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Thread: .30-40 Krag

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    TNsailorman's Avatar
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    .30-40 Krag

    I have wanted a Krag for some years now(I am 79) but just did not have the money when I was younger with a growing family. I walked into my local gun store today to buy a RCBS .224 case trimmer pilot and 2 steps inside the store my eyes locked onto a Krag sitting in a side gun rack with a bunch of pretty sad cases that had been traded in but were not deemed fit to sit in the long display racks behind the long counter. Picked it up and was really surprised at the condition. Original blue and no rust anywhere. Stock has seen better days but no cracks or gouges or dents. And it is a Carbine. I bought the RCBS pilot and left to go home. Got home and just could not get that little Krag off my mind. 30 minutes later I was getting dressed to go back to the store. Went back to the store, took my bore light and checked out the bore and it has strong rifling and I saw no pits or evidence of rust in the grooves. Now, barring a disaster between now and Monday evening, I will be the proud owner of that little Krag, with some ammo thrown into the deal(I don't know how much ammo yet).. Depending on tax, it will come in around $500.00. The deal has not been completed as yet. The store owner has some medical problems and will not be back to the store until Monday. So I can't get possession until then anyway. I will be a nervous wreck until Monday evening. james
    Last edited by TNsailorman; 03-26-2021 at 12:27 AM.

  2. #2
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    From the sound of it, I'd say you done real well....Congrats!

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Sporter or Military. Sounds like a good deal, did you check the bolt for cracks around the lug? The sights are a big variable with Krags.
    Check out Small Arms of WWI Primer 063: U.S. Krag–Jørgensen Model 1898
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQAqNqaiQwY&t=5658s

    This is a rabbit hole, but a great series. They also have programs on the Danish and Norwegian Krags.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Baltimoreed's Avatar
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    Good luck. They are very cool rifles. Don’t feel bad, I didn’t discover them until I was near my retirement. Have 3 now, a fake carbine, a correct 1899 school rifle and a very nice 1896 rifle. Did you think to get the year off the recvr? The Krag Collectors forum is the best for info on all things Krag and a fine bunch of knowledgeable guys.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master
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    $500 sounds like a screaming good deal these days, even if turns out to be a cut down rifle. If in fact it is an original carbine, you should not waste money on a lottery ticket since you already used your luck.

    Krags are addicting. My first exposure was a friends dad had a sporterized one with Bishop stock that he bought from Sears when deer seasons started again in MO.

    Robert

    Robert

  6. #6
    Boolit Master 444ttd's Avatar
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    good job!!!!!

    i have 4 krags.

    2 sporterized and 2 actions sans bolt.

    the first one i was given by my late grandpap, which he got it from his dad.
    Ad Reipublicae his Civitatum Foederatarum Americae, ego sum fortis et libero. Ego autem non exieris ad impios communistarum socialismi. Ora imagines in vestri demented mentem, quod vos mos have misericordia, quia non.

    To the Republic of these United States of America, I am strong and free. I will never surrender to godless communist socialism. Pray to images in your demented mind, that you will have mercy, because i will not.

    MOLON LABE

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    A friend with an FFL got one at a police auction for $35 and sold it to me for $35. It was a 30” barreled cut stock bubba with a Lyman peep. It shot great, but was too long for my 1964 Ford stepside’s cab-so ( cringe)- I cut, crowned it to 22” and resweated the front sight back on. It still shot great and I stalked a nice buck on a very windy day and killed it at 20 yards. Alas, it’s just a good memory now. My keeper Krag only has an original 1898 action- the rest of it is aftermarket. I’m liking it too. A lot.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baltimoreed View Post
    Good luck. They are very cool rifles. Don’t feel bad, I didn’t discover them until I was near my retirement. Have 3 now, a fake carbine, a correct 1899 school rifle and a very nice 1896 rifle. Did you think to get the year off the recvr? The Krag Collectors forum is the best for info on all things Krag and a fine bunch of knowledgeable guys.
    How about some pictures of your school gun. Not that many of them around. Bubba cut the wood and drilled and tapped mine. I keep thinking I'll restore mine to it's correct configuration.
    BIG OR SMALL I LIKE THEM ALL, 577 TO 22 HORNET.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Baltimoreed's Avatar
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    Here’s my Philippine Constabulary but it’s really a school rifle from when high schools and colleges had centerfire rifle teams. The bowie bayonet is a fake that I made from a buggered up Bolo knife. But the rifle is correct with the ‘c’s on the rear carbine sight.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Baltimoreed; 03-26-2021 at 12:58 PM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    What was the name of that Shop again??? LOL

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Shangri La

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Krag 1901 mentioned bolt lug cracks, so I will check that out. But I need more advice on what to look for in this Krag. Thanks, james

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Baltimoreed's Avatar
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    Look at the front sight, a ‘03 or williams ramp sight means a cut down rifle not a carbine. Thats the biggest tell as to whether your carbine is real. If it has a Krag front sight and the bbl is 22 inches its possibly a real carbine. Still could be a put together. Of course then is the stock, handguard, rear sight correct to the year and sn stamped on the recvr. There were a ridiculous variety of sights and handguards used on US Krag rifles no longer than it was in service. If the front sight and bbl are legit I’d buy it. Post some pix and questions on the Kragcollectors forum, they know their krags there.
    Last edited by Baltimoreed; 03-29-2021 at 10:43 AM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNsailorman View Post
    Krag 1901 mentioned bolt lug cracks, so I will check that out. But I need more advice on what to look for in this Krag. Thanks, james
    James--I've looked at a lot of Krag bolts over the years, and have only seen one that had a cracked lug. It was very obvious. I wish I would have taken a photo, but by the time I thought to do so I had already shipped it back to the seller.
    They do exist and turn up every now and then, but aren't all that common. They seem to be entirely the result of shooting overloaded ammo, and of course one wants to get rid of them, but replacement bolts aren't that hard to find. If a rifle was sound otherwise I wouldn't let the bolt be a deal killer.

    DG

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    As for the bolt. I had a double charge and chrony'd the 160 gr boolet at 3,755 fps! It didn't hit the target or frame at 100 yards, the bolt held but was a bugger to get out. It bent the lug about 40 degrees and the primer fell out of the smoshed case head. But no gas came back at me and the case didn't separate until I tried to drive it out with a rod!

    The smith replaced the bolt and she kept shooting, but I'm very careful now! Still the Krag is a lot stronger than most give them credit for and smooth as butter. The old 1901 barrel was a bit pitted so I replaced it with a CMP Criterion barrel. THe accuracy hasn't improved but the barrel is a lot easier to clean now.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Well I hate to admit it but I let myself get carried away when I first saw the rifle on Thursday. It would make a good cast shooter but it is not original as I thought nor in as good of condition as I thought. When I got it under some good light in the store today and checked it out and checked it with some suggestions here and also some drawing and schematics on the internet, I was discouraged to say the least. The barrel was 24" and had obviously been cut and crowned. The front sight was a add on sight(looked military but not like the drawings of the Krag showed). The rear sight was gone and replaced by some kind of peep sight that I have never seen before. The stock was a cut down rifle stock and not too bad of a job but definitely not carbine. The fore end was a completely different than a original Carbine stock. The blueing was about 80% with fading in areas but the lettering was dished out some showing that it had been reblued at some time. The rifling looked fairly sharp but there was some corrosion in the grooves(I had missed that on first inspection). The butt stock had been cut and some kind of cupped butt plate that looked like it was made out of aluminum had been poorly fitted to it. I knew about the butt plate on first inspection but thought I could live with that or change it myself. There were a few other lesser details I didn't like. It was just not what I was looking for or thought I had found on first quick inspection. The shop owner was very nice and said "no problem" when I said it just was not what I was looking for. I still would like to have a Krag but I would want one more original than this one. It would make a fine hunting rifle but I have a .30-30 Marlin and 3 30-06's and so don't need another hunting rifle. I just got a little carried away by the thought of a historic firearm that had fought at San Juan Hill and in the Boxer Rebellion defending the legations. Thanks for the help, james

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Too bad, James--but one with your name on it will probably come along. I had a "Krag period" in my life, and rebuilt many of them into nice rifles. A couple of days ago I got the inspiration to check e-bay's parts offerings and Gunbroker's rifles, and came away with the impression that $1,000 is low for a good Krag. What would at first appear to be junkers go for $450-$600, but if you've been around a lot of them you discern that some of them could be rehabilitated into good rifles. I came away with the impression that good used stocks are probably the most difficult and expensive part to find.

    DG

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Hmmm. Depending on what that rear sight is it may have more value than you think. Example: Lyman 48K (for Krags) fetch $200+ (and$400 for new-in-the-box). Redfield "No-Drill" sights $100-150, and even the lowly Pacific and Rice sights are fetching princely sums. Ditto the "cupped aluminum butt plate". Pacific made an aftermarket butt plate out of aluminum that duplicated the Springfield Model 1922 butt plate (used on M1922 .22's, NRA Sporters, and Style T target rifles). The only real difference was the Pacific butt plate was aluminum and the Armory butt plate was steel. They have some pretty decent value today.

    24" barrel with an added-on sight? Springfield '03 barrel? Quite a common switch back in the day.

    Next time when faced with something like this take some snapshots. It's altogether too possible for newbies to overlook interesting/valuable features.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Baltimoreed's Avatar
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    Sorry it wasn’t what you hoped it would be. My first krag was that way except I bought it. Some of the parts got sold to defray the cost but it eventually became a decent Krag scout. The next two were 100 % legit, an 1899 school rifle and an 1896 rifle, as I had done my homework. Pick yourself up a copy of Joe Poyer’s The American Krag Rifle and Carbine. Better luck next time.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    The Krag cartridge is IMHO the finest .30 caliber cast-bullet cartridge there ever was or ever will be.
    Eleutheromaniac

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check