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Old January 29, 2014, 12:02 PM   #1
chan gray
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Join Date: January 29, 2014
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oh boy , have i got a problem, 30-40 krag

ok, it,s not all a bad problem , she brought home her grandfathers 1898 springfield , chamberd, for 30/40 and i am scared to death to touch this gun as i know nothing about them.
the gun show,s pitting on the barrel , and a touchy bore as they have shot this gun over the year,s and nobody understood corrosive primers.
please help if you can.
thanks chan
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Old January 29, 2014, 01:26 PM   #2
Art Eatman
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I'd carefully disassemble it. External rust? Fine steel wool and WD40; gentle rubbing. Wipe it down to near-dry with RemOil or equivalent.

Grungy bore? About all you can do is clean it with a copper-remover and then oil it.

Shoot it and try it. Even if it shoots poorly, it's still part of the family.
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Old January 29, 2014, 02:14 PM   #3
James K
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Those Krags, if in original condition, are getting pricey. Do not go beyond careful cleaning. You can use any good furniture polish/cleaner on the wood. FWIW, I recommend G96 Gun treatment for cleaning both the outside metal and the barrel. If there appears to be lumpy fouling in the barrel try an ammonia based cleaner but use care to keep it in the barrel and away from the wood, and don't leave it in the barrel very long.

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Old January 29, 2014, 03:27 PM   #4
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IMO the Krag is one the most beautiful service rifles ever made. They are works of art. They are not the strongest action around, but will handle factory ammo or sane reloads just fine. Might have a smith check it before if you plan to shoot it.

They are getting pricey, for sure, especially the Carbine Models. If it hasn't been cut up best to leave it be. Worth much more in original condition. If it's been drilled or cut then you can do what you please. Damage is done.

Ammo is still out there and it's easy to reload the 30-40 as it uses standard .308" bullets available everywhere.

After searching for years I found this one in 1991 at a show and bagged it for $80. The stock was heavily and badly "customized" so I bought a semi-inletted (emphasis on the semi as it required MUCH more fitting than I anticipated) stock and replaced the ugly front sight with a Williams ramp.

I like it.

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Old January 30, 2014, 06:11 AM   #5
chan gray
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Guy,s thank you for taking the time to help!
Wife bought me a Mosin last year and it didnt bother me a bit to clean that old gun up. But when there is a lot of family history involved with a gun i sure like to ask for advice!

thanks chan
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Old January 30, 2014, 07:43 AM   #6
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Welcome to TFL. Maybe you could post some pictures of the rifle when you are done cleaning it.
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Old January 30, 2014, 10:21 AM   #7
Bart B.
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Chan, that old Krag is the same type of rifle the USA Long Range Rifle Team (Palma) used in 1903 to beat all the other countries competing. They were barreled by a famous gunsmith at the time; Harry Pope. It's ammo's been used to drop game ranging from prairie barkers to polar bears.
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Old January 30, 2014, 10:26 AM   #8
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Shoot it:

Bore may be pitted, but it may shoot. Wont know until you try it.

I have several USGI Vintage Rifles, the Krag is one of my favorites and the most fun to shoot. You wont find any smoother actions then you'll find on the Krag. I don't know what sights you have on yours (pictures would help). Mine (also a '98) has 1901 sights and I find they are perfectly set for using 220 gr. RN bullets between 1900-2000 fps. Don't load hot you can crack the lug.

The Krag is a rugged military battle rifle and you aren't going to hurt it shooting it.

I used mine in a 3-gun match and it was quite the hit. They are pretty dern accurate.

Three Gun Match:

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Old January 31, 2014, 02:03 PM   #9
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Pictures would help a lot. We need to know if it is a full length rifle, a genuine carbine, or a cut-down rifle, carbine length. The latter is the most commonly encountered Krag at gun shows and on ratty used gun racks. Is the wood strictly stock, or is it cut down from rifle length, or has someone put a sporter stock on? Does it show any evidence at all of stupid, amateur gunsmithing (common on Krags)? If it is a full length rifle or a genuine carbine, it should be left alone, maybe very light cleaning only.

If you are thinking of shooting it, the bolt and trigger should function well, and it is OK to dry fire it a time or two to check this out. The magazine cover on the right side should snap open and closed. It should take a bit of thumb muscle to open it. When the magazine gate is open you will see a lever with a round, semi-cylindrical shape at the rear end. This is the cartridge follower. It will snuggle against the top of the inside of the gate. Close the gate and the follower will move into the magazine well. If there are cartridges, the follower will push them up for loading when the bolt is closed. The lever at the left rear of the receiver is a magazine "cutoff," which allowed the gun to be used as a repeater or as a single shot.

Take a look at the bolt. The end or face of the bolt has a thin rim that completely encircles the rim of the case. The rim should have no cracks or breaks in it. Clean up the bolt around the locking lug and use a magnifying glass to look for a crack along the sides or rear of the lug where it joins the bolt.

All of this advice could be ignored simply by taking the Krag to a good gunsmith for a lookover. Always the best advice. I have looked at Krag-Jorgensens for years at gun shows and in shops, and I have never seen one that did not function. They were all made at Springfield armory and they were among the best made of all the world's military arms.

I have three Krags, a nice carbine, a well-executed sporter with a Fajen's stock, and a beater with a butchered sporter stock and a counter-bored barrel. Not one of them has a bore that anyone would say looked "good," but they all shoot factory loads and handloads tolerably well, and the carbine is very accurate, often putting three rounds in less than an inch.
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Old January 31, 2014, 04:00 PM   #10
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It's one of the rifles I truly regret letting go of,,,

It's one of the rifles I truly regret letting go of,,,
It was my father's deer hunting rifle from some unknown source.

My father was killed in a truck accident when I was an infant,,,
I do have several treasured things that were his,,,
But my sisters sons had nothing of his.

Both of my nephews hunt so I gave the Krag to the eldest,,,
The younger got his very nice Mossberg shotgun.

Unfortunately (in my mind) the Krag immediately went into a closet,,,
That was 32 years ago and as far as I know,,,
The rifle hasn't seen daylight since.

What an elegant piece of machinery,,,
Too bad it's just sitting all alone in the dark.


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Old February 3, 2014, 01:27 PM   #11
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They were all made at Springfield armory..
All the US Krags were...

I've got a Norwegian one, 1897 date 3 digit serial #
cal 6.5x55mm

All the advice given so far is good. Krags only have one locking lug, so its a critical area. Some old references will show the .30-40 220grbullet at 2200fps, but 2000fps is realistic and sane for the Krag rifle. The 180 can make 2200fps but don't go beyond that, bad ju ju, and no need to do it.

Krags are about the slickest working bolt actions you are gonna see. The first thing civilian buyers usually did was chop off all the "excess" wood. Krags with unaltered GI stocks are worth a lot.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old February 4, 2014, 09:59 AM   #12
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Where are the pictures?
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Old February 7, 2014, 11:04 AM   #13
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Have fun with that Krag. I have had a few over the years. My latest is a NRA Krag Carbine from the 1920's. Swab the bore with a bore cleaner like Hoppe's, neutralize with rem oil soaked patches, and use a .30 cal bore brush. Wipe clean with an oiled patch. Should clean up OK, and you will see any pitting, etc.
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Old February 8, 2014, 09:01 AM   #14
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I posted this here awhile back and Im just to lazy to rehash.

My dad picked up an old Krag off a boy we were staying with hunting one year. He paid $10 for it. It had been sitting behind a door in the kitchen for years, and wasnt the prettiest. Barrel had been cut to carbine length, an 03 type front sight added, along with a Lyman type receiver peep, which sits where the mag cutoff was, which is missing. The original rear sight was removed and the holes filled. The stock had been cut down at both ends, apparently for a kid, and then repaired later on. Bluing was still there, but with a lot of light rust.

I found a decent cut down stock on EBay for $30, along with another that wasnt as nice, but had the metal the other was missing, that was another $30 or so, but I put it back on EBay and got it right back. Got a nice front band and sling swivel on there too for $15.

It looks like this now......

This was the first 10 rounds through the gun trying it out, offhand at 25 yards.

Its a good shooter, and pleasant to shoot, which wasnt something I remember shooting my first as a kid.

The first rifle I ever bought with my own money, was a "real" Krag Carbine (ring and all) I got off a kid I went to school with who lived down the road back in the 60's. I paid $15 for it along with two boxes of shells. It was in real nice shape (still is too). I gave it to my youngest brother when he turned 12. He still has it and wont give it up.
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Old February 8, 2014, 06:20 PM   #15
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As stated, copper cleaner to start and follow the clean out or your copper brush will get eaten a bit.

I use a mix of Kroil and Hoppes 9 (50 50), clean normally then get more in the bore with the copper brush (Nylon is not aggressive enough) and then repeat.

It won't make it pristine but will clean out the grunge as much as can be done. If its shootable a bit of shooting and repeat. Keep doing it unitl its not getting any better.

If the chamber is ok then a bit of pitting shooting is ok. If its really bad then clean up nicely and its an heirloom.

Hope to get one someday, great guns.
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