RepackboxLee PrecisionMidSouth Shooters SupplyWideners
Inline Fabrication

Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Gunsmith

  1. #1
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    870

    Gunsmith

    I have a partially spoterized krag I really like. It does need a new barrel. I have the blank. I was wondering if anyone knows of a gunsmith who does good rifle barrel work on odd rifles like this, preferably in the vicinity of Cincinnati, OH.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Rapier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    692
    Might ask a member of the OGCA see if they can give you a guiding light on that. Their shows are members only shows or used to be and they have some very good smiths as members.
    “There is a remedy for all things, save death.“
    Cervantes

    “Never give up, never quit.”
    Robert Rogers
    Roger’s Rangers

    There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
    Will Rogers

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    985
    The Civilian Marksmanship Program used to sell Criterion fully finished barrels for around $200 , and their shop would install them, probably the cheapest way to go. I haven't looked lately at their E-Store, so not sure if they still offer that service.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master uscra112's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Switzerland of Ohio
    Posts
    5,551
    Gonna watch this thread. It takes a rather massive special tool to remove a Krag barrel without risking distortion of the receiver. I've got a CMP barrel for one of mine, but have never gotten around to making the tool, and since age and decrepitude have begun to tell on me, I probably never will. But I'd still like to get this barrel installed.
    Cognitive Dissident

  5. #5
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    870
    The Civilian Marksmanship Program used to sell Criterion fully finished barrels for around $200 , and their shop would install them, probably the cheapest way to go. I haven't looked lately at their E-Store, so not sure if they still offer that service.
    They didn't do this for rifles in a sporting configuration.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    870
    It takes a rather massive special tool to remove a Krag barrel without risking distortion of the receiver.
    I've heard this. I successfully got the barrel off a Norwegian krag without distorting the barrel. Had to make a hardwood jig and wasn't that hard. Soaked it overnight in Acetone-ATF mix (which I think works no better than PB Blaster). I don't really see how a US krag could be any worse as it's larger and beefier. One option I thought of was casting it in cerrosafe or something (expensive). I suppose lead would be too hot and may wreck heat treating. But that is a good way to "make a part."

  7. #7
    Moderator


    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Way up in the Cascades
    Posts
    6,968
    I used to be very heavily into US Krags. Sold a bunch recently, but kept some, so now I'm just heavily into Krags. I'll just ramble on a bit here, and maybe there will be a nugget or two for you, but maybe just a lot of gravel.

    First, the best way to take a Krag receiver off the barrel is just that--clamp the barrel and turn the receiver off. When in gunsmithing school I made a receiver wrench block for Krag receivers, and it fits inside a large, heavy wrench. It has a hole in it that slides over the barrel and a block on the bottom that fits into the receiver's contour in the front of the receiver below the barrel. That way the twist is nowhere near the more delicate parts of the receiver. Look around and you might find one, and I imagine that there are other designs that work as well. Brownell's used to sell a Universal Receiver Wrench that had lots of inserts for various receiver designs, so I'd start there.

    The old Krag rifle was pretty much obsolete when it was introduced, made so by the Mauser-style flush magazine of the 1893 Spanish Mauser, and by its single bolt locking lug. But, even today, they retain a following because of their very smooth action, unusual mechanics, and the adequacy of the .30-40 cartridge. Because of their shortcomings and the use and passage of many years, they are becoming less sought after for hunting use. Gunsmiths wanting to deal with them are becoming fewer. Therefore, it's not unusual to find a stripped receiver for about $45.

    I had (still have 3 or 4) Krag receivers that needed barrels, and back about 2005 I had Pac-Nor Barrels make me up 10 short chambered, threaded barrels. The chambers were about 1/4 inch short. There were (I think) 5 that were 22 inches in length and 5 that were 24 inches. They were profiled, but left on the heavy side as I figured, having a lathe, that I could always make them thinner if desired. I did barrel one up for myself in a carbine configuration, but left the barrel as I received it as I wanted it to be stiffer and hopefully accurate. I'll include a photo or two below, if I can find them in the computer.

    Anyway, my idea was to finish the chambers by hand, having the barrel screwed in as far as it would go (they bottom out on the internal profile of the receiver) using a finishing chamber reamer in a long "T" handle. Of course the bolt was stripped and only the bolt body used. You need a "Go" and "No-Go" gauge set. The chamber and reamer are coated with cutting oil and the T handle reamer inserted from the rear of the receiver through the bolt raceway. A few turns, clean the chamber and reamer with kerosene, insert the No-Go gauge and gently try to close the bolt. Hopefully it won't close, because if it does you already went too far. But, assuming that the handle is sticking out at a 90 degree angle, or anything less than all the way closed, repeat the oil and ream, clean and dry, and measure cycle again until the desired chamber depth is reached. Mine took about 25 minutes to complete. Because Krags like to develop excessive headspace with long use I left mine just a bit short of closing completely.

    So, there's a few ideas and some technique on how you might go about re-barreling your Krag. You might want to consider that if all you have is a threaded blank you may have to contour the barrel, and I don't know what you presently have for a chamber. If you have to pay a gunsmith to profile, thread, and chamber your barrel it's likely to become an expensive proposition. I have used Criterion barrels, again short chambered, to barrel up M1 Garand receivers, and have found them to be good barrels. You might come out way ahead financially to buy and mount a Criterion barrel, and then cut the barrel off to the desired length and re-crown it.

    Just a few thoughts. If I can be of any assistance ask away. You can also chat with member Texas by God who posted a very extensive thread on this Forum about building a Krag rifle from components.

    DG

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IM006529.jpg 
Views:	29 
Size:	73.4 KB 
ID:	307557 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IM006539.jpg 
Views:	29 
Size:	72.8 KB 
ID:	307558 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IM006532.jpg 
Views:	32 
Size:	76.1 KB 
ID:	307559

    Because of the larger than issue diameter barrel I had to improvise a barrel band from a Czech VZ-24 and notch it for the barrel band retainer.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master elmacgyver0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1,290
    Very nice work!

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master uscra112's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Switzerland of Ohio
    Posts
    5,551
    I have photos of a receiver block like that I got from Bullshop (I think). I once bought a nice carbine from him, which I still have. It's a fair bit of machining for a little bench-top mill like mine. I have the steel, but haven't gotten beyond that in what must be well-nigh ten years.
    Cognitive Dissident

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    Loxahatchee Florida
    Posts
    338
    i changed the barrel on a Smith model 10 once and spent half the day making a wrench that encompassed the Smith frame with the cylinder removed. half a day on the action jig 12 minutes to remove and replace the barrel.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    316
    Here's a Krag action wrench



    Slips over the bbl, slide down & onto the recv'r. Engages the recv'r w/o distorting or placing and crushing forces on it.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    870
    thanks all for the help.

    here is a picture of the rifle. I really like how it handles. I think it rather handsome, but the barrel is like sewer pipe. I bought a 1:12 twist green mountain for it hopefully make it into a 30 caliber cast boolit shooter.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	edit krag.jpg 
Views:	68 
Size:	24.9 KB 
ID:	308526

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    12,987
    That’s a nice looking Sporter. Definitely worth improving as a shooter!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Moderator Emeritus


    MrWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    NE West Virginia
    Posts
    4,288
    Nice write up DG.

  15. #15
    Moderator


    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Way up in the Cascades
    Posts
    6,968
    Thank you, MrWolf. curioushooter, that's a very nice looking rifle, and well worth saving. It has the Mannlicher look, and I've never seen one quite like it. I see that the front sling swivel is held in place by a barrel band, which likely also serves the dual purpose of securing the barrel to the stock at that point--a desirable feature (to me, anyway) as without the issue barrel bands the last point of connection is the front trigger guard screw. O.K. not to have one if a free floating barrel is your desire, but if you go that route and want to have a front sling swivel then the swivel is secured to the stock only and it's jerk, jerk, jerk on the swivel as you hike along over hill and dale. The barrel band is the better solution, and you'll need to factor that into the diameter of the barrel's profile when you replace it. Somewhere here, long ago, I did a write up on how to make a barrel band--maybe you can find it with a search.

    DG

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IM004106.jpg 
Views:	15 
Size:	74.4 KB 
ID:	308534

  16. #16
    Moderator


    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Way up in the Cascades
    Posts
    6,968
    An afterthought or two. I've seen some really wonderfully customized Krags and some real Bubba nightmares. When the Govt. sold these off as surplus, many during the Great Depression for as little as $2.50 each, it was something that the common workingman could aspire to own. The American hunter took them to heart and it seems like almost every owner had an idea on how he wanted his to look. The carbines, much scarcer than the full length standard infantry rifle, were suitable for hunting pretty much as issued, but the regular rifle was too long for most hunters. Barrels were shortened, stocks shortened, pistol grips of many different shapes inletted into the grip areas of the original stocks, checkering done or attempted, on and on, the modifications were only as limited as the imaginations of the owners. If your Mannlicher styled Krag were mine I'd be sorely tempted to forge the bolt handle into a butter knife style. With the Mannlicher styling, the .30-40 cartridge, smooth action, what is left to desire?

    DG

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IM007274.jpg 
Views:	25 
Size:	72.3 KB 
ID:	308537
    Last edited by Der Gebirgsjager; 12-27-2022 at 01:17 PM.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Emory,TX
    Posts
    911
    Are you set on keeping it in 30-40? How about checking with Jess or Bob Hoyt about a rebore to 35Krag.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    870
    I am not set on 30-40, though I do have dies and bullets and molds and experience there. I do not have 35 Krag, but I have looked into it. It seems to me that it's like 35 WCF. The worst part is that it has a very short neck...lousy for cast boolits with their lube grooves you want to protect. I have some load data from a 1995 Rifle magazine that featured the cartridge.

    I know Jesse O. can rebore it. Maybe it is the best solution really.

    I also wonder if it could be rebored to 38-55 and if that would work in the magazine, etc. I'd prefer 38-55 to either 30-40 or 35 Krag for cast boolits. Though it is far too powerful, I think 405 Winchester has the same rim as 30-40 and would work. You would need to download it though.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    12,987
    The 38-55 case is too narrow to clean up a Krag chamber. JES can make it a .338 or .35 Krag if the 30-40 barrel is toast. Nothing to lose by trying it out first.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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