What Do I Have?

European Krags
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Barth Vader
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2022 7:00 pm

What Do I Have?

Post by Barth Vader »

Hi, and thanks for taking the time to read this. I’m a gun guy that’s been known to trade services for firearms. This week I picked up a .30-40 Krag carbine which is a new one to me and I can’t find out much about it so far.

The seller says that he’s had it for decades and was told that it was European and a legitimate carbine. However, it doesn’t look like any of the carbines I see. If the gun has been sporterized, it was done long ago and done well. He does say that the sling is old but definitely not original and I don’t disagree.

My other issue is that it has no s/n and few markings. The lack of s/n doesn’t bother me but it makes it harder to identify what I have. Do any of y’all know what I’ve got? I’m happy to disassemble and post more pics if there is something specific to see.

Thanks!
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Barth Vader
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Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2022 7:00 pm

Re: What Do I Have?

Post by Barth Vader »

I forgot to post this one.
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butlersrangers
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Location: Below the Bridge, Michigan

Re: What Do I Have?

Post by butlersrangers »

'Barth Vader' - Welcome to the KCA Forum.
Your Krag was built in the United States at Springfield Armory, between late 1895 and early 1898.
It was originally a model 1896 infantry rifle, but its stock and barrel have been cut down, unofficially, so it would be handier for Hunting.

Apparently, the left-side of the receiver has been 'ground-down' and little remains of the Armory markings and serial number.
(I have copied your photo and put a yellow arrow where the model number was located and an orange arrow where the serial number was stamped).

The markings originally read in a single line: "MODEL 1896, SPRINGFIELD ARMORY, #XXXXX". Above 'Springfield Armory' was stamped "U.S".
Your stock is stamped with a script "P" in a circle. This was a Springfield marking, indicating the arm was 'proofed'.

The stamped "S" in a circle, on your receiver-ring, indicates your Krag was sold and likely put together with some surplus-parts, by The R. F. Sedgley Co. of Philadelphia, Pa.
Sedgley sold Sporting Goods, made tools, custom guns, and a lot of 'parts guns' that used odds and sods bought at government auctions.

The Sedgley Co. also did work for Bannerman's Surplus Store, in New York, and Stokes-Kirk Sporting Goods in Philadelphia.
(The three merchants' probably colluded and combined in their auction bidding efforts. They managed to dominate and control the purchase U.S. military surplus from the early 1900's and into the 1930's). All three companies did national catalog sales and were a boon to collectors and hunters.

The cloth sling on your Krag is a type that the U.S. MILITARY put on M1 Garands and 1903A3 Springfield rifles, from the 1940's to the 1960's.
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Last edited by butlersrangers on Thu Jun 09, 2022 10:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Parashooter
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Location: Kragmudgeon House, CT

Re: What Do I Have?

Post by Parashooter »

The arm in the pictures appears to be a cut-down U.S. Model 1896 rifle. Handguard, forward portion of forestock, several inches of barrel, and front sight have been removed. A non-original front sight has been installed. The serial should be present on the left side of the receiver. A sharp, well-lit photo of the area could help determine if a serial can be made out.

Barth Vader
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2022 7:00 pm

Re: What Do I Have?

Post by Barth Vader »

Thanks, that’s some wonderful info. So if I understand correctly, it’s likely that this gun was put together by Sedgley and sold as-is in the early 20th century? Or was it sold by Sedgley and then converted to its current state some time later?

Regardless of its current form, I think it’s a neat gun and I’ve read nothing but good things so I’ll keep it for shits and giggles. Though I don’t plan on selling it, but what would be a reasonable market price? I’m probably in it for more than it’s worth.

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butlersrangers
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Re: What Do I Have?

Post by butlersrangers »

My guess is that it was assembled by Sedgely Co. from odd parts as a budget/utility Deer rifle.

It is likely in the 'configuration' it was wearing, when Sedgely sold it.

IMHO - It is not rare or very desirable to collectors, the condition is rough, but in today's crazy market, probably $275-$325.

Whig
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Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:53 am

Re: What Do I Have?

Post by Whig »

Mr. Vader,

Thanks for stopping by the KCA and sharing your Krag with us. Even though it is not an original military configuration Krag rifle, the way it began life, it has some interesting characteristics and we always like helping figure out what people have and what's been done to our beloved Krag Jorgensen rifles and carbines. Many people cut down Krag rifles with 30 inch barrels and had them shortened to carbine length to be more useful for hunting and carrying for shooting. When this was done, people had little or no interest in preserving the original configuration of these and other military rifles. Sporterization was a commonly written about and performed action. We collect these things now and look down on damaged or altered military firearms. Some of them are quite nice with carved stocks, nice scopes or other personalized features that make them collectible by themselves. Yours is not one of those nicer ones but may be very fun to shoot and, if some rifling is still intact in the bore, possibly quite accurate.

Your Krag has a few older parts on it that may or may not be original. The rear sight is a later modified 1902 sight. Can you take pictures of both sides of the sight for me and post them? I like studying old Krag rear sights and this looks nice. If you could take a picture of the rear sight with the slide lifted up also, that would be nice to see.

Thanks!

Barth Vader
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2022 7:00 pm

Re: What Do I Have?

Post by Barth Vader »

Apologies about the delay. I thought that I had uploaded the images but it appears that I never clicked the button. Images should be attached. Thanks for all of the info!
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butlersrangers
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Re: What Do I Have?

Post by butlersrangers »

That is a "Mix-Master" rear-sight that was probably put together by Sedgley from surplus parts.
It is a combination that was not used by Springfield Armory.

The sight mounting screws are not the head-style used on Krag SA screws.
The sight-base & spring are from the discontinued 'three-notch' model 1898 rifle sight.

The leaf and slide are from a variant of the model 1902 sight.
The sight eyepiece and leaf are modified 1898 sight parts. The two 'outside' sight-notches were removed by grinding. This work was done by Springfield Armory.
The elevation 'locking-knob' is the type made in huge numbers for the early 1903 Springfield Rifle. These were eventually used by SA to repair broken Krag sights.
They also became common on the surplus market.

It is totally consistent to see this combination of surplus sight parts on a Sedgely marked gun!

The parts of your sight came from a model 1898 sight (picture attached).
Springfield Armory reworked the 1898 slide, leaf, and eyepiece.
SA could not make use of the 1898 base and leaf spring, which became surplus.
Sedgely reunited the obsolete base parts with the modified 'top' to make your sight.
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