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 10 Krag action wrench (Read 1781 times)
skeet1
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Krag action wrench
Jun 20th, 2017 at 1:55am
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I have a complete 1898 Krag that I want to get shooting again and have purchased a used but good original 30" Krag barrel. The barrel on my Krag is in very poor shape I have cleaned it the best I can but it still looks like the inside of a sewer pipe with the rifling completely gone at the end of the barrel. So I am in need of a Krag action wrench. Does anyone have any suggestions.

Ar far as the original barrel on the rifle goes after removing it, I am thinking that maybe I could cut it to 22" so someone might be able to use it for building a carbine, it may be good enough for that. The rifling is much better at the beginning of the barrel.

Ken
« Last Edit: Jul 14th, 2017 at 9:25pm by skeet1 »  
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FredC
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Re: Krag action wrench
Reply #1 - Jun 20th, 2017 at 2:05pm
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I built some tools and rebarreled a Krag recently. I documented some of it in this thread. (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
If you have a milling machine the clamp for the receiver is not hard to build. Mine is 3/4 thick aluminum, with a 1/8 pin to place up next to the receiver box to prevent slipping. On mine it would not have been necessary as the barrel was not very tight. I placed the barrel clamp in mill vice with the vice jaws assisting the clamp screws and turned the action clamp with the Crescent "auto" wrench in the foto. Butlers Rangers said the Krag barrels are remarkably interchangeable, that to me suggests that some will be tighter than others to make the sights line up.
If you do not have a mill and can not make the clamp, send me a private message and I can lend you mine.
  
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skeet1
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Re: Krag action wrench
Reply #2 - Jun 20th, 2017 at 2:30pm
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FredC
Thank you for your post this tells me what I need to do, I think I can make this action wrench. I do have a lathe that I can bore the large hole and if needed I have a friend that has a mill. As to your Cresent "Auto Wrench I have a much older model of that same wrench made by some defunct company in Ohio many years ago and it will work well.
  
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Culpeper
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Re: Krag action wrench
Reply #3 - Jun 20th, 2017 at 8:17pm
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The barrels are not that interchangable.  The 96 and earlier barrels are squared off at the breach end and the 98s are rounded over.  You can put a 98 barrel in a 94 or 96 receiver but not a early barrel in a later receiver.
  

Deacon in the Church of the Mighty Krag
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skeet1
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Re: Krag action wrench
Reply #4 - Jul 11th, 2017 at 9:41pm
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FredC,
After making an action wrench similar to yours I got the old barrel off my 1898 Krag today and replaced it with a barrel that was much better. I'm anxious to shoot the rifle now and see if it will group instead of pattern. I also refinished the stock as the rifle when I got it had been refinished sometime it's past and was terrible however the wood itself was in good condition with a 1901 cartouche  on the left side wrist. After removing the old varnish it was found that the wood was very light in color and I think I read someplace that in 1901 they used some Italian walnut that was lighter colored. I don't know if that is true or not. I used some raw linseed oil and put several coats on the wood and it all turned out very good.
  
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FredC
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Re: Krag action wrench
Reply #5 - Jul 11th, 2017 at 10:49pm
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Looks good. I have heard that some years had some lighter Italian walnut. Others will know the details better. I did just read that some process goes on with linseed soaked rags that cause spontaneous combustion. I can not remember if it was boiled or raw linseed oil. In any case it does not hurt to be careful.
How well did the sight and extractor cut line up? Did you have to fudge a little under or over tightening?
Also it would not hurt to check the relative head spacing. An  unfired case in the chamber without the firing pin removed will tell you a lot. Since you are pretty handy with tools, checking the difference in feeler gauges between the bolt rib and receiver, with the bolt pushed forward then backward, would tell you a lot.
  
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skeet1
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Re: Krag action wrench
Reply #6 - Jul 12th, 2017 at 3:34am
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Yes, the witness marks on the barrel and the action lined up perfect with just the right amount of tightening. Also the extractor notch lines up perfect between the barrel and the action. With the wrench I just torqued the action until I felt the barrel bottom out and looking at the wittiness marks it looked like it had about a 1/32nd to 1/16 of an inch further to go. With a small amount of further torque the marks lined up perfect. I am confident that the head space is correct as closing the bolt on a case you can feel it tighten up. If any thing the head space might be to tight. I have all ready fired the rifle and i'm confident that the head space is correct.
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Krag action wrench
Reply #7 - Jul 12th, 2017 at 3:00pm
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'skeet1' - Your photo is not close-up enough to see your stock's wood grain. The color appears to be Italian walnut. Italian walnut stocks have a distinctive grain that is different than American black walnut. (Lots of them have burl and 'tiger stripe').
IIRC, 33,000 Italian walnut stock blanks were purchased in 1899. The Krags using these stocks will usually have 'cartouche dates' of 1899, 1900, and 1901. Some of these stocks were stained at some point. Probably so that they were more uniform with a unit's other Krags.

From what I have read, Krag and 1903 Springfield black walnut stocks (also 1873 Springfield stocks, I bet) were stained with 'logwood stain'.This was done until the late 1920s and gave the walnut issue stocks a reddish-brown color. This was done prior to the stocks being dipped into heated vats of raw linseed oil.

Staining with 'logwood' was discontinued as an armory economy move, in 1928.


You can use the KCA search box and enter "Italian stocks" to bring up prior postings on this subject.
« Last Edit: Jul 12th, 2017 at 4:13pm by butlersrangers »  
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skeet1
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Re: Krag action wrench
Reply #8 - Jul 12th, 2017 at 10:14pm
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butlersrangers,
Thanks for the information.  I do think, especially after the information you gave, that this is one of the Italian walnut stocks. My stock does have some "tiger striping" on the bottom side of the forend. and a small amount on the butt. When refinishing the stock I did stain it with some "dark walnut" stain before using the raw linseed oil and l like the final color.

Ken
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Krag action wrench
Reply #9 - Jul 13th, 2017 at 4:46am
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'Skeet1' - Looks like you did a fine job with your Krag restoration.

We need a range report on the "new" barrel!
  
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skeet1
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Re: Krag action wrench
Reply #10 - Jul 13th, 2017 at 10:10pm
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After putting the better barrel on my action it got me to thinking about how Springfield fit these barrels to their actions. Did they drill and mount the sights after they headspaced the barrel and put the front sight on? Also when in the sequence of events did they cut the extractor notch and put the witness marks on the action and barrel? It would be interesting to read how these rifles were manufactured.
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Krag action wrench the
Reply #11 - Jul 13th, 2017 at 11:18pm
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'Skeet1' - Much to my surprise and against my early assumptions, I have come to believe all of the manufacturing, proofing, and finish operations were performed on Krag barrels, (including extractor notch, sight holes, front sight base, and index mark), prior to the barrel being screwed on to the receiver.

This had to require very careful gauging of parts and 'timing' of the barrel and receiver threads.

A lot of the manufacturing process was documented by 'Scientific American' in April and May of 1899.

Franklin Mallory used a lot of the 'Scientific American' articles in the early chapters of "The Krag Rifle Story".

If you enter Sientific American in the KCA Forum 'search window', you may be able to pull up some posts with manufacturing content.
« Last Edit: Jul 14th, 2017 at 4:53am by butlersrangers »  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Krag action wrench
Reply #12 - Jul 14th, 2017 at 6:22pm
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Scientific American pages from 1899 are viewable on KCA under - U.S. Military Krags - post titled 'De-Milled'.
« Last Edit: Jul 16th, 2017 at 12:20pm by butlersrangers »  
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skeet1
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Re: Krag action wrench
Reply #13 - Aug 19th, 2017 at 6:03pm
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Well today was the day I shot my Krag at paper and for the first go round it grouped at about 3". With some practice I'm sure the group will come down at least another inch. What I am using is 47.0 gr. of WC872, Winchester brass and primers, and for a bullet the Lyman 314299 sized .311. With this load it shoots to point of aim at my 80 yd. range. The barrel I replaced would not hit the paper.
  
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1911Ron
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Re: Krag action wrench
Reply #14 - Aug 19th, 2017 at 8:48pm
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Hurrah another Krag has been reborn!

In my research on using BLO is that you want to leave the rags that you have used in an open area (out of reach for kids and animals) until they are dry, then dispose of properly.
  
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