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 10 New Member, new Krag. What have I got? (Read 615 times)
NOLA
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New Member, new Krag. What have I got?
Jan 15th, 2019 at 3:58pm
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HI folks. New member here from New Orleans. Just picked up my second 1898 Krag and it doesn't look like my first one. It's short. What is this?  (Missing front sight but CMP custom shop will install new repro eventually). The barrel is 24" long. Doesn't look like a "bubba job" but also doesn't look like the Krags I'm seeing in books. S/N dates it to 1901. Any help would be appreciated.
  
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Knute1
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Re: New Member, new Krag. What have I got?
Reply #1 - Jan 15th, 2019 at 4:27pm
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There is one suspicious thing I saw. In the photo showing the muzzle there appears to be a square filler piece at the end of the stock under the barrel. This likely means that the stock was originally longer and cut back thru a lightening cavity that got filled in. Don't know if it is of any significance to the original configuration of you rifle.
  
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NOLA
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Re: New Member, new Krag. What have I got?
Reply #2 - Jan 15th, 2019 at 4:29pm
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I don't know either. That's why I photographed it. It stood out to me but I don't know what it means. Filled-in cleaning rod channel? Why?
  
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Re: New Member, new Krag. What have I got?
Reply #3 - Jan 15th, 2019 at 4:30pm
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You have an interesting Krag firearm that appears to have had the stock cut down from a rifle length stock because you can see the filler block under the barrel inside of the front band. This was done on school guns that were reconfigured to be able to put a bayonet on but the front of the barrel is not turned down to accept a bayonet. It's not a filled cleaning rod channel. Are you measuring the barrel length by dropping a cleaning rod down the barrel until it hits the closed bolt? The measurement is important.

It would also help a lot to see pictures of the receiver on the left side for the serial number and model markings as well as the stock on the left side to see the cartouche marking, if any. Also, what rear sight is on the gun? It looks like a 1901 sight. Pictures of the rear sight would help. I'd also be interested in knowing why it doesn't have a front sight now. The muzzle looks rounded like an uncut, original Krag but it may have been a cut down barrel and re-crowned without the replacement of the front sight.

Many questions but this is what we need to know to help you out. Please post more pictures as well as the full serial number.

And thanks for posting this interesting rifle. You'll get many opinions as to what you have and what to try to do with it.
  
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NOLA
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Re: New Member, new Krag. What have I got?
Reply #4 - Jan 15th, 2019 at 5:08pm
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Here's the receiver. There are no cartouches. Barrel is 24" from muzzle to bolt face on cleaning rod. There was a front sight base once--it's got the inlet for one and residue from where the old one was soldered in place, but no idea why it's not there now.
  
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Re: New Member, new Krag. What have I got?
Reply #5 - Jan 15th, 2019 at 5:37pm
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Looks like an almost a school rifle without a front sight and bayonet cut. S&S had repro front sight bases at one time. The front sight is the difficult part of a krag build. You’ve already got the machining for the flat done, wouldn’t be hard to silver solder one on it. Hows the bore?
  
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Re: New Member, new Krag. What have I got?
Reply #6 - Jan 15th, 2019 at 6:24pm
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I'm not sure but it looks like a Model 1898 rifle built probably in 1901 that got beat up and damaged pretty bad. I suspect the muzzle was damaged and the rifle was cut back and someone cut a dovetail relief in the end of the rifle and tried to solder some kind of sight on but it didn't hold well. The stock was cut back and filled with a filler piece as discussed above.

I'd suspect the bore is not very good from the looks of the exterior of the rifle.

Even though, I'd have a new sight put on, clean it up well and have a gunsmith check the chamber and bolt and make sure it's strong enough for shooting. Then I'd get some ammo and blast away. Even if the bore looks crappy, it still is probably a great shooter!

Good luck. I'd like to hear more opinions.
  
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Re: New Member, new Krag. What have I got?
Reply #7 - Jan 15th, 2019 at 6:26pm
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'NOLA' - Welcome to the KCA Forum.

Springfield Armory only made Krags with barrel lengths of:

22 inch - (carbine, school & Philippine Constabulary rifles, and NRA/DCM sporters).

26 inch - (Board of Ordnance and Fortifications - trial rifles).

30 inch - (Standard infantry rifle length).

It is not unusual to find Krag rifles that have been cut down to 24 inches by sportsmen and veteran organizations. (This happens to be the length of the 1903 Springfield Rifle).

It seems a lot of VFW Posts made this a practice, so that their Krags would look more like the 1903's.

Your front-sight apparently got knocked off due to a poor job of soldering or brazing.

Your stock tip required a 'plug' due to the channel for reducing stock weight being exposed.

The front barrel-band does not appear to have been 'stretched', so, it does not properly fit the barrel contour.

Note: Carefully check the chamber on this Krag to make sure it has not been lengthened to accept .30-06 blanks. This has been encountered on some Krags cut-down for ceremonial firing.

If your bore and chamber are sound, a replacement front-sight will give you a fun shooter.
  
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Re: New Member, new Krag. What have I got?
Reply #8 - Jan 15th, 2019 at 6:29pm
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I am going to say that this is likely a VFW/American Legion rifle that was altered locally to their specifications for parade, color guard use.
  
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Re: New Member, new Krag. What have I got?
Reply #9 - Jan 15th, 2019 at 6:53pm
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Hi Nola,

According to your serial number, 322,680 (if I'm reading it correctly), was produced in the months of Apr or May of 1900.

Interesting note: Apparently the time frame your rifle was produced is the same time period when the Board of Ordnance and Fortifications (BOF) rifle production began.  Unfortunately the current condition of your rifle doesn't completely match the criteria for a BOF

I seem to agree with the previous evaluations that your rifle is possibly a school or VFW/American modified Krag.  Both of which can be modified into many variations.

  
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Re: New Member, new Krag. What have I got?
Reply #10 - Jan 15th, 2019 at 7:16pm
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I like pretty much everything about this rifle even tho it has been cut down. Replace that front sight and enjoy the rifle, assuming the chamber has not been messed with and I will bet dollars to donuts it has not been messed with, I like the finish on the stock, like the petina, like it all. I would not mind owning it at all, I do not have one like it.

Keep us posted.
  
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NOLA
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Re: New Member, new Krag. What have I got?
Reply #11 - Jan 15th, 2019 at 8:47pm
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Thanks for all of the opinions. Admittedly I wasn't happy at first when I realized it had been cut down, but I like the way it balances and it's a pretty handy size. The bore actually looks pretty good. Not terribly bright but rifling looks good and no pitting--it's actually better than my other Krag so I'm optimistic to see how it shoots after I get the sight put on. I did get a sight base from S&S and I'm on the waitlist for the CMP custom shop as I trust them to work on my guns and they know Krags. There is a backlog though. Can anyone recommend another knowledgeable Krag smith to put the sight base on and make it look decent?

BTW, it won't even begin to chamber a .30-06, but it cycles .30-40 shells flawlessly.
  
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Re: New Member, new Krag. What have I got?
Reply #12 - Jan 15th, 2019 at 10:08pm
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Call Chuck Moline
Warpath Vintage, LLC
Phone 720-841-1399
Email: molinenorski@msn.com
He has stopped installing barrels but may do other Krag work.  His reputation is excellent.  He can be found on Facebook too.
Vic
  

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