a) It has no headstamp. It has a beveled head. Who made it?
b) What is the line/groove in the projectile?
If these cases are of the long type they are not Kropatchek they are 8+60R Guedes Mod 85 the description
of being bevelled like that is a very good indication also my experience with them is that very few were
stamped but have not seen them with slit bullets.The Guedes Rifle was already obsolete as it came of the
production line and there are not to many in collections.I have seen only one in a Museum in Cuba in
No idea who made it, most likely any of the arsenals who headstamped their product could have easily made an unheadstamped version.
I believe this 60mm case was the earlier version for the Kropatchek rifle, & the main difference between it and the Guedes, was the Guedes has a coiled-copper-patched jacketed bullet.
As to the slit, or bullet groove, my guess is a manufacturing flaw or a post manufacture handling result.
Here is a long winded possibility as to the originality of these bullets I think the batch from wich these bullets came
were loaded before the laws of the Geneva convention of 1906 took effect after that date these bullets were
outlawed for war fare.I own 2 cartridges a mark 1 and mark 2 with the same bullets and no they are not doctored
out of that same period most came out of India Arsenal they were mostly experimental.See LABATT the 303
but after 1906 that was the end of it.The first Geneva convention already took place in 1864.so those rounds could
still have been loaded before that date and anything was allowed before that memorable event of 1906.
I have an 1886 Kropatschek rifle. The bolt face is slightly concave. It requires 60 mm long cases with beveled heads. I have seen several hundred original bullets like that, but none with the slit. All were loaded in cases with beveled heads, with Lisbon headstamps dating from the late 1890s until (IIRC) 1917. All of the cases were loaded with compressed black powder. All the bullets I have seen were magnetic.
Slit Projectiles were typical of “Guard” Cartridges, consisting of a slit jacket (2-3 slits) with a Built up core of Lead Piueces, which would become effectively a “Shot Load” as the rifling tore the Jacket apart ( Italy, Austria, etc.)
The 8x60R Guedes (I Have a rifle, from Boer War) was a Steyr design to utilize compressed Black Powder with a “Small calibre” Bullet ( when compared to then current "11mm) BP cartridges. Almost instantly obsoleted by the French Smokeless
Mle 86 8mm Lebel Cartridge ( Case actually based on the Guedes/Kropatschek design.)
Portugal defaulted on the Guedes rifle order, and immediately accepted the 8x60R Kropatschek rifle (Tube Magazine);
The Cartridge was upgraded from the M85 Guedes case, tyoi thwe 8x60R Kropatschek design (Bullet with FMJ. RN-point slightly flattened for Tube Loading. The Rifles (M1886) were CHAMBERED with enough Clearance for the 60mm case. IN 1899, Portugal adopted a Smokeless Load for its Kropatschek rifles, and at the same time, reduced the Cartridge Case Length (of Neck) toa 8x56R Case. ( still would fit and fire in original rifles with 60mm chamber.
8x60R ammo was used up in training and Blanks, and from 1899 onward, all New ammo had a 56 mm case ( both GR (Roth) and AE ( Portugal’s Arsenal).
BTW, the Hague Convention of 1899, had no effect on the Use of “Guard” Cartridges (Considered shot shells, as the Bullet broke up in the Barrel/at the Muzzle, and was NOT an Expanding or Explosive type bullet (Breaking up in the Target. (BTW, Explosive Bullets under 1" calibre were already Banned by the Treaty of St.Petersburg (1864).
Only the British "Dum Dum Specials (Mark II) and the Purposed designed Mark III, IV and V .303 ( all “expanding on contact” were Banned from "Civilised Warfare "…Ammo for use in colonial Police actions…such as the Indian NW Frontier, and the Somali “Mad Mullah” rebellion of 1904=07, were considered suitable conflicts for use of “Expanding Bullets”.
Wow, I did not even think of this, mine is very strongly magnetic.
On this forum, we do not often discuss the rifles that fired such cartridges. My 1886 Kropatschek has a rear sight that folds in two places. When fully extended, it is about 5 inches (about 125 mm) long and has graduations that extend to about 3,000 meters. Sights like this would be useless on an infantry rifle. My guess is that my example was used on board a ship, probably used offshore from the Portuguese colonies in Africa. Rifle fire against small craft would probably be more militarily effective than using the ship’s main battery, and would certainly be more cost effective. Black powder cartridges would not be a handicap in a shipboard setting, where the wind would carry the smoke away, and the black powder cartridges may have withstood heat and damp better than the smokeless powder of its day. When I see these cartridges, I think about marine use, not as cartridges used by land-based forces.
I have 3 pcs. 8x60R Kropatschek / Guedes. Two without HS, one with wooden bullet, the other with brass jacketed bullet. (non magnetic). The third has HS Georg Roth -1885 year. Wooden bullet. Which are Kropatschek and which Guedes?
Who is the producer of those without HS. In the literature are contradictory information, and I do not have a book strictly about Kropatschek ?
Just to add to the mix, from the International Cartridge Collector Annual, Vol.2, No. 1, 1969 is an article entitled The Portuguese Guedes & Kropatchek Cartridges pp. 11 - 14 by Berkeley R. Lewis (one of the leading authorities on cartridges and cartridge collecting at the time):
The 8x60R w/o hs has been recovered from Boer War battlefields. “Small Arms of the Anglo Boer War” Bester
Bester believes it was made by DWM
Thank you and thank you again for sending this in it was enough to make my head spin.I had never excepted
the fact that the long and short cases were both the same usable for the Kropatchek Rifle they may have
fitted but on paper were not the same.This printout should put a lot of speculation to rest of wich there was
so much in the past. I have one of those rounds stamped 96 with the bullet in some corroded condition
Very interesting article by Col. Lewis, Brian thanks.
Of the four ball rounds I have with the 60mm case, all are steel-jacketed bullets measuring 8.03-8.04mm
Headstamps are; “96”, “.96”, “G.Roth logo / star / 1888 / star”, and “II / 18 / F & C. / 96”
Forgot to add I also have 60mm case with a non-magnetic brass-jacketed bullet & it measures 8.10mm, has a deeply seated ,wide, heavily-struck primer & no headstamp. Although Rufus’s example seems to have only one primer strike. I thought it was a drill or dummy
Sure would like to find one of the copper-foil patched variations.
Re; all the talk about the groove in Vlad’s bullet. As it seems there is only one groove, it is not any sort of guard load as all of those type slit-jacket bullets for other countries, that I’m aware of have multiple grooves / slits.
Thanks Brian !!
Could the single longitudinal groove in the bullet be a manufacturing defect?
The grooves in the rifling in my Kropatschek (dated 1886) are very deep, about .329". That is typical of the era. When used with today’s normal 8 mm bullets, accuracy is not great. If I use bullets for the 8x56R Hungarian, accuracy is much better. Perhaps the increase in bullet diameters over the time during the period of ammunition manufacturing was an attempt to increase accuracy.
I have determined that the chamber, bore and groove dimensions of the Guedes and Kropatschek rifles are the same by measuring specimen rifles. The 8x60r G and 8x56r K should be considered variations of the same ctg.
What I thought.
“As to the slit, or bullet groove, my guess is a manufacturing flaw or a post manufacture handling result.”
Why did the Portuguese shorten the case? They must have known about short-necked 7x57 mm cases from the Boer War. Those were probably re-worked 7.65x54 mm Belgian cases made into 7x57s, but came out 7x54. Contemporary reports said that they were not as accurate and were generally disliked.
DocAv makes a very good observation. I agree, the design of the French Lebel 8x50R case was probably based on the Kropatschek/Guedes case and not the Gras case. A lot of sources say the Lebel design was based on the Gras cartridge. I could never understand where the idea of the Lebel case being developed from the Gras cartridge case came from. It didn’t made any sense.