By Randy Rick

Portuguese 8mm Guedes Rifle M1885

Manuf by Steyr for Portugal

Photos from K. Hallock collection.

The 8mm Guedes rifle was one of the last single shot rifles developed for a European power. It was a single shot, 8mm falling block rifle similar to the Peabody-Martini. The rifles were obsolete before they were delivered, and Portugal had already placed orders for the new M1886 Kropatschek repeating rifles before the Guedes were shipped. The Guedes were surplused directly by the Steyr factory.

Many Guedes were sold to South Africa. 2,700 of these Guedes rifles were sold off to the Transvaal Boers in the mid 1890's, followed by 5000 more in 1897. these will have a Z.A.R. proof. An unknown, but smaller quantity went to the OFS (Orange Free State) and will be so marked.

There are both a long rifle and somewhat rare short rifle version.

The cartridge and the M1885 bayonets developed for the Guedes are the same ones which were actually used by the M1886 Kropatschek.