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New Guy Questions about buying (Read 232 times)
Andylit
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New Guy Questions about buying
Nov 16th, 2018 at 7:10pm
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Hello all. I have the bug. Not sure why after all these years but I have been recently afflicted with the military bolt action mania. The boy got himself an old 8mm Mauser. As I was waiting around I was taken home by...errr... took home an old Nagant. There is a Springfield 1903 begging to come home with me as well

And, I MUST acquire a Jorgensen. The question is, which one. I want a decent looking specimen that I can also take out and run a box or 3 through every now and then. And I prefer to be able to hit the target.

I see a variety available at gunbroker. Assuming truth in advertising, should I be looking only at the 1898's, or will a decent 1894 serve my needs?

How do the carbines compare with the full size rifles for handling and shooting? I won't be hunting with it, just normal range firing.

What should I look for, what should I avoid? I know prices are subjective, but assume I'm not looking for a museum quality or unissued rifle. What price ranges are fair and reasonable.

Thanks i advance.

Andy
  
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psteinmayer
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Re: New Guy Questions about buying
Reply #1 - Nov 16th, 2018 at 7:40pm
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Howdy!  Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Krags!

Any Krag you wind up with would be great... as all Krags are, but since you are looking for one in "As Issued" military condition, then I would look to start with a Rifle.  Carbines are out there, but can be pricey.  Also, many carbines have been faked, especially 1898s, so you'll have to be cautious.  Rifle's are a plenty, and can run from $800 up to over $1,200 depending on condition. 

As far as Rifle over Carbine where accuracy is concerned, I couldn't say.  But last couple years, there has been a Carbine on the line for the Roosevelt Match at Camp Perry!

Check the classifieds on this forum.  There's a pretty decent looking 1898 Rifle for sale for $850 plus shipping and insurance.  You could do a lot worse!
  
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Whig
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Re: New Guy Questions about buying
Reply #2 - Nov 17th, 2018 at 3:25am
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You could get tons of advice that would confuse and confound you to death from websites and know-it-alls you might talk to. This forum is and always has been the best source for friendly help in searching for a new Krag and understanding what you have once you've gotten one.

Some simple things to keep in mind are to try to buy one from a reputable source. Many people selling firearms don't know what they have and might misrepresent the firearm on purpose or by accident. Only trust people who know about Krags when getting advice.

You want an actual shootable rifle or carbine so that means the firearm you get needs a relatively decent bore, not totally shot out or rusted. If you get a pitted bore, it can still shoot very accurately but might need to be checked for actual size of the bore if it is worn to determine what size bullet you need. It's easiest to stay with one in better shape so you can use readily available ammunition and don't need something special.

The bolt and chamber should be checked by someone who has some experience in examining a firearm for damage that might make it unsafe to shoot. Some Krags can have a cracked bolt that can be a problem. Safety first!

Many of us who own and shoot Krags prefer a sight that has enough adjustability to it to be easier to get on target. The later 1902 sights have a neat peep sight built into the back of the sight that makes it an easy one to use for longer distances. Some of us ream out or drill the peep hole slightly bigger to make it easier to see the front sight. The 1901 sights also have a windage adjustment on them. The earlier 1896 rifle and carbine sights don't adjust as much and it is harder to shoot accurately if the firearm is not shooting to point of aim.

You would do yourself a favor to buy Poyer's book on Krags from ebay. They are usually only about $20.

This is a short summary of some ideas to keep in mind when looking to get into Krag collecting! More to come...
  
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Andylit
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Re: New Guy Questions about buying
Reply #3 - Nov 17th, 2018 at 6:30am
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Whig wrote on Nov 17th, 2018 at 3:25am:
You would do yourself a favor to buy Poyer's book on Krags from ebay. They are usually only about $20.

This is a short summary of some ideas to keep in mind when looking to get into Krag collecting! More to come...


Thank you. I ordered the book tonight.
  
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Local Boy
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Re: New Guy Questions about buying
Reply #4 - Nov 17th, 2018 at 11:13am
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Aloha and welcome to the forum Andylit!

FWIW: I would shoot for an 1898 Krag rifle since they seem to be more plentiful than other models, can be found in very good condition and seem to be reasonably priced, relatively speaking.

Just be a responsible Krag owner and have your rifle/carbine spayed or neutered.  They have a tendency to multiply and you'll find yourself spending lots of money on the special 30-40 feed blend that they require.

Additionally, what Olympia Dukakis's character Clairee Belcher says in the movie "Steel Magnolias" holds true with Krag owners:

"The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize."

Bayonets, muzzle covers, period correct slings, cleaning rods...
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: New Guy Questions about buying
Reply #5 - Nov 17th, 2018 at 3:49pm
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"Andylit" - Welcome to the KCA Forum (which houses a big range of 'gun guys' with varying interests):

There are strict collectors, heirs to the family heirloom, competitive shooters, shooter/hunters, 'gun tinkers', re-loaders, 'Cast bullet' enthusiasts, shooter-collectors, historians and living-history types. We are united by an interest in the Krag-Jorgensen.

You are being well advised. Doing lots of study, before spending, is wise, rewarding, and adds to the fun.

You ultimately need to define what is going to satisfy you and how you invest your money.

FWIW: Many of us started out with a "cut-down" Krag, that had been someone's 'Deer Rifle'. These can be had for around $300, which is 'parts value' on a nice specimen.

Krags are notorious for having poor bores. Often, 'Cut-Down' rifles seem to have very good bores and make fine 'Shooters'.

I look for near mint bore, nice muzzle crown, good wood (no cracks or gross re-shaping), no extra holes in receiver, original rear-sight, or a 'no-drill' Redfield or Pacific after-market 'peep' sight.

An altered Krag can be a bad investment. 'Cut-downs' are hard to re-sell. They are often over priced and possessed by charlatans, who try to pass them off as rarities. Many 'newbies' get burned.

Buying a Krag is a very subjective process. Many are bought on impulse and without knowledge. It is easy to pay too much and many Krags are not 'correct'.

I try to make things more objective by looking at the value of the parts and the 'cut-down' Krag's potential for restoration.

A nice looking Krag 'cut-down', with good parts, that shoots well, at $300, is a beautiful thing to me (and lots of fun)!

Here are a couple, I've cobbled together and enjoy shooting. It's all been fun!

(p.s. I like to 'Tinker', re-load, shoot, hunt for parts and dabble in history).
« Last Edit: Nov 19th, 2018 at 3:24pm by butlersrangers »  
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Kerz
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Re: New Guy Questions about buying
Reply #6 - Nov 19th, 2018 at 11:42am
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Andy,
Welcome to the Krag forum.  Yes, this is the resource for Krags and other firearms too.  You are wise to seek advice before purchasing (unlike me). 

My first 1898 was obtained with the emotional enthusiasm of "I really want one".  Well, yeah, it bit me in the ass.  I can assure you that bore condition is most important.  My first rifle's bore looked like a century old sewer pipe and key-holed at 25 yds.  Plus it was plaqued with several other problems.  A new barrel later and it still anit right.  Ha!  I did a sight unseen via a competition shooters forum. 

My second rifle was just the opposite, a great shooter, original configuration, and a very good price.  It pays to shop around.

Vic

  

Preparedness + Opportunity= Luck
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