GENERALLY: Another in the distinctive line of Kropatchek designed rifles, the Austrian M1881 was developed by Austro-Hungarian Major General Alfred Von Kropatchek and issued forservice with the Imperial Austrian-Hungarian Navy (a carbine version was used by the gendarnerie). The Kropatchek was adopted in it's largest numbers by France (even there, not many) but these rifles adopted for use by Austria were chambered for the Werndl Austrian service cartridge. This rifle was the immediate design predecessor of the 8mm Portugese Kropatchek
PHOTO: The rifle shown is an 1884 Kropatchek, actual issuance unknown, but would have been substantially identical with the Austro-Hungarian rifle. Anyone who can shed additional light is encouraged to dorp me some mail. In the meantime, check out the Styer-made French M1878 Naval Kropatchek for a very close idea!
DISTINGUISHING CHARECTERISTICS: This Kropatchek rifle is an 11mm, tubular magazine repeater generally quite similar to the French Gras (this rifle's action) and the later M71/84 Mauser (its tubular magazine). However, it is distinguished from the Gras by its tubular magazine and from the Mauser by a rod mounted down the left side of the barrel and the magazine cut-off lever mounted on the right side below the bolt on a distinctive exposed receiver sideplate (also right side). Also immediately visible is the jager-type pistol-grip similar to the Portugese Kropatchek. The bayonet lug is integral with the full width nosecap. Operation of the magazine owes much to the Fruwirth Carbine and Winchester rifle. It is loaded from the top with the bolt open. The very rare Austrian Kropatchek described here was also fitted with a large bolt safety similar to the Portugese Kropatchek which it also very closely resembles (but in 11mm) and the M71/84 Mauser.
Page Built June 3, 1997
Revised February 15, 1999.