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Bad rap (Read 179 times)
Bajr
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Bad rap
Nov 9th, 2018 at 12:58am
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I'm kinda new to the world of Krags, and i could be nuts, but at first blush, it appears to me the Krag got a bad rap after the Cuban engagement. With the Spanish fortified on high ground and most of the regular US  troops carring trap doors the out come seams rather predictable. I understand the Krags short comings but it might be a little exaggerated to explain how events unfolded.
  
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Knute1
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Re: Bad rap
Reply #1 - Nov 9th, 2018 at 3:02am
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The Krag Jorgensen Rifle (U.S. Magazine Rifle, .30 Caliber, Model of 1892/1896/1898) was exactly what the Ordnance Department wanted. Over 50 rifles were looked at by a Board in 1892. The clip fed Mauser was one of the rifles considered. The Krag was selected even over this rifle due to fear of soldiers wasting ammo by getting too many shots off. Some older Army officers still preferred the Springfield Trapdoor over the Krag. The Krag has a magazine cut-off, allowing it to be single loaded with 5 rounds in reserve when things got hot.

Losses were great among the U.S. troops, as you stated due to charging up hill. But it was recognized that the Mauser was loaded quicker giving the Spaniards greater firepower by fewer troops who had better cover. But the best I have found looking at period articles, the U.S. troops were proud of and fond of their rifle. The Krag is a well built and accurate weapon, even though the design may have been somewhat outclassed by the Mauser that also used a more powerful cartridge. The next service rifle in 1903 was based on the Mauser design leading to a $1 royalty to Paul Mauser for every 1903 Springfield rifle built limited to a $200,000 payment.

Much experience was obtained during the period that the  Krag was the main service rifle. It was a major step for the U.S. into the smokeless powder, magazine rifle era. Some say that it was obsolete as soon as being adopted. Still, the U.S. had a good showing at the time that the Krag was the main service rifle as it was becoming a world power.

Well, that's my rant in a nutshell.
  
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psteinmayer
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Re: Bad rap
Reply #2 - Nov 10th, 2018 at 12:03am
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The Krag will ALWAYS be my favorite rifle!  The action is hands-down the smoothest operating rifle ever made!  The rifle is easy to load, easy to shoot, and with the right ammo and in the right shooter's hands, extremely accurate too!  Just because the Mauser fired a hotter round, and could be reloaded faster doesn't make it a better rifle... and using a charger, I bet I can reload my Krag faster than any Mauser on the line at Perry!!!

By the way, the Krag, although short lived in regular army service, did have a pretty long life.  Krags were used in Cuba, the Philippines, China, England and France in WW1... and even hung around on Ships and as trainers as late as WWII!
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Bad rap
Reply #3 - Nov 10th, 2018 at 12:11am
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Nicaragua too!
  
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Bajr
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Re: Bad rap
Reply #4 - Nov 10th, 2018 at 1:08am
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It seams to me if all US troops had been outfitted with Krags and been suppoted weith proper artillery the engagements might have been shortened.
It's almost like the rifle was scapegoated.
  
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Knute1
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Re: Bad rap
Reply #5 - Nov 10th, 2018 at 4:07am
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Being of Norwegian descent actually attracted me to find out what the Krag Jorgensen was about. I bought a sporter to get a feel for the rifle. Then when I found out that I had a Great Grandfather that used this rifle in the Philippine Insurrection and Boxer Rebellion it became my favorite rifle design. Then an Uncle sold me a Krag Jorgensen rifle (still in military configuration) out of his gun collection at a more than fair price. Now I can't learn enough about this rifle and share more than most may care to know on what I find.
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Bad rap
Reply #6 - Nov 10th, 2018 at 6:23am
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'knute' - I enjoy your posts and the documents you dig up.

As a group, KCA Members are fun and bring many different interests to the 'table'.

I try to learn something new everyday.
« Last Edit: Nov 10th, 2018 at 7:38am by butlersrangers »  
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Knute1
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Re: Bad rap
Reply #7 - Nov 10th, 2018 at 1:43pm
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And of course the Krag was used by other U.S. government agencies besides the military. It was even used on American citizens (criminals) by law enforcement agencies. I cannot readily find a period article I read last year, but the Internal Revenue Department even had the Krag in the early 1900's to go after moonshiners.

Back to the topic of this post, the Krag Jorgensen rifle had some bad raps other than the effectiveness on the battlefield:

  Too modern
  Not modern enough
  Not an American invention
  Should be more un-American (being more Mauser-like)

That last one might be a stretch, but I think you know what I'm getting at. Everybody has an opinion like everybody has a....a uh......like everybody has a nose. Just like the dog on the right above. It has a nose, too. And it looks like it found a....a uh.....erh a.....like it found an opinion.
« Last Edit: Nov 11th, 2018 at 2:08am by Knute1 »  
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Local Boy
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Re: Bad rap
Reply #8 - Nov 10th, 2018 at 6:24pm
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The U.S. Justice system also used Krag's to keep rabid criminals off the streets.

Wonder who's collection ended up with Gregory's sporterized Krag???
  
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Bajr
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Re: Bad rap
Reply #9 - Nov 11th, 2018 at 2:03am
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A while back i was watching a Hikock45 video of all the US military service rifles, and stuck right in the middle was the Krag. I remembered seeing one in my Grandfather's gun cabinet. That statred me on aquiring one, almost as a homage to my pappy.  I'm glad i did, it's just a sporterized shooter, but it's quicking becoming my favorite.
  
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