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Thread: 30-40 krag

  1. #1
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    Default 30-40 krag

    I just inherited an 1898 Krag. I haven't shot it yet but hope to soon. The only alteration is a cut-down stock. It has the original sights and 30" barrel.
    I would like to hear others thoughts or experiences with the Krag.
    Never give a gun to a duck...

  2. #2
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Perhaps the sweetest rifle action ever put into the hands of the American fighting Man.

    Proper bullets and loads, it will kill anything you want to bring down with it!

    Glass smooth action, neat to load and unload. You are indeed lucky.

    This is a rifle that would be worth finding an orginal stock for and leaving it alone except to shoot.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
    New member George's Avatar
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    Default krag

    Yes, very smooth and underrated! At first glance most folks who have never shot or handled one just scratch their heads about the look of the Krag, especially the magazine . Then they load one, close up the magazine and work the first round into the chamber. You can see a little grin come over their face. Then they shoot a few times and all that poo pooing they were thinking about... is gone! First thing is to of course get the bore clean. Then if you reload, pay attention to the pressure limits of the gun. Usually, plain Jane 150-180 grain bullets work well. I've had good luck with modest loads of Varget. Also, I've noticed quite a bit of variation in the load data among the various sources. Study at least two pressure tested sources before reloading. You might also take the bolt out and examine the junction between the bolt body and lug. I've never seen one but apparently those more experienced than I in dealing with Krags occassionally find one with a hairline crack at that junction. Anyway they're good rifles and the 30-40 round is a good one. Have fun.

  4. #4

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    The .30-40 Krag is the forerunner to the .30-06. It is between the .308 and .30-06 in power. Very smoothe actions and a great shooter. Enjoy it.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

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    I have that same rifle. My grandfather gave it to me. My stock has been cut, but I beleive it still has the origional sites. I have taken 2 moose with it, but she's a safe queen now.

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    They suck and are worthless.....................I will give you $100 for it, and you will be thankfull and lucky to get it OK.....just kidding, they are awsome actions although not all that rugged or sturdy, but for historical charictor, and "cool" factor then simply cannot be beat!

    A sporterized kraig is hard to beat, with a nice modern stock they look great and shoot great. enjoy your new toy!

  7. #7

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    I've got one that from what I can tell was "sporterized" way back when. Clipped barrel and stock, Marble sights, faint checkering on the order of 12 LPI, original buttplate replaced with a recoil pad.

    In the era these first came available to sportmen, there must have been a whale of a lot of surplus cupronickel jacketed ammo available, cheap. Every one I have seen from that era has a heck of a bunch of copper fouling. On mine the bore looked smokey and dark, but lots of work with a good copper solvent proved the rifling was a lot deeper and sharper than appeared at first.

    Initially it shot about 6" groups at 100 yards with Winchester factory 180's. Now it does 2-3".

    My favorite loads, both for accuracy and game use 220 grain round nose at around 2000 fps, much the same as the original rounds. Those often shoot even better than 150s or 180s. In spite of its moderate ballistics it's a super peformer on game. Really makes you wonder about the high velocities/premium bullets that is such a fad today.

    Slick, slick action as everyone has already said, and a sheer delight to shoot and hunt with!

  8. #8
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    Default thanks

    thank you all for the great replies. I will probably work up a load for it and try to take a moose or 'bou. I'd like to do this as a tribute to my Grandfather and uncle who both owned the rifle before me.
    A little history. The rifle was owned by a fishing boat captain from Conn. who used to hunt in Maine with my Grandfather. He used to leave the gun with him and use it when he was here. Eventually he stopped showing up to hunt and everyone assumed he passed away. My Grandfather eventually gave it to my uncle with the stipulation that it would go back to the fisherman if he ever showed up again. He never did and eventually I lost both my Grandfather and uncle. The rifle now lives with me and hopefully I can put it to good use in honor of great hunters past.
    Never give a gun to a duck...

  9. #9

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    I picked mine up a few years back for much the same reason you want to hunt with yours. When I was just starting to hunt on my own back in the 60's and old friend had one virtually identical to the one I got. It was the only rifle he had ever owned, and he shot it about as well as a marine sniper. I kinda idolized the guy, and for a long time I was was convinced that the Krag was about the best rifle a guy could get. He's been dead for decades, but I couldn't look at a Krag without thinking of him, and finally picked up my own. Easy to see why he didn't need another rifle, but of course he seemed to have a knack for getting within Krag range on any hunt. Looking back, it's amazing how much he taught me about stalking and hunting, which I mistook at the time for shooting skill and magic rifles.

    Pick up a copper solvent from one of the cleaning supply companies such as Shooters Choice, then follow the instructions. If your patches comes out of the bore blue or turquoise (depending on the brand), you've got a copper buildup. Get rid of it, and it almost has to improve accuracy.

    I wouldn't be in too big a hurry to develop loads with bullets lighter than 180. Within the limits of open sights and trajectory, there's little advantage over heavier, even round nose bullets. I've had the best peformance, both for accuracy and on game with Hornady or Remington 220 grain RN bullets launched at around 2000 fps with either 4350 or 4831. They mushroom beautifully while retaining lots of weight, giving an amazing combo of wound channel and penetration. It will have you rethinking fast loads in your other guns, except when you need flat trajectory for long range shooting.

    Hats off for your interest in hunting with the rifle to honor great hunters past!

  10. #10
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider is cast bullets.........I personaly get alot of satisfaction and enjoyment out of casting my own and the 30/40 is reported to be an excellent choice for cast bullets. I know there are a few round nose moulds of 200+ gr in 30 cal that should shoot great for you. Of course if casting bullets is not your thing, I am confident that you will get many years of enjoyment shooting jacketed bullets.

  11. #11

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    Good point Alangaq. My only disappointment in mine is that once I got all the copper out, the bore was revealed to be a little too rough for cast bullets. I had big plans for using them, but I know leading is likely to be fierce. Drat. If the bore is smooth after all copper is removed, I'd expect it to be a very good cast bullet gun.

    You may read lots about the current fad, hard cast, but for the Krag I'd be really inclined to use Lyman #2 Alloy and a gas check. Based on my experience with cast bullets in the ballistically similar (in cast bullet terms anyway) 30-30, 32 Special and 35 Remington, a Lyman #311407 or #31141 at 1800-2000 fps should whack deer-sized game hard, and maybe even expand a little. The RCBS #82014 or #82020 (my favorite) are also good options. Youcan get a look at those bullets and a lot more here.

    You can spend less dollars and get fine results with a Lee lube and size kit rather than investing in a dedicated unit like the RCBS or Lyman lubrisizers.

  12. #12
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    You can get just bout any cast bullet you want from Beartooth Bullets,
    ( www.beartoothbullets.com ) and they're good ones too.

    I'd try'em even if the bore is, a little rough.

    Smitty of the North
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  13. #13

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    Yeah, Beartooth is a good suggestion to try different varieties before buying a mold. But rough bores and cast bullets don't go well together in my long experience. Not only will leading be fierce, but accuracy is also likely to suffer.

    The one exception I can accept (sort of) is my 38-56 Model 1886. Not only is it's bore rough, but the rifling is also really shallow. It will keyhole jacketed bullets reliably at 50 yards and probably not even hit the paper half the time at 100 yards. But with good clean bore it will do 3" or so at 50 yards and 6-8" at 100 yards with cast bullets. But after 20 shots or so, it's time for some serious lead removal. I whacked a couple of deer with it to suit my interests and nature, but otherwise have pretty well retired it altogether. The action is really sound and tight, so the potential of a rebore to 45-70 really nags at the back of my mind, but I really cringe at doing that to any original.

    Back to the 30-40 (sorry for the walkabout), I'm so convinced of its potential value as a cast bullet gun that I've been watching for another with a pristine bore. The rifle and caliber are a ball to shoot, but with the ever-increasing cost of jacketed bullets, I'd like to have a 30-40 that will let me shoot lots of cast bullets without serious leading.

    Jreed- Whatever you stuff through the bore on your 30-40, I think you are going to be a happy camper. Just don't get carried away trying to run up the velocities. Accept it for what it is: A dandy game getter that's terrific fun to shoot.

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    Default good advice

    Thank you all. Great advice. I am definitely not going to push the velocity in this rifle. I plan on sticking to the 200 or 220 grain bullets and probably round nose at that. I believe around 2000 fps was the original velocity for this round also. Heavy round nose bullets are kind of a preference for me anyway. I've seen what they can do.
    If you see someone at the range shooting a long barreled old Krag with notches cut in the stock, stop by and say hi.
    Never give a gun to a duck...

  15. #15
    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    Cool rifle! I too inherited one from a very close elder friend for christmas a couple years ago. One of the best shooting rifles I own! Very smooth and a tack driver to boot. Mines completely stock and I plan on keeping it that way. It was passed on by a elder to my friend when he was 15yrs (65 now) and now passed on to me, very special rifle.
    Enjoy your 30-40 Krag, it probly holds some great memories.

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