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 10 Clips and Chargers and Cartridge Carriers, Oh My! (Read 1518 times)
butlersrangers
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Clips and Chargers and Cartridge Carriers, Oh My!
Feb 11th, 2019 at 4:55am
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Some brief and rambling thoughts on the Krag-Jorgensen rifle and various devices to load the magazine rapidly.

Chapter 1 - The Original Sin.

Given the mechanical genius and aptitude of Ole H. J. Krag & Erik Jorgensen, there is no doubt in my mind that a successful 'stripper clip' or magazine charger system for their action could have been devised and supplied. Likely, it even was, right from the beginning!

In 1889 there was a 'clip' for dumping rounds into the magazine of the Danish Krag, (with its forward opening gate). This system reportedly worked, but, was dropped because of weight and expense factors.

Author, Karl Egil Hanevik, reports of 1891/1893 period clips, that were submitted to Norwegian and U.S. rifle trials.

I suspect there was little interest in these devices because .... well, the countries that adopted the Krag wanted good single shot rifle function, with a magazine in reserve.

Part of the U.S. criteria, for the intended service rifle, was that a partially empty magazine could be 'topped up', without even having to open the bolt or rotate the cut-off.

The magazine cut-off, angled extractor 'claw', bevel on the cartridge rim, and eventually the 'bolt hold-open pin', all were features that made the Krag a smooth and fast loading single-shot.

The 1893 Board On Magazine Arms Report specified: "It is essential that the magazine may be readily loaded or replenished with single cartridges".
It also allowed: "It is desirable that the magazine be susceptible of easy loading from auxiliary chargers or packets, and essential that these chargers or packets form no part of the magazine mechanism".

Although envisioned and thought desirable, at the time of the Ordnance Board Tests, a clip or charger was not especially wanted, or compatible, with the higher priorities of convenient single-loading and a magazine that could be held in reserve and easily topped up with loose cartridges.
« Last Edit: Feb 12th, 2019 at 6:17am by butlersrangers »  
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Parashooter
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Re: Clips and Chargers and Cartridge Carriers, Oh My!
Reply #1 - Feb 11th, 2019 at 5:53am
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The rest of that photo has more chargers/loaders plus a Swedish Mauser clip in the middle. The Hagens loader is very similar to one I designed a few years before I saw the picture. "Square heads think alike," I suppose.
  
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Whig
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Re: Clips and Chargers and Cartridge Carriers, Oh My!
Reply #2 - Feb 11th, 2019 at 11:59am
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I sent an e-mail to a company in Norway that used to sell these lower pictured Krag "chargers". I have seen them used in numerous Norwegian Krag shooting competitions. Just got this reply.

TO: Kongsberg Weapon History Association

Question: Do you sell Krag Chargers or Speed loaders to United States?

Response:  Hi Larry!

Unfortunately, we do not have any speed loaders for the Krag-Jørgensen rifle. These are collectors items in Norway now, and are not produced any more.

Best regards,
Rune
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Clips and Chargers and Cartridge Carriers, Oh My!
Reply #3 - Feb 11th, 2019 at 4:03pm
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More ramble:

Chapter 2: If it kind of works ..... do we really need to fix it?

The military mindset (or perspective) was different in the late 19th Century, then in the aftermath of more modern wars and events.

Statistical analysis by ordnance departments of the British, after the Crimean War, and the U.S., after the Civil War, showed very low ratios of casualties inflicted, compared to the number of rifle shots fired.

(I suppose this continues to hold true, but, now we have concepts like 'suppressing fire').

IMHO - Developments that seemed to grow out of 'infantry rifle fire inefficiency', following these major 19th century conflicts, were: Improved sights and regulation, an increased rate of fire with breech-loading arms, National Rifle Associations (British and U.S.), and government encouragement of marksmanship competitions & training.

Tragically, there remained a continuation of massed infantry formations & movements in offensive operations, even though defensive capabilities, techniques, and armaments had become most dominant.

The British encountered mobile and superior 'rifle shots', with stripper-clip 7mm Mausers, during the Boer War. 'David' made 'Goliath' rethink training, rifle & sight configuration, charger-loading, and bullet caliber, weight, and velocity.

The U.S. probably had a more 'clouded' lesson in the War with Spain. (Criticism was easily shifted to the obsolete single-shot Springfield).

At Camp Wikoff, Montauk Point, (Long Island), in 1898, a board of officers 'debriefed' brother officers, involved in the Cuba - Santiago Campaign.
The officers were largely satisfied with the Krag and its .30 cal. cartridge. The need for a windage adjustable rear-sight and an oiler was expressed. The carbine bar & ring were deemed no longer useful.
Attention was brought to cartridges falling out of woven belts and problems with bayonet-scabbard hooks.

Some officers noted the need for a more convenient means of refilling the magazine, while under fire
« Last Edit: Feb 18th, 2019 at 7:45pm by butlersrangers »  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Clips and Chargers and Cartridge Carriers, Oh My!
Reply #4 - Feb 12th, 2019 at 7:14am
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More ramble and drivel:

Chapter 3: Interesting attempted solutions to a maybe non-existent problem.

"The Board of Ordnance officers that visited Camp Wikoff after the return of the army from Santiago, for the purpose of ascertaining the action in service of the arms and equipment supplied by the Department, reported several officers expressed a desire for a clip for more rapidly charging the magazine. In order to meet this demand, study and experiment have been devoted to the subject, and several forms of clips have been tried.
  None of them was satisfactory, and the attempt to attach such an appliance has been abandoned as not suited to our system. The testimony of the officers who fought at Santiago is that the rifle was used almost entirely as a single-loader, the contents of the magazine being held in reserve. This is in accordance with the recognized principle of the gun, which was adopted in preference to many systems using clips. Some believe a gun exclusively loaded from a clip conduces to extravagance in the use of ammunition, and ineffectiveness of fire. The U.S. rifle can be fired as a single-loader from 25 to 30 times a minute, which is rapid enough for most occasions, and holds a reserve of five cartridges for emergencies."

(Some 'attempts' attached):
  
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butlersrangers
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Re: Clips and Chargers and Cartridge Carriers, Oh My!
Reply #5 - Feb 12th, 2019 at 7:26am
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Other, circa 1900 to 1906, U.S. attempts:

Gibson 'Paper Carriers' and Johnsen 'Clam Shell' Charger

FWIW - I think Edward T. Gibson had a most promising idea of packaging ammo in five round paper "Cartridge Carriers".

I have long thought clever, paste-board, throwaway - five round, cartridge packets, carried in cloth bandoliers, would have served the U.S. Krag well in combat. (But, I have the advantage of 120 years of hindsight).

The Johnsen 'Clam Shell' appears a convenient design for competitive shooting.
« Last Edit: Feb 12th, 2019 at 3:01pm by butlersrangers »  
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Re: Clips and Chargers and Cartridge Carriers, Oh My!
Reply #6 - Feb 12th, 2019 at 10:53pm
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There's a gentlemen on FB who uses a Mosin Nagant stripper clip and claims to be as fast as any other charger... however, seeing how he does it (holds the clip with his thumb and middle finger and uses his index finger to push the rounds in), it would be very difficult to do in the prone position.  Furthermore, it appears to be a little clumsy, which means in the heat of battle, fumbling!
  
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Re: Clips and Chargers and Cartridge Carriers, Oh My!
Reply #7 - Feb 15th, 2019 at 1:51pm
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I tried both Mosin and .303.  Neither worked very good for me! Then I saw Parashooter's little GIF showing one of his designs working, had to make one of my own!  I have brass to make more, but have other projects going on.
  
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Re: Clips and Chargers and Cartridge Carriers, Oh My!
Reply #8 - Feb 15th, 2019 at 4:53pm
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Pictures?
  

Preparedness + Opportunity= Luck
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Re: Clips and Chargers and Cartridge Carriers, Oh My!
Reply #9 - Feb 15th, 2019 at 5:12pm
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Pictures of what?
  
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Re: Clips and Chargers and Cartridge Carriers, Oh My!
Reply #10 - Feb 15th, 2019 at 6:52pm
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My version.
  
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kragluver
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Re: Clips and Chargers and Cartridge Carriers, Oh My!
Reply #11 - Feb 16th, 2019 at 1:56am
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Butlers....

You are absolutely correct in Ch. 1. The 1892 trials saw the offering of a clip system with the Krag. Norway had a clip and their trials were running nearly concurrent with the US. US ordnance at the time saw the clip as un-needed and expensive. They saw no need for it in a single loader where the magazine intended to be normally cut off and only used in an emergency. The clip sytem did not fit their concept. Nor did it fit the cartridge carriage sytem then envisioned. Nobody in the Ordnance department envisioned trench warfare that was but 20 years away. They were thinking open country fights with Indians or fighting in skirmish lines. They still worried about ammo waste and ammo supply difficulties with the magazine sytem. British ordnance had not seen the need for a clip (at the time) and US ordnance was closely following what the Brits were doing.
  
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Re: Clips and Chargers and Cartridge Carriers, Oh My!
Reply #12 - Feb 18th, 2019 at 4:08am
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I specialize in ugly disposable ones!  Lol!  Just thought I'd try it, since it was there!  Works flawlessly!  I use this one for the first load, Paul's sturdier made one for the reload.  I think I recall seeing a Norwegian Krag that had a parkhurst device in the British arms collection.
  
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Re: Clips and Chargers and Cartridge Carriers, Oh My!
Reply #13 - Feb 19th, 2019 at 8:24am
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Chapter 4: 'The continuing Saga'.

In Frank Mallory's book, "The Krag Rifle Story", 2nd edition, a lot of the content on early Krag prototypes, Danish & Norwegian Krags, as well as, Clip-Loading devices was provided by Norwegian author, Karl Egil Hanevik.

Hanevik wrote Chapter 6, in "The KRS", titled 'Clip-Loading Devices'.

Hanevik relates, that in 1920, "The Norwegian Shooters Weekly" promoted a competition, with a substantial cash prize, for a successful speed-loading device for the Norwegian Krag and its rimless 6.5X55mm cartridge.

Nearly 30 inventions were evaluated by a joint commission of Shooters and Military.
The award was shared by two inventors of 'conversion' devices, (similar to the Parkhurst device).
The conversions utilized Swedish Mauser 'stripper-clips'. Fifteen rifles were fitted with one of the devices, but, trial testing gave no significant reason for adoption.

Other speed-loading chargers apparently have given satisfactory performance for competitive shooters. These are along the lines of Chargers that have been built by 'Parashooter', 'Psteinmayer', 'Madsenshooter', and 'Baltimoreed'.
  
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