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Is The Krag Rifle of Foreign Design? (Read 167 times)
Knute1
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Is The Krag Rifle of Foreign Design?
Oct 20th, 2018 at 12:29am
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Now here is some controversy about the Krag Jorgensen design. Andrew Russell, Captain of Ordnance  (U.S. Army), had some rifle design patents. He claimed that the Krag Jorgensen infringed upon some of his patents. He took it to court and wanted $100,000 in damages. So here is a member of the Ordnance Department taking the U.S.A to court. He did not win because the U.S.A. is not an individual and can't be sued unless it allows you to. How's that for a judgment? He may actually have had a case. This would mean that the Krag Jorgensen is actually of American design. A bit of a twist, isn't it? Here is a link to Cornell Law School. You don't have to be a lawyer to understand this Supreme Court case, but it probably helps some. Personally, I read the beginning and the end. I've run across this before, but had other things I wanted to get to first.

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Knute1
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Re: Is The Krag Rifle of Foreign Design?
Reply #1 - Oct 20th, 2018 at 1:10am
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Oh boy, I got myself spun up now. This next little research may lead to proof that (I can hardly say it as blasphemous as it may appear):
"The Krag Jorgensen Rifle design is more American than the 1903 Springfield Rifle design."
I am not a firearm expert, actually a mechanical engineer by trade. But this will be researched further and I believe we will learn some hidden truths on the subject.
If this has already been researched, somebody please clue me in. I'm about to take off and go into orbit.
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Is The Krag Rifle of Foreign Design?
Reply #2 - Oct 20th, 2018 at 4:58am
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knute - I looked at the patent drawings for Andrew H. Russell's patent, #230823.

His magazine operates vertically and is off-set to the right of the trigger guard assembly and barrel breech.

The bolt-handle is a 'wimpy' thing and appears to fold forward.

FWIW - I don't see anything in the drawings that is remotely like the Krag-Jorgensen design.
  
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Knute1
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Re: Is The Krag Rifle of Foreign Design?
Reply #3 - Oct 20th, 2018 at 6:11am
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Do you hear bubbles popping in the background? I had too much sugar tonight. But I'll still do a little more looking into it. Russell believed so much in himself that I think he did go after Krag Jorgensen after loosing against the U.S.A in the Supreme Court on a kind of technicality. I'm curious how he was treated at the Ordnance Department that he worked for. Just seems like a strange situation.
  
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Knute1
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Re: Is The Krag Rifle of Foreign Design?
Reply #4 - Oct 20th, 2018 at 2:25pm
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Not only did Captain Andrew Russell take issue with alleged infringements on his patents, but he also submitted (2) rifles with Livermore to the Board On Magazine Guns. These were rifles #41 and #42. Their rifles didn't do too well in the trials. Below is the report on these rifles from the Board.

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Knute1
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Re: Is The Krag Rifle of Foreign Design?
Reply #5 - Oct 20th, 2018 at 10:38pm
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Here's the skinny on Andrew H. Russell
Class of 1871 West Point Graduate. 2nd Lieut. in 3rd Calvary. 1st Lieut. as instructor of gunnery and ordnance, Capt. of ordnance, retired as Colonel in Ordnance Department in 1908 after 40 years of service. He was never assigned to the armory in Springfield. (He served some later years in the ordnance dept. in the Philippines.)
In 1880 he and a guy named Livermore were granted a patent. He and Livermore had submitted two rifles as seen above to the Board on Magazine Guns. The Krag Jorgensen was selected by this Board. Russell had petitioned the Chief of Ordnance of the U.S. Army on infringement on his patent by the Krag Jorgensen design. This made it to the Supreme Court. However, the contract with Krag Jorgensen had an indemnification clause that held the U.S.A. safe against any alleged patent infringements and it would be solely the responsibility of Krag Jorgensen to handle. And that is what the Supreme Court used to hand down an answer to Russell and Livermore. End of story?
In a 1906 Military Journal Russell had an article on service rifles. By then the clip-fed 1903 Springfield was out and he had this bold claim:

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Looks like he tried to get some validity most of his military life and never got much credit for anything, deserved or not. His petition on his patent infringement was likely of some concern at the Ordnance Department. They were already fighting off a second look at American designs as directed by Congress and now they had somebody within the U.S. Army (in Ordnance) crying foul on the Krag design. Had to be a tenuous time.
  
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