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Old October 10, 2012, 10:32 PM   #1
emgun
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Krag-

I just aquired a 1892 Krag. It is in very good condition, bore is perfect, operation is absolutly smooth. I understand that back in the day this was used the smokless powders did not generate as much pressure as todays powders. Anyway, my question is who on the commercial market makes 30-40 that will be safe to shoot in the Krag.
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Old October 10, 2012, 10:50 PM   #2
Gary L. Griffiths
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Any factory loaded .30-40 Krag ammo should be safe to shoot in your '92 Krag, provided it's in good condition. If you have any doubts, have it checked out by a gunsmith.

Unlike the .45-70, you don't find hot-loaded Krag ammo for the few Ruger single-shots and other modern weapons chambered for the old warhorse.
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Old October 11, 2012, 12:38 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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The only thing I know of to look at on a Krag is the single locking lug bolt.

It should be examined for cracks, by Magnaflux, dye penetrant, or the Poor Man's Magnaflux, a gasoline dip.
Unobvious cracks or setback can be found by looking to see if the safety lug - the guide rib - is in contact with the receiver. On an American Krag, it should not be. (Norwegian Krags were fitted with it in contact for the hotter 6.5x55.)
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Old October 12, 2012, 01:34 PM   #4
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Unless a new load has appeared recently, and I can't image that, there are only two factory loads available, one by Winchester, one by Remington, both using 180-grain spitzer bullets. These are both good rounds, the Remington giving a bit higher velocity in my Krag carbine, around 2330 fps. Both brands are very accurate. Brass and reloading dies are readily available for the .30-40 and it presents no problems in reloading. With 180-grain and heavier bullets it likes powders in the W760, H414, IMR 4350, or IMR 4831 range. I load to around 2200 fps to keep pressure on the lower side.
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Old October 12, 2012, 10:18 PM   #5
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The old krag is a sweet shooting rifle. Action is very smooth and has a solid feel. Side magazine is a bit different, but easy to use. Not much to dislike about the old warhorse. It was the first military cartridge to be converted to smokless powder. I was known as the the .30 U.S.

Many were purchaced and sporterized for hunting. I have 2. One in original and one that was sporterized for me when I was young. It was my first deer rifle.

Dont sell this cartridge short. It has taken a lot of game. Balisticly it is about the same as the 7.62x54R which is quite capable of taking deer, elk, moose, and bear at reasonable range. Loaded with 220 gr rn, it is a real thumper. Usually 150 gr is used for deer, 180, for elk, and 220 for moose and bear. My Uncle used it exclusively for hunting for over 50 years. Heart shots seemed to be his specialty. Since he is gone, his grandson hunts with it and is successful.
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Old October 14, 2012, 12:51 AM   #6
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I had a few over the years and they all shot well. The last one was a beauty I picked up at an auction cheap. Nice blue job, Bishop stock, and a side mounted scope. It was unbelievable on a range. Easy held 1/2-5/8 inch 3 shot group @ 100 yards. I am just amazed when I think of what they had to work with back then. The only thing I had against them was weight. Even nicely shortened and sportered up it was like walking through the woods with a '57 Pontiac axle.
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Old October 14, 2012, 09:35 AM   #7
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Emgun

Congratulations on your new Rifle, most factory amunition will be loaded to the pressure requirements of your 30 40 Kraig. Just like most 30 06 is loaded for the pressure required for the 1906 model 1903. You should be fine.
The Kraig Rifle as mentioned earlier was loved by Deer Hunters, it has a Silky Smooth Action, and is usually quite accurate. Remember we love pictures, on this Forum.
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Old October 14, 2012, 05:54 PM   #8
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Likely the smoothest bolt action built, and the only one that allows the magazine to be topped up easially with the bolt closed. I've had several, and had one that had been badly sporterized re-sporterized many years ago into a full lenth Mannlicher-type stocked woods-carbine. It's reliable, smooth, more than adequate for deer, and hand loaded with heavy bullets I'd feel comfortable shooting just about any North American game animal that I could hit with it.

Interesting sidebar: Jeff Cooper used to wax happy on Kraigs as well. He knew good rifles.

They grow on you. Enjoy it!


Willie

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Old October 21, 2012, 01:41 AM   #9
olyinaz
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Quote:
It was the first military cartridge to be converted to smokless powder.
No. The French 8mm Lebel owns that distinction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8mm_Lebel

The Krag, in both .30 US and 6,5mm Norwegian, is certainly a 1st generation smokeless rifle though. And fantastic to boot!

Oly
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Old October 22, 2012, 02:55 PM   #10
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The Krag was not the first smokeless powder military rifle. The French Lebel was issued in 1887 and the German Commission rifle in 1888, both for smokeless powder. The U.S. was not as far behind with the Krag as some books have led one to believe, especially since in the early 1890's there was little danger of war against a nation with anything better. (By 1898, of course, things had changed, but the crystal balls used by Army Ordnance worked the same as mine - with 20/20 hindsight.)

Jim
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Old October 22, 2012, 08:47 PM   #11
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A One War Rifle, but an important part of our military history. Some of its features, such as the side loading magazine, quickly became obsolescent but reflected our tactical thinking at the time. Hold it in your hands and you can find yourself at the foot of El Caney or San Juan Hill.
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Old October 23, 2012, 07:27 PM   #12
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The earliest ones were made in Norway where it was developed .After a few years we modified it and made it here. I would examine any old one for bolt lug cracks in case hot handloads have been used.
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Old October 24, 2012, 10:44 AM   #13
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While the Krag-Jørgensen was developed by Ole Krag and Erik Jørgensen at the Norwegian government's Kongsberg arsenal, it was first adopted by Denmark in 1889. The rifle was first adopted by Norway in 1894, two years after the U.S. adoption.

Both the Danish and Norwegian versions utilize dual locking lugs (though asymetrical); why the U.S. Army made its version with a single locking lug and a non-bearing safety lug is not, as far as I know, known at this point in time.

Jim
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Old October 24, 2012, 11:30 AM   #14
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I think the Krag was quite similiar to other rifles of the period in that it was a magazine rifle loaded one round at a time. The thinking at the time was that was good enough. Anything else would be wasting ammunition. It took a war to demonstrate that was not a good idea. Our war was the Spanish-American War, the British war was the Boer War. The other side in both was armed with Mausers that had charger loading. So after the war, you just had to have charger loading or you were hopelessly old-fashioned.

But the old ways died hard. The 1903 Springfield had a magazine cutoff and so did some of the Lee-Enfields. Even Jeff Cooper believed his ideal Scout Rifle should have a provision for a magazine cutoff. And you thought he was progressive.
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Old October 26, 2012, 08:27 PM   #15
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There has been a lot of misunderstanding about magazine cutoffs, some of it put out in recent books describing mules hauling tons of ammo through the mud and other, well, stories.

Back in the day, as they say, the "wastage" of ammunition in general was not the big concern, though of course it was (and is) always a consideration. The concept was to fire on the enemy in the single shot mode while "holding the magazine in reserve". In reserve for what? Well, remember that was the 1890s for the Krag and the very early 20th century for the 1903. At that time, the big concerns of infantry were a cavalry charge and a flank attack. Either required accurate rapid fire to avoid being overrun.

So the concern was not so much to save ammunition in general, but to keep it in reserve for specific tactical situations. It didn't matter how much ammunition was in the supply wagons, or in the crates, or even in the cartridge belts; when extra ammunition was needed in a hurry, the best place for it was in the magazine of the rifle.

Jim
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Old October 26, 2012, 09:41 PM   #16
Willie Sutton
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"Even Jeff Cooper believed his ideal Scout Rifle should have a provision for a magazine cutoff"



From personal conversations with the Colonel, he believed that the Krag would make one of the prototypical actions for the scout rifle. He particularly thought highly of the ability to top off the magazine with the bolt closed. The unreconcilable problem was that it would not accept a .308 round from a strength standpoint and the .308 was almost a requirement from a standardization standpoint. He then moved to the CZ and Remington 660 actions as being possibles, then later to the Remington Model 7. I am lucky enough to have both a proto-scout made from a Krag and another true "first gen scout" made at Gunsite on a Remington Model 7, in The Colonels favorite, the .350 Rem Mag "Fireplug". The late 80's were halcyon years at Gunsite.

In any event... the Krag has a long and honorable pedigree. It's still regarded well by those who know.


Willie


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Old October 28, 2012, 06:17 AM   #17
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While what you say, Mr. James K., is correct, there was a certain resistance to machine guns (and later, sub-machine guns) because it was believed they wasted ammunition and that they had got by without them just fine. Of course, not everyone believed that.

Whether or not it was being wasted is one thing. But whether or not you can keep up with the ammuntion being expended is another. There were places during WWII (I wasn't there, you understand) where ammunition resupply was partly by mule. German mountain troops fighting in the Caucuses (against Caucasians, I assume) had to make do with mules, sometimes. There were no paved roads and vehicles when present would have to go through mud up to their axles. For machine guns in particular, and German machine guns could go through a lot of ammo real fast, it was a question of fire discipline.

At the time of the Krag, volley fire was still an infantry tactic.
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Old October 28, 2012, 08:09 PM   #18
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US tactical strategic doctrine when the Krag was adopted was almost exclusively defensive. So how did the Krag see its service-in a foreign expedition. Remember it was a time of very rapid changes in weapons and tactics. The British SOP for their Lee-Metfords was to have the soldier single load, and basically fire on command and change magazines when the magazine in the rifle ran dry, change it, they quickly adopted charger load and kept the magazine in the rifle. The tubular magazine was quickly proved unsatisfactory, at the Battle of Concon during the Chilean Civil War of 1891 it
was the Kropatschek rifle had a good rate of fire but was too slow to reload.
The U.S. Army relied on mules during the Italian Campaign in WWII, I have seen pictures of pack animals being used in the Phillipines during the rainy season. So some of the concerns about ammo wastage have some validity.
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Old October 28, 2012, 08:16 PM   #19
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I might note that "volley fire" is about the opposite of saving ammunition; it is inherently wasteful and rarely produced any positive result, even on enemy morale. But it sounded good when someone said it fast.

Sure, in some tactical situations, supply of ammuntiion (and everything else) can become critical, but I say again that ammunition usage, in general, was not a big consideration in rifle design; the German and Japanese rifles never had cutoffs, the designers feeling that clip loading allowed reloading fast enough. The British took the one off their SMLE; their Pattern 1913/14 and the U.S. M1917 never had one, nor did the U.S. M1 rifle. That was due to changes in tactics; had "wastage" of ammunition been a serious concern, semi-auto rifles would never have been issued.

Even so, small area shortages did exist, fire discipline needed to be exercised to save ammo; that was a command problem, not one of rifle design. Still, the adoption of the M14 was said by the Army to alleviate the condition in which soldiers armed with the M1 would fire off the remaining rounds in a clip and reload with a full clip when expecting action. So ammo wastage was not unknown or ignored.

Just to put things in perspective on ammo supply. In the period from late 1941 to mid-1945, one U.S. factory, the Army's Frankford Arsenal, produced 1.2 million rounds of .30 ammunition a day. There was no overall ammuntion shortage, even for the Germans. I knew a U.S. Army captain who was assigned, after V-E day, to inventory a German arms and ammunition depot. Among the stores was 5 million rounds of brass case 7.9mm ammo that had been turned back by the Luftwaffe as not up to their standards; it was being held for issue to ground troops, but the destroyed rail and road networks prevented it being shipped.

Jim
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Old October 29, 2012, 06:31 AM   #20
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I wasn't implying that volley fire was an economy measure, only that it was a practice from the same period as both single-shot rifles and magazine cut-offs on repeaters. It was mainly for long-range use, I believe.

The idea of wasting ammunition had not died out entirely by the beginning of WWII, only by then it was more in the nature of a reluctance in several armies to adopt submachine guns. There was just as much change in infantry weapons around 1940 as there was around 1900. As regards submachine guns, it was mainly battlefield experience that changed the general's (what the privates thought didn't matter) opinions of submachine guns. The Soviets in particular went in for them big time. But mostly the idea of wasting ammuntion was something from an earlier period, which it had not been confined to small arms either.

In wartime, everything is in short supply, and getting it to the front line soldier was the critical link, especially for overseas operations. Very likely the German navy destroyed as many US tanks as the German army.
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Old October 29, 2012, 03:50 PM   #21
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I think the Soviets went big for SMGs for the simple reason that they were cheap and easy to produce. Reportedly, they made SMG barrels by cutting worn barrels from M91 rifles to get rid of the worst corroded/eroded parts, accuracy not mattering much with an SMG.

FWIW, volley fire was not fire "aimed" at something like a line of enemy troops; it was aimed at an area that might not even be visible, like a railroad depot on the other side of a hill where enemy soldiers were detraining. The distance was determined by map, the aiming point would be something in the right direction that was visible, like a steeple or a prominent tree, and a whole company or regiment would fire on command. Did they hit anything? Maybe, although pretty much by accident. But the idea was not really to kill masses of the enemy, but to demoralize troops who had no idea if they would be next to be struck by an unseen bullet from an unseen enemy.

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Old October 29, 2012, 03:58 PM   #22
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The SMG was at best a stopgap measure, at worst a step backwards.

Compared to the assault rifles of the mid-20th century, they were heavy, underpowered, and hard to keep fed..... and best suited to conscripted troops.

You don't see them issued anymore to combat troops because there are better options.
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Old October 30, 2012, 07:12 AM   #23
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I agree that the modern intermediate cartridge assault rifle has made the sub-machine gun mostly obsolete. But I see the old attitudes are still alive and well. Their only disadvantage was the lower power of the cartridge. True, they were heavy but so are most assault rifles, including an M4 carbine with all the gadgets attached. In comparison, an M1 carbine is quite light. Please note that I am not calling an M1 carbine either a submachine gun or assault rifle; only that it is relatively light.

How are submachine guns "harder to keep fed?"

And Mr. James K, volley fire was aimed fire. That's why those old rifles had sights that went up to high ranges. Volley fire is not indirect fire.
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Old October 30, 2012, 08:08 AM   #24
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How are submachine guns "harder to keep fed?"
High cyclic rates= high ammo consumption.

Heavy bullets + high consumption = logistical headache

A .45 ACP cartridge weighs almost what an M-2 ball does add the weight of the magazines and the .45 loses...... and gets shot up much faster.

How long would a Tommy gun armed soldier take to burn up his basic load?
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Old October 30, 2012, 08:11 AM   #25
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About as long as a man with an M-16.
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