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Aslan77
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Need help identifying a parkerized krag
Feb 2nd, 2019 at 9:26pm
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I recently aquired a 1898 krag with a bayonet, both of which are parkerized, and everything about the gun is original, with the stock and metal being in great condition. The problem is I know nothing about parked krags, only that the seller said some krags that were still in service on ships were pulled out and parkerized during ww2, while on some websites I read that krags sent to France in ww1 were also parked.

I am really fond of this krag due to it still being in great condition and was wondering what you guys had to say about it. I'm just hoping the parkerization wasn't some civilian bubba job but a miliatary refinish. Here are some details:

-The serial number is 400421
-The year on the stock is 1902
-There is a small y, and a fancy P in a circle carved just behind the trigger gaurd
-On the back of the stock near the buttplate it says M8 or MB MICH.
-I know it doesn't seem so in the first few photos due to the lamp lighting but the parkerization is a very dark grey, almost coal-like color. The same is true for the bayonet, and the photo where I have the bayonet and rifle side-by-side is the best representation of how the finish looks like.
  
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Whig
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Re: Need help identifying a parkerized krag
Reply #1 - Feb 2nd, 2019 at 9:41pm
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It's always nice to have new members bring interesting Krags into the picture. Congrats on becoming a Krag owner.

Two quick observations I can make. I'm sure you'll get lots of feedback, good and bad.

One is that I have never heard of any "official" parkerization done on any Krag parts. Springfield Armory, if anything like that were to have been done, would have polished the metal and done a nice even parkerization. This one, excuse my French, looks like crap. I have some parked military and non military firearms and none of them look uneven like yours does. I think it is a job by someone named "Bubba".

The other observation is that if the rifle and bayonet are parkerized and have been sold as a lot, chances are that someone did these as a project together. Bayonets were not parkerized and rifles usually don't officially have a bayonet tagging along after them. Any Krag bayonet could have been used with any Krag rifle.

But, these are quick observations. Take them with others' opinions, too.

How is the bore? Outside appearance has nothing to do with how good of a shooter it may be. Hopefully yours is in that category of being a wonderful shooting Krag like many of us have!
  
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Whig
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Re: Need help identifying a parkerized krag
Reply #2 - Feb 2nd, 2019 at 9:45pm
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Also, since the Krags were never parkerized from the Springfield Armory where they were all made, your rifle cannot be "original". It may have original parts but it has been altered from the original military production condition.

Are there any cleaning rod sections or an oiler in the butt?

Many rifles were cut down to make into nice hunting rifles. Yours has not been cut down which is nice also.

What do the rear and front sites look like?
  
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Aslan77
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Re: Need help identifying a parkerized krag
Reply #3 - Feb 3rd, 2019 at 12:59am
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Sorry if I came off as inexperienced but yes, I understand that the rifle is not original in the sense of finish; I meant just that it was unsporterized. Another thing is that the parkerization in the pictures looks bad mainly because I had heavily oiled the surface and wiped it with kleenex leaving a lot of fibers on the oil. Otherwise I would say the finish looks smooth on the whole gun (except the magazine box which for some reason is a bit rough).

The gun has 1901 style sights and the bore is in great condition. Would it also be possible for anyone to run an SRS check on the rifle? just out of curiousity.
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Need help identifying a parkerized krag
Reply #4 - Feb 3rd, 2019 at 1:06am
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'Aslan77' - Welcome to the KCA Forum.

I don't recall seeing a 'parkerized' Krag before, that didn't appear done relatively recently. I am very skeptical of your Krag's finish.

Although, 'Grandpa's Gun Parts lists some Krag bolts that are 'parkerized'. (WW1 innovation)?

Apparently, some Krags were still onboard U.S. Ships even after the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM) sold off Krags in the late 1920's and early 1930's.

Veteran's Groups also did some 'Flashy' things to the Krags they were using as drill and ceremonial rifles.

The "MICH" stamp on your stock is interesting. (U.S.S. Michigan? Michigan Naval Reserves)? "M-8" may be a rack number.

The 'circled script P' on your stock indicates an arm was 'proofed' and tested for function at the armory. Small letters behind the trigger-guard indicate the stock inspector or fitter.

Your stock appears very light in color and shiny, which suggests 're-finish' to me.

Your action, # 400421, was produced about June or July, 1902.

IMHO - Since your Krag was dis-assembled to refinish the metal, there is little reason to believe it is still in its original stock.
  
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Aslan77
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Re: Need help identifying a parkerized krag
Reply #5 - Feb 3rd, 2019 at 1:23am
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Definetely the most confusing part is the M8 MICH marking on the stock, and I doubt it stands for USS Michigan as they probably would've put the full name down instead of an abbeviation. Also I understand that stocks this age are usually much darker from dirt and grime however I don't think it was neccessarily refinished as the carvings are still so well defined and visible. If it was refinished that would require the wood to be sanded thus fading away the carvings.
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Need help identifying a parkerized krag
Reply #6 - Feb 3rd, 2019 at 1:31am
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Your stock appears to have been varnished, shellacked, or coated with "Linspeed".

Maybe the wood is an Italian walnut stock or it has been bleached.

It is not the usual 'Logwood Dye' color of a Krag stock.

No SRS listing for #400421.
  
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Knute1
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Re: Need help identifying a parkerized krag
Reply #7 - Feb 3rd, 2019 at 2:28am
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I am thinking perhaps "True-Oil" may have been used, easy to get.

Great rifle all the same. Could you post a few more pictures showing the cartouche, sights and overall length?
  
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Aslan77
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Re: Need help identifying a parkerized krag
Reply #8 - Feb 3rd, 2019 at 6:30pm
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Here are some more pictures:
  
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Knute1
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Re: Need help identifying a parkerized krag
Reply #9 - Feb 3rd, 2019 at 6:57pm
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Thanks for the extra photos. Looks like everything is there. Just a little piece of wood missing by the magazine cut-off. Can't explain the parkerizing. The last curiosity I have is the wood appearance under the barrel/receiver. Not asking you to do it, but it can add or subtract from some of the mystery of the stock appearance.
  
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Whig
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Re: Need help identifying a parkerized krag
Reply #10 - Feb 3rd, 2019 at 7:01pm
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It's a very nice Krag rifle overall but it has had some finishing work done after factory. But, I would just check it out to make sure it is shootable and enjoy it as a great Krag rifle that it is. If you want a nice unaltered and un-refinished rifle, there are ones out there on Gun Broker and other sites where you can find one. Sometimes, it is more trouble, and expense, than it's worth in redoing these things. There's nothing wrong with it the way it is as a great shooting Krag. The cartouche looks great, by the way!

Good luck making a decision.
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Need help identifying a parkerized krag
Reply #11 - Feb 3rd, 2019 at 7:10pm
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The stock does have very nice markings.
My hunch is that it is one of the approximate 30 thousand Italian blanks, that Springfield was utilizing to a degree, during 1899 to 1902, due to a shortage of cured American black walnut blanks.

Some type of shiny finish has been put on the wood.

FWIW - The parkerizing doesn't look credible, at all, to me.

How does it Shoot?
  
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Aslan77
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Re: Need help identifying a parkerized krag
Reply #12 - Feb 3rd, 2019 at 7:31pm
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The action is still pretty smooth with some lubrication, and although I haven't shot it I'm sure it will be a great shooter because the bore is still bright with strong rifling.
  
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madsenshooter
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Re: Need help identifying a parkerized krag
Reply #13 - Feb 6th, 2019 at 4:00pm
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I have a 92/96 that was parkerized, the WWII era green.  It was done by a veteran's organization in the Carolinas.  I understand they had quite a few of them.  I noticed the unparked bit on the sight ladder of yours, whoever did mine left the 1902 sight on the barrel, real nice bluing under there!  It appears he didn't get the neutralizing solution all the way through the bore and it pitted in the middle.  When I first got it the inside of the barrel was parked too!  That barrel is used for snake catching now, and the rifle wears an unparked barrel.  I got the rifle figuring it'd look the same in another 100yrs.  It could have, except I use it quite a bit!  A light coat of grease will save some wear on the parkerizing.  CMP parkerizes the Krag rifles they work on, at the owner's request.
  
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Aslan77
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Re: Need help identifying a parkerized krag
Reply #14 - Feb 7th, 2019 at 11:31pm
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Still looks like you have a pretty fine piece. Mine's has the barrel unparked so it still gives that nice silver shine. Haven't taken it to the range yet but will certainly look forward to it once the weather improves so I can't really say much about accuracy.
  
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