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1898 vs 1902 Krag Sight Ladder Differences? (Read 196 times)
Robidouxs
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1898 vs 1902 Krag Sight Ladder Differences?
Oct 18th, 2018 at 5:12am
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I have noticed there appear to be three different variations for the Krag 1902 sight ladder but I am not sure if my assessment is 100% correct.

1) 20 numbered hatch marks with a single line struck through the center of each number.  Has prominent raised serrations on side of sight ladder to catch elevation detent.

2) 20 numbered hatch marks with a single line struck through the center of each number.  Has fine serrations (almost nonexistent) on side of sight ladder to catch elevation detent.

3) 20 numbered hatch marks with line next to side of each ladder number.  Contains three 25 yard hatch markings between each of the 20 numbered hatch marks.  Has fine serrations (almost nonexistent) on side of sight ladder to catch elevation detent.

Are any of these sight ladders correct or not correct for the 1898 or 1902 Krag?  I can’t find much in the way for details on the 1898 and 1902 Krag sight ladder variations.
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: 1898 vs 1902 Krag Sight Ladder Differences?
Reply #1 - Oct 18th, 2018 at 7:05am
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'Robidouxs' - Brophy's book, "The Krag Rifle", and Poyer's book, "The American Krag Rifle and Carbine", do a pretty good job of explaining the five (or more) variations of the model 1902 (Krag) rifle sight.

FWIW - My long answer to a short question:

Your reasoning is in the 'ball park'. There may actually be four 'leaf' variations, on the model 1902 sight. (There are also other model 1902 sight features that changed, which makes for a whole lot of legitimate model 1902 sight variations)!

The model 1902 sight 'story' is even more complex, in part, because two other sights would later be a source of repair parts.

The model 1898 sight, (which was discontinued, when the 'hotter' 2,200 fps cartridge that it was sighted for, was abandoned), is kind of the ancestor of the 1902 sight.

The original sight for the 1903, "Rod-Bayonet", Springfield was kind of an 'offspring' of the model 1902 sight.

These two mentioned sights were discontinued, but, they were to provide some parts that were utilized in building or in repairing model 1902 sights.

The model 1898 sight, designed by Lt. Tracy C. Dickson, had a leaf calibrated like most model 1902 sights. The numbers went to "20" with a line going through each number. However, the side of the leaf was smooth, (no serrations), and the eye-piece had three sighting notches.

The leaf and eye-piece from many model 1898 sights were eventually salvaged and reused. The leaf had serrations added to the left edge and the two outside sight notches were ground off.

These modified leaf and eye-piece assemblies were put on a model 1902 base and became a variant of the 1902 sight.
(The 1898 bases and springs likely became scrap and were bought up by surplus dealers, like Bannerman).
The original slide 'locking-knob' on the 1898 sight was un-slotted. These were likely changed to a slotted-type in the salvage process.

photos: A model 1898 sight and a model 1902 sight variant, that uses a modified 1898 eye-piece and Lt. T.C. Dickson
« Last Edit: Oct 19th, 2018 at 3:42am by butlersrangers »  
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butlersrangers
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Re: 1898 vs 1902 Krag Sight Ladder Differences?
Reply #2 - Oct 18th, 2018 at 7:49am
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The first model 1902 sight had a 'leaf', like the model 1898 sight, but, fine serrations were machined on the left-side of the leaf. The slide 'locking-knob' was initially 'unslotted', but, eventually had a slot added, so that a cartridge rim could be used to tighten it. (The base of the 1902 sight is taller and has a different spring and curvature, than the model 1898 sight).

The next variant of the model 1902 sight had the leaf serrations changed to coarse serrations. Leaf graduations remained the same.

Eventually, a swing-up plate with a 'peep' was added to many, (but not all), of the 1902 sights.

(FWIW - I have seen drawings of another 'leaf' variation in manuals and a photo in Mallory's, "The Krag Rifle Story". This 1902 leaf has 'graduation lines' that do not go through, but, stop at the edge of the sight numbers.
I don't have one. I cannot recall, if I have ever really seen one. They are another interesting variant).

IIRC - The 1902 sight variation, that uses an altered 1898 leaf and eye-piece, was likely introduced, as a cost saving measure.

A final variation of the 1902 sight used the leaf, slide-locking knob, and eye-piece from early 1903 Rod-Bayonet Springfield sights. This leaf, (approved April, 1904), had fine 25 yard increments between the numbered graduations. On the left-side of the leaf was a fine 'cross-hatching' The 'locking-knob' had been slotted and 'dished', so that the rimless .30-03 cartridge could be used to tighten or loosen the knob.

These 1903 sight parts, (for a sight discontinued in 1905), were workable on the 1902 Krag sight.

The parts seem to have been used by Springfield and/or arsenals to rebuild or repair damaged Krag sights, up to the end of WW1. Lots of model 1902 sights have the 1903 knob and leaf. They are 'correct'.
« Last Edit: Oct 18th, 2018 at 9:06pm by butlersrangers »  
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butlersrangers
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Re: 1898 vs 1902 Krag Sight Ladder Differences?
Reply #3 - Nov 2nd, 2018 at 2:10am
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FWIW - I ordered an example of this sight-leaf from 'Movieman 630', (a.k.a. - 'Grandpa's Gun Parts'). It is listed as being for the 'Rod-Bayonet' 1903 Springfield.

I did not have an example of a leaf, with hundred yard lines, that stop short of the numerals, (except for, the 1903 leaf with 25 yard intermediate increments).

This type of leaf shows up in sketches of Krag model 1902 sights used in the Krag Ordnance manual, printed in 1917, and in 'Match Shooter Score-Books', printed soon after WW1

I wonder if this leaf was kind of a transition between the model 1902 leaf and the Springfield 1903 leaf with 25 yard increments?

It will be interesting to see the style of serrations, on the left-side of this leaf, when it arrives.

I have one of those peculiar & unused, (pre-1903), Springfield 'experimental' rear-sight bases, I may display it on.

(I am such a sight 'Junkie')!
« Last Edit: Nov 2nd, 2018 at 3:19am by butlersrangers »  
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