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 10 Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine! (Read 234 times)
Whig
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Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine!
Nov 20th, 2018 at 2:52pm
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I'm an avid Krag collector and am always looking to fill holes in my collection. I love getting new Krags and taking them apart, cleaning them, reloading for them and shooting them! Best way to learn the history of these wonderfully colorful firearms. I often spend hours searching auctions for good deals, often mis-represented by the sellers in ways that shows they don't know what they are selling. Studying the books and looking at the details is where it's at for finding treasures that others might miss. We all make mistakes, though, and learn the hard way when we get something (and sometimes pay too much!) that isn't what we thought it was. But, the occasional great find can make the bad deals feel less bad.

So, I found what I believe to be an authentic, one in 5002, 1898 Krag Carbine.  I unpacked the treasure right when the delivery guy dropped it off, looked it over and took it to my shop to examine the bore. I'm a big one for nice bores, especially in Krags. This one was dirty but looked great with little pitting. A good deep cleaning brought out the shine of great rifling and only slight surface wear. It's been used but almost no pitting.

The pictures show that this carbine, serial number 120864, is in the correct range of when the 1898 Carbines were made and shows that the stock has been replaced with an appropriate 1899 carbine stock with a 1901 carbine rear sight. That makes this a third configuration according to Brophy. The stock is in beautiful shape, with one stable crack, the muzzle and front sights are clean and most of the bluing still shows signs of fire blue color. The receiver is scratched up slightly but nothing too deep or disfiguring. The cleaning rods and oiler are in the butt compartment.

I disassembled the carbine carefully and cleaned it well. The barrel patina looks all original even where the rear sight has been living for most of its life.

I will attach pictures as best as I can and let the experts give feedback.
  
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Whig
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Re: Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine!
Reply #1 - Nov 20th, 2018 at 2:54pm
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More Pictures

This Krag forum has helped me learn a lot about the wonderful world of Krags, often more than any of the books. Thanks to everyone for that!!
  
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Whig
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Re: Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine!
Reply #2 - Nov 20th, 2018 at 2:55pm
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more pictures
  
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Whig
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Re: Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine!
Reply #3 - Nov 20th, 2018 at 2:56pm
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more pictures
  
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Whig
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Re: Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine!
Reply #4 - Nov 20th, 2018 at 2:57pm
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more pictures
  
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Kerz
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Re: Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine!
Reply #5 - Nov 20th, 2018 at 3:14pm
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Wow!  what a great find and piece of history!  Did the scabbard and cartridge belts come with the carbine?
  

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Whig
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Re: Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine!
Reply #6 - Nov 20th, 2018 at 3:27pm
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No, these are all things I've picked up along the way. Lots of fun Krag accessories out there! It all takes time and patience. Thanks.
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine!
Reply #7 - Nov 20th, 2018 at 4:51pm
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You have a nice looking Krag carbine.

It appears many of the model 1898 carbines were updated to model 1899 'configuration' in the early 1900's.

It made total sense to have just one type of carbine in service.

The model 1898 carbine barreled-action, with model 1899 stock, hand-guards, barrel-band, and rear-sights, is identical to the model 1899.
  
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Culpeper
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Re: Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine!
Reply #8 - Nov 20th, 2018 at 4:57pm
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Looks great!  I checked the The Krag Rifle Story by Mallory and your sn is deep in the middle of the 98R range.  There are a few cabines listed above and below your number.  I would yell "We've found gold!" if your barrel is 22 inches long and it looks like it is.

You're one lucky dude.  Buy me a lottery ticket!
  

Deacon in the Church of the Mighty Krag
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Whig
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Re: Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine!
Reply #9 - Nov 20th, 2018 at 5:03pm
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Thanks. This one is definitely a keeper and fills a HUGE hole that I never thought I'd fill. I paid, including shipping and that stupid buyer's premium, only(!) $1,081 for this treasure. I think it was a great deal.

There is one small problem with it but I don't think I'll fool with fixing it. I'm sure many of the regular Krag lovers out there can find it....

And, yes, the barrel is 22". That would be a big problem if it wasn't.
  
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Local Boy
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Re: Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine!
Reply #10 - Nov 21st, 2018 at 5:32am
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Cowan's Auctions has had some wonderful Krags come up for auction, like your beautiful 1898 carbine.

Nice score Whig!

BTW: Crack, left side of stock, above trigger guard.


  
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Whig
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Re: Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine!
Reply #11 - Nov 21st, 2018 at 9:48am
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Crack noticed and mentioned in details above, thanks.

Cowan's advertises extremely heavy and has high costs associated with their auctions. Usually they have beautiful pieces, though, as you said.

It's best to search through lesser known auction houses that don't usually attract as many bidders and sometimes have much lower costs. They usually have more junk but often you can discover pearls. This is where you need to really know what you are looking at but there's always a factor of luck when you can't examine the piece in person, especially the bore. Most auction houses try to be honest in their descriptions-it's just that not many people really know Krags the way we do!
  
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Local Boy
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Re: Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine!
Reply #12 - Nov 21st, 2018 at 12:39pm
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I picked up a very, very nice 1898 Krag rifle from a past Cowan's auction that almost looks un-issued!

Due to the time difference, I had to wake up early to join the bidding for that particular auction.

Forgetting to set my alarm clock I awoke with just seconds left on a tracked lot!

I rushed to the computer to participate in the bidding, and in my groggy hast, entered a bid far higher than I really wanted!!!

IMHO: I ended up with a really nice rifle, at an OK price.

However, the "Buyer's Premium" and "Shipping Cost" really turned my OK deal into a deal best explained by my wife's reaction to my wonderful new baby... "You paid how much!!!"

Live and learn. Undecided

Although, I must admit, the packaging was superb.
  
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Whig
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Re: Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine!
Reply #13 - Nov 21st, 2018 at 1:07pm
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Now, you just need a couple home run purchases to justify that mediocre one. I've done similar things but overall it's been a great way to get some gems.

Some say you didn't pay too much- you just bought a few years too early!!

Just make sure you are conscious before making the next bid!
  
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Local Boy
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Re: Santa Came Early To My House- an 1898 Carbine!
Reply #14 - Nov 21st, 2018 at 4:53pm
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Right-on and Amen brother!

Happy Thanksgiving to you Whig and to all the KCA folks out there.
  
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