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Thread: What do you know...

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default What do you know...

    ... about the .30-40 Krag Jorgensen? I know it was a common firearm in Alaska between the wars. I know that it reputedly had a very smooth action. Anyone have any personal experience with this rifle?

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    Very smooth action, very accurate just not a long range rifle by today's standards. I had one as my first rifle, wish I had it back now.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    The Krag is one of the smoothest actions that I have ever seen. One of our guys at deer camp used to hunt with one. It is not an action to try to use modern cartridges in as it only has one locking lug if I remember correctly. The 30/40 can be reloaded to hotter loads than the factory round but not much. There are still some falling blocks out there.

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    The Krag was the standard U.S. military arm from about 1896 till the introduction of the 1903 springfield. Most were infantry rifles with long, 30" barrels. Later, a carbine length gun was introduced, although they are not as common. Thousands were surplused to the public in the early 1900's and intact specimens that have not been "sporterized" or otherwise altered are relatively uncommon, as they were sold cheap, ammo was plentiful, and they were seen in the same light as surplus mausers are today. Winchester also made the Model 1895 lever action chambered for the krag cartridge, and many photos in the UAF archives show sportsmen in the 20' and 30's armed with '95 carbines, most likely in 30-40 cal. I load for my original infantry rifle with 220gr. round nose and a light load of IMR4895. Recoil is light and the bullet weight is correct for the sight settings. Col. Brophy's book on Krag rifles is getting a little expensive, but is worth the money if you are looking at buying an original krag rifle.
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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. Would love to find a beater to restore as it looks like it would be a very interesting rifle to own and shoot. How available is the ammunition these days?

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    Ammo is generally availabe in most well stocked gun shops. Expect to pay 35.00+ a box of 20. Real "beaters can be had for 200.00 or so, sometimes less, however some parts are getting expensive. The best candidates for "restoration" are those that have the metal and barrel unaltered and just the forend has been cut. These can have a new forend grafted on and be brought back to be " correct".
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    OK, anybody got a lead on one in Alaska? (hint, hint)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    OK, anybody got a lead on one in Alaska? (hint, hint)
    Yup, www.gunbroker.com, www.auctionarms.com, and/or www.gunsamerica.com
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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Have a bid on a beater... and boy does it lok like a beater!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Have a bid on a beater... and boy does it lok like a beater!
    Always wanted one. Unfortunately, even though it doesn't seem to get written about much, the ones I've seen on gunbroker are pretty highly valued and more than I want to spend. The CMP had some for sale that were VFW returns that they classified as "junk" and the price was still almost as much as a fully functional Garand:

    http://www.thecmp.org/Sales/rifles.htm

    They sold out quickly.

    I actually see Krag ammo fairly often in gunshops.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    The Krag rifles were used by the US (1894) , Denmark (1889) and by Norway (1894) . Please see the collectors site for lots of info:::
    http://forums.gunboards.com/forumdis...mark-amp-U-S-A

    The original Scandinavian ( Norway ) version was in 6.5x55mm, he Danish Krag-Jørgensen was chambered for the 8x58R cartridge, the US version was in .30 US-ARMY which is also known as the 30-40 Krag.
    They are super smooth yet weak, as they only have one locking lug.

    In the USA, the contract was awarded to the Krag design in August 1892, But they were not made for at least another year due to protest from otehr designers. (the first carbines and rifles were still called the models of 1892, although they were not made and issued until 1894. Eventually around 500,000 Krag rifles and carbines were made at the Springfield Armory until 1904-05.

    I had a 30 inch rifle 1898 version and a carbine 1899 version. The rifle was VERY accurate for a 100 year old military rifle. I never fired the carbine because it was almost mint.
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    Default Krags

    The trick is to find any Krag with a nice shootable bore - even a lot of the ones that are nice on the outside have horrible bores from the corrosive ammo that was used during the era. Decent orginal stocks are equally hard to find - many were "sporterized" or just heavily used and well worn.

    I lucked up and bought a 1898 Krag with a very nice bore and metal but a crappy stock at the Palmer gun show a couple of years ago with the faint hope of somehow finding a better stock someday. Then at the Anchorage show just afer Thanksgiving last year I found anothe Krag with an almost mint stock and not so good metal - someone had obviously swapped out the metal but I can't imagine how they had a nicer stock.

    So - I put the best parts out of the two together, sold off the worse parts as a beater, and now I have very nice Krag for around $400 or so. Odds of ever doing that again are bout zip - I just got very lucky!

    Interesting twist was when I looked at the serial numbers on the two rifles- they were only 70 numbers apart!

    I haven't shot mine yet but I have dies and molds from one I owned years ago. Should be fun to fire one up again.


    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Have a bid on a beater... and boy does it lok like a beater!
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    The trick is to find any Krag with a nice shootable bore - even a lot of the ones that are nice on the outside have horrible bores from the corrosive ammo that was used during the era. Decent orginal stocks are equally hard to find - many were "sporterized" or just heavily used and well worn.

    I lucked up and bought a 1898 Krag with a very nice bore and metal but a crappy stock at the Palmer gun show a couple of years ago with the faint hope of somehow finding a better stock someday. Then at the Anchorage show just afer Thanksgiving last year I found anothe Krag with an almost mint stock and not so good metal - someone had obviously swapped out the metal but I can't imagine how they had a nicer stock.

    So - I put the best parts out of the two together, sold off the worse parts as a beater, and now I have very nice Krag for around $400 or so. Odds of ever doing that again are bout zip - I just got very lucky!

    Interesting twist was when I looked at the serial numbers on the two rifles- they were only 70 numbers apart!

    I haven't shot mine yet but I have dies and molds from one I owned years ago. Should be fun to fire one up again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    The original Scandinavian ( Norway ) version was in 6.5x55mm, he Danish Krag-Jørgensen was chambered for the 8x58R cartridge, the US version was in .30 US-ARMY which is also known as the 30-40 Krag.
    They are super smooth yet weak, as they only have one locking lug.
    I did some reading on the Krag-Jorgensen, in Haas book on BAs. I wish I was capable of understanding, even remembering it all.

    It seems that the Guide Rib, can make for a 2 nd. Locking lug, but it doesn’t, by a few thou. Unless, you lap the bolt lug so it does. This on the American versions of the Krag

    In fact, it does contact, on the Norwegian, and Danish rifles, (In 6.5 X55, or Danish 8mm/8x58) that have differences, with the American Krags. There are many differences, and the parts are not interchangeable.

    Even so, and like you say, it’s not that strong of an action. It ejects to the top, and doesn’t lend itself to change of cartridge, due to magazine considerations.

    It sure is an interesting rifle, and a marvel of design and engineering.

    I regret not buying one in the old days, when they were cheaper, and more plentiful, but funds were scarcer then, and I'm not a colllector.

    The 30-40 round made a good Bar Gun, with 220 grain bullets. No wonder it came to the Greatland.

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    It was somewhat popular to build 405 winchesters on them as well.

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