetrate two feet of end-grain larch timber. Approximately factory ballistics (about 1700 ft./sec.)are obtained with 30gr. of Reloder 7, producing very reassuring pressure indications, but I would not go over 28gr. with Speer .338 275gr. semi-spitzers, which I sized down to .331 in a simple ring die. These give greater though not alarming primer deformation, probably due to friction and dimensions rather than weight. It is a good idea to use some kind of inert filler to hold the charge at the primer end of the case. I used the fluffy vegetable fibre from cigarette filter tips, which is probably kapok. 4198 powder should be pretty well interchangeable with Reloder 7 for this application. If you try reduced loads, you can only reduce them so far with the heavy bullet, as you will probably find they tumble at around 1300 or 1400 ft./sec.

The Kropatschek should be all right with more and slower powder than the Guedes. It is a bad idea, though, to use a case containing only a little very slow powder, as this is thought to produce the famous detonation effect, which is very difficult to reproduce in a laboratory, but once in a while wrecks rifles in a fairly spectacular way. It is now thought to be because slow powders don´t ignite well in these circumstances, and so a lot of the grains get broken into small pieces, minus the retardant coating on the surface of the grains.


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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed


Don Blosser
Rest In Peace Don



USA
877 Posts
Posted - 02/02/2004 : 10:11:07 PM
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Sorry, I was working from memory rather than going to look. My M1886 is marked L.I. on the left side (actually there is a little degree mark by the I). I was crossing up with the Mauser Verguero. The hand guard on the 'colonial' rifles is certainly an afterthought. If the guard is removed the only indication that it should have been there is the notches for the retaining clips in the stock. It is odd the way it fastens over the lower band. I've been told that the guard was added to control heat wave distortion of the sight picture in the colonies though you would think that if it distorted in one climate it would distort in all of them!
I have been shooting mid 1920s surplus ammunition in mine which is smokeless with a round nose full metal jacket bullet.

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"Young people are indeed too apt to be captivated by this splendour of stile....it is but poor eloquence which only shews that the orator can talk." Sir Joshua Reynolds, Knt., f.r.a., 'Discourse IV, Dec. 10, 1771.
Don B. in Kansas


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 02/04/2004 : 02:36:19 AM
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That monogram is exactly right, and we now have virtually certain confirmation that the rifle is Portuguese, and 8x60R. My knowledge of Poprtuguese comes entirely from some Spanish. You have what in Spanish would be Luis Primero, meaning the First.

The headstamp below is from a round picked up by a friend in old Boer War entrenchments. It would almost certainly have been fired from a Guedes. The bullet is jacketed, presumably in thinly plated steel, as it is too rusted for a useful diameter measurement, without pulling it. What is interesting here is that although I believe this is a Portuguese arsenal headstamp (of 1895, when nobody knew they might have to produce a special order for the Boers), the case is a full 60mm. in length. This does support my belief that the earliest rounds for the Kropatschek were, too.

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D in the drawing below is the Guedes/Kropatschek round, and it needs to be clicked on, to show up in a useful size. It shows what might be a useful dodge if you choose not to use a gas-check bullet. A short plug of wax or hard bullet lube was sandwiched between two thin card wads. My guess is that this wouldn`t work very well if the bullet was oversized, or soft enough to expand in the throat, because then you would get little fins at the rear of the lands. But if the bullet were of the right diameter and very hard (which it ought to be for this round), I think it would work well.

Download Attachment:
84.31 KB

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed

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Edited by - John Wallace on 02/04/2004 02:39:29 AM


Marzon
Gunboards Premium Member



USA
235 Posts
Posted - 02/05/2004 : 1:09:42 PM
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The 1920's headstamped ammo is available on GunsAmerica (search for 8x60) for $100.00 for 100 rounds. I bought some and it is very clean and shootable looking, though I haven't tried any yet. The seller also threw is a few extra rounds to make up for possible duds.


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 02/05/2004 : 1:33:10 PM
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There are also a lot of earlier wooden-bulleted blanks around. You shouldn´t try to load these with bullets. I had some which had quite bad season cracking, although no bullet had been forced into the neck, and it is quite common practice to make blanks with rejected cases. That could include some with dangerous softening of the head area.

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed


lionart99
Gunboards Premium Member



210 Posts
Posted - 02/05/2004 : 11:06:52 PM
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I appreciate the time you gentlemen are taking in keeping me informed on my rifle. I have gotten 100 primed casings 8x60 that I was told would fit the rifle and have cerosafe on order to slug the chamber and barrel once that is done I'll know what bullet size I need. Anyone know where I can obtain a stock to fit the gun. The current gun has a split nearly in half and I have glued it.
Do you advise attempting to shoot this rifle?


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 02/07/2004 : 03:27:18 AM
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It´s a curious feature of boards like this, that people are even more grateful for the chance to help, than for being helped. I suppose it helps us put our thoughts in order. I don´t know any source of that stock, though in doing a search I found ammunition:

http://www.surplusfirearms.com/ammuniti.htm

The following link is to a site with good historical information on the Portuguese rifles:

http://www.carbinesforcollectors.com/port.html

Making a new stock would be quite a job, which most people probably wouldn´t want to tackle. But take a look, and reflect on hos a 19th century arsenal might have repaired it. If they could have done so with a wood insert only, it could look quite all right, and with modern glues you could do it better.

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed
 

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Case length and bullet diameter

I have a Krop carbine with a bore that mics at .330. Bullets sized to .330 seated in an 8X60R case would not chamber. I made do with mediocre accuracy until I needed to form some new cases from .348 Winchesters. Because of the .348's shorter case the final length was only around 58mm so as an experiment I tried shortening a few cases to 8X56. As luck would have it they chamber nicely with a bullet sized to .330. Accuracy has improved significantly.

According to Hoyem the 8X56R was a later devlopment of the 8X60R which was the original Guedes round. Overall lengths with the bullet seated were the same (according to Hoyem).
 
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