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 10 Bluing Krag Receiver (Read 233 times)
Jason60chev
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Bluing Krag Receiver
Dec 8th, 2018 at 3:14pm
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Hello Krag Friends,

New guy here.

Am working on a project with a stripped 1896 Krag receiver that has little finish and some slight pitting. I wish to blue it.

Have been watching some videos of Home Blueing processes and thought that I would try it....to save money. This is not a restoration nor will it be some historical rifle. It will be a parts assembled, carbine length, "Let's build a fun shooter" project.

One of the video mentioned "Hydrogen Embrittlement" that can occur during these bluing process, whereby the previously hardened metal may become more brittle and could possibly crack. It is my understanding that the Krag receivers were color case hardened. Has anyone ever heard of this?

Do any of you have any experience with bluing a Krag receiver and can provide a process that you may have used at home or any other information that would be helpful.

Thank you,
Jason
  
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Whig
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Re: Bluing Krag Receiver
Reply #1 - Dec 8th, 2018 at 6:30pm
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Sounds like a fun project to undertake. Hopefully someone here can help. But, whatever you do, can you take before and after pictures to share your work with us and let us watch your progress?

Might want to put "before" pictures up now to get feedback on its current condition overall. Might have some other options or suggestions. Not all wear is bad wear. Might want to keep it the way it is!
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Bluing Krag Receiver
Reply #2 - Dec 9th, 2018 at 1:22am
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When Krags were built, very few of the parts were 'blued' and the process, (not the color), was called 'browning'.

The parts that come to mind that were rust 'blued' (browned) are the barrel, trigger-guard, some sight parts, the front barrel-band, butt-plate, magazine cut-off lever and some screws.

The extractor was given a 'flame blue'.

The bolt-body, springs, and some rear-sight surfaces were 'in the white'.

The receiver, bolt-collar, safety-lever, magazine-gate, side-plate, and many small parts were casehardened. (In time, the case-colors took on a silvery color).

IIRC - Hydrogen Embrittlement is caused by acids acting on steel and depleting certain elements in the alloy and changing its properties. I believe fire and Naval Jelly can also do this.

I don't think this effect is related to steel being casehardened. It can 'attack' most steel alloys. (Just my perception and I am certainly not a metallurgist).

FWIW - I enjoy the mixture of colors and patina found on the metal of most Krags. Homogeneous 'Bluing' just never looks right to me.
  
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craigster
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Re: Bluing Krag Receiver
Reply #3 - Dec 9th, 2018 at 3:51am
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Look up "cold rust bluing". It's not all that hard to do.

Products and instructions @ (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

Great products, and, Bob is definitely one of the good guys.
  
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Jason60chev
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Re: Bluing Krag Receiver
Reply #4 - Dec 9th, 2018 at 1:35pm
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I watched that video on the C&Rsenal segment. Am thinking of doing Rust bluing at home, to reduce costs for this.

craigster wrote on Dec 9th, 2018 at 3:51am:
Look up "cold rust bluing". It's not all that hard to do.

Products and instructions @ (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

Great products, and, Bob is definitely one of the good guys.

  
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Jason60chev
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Re: Bluing Krag Receiver
Reply #5 - Dec 9th, 2018 at 1:40pm
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I would love to do that, but the best I would be able to do is post pics of the parts as i buy them, now. I work in Afghansitan and will not be "Hands on" with this project until late next October.

Do you know if the Crtierion barrels sold by the CMP are any good? I have been reading that there are "issues" with them.....incorrect bore/groove diamenters.....rear sight screw holes/threads not compatible with original screws, etc.

I have recenlty bought a cut down rifle barrel which is in good condition and was going to use that. Just have to install a 1903 sight base.

Should be acquiring an 1896 stripped receiver which has near no finish and some light pitting, but otherwise in good condition. Other receiver parts may be in same condition, but if I can find some nicer, I may not refinish them.

Whig wrote on Dec 8th, 2018 at 6:30pm:
Sounds like a fun project to undertake. Hopefully someone here can help. But, whatever you do, can you take before and after pictures to share your work with us and let us watch your progress?

Might want to put "before" pictures up now to get feedback on its current condition overall. Might have some other options or suggestions. Not all wear is bad wear. Might want to keep it the way it is!

  
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Jason60chev
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Re: Bluing Krag Receiver
Reply #6 - Dec 9th, 2018 at 1:46pm
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Here is the stripped receiver......


Whig wrote on Dec 8th, 2018 at 6:30pm:
Sounds like a fun project to undertake. Hopefully someone here can help. But, whatever you do, can you take before and after pictures to share your work with us and let us watch your progress?

Might want to put "before" pictures up now to get feedback on its current condition overall. Might have some other options or suggestions. Not all wear is bad wear. Might want to keep it the way it is!

  
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Jason60chev
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Re: Bluing Krag Receiver
Reply #7 - Dec 9th, 2018 at 1:53pm
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Just picked up this bolt........

Whig wrote on Dec 8th, 2018 at 6:30pm:
Sounds like a fun project to undertake. Hopefully someone here can help. But, whatever you do, can you take before and after pictures to share your work with us and let us watch your progress?

Might want to put "before" pictures up now to get feedback on its current condition overall. Might have some other options or suggestions. Not all wear is bad wear. Might want to keep it the way it is!

  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Bluing Krag Receiver
Reply #8 - Dec 9th, 2018 at 2:02pm
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'jason' - You may want to look for a nicer receiver, more in keeping with the good original condition of your other parts.

Your bolt and cut-down barrel look quite attractive, but, your receiver is one of the worst, condition-wise, that I have seen.

Stripped Krag receivers are not hard to find and show up cheap at gun shows.

Criterion barrels are excellent and a true .308" diameter in the grooves. The sight holes do use a modern thread. The barrel comes 'in the white' and without a front-sight. They are 'short-chambered' and probably require 'finish reaming'. All this adds to expense and requires skilled labor.
« Last Edit: Dec 10th, 2018 at 2:55pm by butlersrangers »  
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Whig
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Re: Bluing Krag Receiver
Reply #9 - Dec 9th, 2018 at 2:40pm
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Gee,
with all of the people buying Krags and stripping them to sell the parts for profit on ebay and Gun Broker, you'd think there would be a ton of receivers out there that people want to get rid of that they can't sell as easily.

Here's a guy (link below) from ebay who was trying to sell a "barrel" for a Krag that, surprisingly, still was attached to the receiver! I think ebay shut him down. Selling serialized receivers is definitely a "no-no" on ebay. I guess the BATFE wouldn't care as much because it was supposedly an antique from before 1899. But, these receivers are out there.

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Jason60chev
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Re: Bluing Krag Receiver
Reply #10 - Dec 9th, 2018 at 3:08pm
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I work overseas, in Afghanistan. I will not be home until late next October to even get my hands on this project. Even then, I may not complete and will have to wait until Mid 2020 to work on it again.

I will not be home to attend any gun shows.

This is the only receiver I have seen. There was a complete barreled receiver on GB a couple of weeks ago, but I was way out bid on it. I think it sold for $420.

I could wait for cheap sporter to show up. I would rather not have to buy an example that I have to ship to an FFL. When I was home this last October, I picked up about 10 guns and receivers from my 01FFL. I really dislike having to ask them to hold onto things for nearly a year.

Am not so much concerned about the "beauty" of this project. It's going to be a bunch of parts put together by me. I can work on that receiver and clean it up better than what it looks like. IF I can get it cheap enough, all the better.

I bought a VERY nice 1898 long rifle at the Tulsa gun show while I was home. Very nice! it's a 127XXX serial. I didn't take any pics of it and I didn't really have time to play with it before I had to return to Afghanistan.

butlersrangers wrote on Dec 9th, 2018 at 2:02pm:
'jason' - You may want to look for a nicer receiver, more in keeping with the good original condition of your other parts.

Your bolt and cut-down barrel look quite attractive, but, your receiver is one of the worst, condition-wise, that I have seen.

Stripped Krag receivers are not hard to find and show up cheap at gun shows.

Criterion barrels are excellent and a true .308" diameter in the grooves. The sight holes do use a modern thread. The barrel comes 'in the white'. They are 'short-chambered' and probably require 'finish reaming'. All this adds to expense and requires skilled labor.

  
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Re: Bluing Krag Receiver
Reply #11 - Dec 9th, 2018 at 3:15pm
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'Whig' - You are correct. An alarming number of Krags are being 'parted out' by a couple of individuals on ebay. (One of them near Tampa, Fla.).

FWIW - I will not bid on their auction items. They are taking apart complete rifles, not just 'cut-downs', and on a weekly basis. (History and context be dammed)!

Receivers do show up on GunBroker. Pre-1898 ones do not require FFL.
  
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Whig
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Re: Bluing Krag Receiver
Reply #12 - Dec 9th, 2018 at 3:54pm
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We are losing Krags, good ones and sporterized ones, I have seen and we can't do much about it. I am trying to do my part at keeping my Krags together and fixing the ones I get. I won't do business with these Krag killers either.

Just a typo on your part I'm sure Butler, but the "antique" Krags that don't need FFL paperwork, for those out there who might not know, are any and all firearms officially built before Jan. 1, 1899. That would be based on the serial number and records that best verify serialized receiver manufacture.

To the best of my knowledge, I believe the BATFE uses 152669 as the cut off for the last "antique" Krag rifle. If anyone has more correct or updated info, please chime in. I may have older info.

Also, this is based on calendar year manufacture and serial numbers- not fiscal year. They are not always the same.
  
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Jason60chev
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Re: Bluing Krag Receiver
Reply #13 - Dec 9th, 2018 at 6:23pm
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I just found a nicer receiver, but is 1898 (Price is $150) and will have to be shipped to my 01-FFL, Which I really don;t want to do, but may end up having to.

This one looks like it could be used "as is" without any refinishing.

butlersrangers wrote on Dec 9th, 2018 at 2:02pm:
'jason' - You may want to look for a nicer receiver, more in keeping with the good original condition of your other parts.

Your bolt and cut-down barrel look quite attractive, but, your receiver is one of the worst, condition-wise, that I have seen.

Stripped Krag receivers are not hard to find and show up cheap at gun shows.

Criterion barrels are excellent and a true .308" diameter in the grooves. The sight holes do use a modern thread. The barrel comes 'in the white'. They are 'short-chambered' and probably require 'finish reaming'. All this adds to expense and requires skilled labor.

  
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Whig
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Re: Bluing Krag Receiver
Reply #14 - Dec 9th, 2018 at 6:39pm
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Jason,

That's a much nicer receiver and the price isn't too bad really. You are not going to have a highly collectible rifle when you're done wene you put together parts but you'll have a great Krag that can look nice and hopefully shoot great! That should be the goal.

Then, you can look for an unaltered collectible when you are done investing in this one.
  
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