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1896 Krag Serial number 37260 (Read 145 times)
MeteorCrater
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1896 Krag Serial number 37260
Dec 2nd, 2018 at 12:03am
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Hi all,

I inherited my Krag from my father who hunted with it in the early to mid-'50s. I think he got it from his father but I have no other history on it and my father didn't know anything at all about it except that he used it to hunt bears.

I "think" it has been cut down, but I don't know for sure and I can't find any of the distinguishing marks that I have been reading about such as the "C" on the rear sight and there is no inspection stamp on the left side. Also, the front site looks different than many of the pictures I have seen and has the word "Lyman" inscribed on it. One last thing, on the butt of the rifle, there is a little round trap door, that I assumed is where the cleaning rod would go, but when I open it, there is no hole, only wood of the stock.

I am hoping it is a carbine, but if someone could help me figure out what this is, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks.

  
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Knute1
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Re: 1896 Krag Serial number 37260
Reply #1 - Dec 2nd, 2018 at 12:57am
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Hi and welcome. Others will chime in, I just been hanging around the forum a lot today as I'm presently homebound.

Your gun appears to have been born somewhere around the month of July in 1896, the receiver should say "MODEL 1896". It appears to be a sporterized rifle. But don't despair, it happened with a lot of Krags because it made into a darn good hunting rifle for little money back in the days the gun was surplussed by the government. The monetary value is not great, but you probably won't be selling it anyway as it appears to be a family heirloom which makes it invaluable for what it is. If it was my Dad's/Grandpa's I'd keep it just as it is and enjoy it.

The sights are not original. The barrel has likely been shortened. The stock is original (maybe not to this gun) and has likely been sanded to rid it of military markings so it looked a little more "civilian". Interesting that the trapdoor has no small holes in it for 3 sections of cleaning rod. Plus a hole for an oiler and another as a lightening hole (covered by the buttplate). You can pull the buttplate off and see if there is any evidence that the holes were plugged.

You may get more comments with a few more pics, especially showing the butt with the plate off. Any markings on the barrel?

Lot of info on this sight so you came to the right place.
  
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Whig
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Re: 1896 Krag Serial number 37260
Reply #2 - Dec 2nd, 2018 at 2:18am
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It's hard to tell from the one picture I see but if the stock is a Krag stock, the butt may be straight without the curved toe which might mean it is a cut down 1894 stock which would not have had the hole cut in it for the cleaning rods and oiler.

But, additional pictures would tell the story better.

Always great seeing and learning about a new Krag family heirloom. Congrats on joining the Krag family!
  
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MeteorCrater
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Re: 1896 Krag Serial number 37260
Reply #3 - Dec 2nd, 2018 at 2:31am
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Another.
  
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MeteorCrater
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Re: 1896 Krag Serial number 37260
Reply #4 - Dec 2nd, 2018 at 2:31am
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Another.

Is there supposed to be a small wood part under the front Sight just in front of the receiver?
  
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MeteorCrater
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Re: 1896 Krag Serial number 37260
Reply #5 - Dec 2nd, 2018 at 2:31am
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Another
  
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MeteorCrater
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Re: 1896 Krag Serial number 37260
Reply #6 - Dec 2nd, 2018 at 2:32am
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Another
  
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Knute1
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Re: 1896 Krag Serial number 37260
Reply #7 - Dec 2nd, 2018 at 2:55am
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The sights are definitely aftermarket. I'm not sure what the wood piece would be for the rear sight unless it is a makeshift spacer of some sort. The hole under the butt trapdoor appear to be filled with epoxy, along with the butt stock ahead of the buttplate.
Do you know the last time this gun was shot? You may want a gunsmith check it out in case you plan on shooting it yourself, just to be on the safe side.
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: 1896 Krag Serial number 37260
Reply #8 - Dec 2nd, 2018 at 3:35am
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MeteorCrater - Welcome to the KCA Forum.

It is always fun to see a Krag that was used for Hunting and has become a 'family treasure'.

Your model 1896 Krag started out as an infantry rifle with a 30 inch long barrel.
To make it more practical as a Hunting Arm, the barrel and stock forearm were 'cut-down' or shortened. The military sights were replaced with commercial ones and the wooden top hand-guard was tossed.

The Lyman banded-ramp front sight is relatively common on military rifles that had their barrels 'cut-down'. The sight is likely retained on the barrel with a vertical set-screw, hidden under the dovetailed front-sight blade.

The Butt area of your stock and butt-plate have been drastically narrowed. It appears cracks resulted on the left side of the stock butt. I suspect someone supported the cracked area of the butt, by filling the large tool and lightening holes, with large diameter wooden dowels, glue and epoxy.
  
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Whig
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Re: 1896 Krag Serial number 37260
Reply #9 - Dec 2nd, 2018 at 3:50pm
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If you can take some more pictures from different angles, it would help identify the changes a little better but you have a well altered Krag rifle that was probably made to use for hunting like many sporterized military firearms, including Krags.

It looks like the rear sight is screwed into the rear part of the barrel ahead of the receiver. If there are holes tapped into the barrel, they are hard to cover and hide if you wanted to try to restore the rifle to military appearance. The rear sight is probably matched to use with the front ramp sight.

There are many changes you would have to make which would be expensive to restore this Krag. The receiver looks very nice but the barrel and stock are altered a lot and you are missing a lot of correct pieces.

It might be best to use this as an altered sporterized Krag and enjoy it as such and save up for an unaltered version as a collectible. You could shoot and enjoy both, then! Most of us have a nice sporterized Krag in our collections. It's even nicer when there is some family history behind it.

Enjoy!
  
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