View Full Version : 1896 30-40 Krag value?

March 21, 2010, 06:40 AM
I have an 1896 30-40 Krag serial# 35630 with a leather strap that says "Lerch Bros. 1917 C.Mc.D" My father bought it off an old gentleman in 1980 who said his father used it in the war (Spanish American?) and never fired it again. That same year, my father took it to a gunsmith who said it was in great shape and useable. It's been in my closet ever since. I'd like to sell it. Anyone know the value and where I'd have the best chance of selling it?

March 21, 2010, 07:57 AM
Tricky. If an original Carbine it's worth a good chunk of change. If it's a cut-down rifle, it's worth from about $300-500.

I should add, if you try to sell it at a gunshop or gunshow, you will be told it's a piece of junk and only worth $150. Take some more detailed pics and post them on a few gun sites. Someone will be able to positively ID it for you.

March 21, 2010, 11:10 AM
Without closer photos it is difficult to determine its originality and value. From the photos it looks to be a cutdown rifle instead of a carbine. In any case the value has been reduced considerably by the removal of the top wood and original rear sight. When however did this they installed a reciever sight and this required drilling and tapping the reciever thus further reducing desireability. While it makes a good shootin iron it does harm value as us collectors want 100% original issue arms. Again closer photos of both sided will help.

Gary L. Griffiths
March 21, 2010, 12:45 PM
Your Krag is definitely a cut-down rifle. There is no retaining spring for the barrel band. It is missing the original rear sight, and handguard, and has a commercial peep sight mounted on the receiver, which would have had to have been altered (at least drilled and tapped) to mount the sight.

Still, it looks like it's in good condition, and would make a fine hunting rifle. You should get somewhere in the $450-500 range at least. I would take some more detailed pictures and put it on gunbroker.com. Set the reserve price at the lowest price you're willing to take for it, and see what offers you get. You can also check out the other Krags there to give you an idea of what it might be worth.

March 21, 2010, 03:00 PM
I have to agree with Gary, no doubt a cut-down. Don't sell it, you still have a great old piece of history there, enjoy it;)

James K
March 21, 2010, 08:19 PM
"his father used it in the war (Spanish American?) and never fired it again."

No one doubts the gentleman believes that, but SOMEONE cut down the stock, and had the peep sight mounted, and it sure wasn't the army. Since most of the "carried in the war" stories are, shall we say, embellished, I suspect the rifle was purchased when Krags were selling at bargain prices and cut down for a hunting rifle. Over the years, the story grew that it was "grandpa's rifle that he carried in the war."

Left alone, it would have been worth $1000 or so today. As is, a couple of hundred as a hunting rifle.


March 22, 2010, 10:38 PM
In the Allentown PA area, similar sporterized krags sell for $150 (REALLY "Bubba-ized) to about $350.
I agree, it's probably a cut-down rifle. If the barrel length is other than 22 inches, it's definitely cut-down. The original rifle had a 30 inch barrel.

N.H. Yankee
March 23, 2010, 09:42 AM
Back when I was in my very early 20's I used to buy Krags for about $50-$70 in N.H. and bring them up to Maine ( Kittery trading post ) and sell them for $20-$30 dollars profit per rifle. I did own a genuine carbine at the time and sold it about 27 years ago, sure wish I had it now.

The one thing you need to check or have checked is the single locking lug, some had a tendency to crack. I had read that the head space should also be checked though owning and selling over 30 of these rifles I never had one with a problem. Around here the cut down Krags are going between $275.00 and 350.00. These are actually nice rifles and perhaps if you don't get offered what you want it may be worth keeping.

James K
March 23, 2010, 11:02 PM
Not surprising that so many were cut down, they were dirt cheap. In the 1920's, the Army was selling Krag rifles for $2.50 (not as little as it sounds today, but a bargain even then), then in the 30's they reduced the price to $1.50 just to get rid of them and free up depot space. A good conversion figure would probably be to multiply by 35 for todays' dollar equivalent.