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Thread: RELOAD: 8x56 R / 8x60 R Kropatschek

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    Default RELOAD: 8x56 R / 8x60 R Kropatschek

    Maybe this will become a long, long repost series... ;-)
    Carcano

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    DocAV
    Posted - 10/15/2003 : 05:58:58 AM
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    If you are using BA cases, you can use a RCBS #5 (.348Win) shellholder. If you ever get around to reloading original Portuguese cases (Berdan) you will need eithe a proper 8mm Lebel S/H or a 11mm Gras S/H or a custom made 8x56/60 krop. s/H; all these can be obtained from RCBS.(rim size is different from .348W )

    One problem you may have is that the krop boltface is dished, and the case head should also be dished (outer rim bevelled) to fit the bolt face and give proper headspace and allow closure of the bolt (un-modified .348W heads will not allow bolt to close on most Krop rifles.

    For Bullets, .326 cast flatpoint lead (this IS a tube loader)
    If the bore is a bit worn (slug for exact bore-groove diameters) you could get away with a .329 Lee Mould and sizer. Do NOT use jacketed Bullets in a Krop. The barrel steel is a Black powder type and will wear quickly with overuse of jacketed projectiles (the original Mil. Cartridges used a thin steel jacket projectile, which was smaller than groove diameter.)
    Try to use a Cylindrical lead projectile about 220 to 240 grains for best results, about 50-60 grains FFg black or Goex, or a smokeless equivalent load of about 35 grains IMR 3031, or even less if using one of the Bulk type Shotgun powders( about 20 grains maximum).Remember to fill airspace in case with dacron filler or cream-of-wheat, to keep then powder against the flash-holes.

    Lube the projectile well, and there is no need for Gaschecks.

    Make sure you get Kropatchek cases, and NOT 8x56R Steyr Mannlicher cases (there is a substantial size difference in the bodies, the Kropatchek being much larger body diameter.)

    regards, and safe shooting,
    Doc AV

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    GJD
    Posted - 01/16/2006 : 12:57:18 AM
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    I have a couple questions about the Portuguese Kropatschek:

    1) How accurate have you found them to be?

    2) What type of ammo do you use (bp or smokless)?

    3) Does anyone know where to get one?

    - I've been trying auction sites without much luck, I'm looking for a shooter/hunter because I've found someone that loads obsolete calibers. This one (8X60R for $28/20 and reloads for $10/20).



    ken giller
    Posted - 01/17/2006 : 10:23:12 PM
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    Shot my Kropatschek rifle last weekend with 20 rounds of surplus ammo. Some of it was dated 1919. Most 1928. All went off like new ammo and hit the target 14 out of 20 times at 100 yards. Gonna have to get started reloading on this one.



    richardwv
    Posted - 01/24/2006 : 02:57:42 AM
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    If you haven't already done so, check out Keith Doyon's site http://www.militaryrifles.com/Portugal/PortKrop.htm , a wealth of information in general for the age of transition and provides tidbits and links not found elsewhere.

    These are well made rifles (what else would one expect from Austria) generally found in decent condition that are known for the exceptional smoothness of the action. Like many of its contemporaries, frontline service in battle was primarily one of colonial wars. It perhaps is the epitome of the BP to smokeless transition, being adopted after the first smokeless system (French Lebel) in a cartridge designed for BP, but shooting a bullet of the same caliber (albeit .003 larger in diameter) as France’s revolutionary "small bore" smokeless round….it truly had one foot in both camps, which probably helps to explain its duration until 1904 as a frontline service rifle. I believe this is the latest for any rifle designed for a BP cartridge and certainly the latest for any tube magazine in the western world.

    According to COTW, the original load of 70 grains of Fg pushed a 247 grain .326 diameter jacketed bullet at 1706 fps, which was definitely high velocity/high tech for the BP era. This load was replaced with a smokeless load in 1896. The biggest issue with loading MILSPEC ammo is finding or making correctly sized bullets of .326 diameter. While originally shot with a jacketed bullet, using unsized cast bullets with a gas check from a blunt nosed .323 mold is probably the easiest solution, as long as they are loaded not to exceed 1500 fps or so depending on alloy. Jacketed .323 bullets are reported to also work well in some rifles with VG bores, but they must be blunt nosed for use in this tubular magazine rifle.

    While I've shot mine a little, I haven't really worked with it to see what it can really do, but I have little doubt based on its overall quality that it can best most military BP rifles with proper care and feeding.



    Don Blosser
    Posted - 01/24/2006 : 06:35:23 AM
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    The prices I see in my area are around $300 average for the rifle though they seem to vary widely at times in both directions. I picked up a short rifle last summer for $300 but have seen $500 asked and have bought as low as $125. It is a rifle that is known about by relatively few people and its obscurity makes it sometimes easy to sneak up on a bargain. Some of the older dealers still remember these from when they were being sold w/ bayonet for $20 or $30 in the 1960s and just don't think they must have gone up much since then. I understand the bayonet is considered a scarce one but don't know prices on them. The only country that kept a tubular magazine as their first line rifle longer than the Portuguese was France which didn't adopt the Mannlicher Berthier as primary rifle until 1915 though the action design had been in use since 1890.



    ken giller
    Posted - 02/05/2006 : 5:31:50 PM
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    Buffalo arms has brass. ch4d has dies. Bullets can be a bit difficult. Since I don't cast my own I found 230 grain gas check 8mm bullets with a .324 diameter at Bonus bullets. Will try them out with my first loading.



    John Wallace
    Posted - 02/08/2006 : 05:51:52 AM
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    I'm at work and don't remember quoted dimensions, but even Barnes, in the best all-round cartridge book I know, makes mistakes sometimes. I've no experience shooting the Kropatschek, though I've handled a few, but measuring my Guedes, for substantially the same cartridge, confirms contemporary Portuguese sources in making the groove diameter rather larger - .329 if I remember rightly. I have certainly heard of Kropatscheks with a groove diameter that large.

    If you will just get into casting, buying cast bullets will become about as doleful a business as buying female company. Either grooved and lubed bullets (preferably with a gas-check) or paper-patched ones should work well. You can even paper-patch conventional grooved bullets, .311 or .318 probably being best, at least till you decide if you like this system.

    In .323in., it is likely that you could get enough upsetting with cast or even thin-jacketed, flat-based bullets to get good accuracy. What you need to avoid are some of the BEST bullets. I once had a P14 Enfield in .303 which I bought for conversion to a .300 Holland and Holland, and it wasn't worth buying 100 .311 diameter bullets at import prices just for a little playing around first, so .308 was what it got. Flat-based basic Hornadys gave about as good accuracy as I dared expect with a rifle which had a frosty bore and military sights. So did about one in four Nosler solid-base boat-tails, which I still think are a most excellent bullet if unabused. But they didn't upset to seal the bore, and the majority tumbled in flight. They didn't exactly strip the rifling, either. Recovered ones seemed to have actually been reduced in diameter by gas pressure rushing through the gaps at the bottom of the grooves. They then were pressed hard against one side of the bore by centrifugal force, and stayed well engraved on that side only. Even worse, that rush of escaping gas increases bore erosion too.

    I think Beertram make cases, but if necessary they can be made from .450 Nitro-express, preferably the thick-rimmed Jeffery version if anyone makes them. If you use the thin rim you must take care with shoulder placement, since you are headspacing it as a sort of rimless round with a rim. Actually I would use .348 Winchester cases, which are a little short, but this shouldn't matter if you can use jacketed or hard-cast bullets. Mine were a little smaller than published head dimensions, and a snug fit in the Guedes chamber. But they needed slight reaming of the neck. I wouldn't try to reload the Kropatschek blanks which are fairly common. I know of people who claim to have had good results with these, but I found mine so deteriorated they would split on insertion of the bullet. Besides, they are Berdan primed, almost certainly corrosive, and I don't know if it's an available size.

    I once made a device from a small drill and telescopic brass tubing (from a model-making shop) to drill hollow-point bullets. It you have an upsetting problem with bullets cheap enough to justify a bit of low cunning (e.g. 8mm. FMJ military), something similar could be used to drill a hollow base. But the best thing for Kropatschek bullets is .338 jacketed bullets sized in a simple die to your groove diameter. CH4 can supply one to fit your loading press, but so can any machinist with the right drills and reamers, in a couple of minutes, from a 7/8in. UNF bolt. A decimal or 21/64in. reamer is likely to be good for finishing the hole, and an R reamer for in-line insertion of the bullet. You can often buy reamers, drills and burrs very cheaply on eBay. I've also just seen a set of three CH4 dies for reducing .338 to .330 go for $56 on eBay, and I couldn't post about it because of the board rules! But I don't see any need for three stages, as there seems to be no harm in sizing them in one go.

    Some people will warn against doing this, saying the jacket, being springy, will spring part-way back to its original size while the lead core remains as sized. Indeed it will, but this can be over-rated. My Speer 275gr. semi-round nose bullets ended up at .330in. diameter, while cast bullets from the excellent NEI 247gr. mould remained at .229in. This could put the core a maximum of .0005in. off-centre, but in practice it won't, since the long nose and tiny production bevel at the rear won't have a gap at all. We can calculate the likely result of this eccentricity. If it was .0002 in a rifle with 13½in. rifling twist, it is likely to produce an error of around 0.3in. per hundred yards.

    http://shopswarf.orcon.net.nz/drills.html



    DocAV
    Posted - 02/14/2006 : 7:30:44 PM
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    Just a few Points of my own experience with Kropatschek M86/89 Rifles and Short Rifles.

    1. Very good machining all over, and once you know the correct sequence of disassembly, easy to clean.

    2. Ammunition: here in Aus., we have seen small (collector) quantities of ball ammo (I have an original Portuguese marked crate, marked "GNR" (Guardia National Republicana) which originally held repackaged 1928 ball ammo);on the other hand, Wood Bullet blanks were readily available in the 1980s, wrapped in, of all things, scrap paper from Arsenal ledgers dating back to 1808 (During Napoleon's occupation of Spain; Some of the details seen were the pay scales for arsenal workers, orders by the British for Musket Flints (Wellington was fighting against the French from his Portuguese bases) and other sundry "letter copies" (the standard method of keeping information on File used in Europe from the Middle Ages).

    3. I use the Blank cases for making "Theatre Blanks" for some breechloading Muskets which have the same Base and rim size as the 8mm Krop. (sometimes .348 Win. rim is too small to be extracted, but the Krop works very well, as does the 8mm Lebel case (Military).

    For Berdan primers I use RWS #6504 (.254 Diameter=6,45mm); I have used CBC/Magteck #56 (which is copper cup, and older versions are corrosive), but find that in some rifles these will either Pierce or blow out with even BP Blank loads (Too Soft).The CBC is a Shotshell primer for their Brass shotshells.

    I have loaded up some 1900 G.Roth cases, as well as 1905 AE (Portuguese)cases, with cast lead projectiles ( 324 As cast, gas Checked.) Cases are first dismantled (wood Bullet removed, cotton Plug and Black Powder removed, mercuric and Corrosive cap Hydraulically decapped) and then the empty cases are annealed (neck and Shoulder) before assembly with new NonCorr caps and appropriate smokeless Powder.
    I shy away from jacketed projectiles, for the following reason: The barrel steel of the Krop. was a BP type steel, and the jackets used in the Original M86/89 ammo, as well as the M99 Smokeless ammo, was a very thin steel with Nickel coating; the Bore worked on the tried and tested Austrian "Ride the rifling system" (Deep grooves, undersized Bullet, Base Upset to seal the gases). Groove diameters do run to .329-330. (similar to M88-90-95 Mannlichers).

    For regular shooting (and Commercial sale of cases) I make 8x56R cases out of .348 Winchester. The head size is OK, the Overall length once resized is also almost spot on, but the rim is a little undersized, and also its thickness must be reduced on the outer edge (Bevelled) to allow proper headspace seating in the Dished cup face of the Bolt. This is easy with a lathe and a sharp angled cutting tool, on a facing angled cut.
    Somebody did mention that the .348 was short... This is not so, for the Kropatschek case originally 60mm (as the Guedes)for Black Powder, was reduced to 56mm for Smokeless, even if the Chamber still accepts a 60mm case length. This was achieved by simply trimming the neck back in manufacture.
    In any case, The low pressures and flame temperatures will not be any trouble with neck of chamber erosion in normal collector/shooter usage.

    Cast projectiles: CBE (Cast Bullet Engineering, Newcastle, Australia) has a range of Moulds suitable for the 8mm types, from .318s to .330, some with Flat points. They make a couple of excellent Steyr type Moulds ( 200+ grains, GC). Find them on the net.

    Otherwise, a suitable Lee CB swage die, and you can swage your own cast bullets down to .326 or better. best to check your barrel's actual groove diameter, before investing in Moulds or Swage dies.
    CBs work best at or just over groove diameter, gas Checked and well Lubed.
    Alternately, as mentioned above, you can Paper patch to correct diameter...There are plenty of "Bore diameter" Moulds about to give the correct basic Bullet for proper Patching. See a good Lyman Black Powder reloading Book for more details on Paper patching techniques.

    I won't discuss Loads, as Aussie Powders are different from what is commonly available in the USA (even if we do get a lot of US Powders here, and the US market "re-badges" a lot of Aussie-made Powders as well.)



    bws
    Posted - 02/19/2006 : 12:04:26 AM
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    Here are several loads that perform well in my rifle, using .348 brass trimmed to 2.20" with beveled rim:

    33 gr. 4064 with 225 gr. JSP .324" gives about 1450 fps.. This bullet has a hollow base that must expand somewhat, because accuracy is super.

    Same bullet with 38 gr. 4895 gives 1860 fps, which is accurate but may be a bit warm.

    Another nice calm load is 22 gr. 4227 with the 225 gr. JSP.

    My Kropatschek has a perfect bore and the characteristic smooth action. Too bad the trigger pull is about 18 lbs!. I've haven't been able to disassemble the inner workings to get at the trigger.....overtight screws. I use 8mm Lebel and assorted other dies to get the reloading done.
    Last edited by Carcano; 10-28-2007 at 10:34 AM.

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    John Wallace
    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.



    lionart99
    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
    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.



    Don Blosser
    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.



    John Wallace
    Posted - 02/04/2004 : 02:36:19 AM
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    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.

    pic missing
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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.

    pic missing



    Marzon
    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
    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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    3line
    Posted - 03/17/2004 : 04:52:37 AM
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    Recently purchased a nice Steyr 1886 Portuguese Kropatschek rifle. I'm thinking about setting up to reload some ammo to shoot in it. I see that there are two Kropatschek cartridges, an 8x56 and an 8x60. I believe the 1886 is chambered for the 8x60, but I would like someone to confirm this. I would also like to know what the 8x56 cartridge was used in.



    singleshotman
    Posted - 03/17/2004 : 2:21:21 PM
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    They are the same round-the length of the case was shortened 4mm to give freebore when smokeless was loaded in these guns - the original load was compressed black powder or semi-smokeless. Bullet size was .326, groove dia is .330, before mine was stolen i used 8 x 56 hung. mannlicher bullets in it, with black powder. Note i said BULLETS, a bought cheap ammo, removed the bullets and used them. They are pointed so i always singleloaded them in my gun. Shot good, too. I used 348 winchester brass, necked down. I understand you can use 8mm Lebel dies to reload, but i've never tried it.



    DocAV
    Posted - 03/17/2004 : 5:07:10 PM
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    Kropatschek chambers are 8x60R (original cartridge), but from about 1889 onwards, ammo was made 8x56R--shorter neck (still very long, as befits a BP/Semi-smokeless cartridge).

    I would NOT use recycled 8mm Steyr projectiles, for two reasons, the jackets are harder than the original soft and thin Kropatschek Jacketed Bullets, and the Krop bullets were Flat based roundnose of about .326 diameter, made to obturate by base upset into the .330 rifling (Much the same as the original 8x50 R Mannlicher cartridge.)
    The barrel steel in the Kropatschek rifles is a Black Powder quality steel, and so is softer than the later special steels used for hard jacketed projectiles.
    I have found that if you want to use a recycled projectile, the Flat based Turks, although .323 diameter, will obturate sufficiently to give accurate shooting; (154 grains) but I prefer to use Cast gascheck long roundnose, anywhere from .325 to .329 diameter (I have a 210 grain "Steyr" mould which casts .328-330 depending on alloy, and it works fine at black powder velocities with smokless fast burning powder wadded with dacron.
    I make my cases from .348W brass, and include a lathe bevelling of the rim to allow for proper seating in the Bolt face (which is dished to receive the case); I also reload (Berdan) 1900-made brass cases (G Roth & Co, Vienna) originally loaded as wooden Bulleted BP Blanks. They go well with a light anneal before first loading...not a split in several reloads.
    Round nose cast is the way top go, and also safe with the tube magazine.Dies for 8x56R Kropatschek are available from RCBS and CH4D Tool and Die Co.



    jonk
    Posted - 03/22/2004 : 4:04:46 PM
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    I second what Doc AV says; I am planning on using Lee's 200gr .329" cast GC with formed .348 brass and CH dies; though I have the stuff I haven't done any loading yet. I will try both black powder and suitable smokeless. Sounds like a good candidate for either Red Dot or 2400 or Unique, or fast rifle powder and wadding as Doc suggests.



    3line
    Posted - 03/27/2004 : 4:45:55 PM
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    Thanks, Singleshotman, Doc AV and Jonk. I've purchased the Lee .329 mold. Will cast some 20:1 alloy bullets. I've ordered brass from Buffalo Arms. Next step will be to get dies from CH4D. The RCBS dies are just a little too rich for my blood.



    saskone
    Canada
    Posted - 03/30/2004 : 8:50:30 PM
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    At one time I had 5-6000 rounds of Kropatchek ball ammo which was purchased from Federal Ordnance back in the early 1980's. As there was a great many different dates and case length variations I decided to mike a lot of them. The bullet diameters varied from .313 thru .323 . Case lengths varied from 60mm down to 54mm. All of these chambered in my Kropatchek rifle and a Guedes I owned at the time. With the great variation in bullet diameter I cannot imagine what accuracy was maintained at the time.

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    I have been using BA brass and a hard alloy in the Lee .329 205 grain mold. The bore of my Kropatschek slugged .330 & away I went. While I believe the rifle could handle jacketed bullets all right, I chose to stick with cast.

    16.0 grains of Unique shows accuracy potential with velocities in the 1650 fps range.

    I tried some BP subs but did not find any loads that pointed to accuracy. With 777 loaded to fill the case just to the base of the bullet, velocities were in the 1750 - 1800 range. Accuracy was lacking in my experiments that way. SW
    Last edited by 5thDragoons; 10-29-2007 at 06:29 PM. Reason: Correct velocity figures
    Of all the things I ever lost, I miss my mind the most.

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    Default Kropatschek Range Report

    Marzon
    Posted - 05/17/2004 : 10:12:12 AM
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    I have a very nice M1886 Kropatchek and yesterday I finally got the chance to shoot it. I thought some of you folks might be interested in how she did.

    I managed to scrounge up about 120 rounds of original surplus ammo which looked to be in pretty good shape. I wiped the ammo down, tossed a few corroded ones, and sorted the rest by date. The dates ranged from 1905 to 1928 with majority being dated 1918 and 1928. I shot 20 rounds of the 1928 and 10 rounds of the 1918.

    Every round went off fine with no hangfires. The recoil was more than I expected given the wieght of the gun, but not unpleasant. The 1928 ammo fed and extracted fine. Then I fired some 1918 and it was harder to insert and extract. (I had to remove the rifle from the firing position to get enough leverage to work the bolt) then I went back to the 1928 ammo and it extracted fine.

    I got about 4 inch groups at 80 yards firing from offhand, prone, and kneeling, which is about as good as I did with a 6.5 swede earlier. I was really impressed with the old ammo, though one 1928 case split on the side and one 1918 did the same. All in all it was alot of fun.



    jonk
    Posted - 05/17/2004 : 2:30:09 PM
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    Mine also does well with original ammo but i stopped using it after one possible double charge or degraded charge... bang, bang bang, BOOM! Kicked so hard it flipped the sight up, bruised my shoulder, and split the case. I checked the gun for bulges, damage, etc and it was fine but it scared me away from original stuff.

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    Default PIC: Three different Kropatscheks

    Just for comparsion, here is WillyP's posted photo of his threesome from 23rd May 2004: a Kropatschek long rifle, short rifle and carbine.

    http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/wi...9KropAllRf.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2004523113345_1869KropAllRf.jpg  

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    Default Kropatschek reloading info please

    ken giller
    Posted - 07/05/2004 : 11:31:23 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally broke down and got me a 8mm Kropatschek die set from CH4D and some cases from Buffalo arms. Now I'd like to shoot my short rifle but would like to ask for info for smokeless powder and bullet loading info. Any help would be much appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Ken G



    singleshotman
    Posted - 07/06/2004 : 02:44:10 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I used to own a long rifle, it was stolen alog with my whole collection in a home invasion. I used to shoot pulled 8mm x 56R bullets, they were .329 dia & just the right size, as it's a oversize 8mm(bore .315 dia, grooves .330 dia). I would try a 8mm mauser lead bullet unsized and 25 grains 4759, that's what it says in my 1963 gun digest, page 181, that's for the 8mm Guedes, but they are the same round, the krop was shortend 4mm to give a little freebore and reduce presssure in 1888. The original bullets were .326 dia and were undersize to leave room for black powder fouling.

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    Default

    DocAV
    Posted - 01/17/2005 : 8:30:16 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8x60R (AKA 8x56R Kropatschek) is easily made from .348 Winchester cases. Simply full length size in an 8x56R Kropatschek die (NOTE: NOT the 8x56R Steyr die!!!---different body diameters, the Krop is much bigger). No need to trim, as the chamber will take cases up to 60mm in length.
    The one other thing to do is Bevel the head and rim, as the Bolt face is dished to accept a domed cartridge head. This will allow proper seating and headspacing. One can do it simply with a Vice held hand drill and a file.(or a mini-lathe.)

    Use cast lead projectiloes, about .326 diameter X 200-230 grain weight.
    Loads...Black Powder about 60 grains, with a cotton or dacron wad, or smokeless powder, SR 4759 or similar, 20 to 25 grains.



    singleshotman
    Posted - 01/18/2005 : 01:18:33 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    .326 is the dia of the jacketed bullets used, however for cast bullets you need a .330 bullet, as the bores run to .315 bore with .330 dia groove. Info comes from a very good source, Greener, "The gun and it's development", 1910, i have a reprint, has specs for all the euro military rifles up to 1910.For Some strange reason the euro's allways loaded their jacketed bullets undersize, 8mm mauser
    bullets are .323, but the grooves run .326 or bigger as an example.



    mcgoo422000
    Posted - 01/18/2005 : 04:32:48 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hi : Last time i called Buffalo arms said they had brass and reloading dies www.buffaloarms.com I have 2 packs of 1928 ammo with the string binding . Haven't had time to try one of mine out yet



    keysrat
    Posted - 01/19/2005 : 08:21:52 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I sent Buffalo the parent case they used to begin producing the new brass.
    I have used .326 dia. spitzers from the Lebel. Accurate, just be sure to fire them in single shot mode only!

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    Default Steyr Kropatschek 8x60 load

    Jim Greenrose
    Posted - 02/12/2005 : 2:06:31 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Can anyone out there suggest a decent load for the 8x60 Kropatschek. I would prefer to use a low powered smokeless one but could get along with a Tripple 7 load. I would use standard .323. heads. Please no lead molding.



    singleshotman
    Posted - 02/12/2005 : 2:54:11 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I'm sorry to tell you're out of luck if you use .323 bullets, the groove dia of the krop is .330, however you can use suprus 8 x 56R hung bullets-they measure .329
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    james a pickup



    Jim Greenrose
    Posted - 02/12/2005 : 4:46:39 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thanks. I already pulled 5 for trial. Looks like this is going to an expensive proposition



    nortonguy
    Posted - 02/12/2005 : 6:37:34 PM
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    Grafs now lists hornady bullets for the 8x56R. .330 and I think, around 205 grains.



    Jim Greenrose
    Posted - 02/13/2005 : 08:11:09 AM
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    Thanks Guys .Will give it try



    jth
    Posted - 02/17/2005 : 1:12:41 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I made some cases for my 8x60 kropachek rifle by necking down
    .348 win .brass. I use some bullets I pulled from the dead 8mm lebel ammo
    that came in the strips of about 25 rnds intended for I think a
    hotchkiss type machine gun. They weighed 235 grains & miked .327
    I used alight load of unique & got pretty good groups at 50 yds.
    jth



    DocAV
    Posted - 02/17/2005 : 8:16:21 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    WARNING to anyone thinking of using POINTED Milsurp bullets in loading for a Kropatscheck: It is a TUBE Loader, and pointed bullets are a NO-NO in the magazine...Single rounds only Here!!!

    The other heads up is that the Krop is a Black powder rifle, and the barrel steel is a BP type steel of the 1880s, Its jacketed projectile was thin walled and soft (Cupro Nickel jacket) The irfle also used the base Upset principle, where a Deep groove was used (Bore .315, Groove, .327-330) to prevent excessive friction from the long cylindrical bullet, and to absorb the BP Fouling which inevitably occured ( Krop Bullets were about .326-7 maximum.)

    I would NOT use Modern (Steel jacketed) projectiles made specifically for MG use (Steyr "S" and Hotchkiss Lebel) as this could lead to excessive wear of the soft barrel steel.

    Cast lead bullets (gas checked or not) of .326-329 diameter are fine, or Flat based jacketed standard .323" Projectiles are the best. For FMJs, I use either Chinese or Winchester 154grain 7,9mm Milsurp projectiles:
    Winchester, you say??? They made large contract lots of 7,92mm "Full Metal case" ammo (single flash hole) for Indonesia in the 1950s...I managed a couple of crates of it back in the 80s, from an Aussie Importer...White Packet WRA ammo, excellent Brass and Projectiles, Ball Powder.

    With Cast lead, flat point designs are available (.32W Special, or 200 + grain "8mm") which will feed properly through a tube mag.
    And at BP velocities, they are excellent accuracy.



    Jim Greenrose
    Posted - 02/18/2005 : 10:10:49 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thanks again. Will try lead rounds . I used them in my Mauser 71/84 with good results



    John Wallace
    Posted - 02/19/2005 : 09:21:31 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I've never owned or fired a Kropatschek, but I once did quite a bit of reloading for the Guedes, also made by Steyr, from which the Kropatschek inherited its case and bore dimensions. The best bullet, I think, is made from the NEI round-nosed .330 gas-check mould, and I found 30gr. of Reloder 7 would give a shade over the factory ballistics of 1706ft./sec., and very reassuring pressure indications. Groove diameter of my Guedes was .330, which is within .001in. of the 8.4mm. which was published at the time. So I'd doubt if Steyr Kropatscheks were further from their specification.

    My NEI load would be a more effective bullet on game than it sounds. A bullet downloaded to about 1500ft./sec. penetrated 13 inches of end-grain larch timber, ending u in a neatly club-ended shape. At about 1350 ft./sec., the bullets keyholed. Modern 8mm. cast bullets, at .323in., might work well, but I think the hardest alloys should be avoided as likely to impede upsetting.

    There is some debate on whether magazine explosions from pointed bullets are as dangerous or easily produced as some people say. I understand both views have been conclusively proved to be correct, and as alternatives do exist, I decline to find out which I could prove. As well as being unsafe, lihter and/or pointed bullets will place them further from the start of the rifling.

    I also used the 275gr. Speer softpoint jacketed bullet, which I sized down in the same .330in. ring die, made in the UK by the now-defunct NDFS. This is sometimes said to degrade accuracy, as the jacket springs back more than the less elastic core. This must be why my bullets masured .331, but that means the core could have been a maximum of .0005in. off-centre, and much less if it was held by the unsized nose and the slightly rounded rear edge. I don't, however, see any need for jacketed bullets in this application, and if you must use them, I would feel happier to file the nose to a small flat. Whether it was weight or the increased force of engraving the bullet, I found pressure indications a shade higher with this one, and thought it best to come down to 27gr. of Reloder 7.

    Cupro-nickel is considerably harder than gilding metal or pure copper, and its greater tendency to deposit metallic fouling is probably because it has lower thermal conductivity even than pure nickel, so heat remains in the surface layer instead of being conducted into the metal. I think the theory of the deep rifling was indeed to hold black powder fouling, and still leave some grip on the bullet. But it is a theory that had long since been proved false. A hard bullet and the shallowest rifling that will stand up to erosion will permit the fouling to be swept out of the bore, at least for a while.



    Beaumont
    Netherlands
    Posted - 02/19/2005 : 11:24:12 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hello all
    I use for my kropatchek a .323" H&N high speed bullet with 52 grain
    pyrodex select. First round is a oil shot.The rest I shoot a 5 cm group at 50 yards.



    singleshotman
    Posted - 02/19/2005 : 1:53:27 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Was reading Greeners "the gun and it's Devolpment" last night, looked up the 8 x 60R Krop round in his "Table of Military Rifles", groove dia is .330, bullets used were .326 dia-get this STEEL JACKETED-load used was 70Grains Blackpowder chamber pressure was 17.48 tons per/sq inch. Man that's a hot load for a 19th century gun. Rebember those are British long tons at 2200 pounds. That comes to 39,456 pounds chamber pressure-no wonder they gave up on the Guedes rifle presuming
    they shoot the same load-it just coun't take the pressure. Greener says many Martin's converted to .303 British were damaged by deformed
    Breechblocks just like the Guedes-they just coun't take it.I guess with the Steels they used those days nothing but a Bolt Action would take the pressure.



    jonk
    Posted - 02/19/2005 : 6:22:56 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I haven't done much with it yet, but plan on using a case full of FFG and cast Lee 200 gr .329" bullets; or perhaps light 2400 loads in the smokeless dept.



    John Wallace
    Posted - 02/20/2005 : 06:56:16 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There was jamming with the Guedes, but I think it was due purely to the thin and soft case-heads of the period, which had worked well enough with 11mm. rifles. My breechblock certainly didn't deform, and I don't think anybody has found a deformed one.

    I recall from somewhere that the pressure of the Guedes was about the same as the early Lee-Enfield cordite loads, although cordite, like any smokeless, is more likely to suffer escalating pressure from any sort of reloading anomaly.

    Steel was often used for bullet jackets in Europe, but was normally clad with copper or cupro-nickel, much like some coins. If it is, I don't think there would be any increase in wear in even a mild steel barrel. If there were, it would surely be greatest near the muzzle, where velocity is greatest. In fact bore wear is almost entirely a matter of gas erosion, and is greatest in the chamber throat, where we have a slow bullet but the hottest, highest-pressure gases. I doubt if any commonly used bullet type could alter the useful barrel life.

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    Default

    jonk
    Posted - 03/13/2005 : 4:25:49 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I finally got around to loading some ammo for the old gal, using Buffalo arms formed brass and CH4D dies. One problem. I have heard a lot of guys say they have luck with .329" bullets. My bore slugs .326" so I'll stay away from them, but may swage some down (cast lead) to .327". Anyhow.... for my first attempt, I tried to load some 250 gr. .324" pills over a case full of FFG. The cases, as sized from the CH dies, did not permit the bullets to seat! At least not with a gas check. Without the check I was able to wiggle them in, but it was a tight fit. Anyone have similar trouble? I'm thinking a Lyman M die may be in my near future. Suggestions? Incidentally, of the 5 shots I fired (only have 5 cases!), they grouped about 4" at 50 y, and moved at an average V of 1477 fps.



    singleshotman
    Posted - 03/13/2005 : 6:00:26 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you play with cast bullets, you definitely need the lyman "M" die, i use a .321 for my Gew 88 commission rifle and it works fine.Without it, you will almost be sure to damage the bullet bases when you seat them-their goes your group-even the slightest damage to the base of a cast bulet will ruin your group-know this from experence.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    james a pickup



    Jim Greenrose
    Posted - 03/19/2005 : 3:13:03 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I had the same problem. I got some Buffalo Arms .324 ,210 gr. hard cast lead. I loaded it with 28 Grs. of h4198. It probably is not the most accurate load, but in my Krop. it put 5 shots in a 2" circle at 50 yards. It cleaned up very easy and had very little recoil.



    TipTop
    Posted - 03/19/2005 : 5:53:30 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Handloader" magazine had an article in their Dec./Jan. 2002 issue on this cartridge.



    jonk
    Posted - 03/21/2005 : 11:40:33 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Update: I have ordered the neck expander die and am going to continue with the same bullet, so we'll see if that makes a difference.

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    Default Another Reloading Link

    It may be a little bit off, but here is an interesting link to Tom's website where he describes reloading for the 8x60 R Guedes (basically the same cartridge). I would however not use the old blank cases... YMMV.

    http://home.att.net/~vintage-gunlore/guedes-2.htm

    Carcano

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    Default Kropatschek Handloaders of the World...

    Sailor
    Posted - 06/21/2006 : 1:21:34 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gentlemen:

    It appears that I have run out of Kropatschek ammo. Was using ammo stamped ‘A over E, with two stars and dated 1920.’ This was good stuff with a decent kick and accuracy. The swagman who sold it to me has long since gone the way of the billabong.

    Took apart the last Kropatschek round to uncover 48.2 gr of smokeless powder made up of fat little cylinders with a little hole in the center. The .323 bullet is a long lead core round nose with copper/nickel plate jacket, not as thick a nickel jacket found on a Lebel Hotchkiss MG bullet, also the Lebel MG bullet is .326, a little wider. Relaoded the last round using Lebel sizing die with 43 gr. smokeless powder and .323 spitzer bullet.

    I haven’t got any 348 Winchester brass yet, but I note that a Lebel round chambers and ejects nicely in this rifle. Can the Lebel round be used? It is about 3/16” shorter, but I’m thinking it may be all right, sort of like a 22 short fired instead of a 22 long?

    However, since the excellent Kropatschek metal was made for 1886 black powder, I should probably go lighter on the powder. Though, when I did this before with the Lebel, I got terrible results – hang-fires, double detonations, misfires, etc.

    There must be a way to keep a lighter powder charge (ie. 35 gr.) close to the primer thus ensuring consistent detonation. How is this done? Is there a filler I can use to take up the air space above the powder and below the bullet? This is a necked cartridge, not a straight wall like, for example, the 45-70, which means more pressure buildup and greater energy release on detonation, so I’m a little concerned about using the right kind of filler, if in fact, this filler procedure is feasible and safe.

    Of course, I strongly urge all readers, for safety reasons, to not follow any of my conjectures or procedures.

    Comments re my speculations, errors and/or omissions welcome.

    Regards,
    Sailor



    mech481
    Posted - 06/21/2006 : 6:51:33 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sailor I have been using a light load of ADI 2205 with a cast projectile .328 and modified 348w cases I found that using a fill of carded wool or Kapok over the powder charge I never have ignition problems, also tried a small amount of Toilet paper but did have ignition problems as didnt pack it as tight as I do with Kapok



    mag
    Posted - 06/21/2006 : 10:25:57 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Using a light powder charge is not the answer if it is the wrong burning rate powder. Trying to hold it back by the primer will not help. Plus your bore is probbably much larger than the .323 dia bullet you are using, this will also make the powder not want to burn right. Slug your bore, you should find it to be about .329+ . You can use .323 dia bullets IF you use a fast powder [ 22.0 of SR-4759 ] and a bullet with a long contact surface [ like a Hornady 170 round nose ] . The .323 bullets give ok accuracy [ about 4-5 inch 5-shot groups at 100 yards, with a flyer now and then ]in any of my 4 rifles. When I went to the Hornady .329 dia 209 sp bullet the groups went down to about 2 inches. My best load so far is 28.0 of I-4198 with the 209 bullet. This is a very low pressure load, only about 1750 fps . Yes you can use the 8mm Lebel cases, you will just have a short neck and will have to seat the bullet out more. All of my shooting was done with 348 Win cases, the 8mm Lebel case were not out yet. I am planning to try them. The big bullets really made my rifles into good shooters, plus the low velocity puts the sights close at 100 yards. mag



    DocAV
    Posted - 06/22/2006 : 03:55:33 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dear Sailor (as you mention Billabong and sawggie, you are obviously an Aussie in Oz): AV Ballistics has 8x56R Kropatschek cases (single flash hole) and can also Edumacate you in reloading Original AE (Arsenal Do Esecito) Portuguese brass cases (yes, RWS#6504 Berdan primers are available in Oz).
    I have been reloading and shooting (Ball and blank) Kropatschek cases for over 20 years (1900-1905 AE and GR & 1928 AE Ball).
    The br\ass is excellent, and with mild loads and the occasional anneal, work well.

    Don't waste your time trying to blow out 8mm Lebel cases. They will be much too short to properly support the Projectile, and anyway, Single flash cases in 8mm Lebel are made from .348 Winchester, the same as Modern Krop. cases.
    One thing to remember is the dished face of the Krop. Bolt, which requires the 8x56R Krop case made from .348 Win. to be bevelled slightly (1,5mm wide bevel, about from the rim edge to the lettering in the headstamp.

    For Kropatschek cases, [email protected], mailed anywhere in OZ.



    Sailor
    Posted - 06/22/2006 : 10:32:00 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dear Doc, Mag, Mech481,

    Not Aussie, Doc, how about Russian-Ukrainian-Belgian-Canadian…citizen under four flags, recently married a Yank (new flag) and now sing Waltzing Matilda and regale our one-year-old with stories of Breaker Morant, just so he’s brought up with proper values.

    Have 348W on back order, seems there’s a shortage here, almost makes you want to move to Queensland…

    Question: Have read that the Kropatschek can’t handle the smokeless loads or modern projectiles, yet the 1920 ammo I was using is clearly a hot load behind a nickel-copper jacket that is not that different from the variety of modern soft copper jacketed projectiles I use. Did the Steyr people believe their barrels were tough enough for modern ordnance? (They must have, for their 1920 vintage cartridges are loaded to the approximate neighborhood of a mauser round, ie. muzzle velocity 2221 fps, muzzle energy 2706 ft lbs)

    By the way, the barrel measures .319, has a mirror bore, and the vintage Portuguese ammo used to date measures .323, (slightly wider).

    Thanks to all for your help,
    Warmest regards,

    Sailor



    Joe Turner
    Posted - 06/22/2006 : 12:53:19 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DOCAV; Do you have any Kropatscheck brass available? I have a Kropatschek coming and have the dies already ( 8 x 60R ). I can use .348 Winchester as well wth the chamfered rim as you caution but always like purpose built brass. best regards, Joe



    jonk
    Posted - 06/22/2006 : 2:07:22 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Side note- I think that the original powder in the Kropatschek case looks an awful lot like Italian Solenite; any further thoughts on this?



    DocAV
    Posted - 06/22/2006 : 10:00:27 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Firstly, the question on Portuguese Powder: I have found similar powder in Portuguese .303 made in the 1920s, as well as other tubular type (US) powders. So the Italian connection may be wishfull thinking (Portugal did make its own powders from before WW I).

    Kropatschek Bore steel: Although made for Black powder use, obviously the Austrians did consider the 1890s smokeless powders quite suitable as a replacement for Black powder (they did the same with the M88 Mannlichers in 1890 and later).
    The Portuguese Projectile was made with a thin jacket, and the Austrian system of a Bullet made to sit between the bore and groove diameters was also the norm. ( ie, .315 Bore, .328-9 Groove, and a .324-6 Bullet. This allowed for "Bullet upset" to seal the bore, but a the same time reduces the jacket friction in the barrel.

    To those posters inquiring about sending AVB cases out of Oz, NO GO ( paperwork, NO Postal service,(must use Couriers/freighter) and DoD permits).



    Sailor
    Posted - 06/23/2006 : 7:55:28 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gentlemen:

    Got lucky. Found a local shop with a very dusty bag of 348win brass, circa Harry Truman. “There yah go kid, with those yuh can stare down a grizzley.”

    First I beveled the rim to match the 1920 cartridge. Then I ran it thru a Lebel die (read somewhere this would work).

    But the case would not chamber completely and the bolt would not flip down all the way. Trimmed back the neck to match the 1920 cartridge. Still wouldn’t go. Tried a whole lot of different dies, various stone axes and tools in the museum. Still wouldn’t go. More huffing and puffing, chants, rituals, plus every improvisation worthy of Edison’s workshop. Was at it till 1:30 am, bleary eyed and tired, you’d think I was studying for law school finals. This is a lot of work.

    Finally the brass chambered, and the bolt went down, albeit very tightly, much too tight. If only there was something I could use to flatten the shoulder out a touch more. Perhaps this shell might work in another Kropatschek, but this one is way too new, not broken in at all, wants a near perfect cartridge. I have a French piece like this, a Remington Berthier.

    I guess I’ll have to wait on those Kropatschek dies...

    Regards,
    Sailor



    Sailor
    Posted - 07/02/2006 : 10:09:01 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gentlemen:

    Have been working away at beveling those 348W rims. Don’t have a lathe so rigged up a basement special – an old electric motor makeshift lathe. As a cutting/grinding tool am using an old heirloom...grandma’s old diamond ring. The beveled rim on the original vintage case is quite dramatic, but in my opinion must be replicated on the 348W, after all, the bolt seat is specially tapered for it, which means that if you don’t alter the 348W accordingly, you will be encouraging blow back pressure expansion, in effect increasing headspace, which is not a good thing. My opinion, Aussie Doc can correct me here.

    Kropatschek dies arrived. Reforming the 348W brass is another story. Used my heaviest cast iron press but the brass would not pass thru all the way, huffing and puffing, made no headway till finally a loud crack, the anchor bolts on the base of the press popped out. Replaced them with heavy duty stainless steel bolts and back to work, shoulder against press and two hands on lever. Used a longer lever to get more torque. Broke the lever. Put shorter lever back on. Jammed the casing in the Kropatschek die. Had to free it up with a drift. Back to the press, used a variety of lubricants and finally after a hundred or so tugs and pulls the 348W case went in all the way and re-formed. Sore shoulder, sore arms, sore hands, sore back. Think I need a larger press.

    Found that if you size the 348W in the Lebel die first, (not much muscle required) and then size it in the Kropatschek die (hefty muscle required) it is an easier go. The result is a shell that chambers and ejects nicely.

    Now how much powder ? The 1920 vintage round had a 48.2 gr load, however read admonitions against using such a potent load. What to do? Had detonation problems with lighter loads in the Lebel, so went 43.5 gr with 2 rounds and 45 gr with 18 more with mag primers, Serbian powder, and .323 spitzer copper jackets. After firing, the two 43.5 loads had cracked cases at the shoulder slant and left black residue in the barrel. With the heavier 45 gr load, 8 of 18 cases split or cracked in the same area, but the barrel was clean. Obviously by re-sizing (lowering) the shoulder on the 348 case, hairline faults must have occured thus causing shoulder ruptures on detonation. (see picture) The recoil was more or less the level of a Mauser 98K, and tho the Kropatschek has no bolt lugs (the Mauser has three plus an overhead receiver bridge) the bolt shoulder on receiver body stop appears robust and adequate.

    A good looking high quality rifle, had I known the Sisyphean trials to follow, don’t know that I would have acquired one...yet, a pleasure to shoot, this afternoon beside an 1874 Sharps long gun with Creedmore sight.

    Thanks to all, especially that wandering drover from Queensland.

    Warm regards,
    Sailor

    Photo: 1920 original on left, 348W fired case - split at shoulder on right

    http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/Sa...48%20W.jpg.JPG
    Download Attachment:
    39.31 KB

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Edited by - Sailor on 07/03/2006 8:37:02 PM
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20067320325_1920%20Krop%20348%20W.jpg.JPG  

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    Default

    Here is a picture of some 94 FMJ milsurp cartridges that just were auctioned off, a bit too expensively at 104 Euros.

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    Default

    One of those rifles is coming my way soon; a short rifle.
    Is there a site I can visit were I can find out how to take it apart, want to clean and lube it before i make an attempt to use it.

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    Default

    The amazing aspect of this thread is the confirmation of just how much amazing info is available through Gunboards.........Thank you one and all for the amazing degree of scholarship presented on the Forums!

    Warmest regards,

    JPS

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    Default

    Is there any info about stripping the rifle?

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    Default

    Are you taking the entire rifle apart or just the bolt? The bolt is relatively simple but the removing the barrel and action from the stock can be tricky. Its been a few years since I took mine apart but I remember the magazine tube was difficult to remove. The tube is easily damaged so be extremely careful with it. You should really only have to pull it an inch or so out of the stock and then the barreled action can be lifted out.

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    Default

    I indeed am planning to take the entire rifle apart, easier to work on the stock and perhaps some cleaning and lubing the internal parts of trigger and loading mechanism will do a good thing to the rifle?

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    Default

    I do not yet have any cases yet, but at what angle should I turn the bottom "dish" to get the perfect fit?

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    Default

    Kroptaschek.. Breakdown/Dis/assembly
    Does any one have any diagrams and or instructions for dissasaembly for the 1886 kroptaschek. I have recently purcheased a particularly nice piece that is in need of a good cleaning. I am also completely refinishing all the parts. Before I continue the process I would appreciate and advice. I have spent many years restoring old rifles. I have learned no matter how many I do there is always somdething I do not know and I would hate to damage any part of this fine specieman before its complete. I am told the Magazine tube can be delicate and difficult.

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