1887 Prototype #5

European Krags
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Tom Butts
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Re: 1887 Prototype #5

Post by Tom Butts »

Ned,

Yes and yes. Two locking lugs. You can see better in the last photo. That is the batch of photos I have to post right now. :-)

skillest
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Re: 1887 Prototype #5

Post by skillest »

Great photos! Thanks for posting about it. I like how you can see even more influence from the Jarmann bolt design in this early model, the extractor looks even more like the Jarmann extractor it was based on.

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butlersrangers
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Re: 1887 Prototype #5

Post by butlersrangers »

Tom, those are very interesting photographs.

Your 'new' Krag-Jorgensen (#5) certainly is a rare transitional piece. Thank you very much for sharing!

You are allowing us a great opportunity to view a step in the evolution of the Krag-Jorgensen design, as it morphed into a "1/2 capsule magazine" rifle and ultimately the Danish model 1889 rifle.

This rifle could easily have 'disappeared' into the shadowy corners of a gun-safe, totally unknown to most Krag enthusiasts, forever!

reiver
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Re: 1887 Prototype #5

Post by reiver »

Fascinating to see such an early example...looks to be in great condition too. Thanks for sharing.

Doubly Reincarnated
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Re: 1887 Prototype #5

Post by Doubly Reincarnated »

Was this rifle originally intended for smokeless powder? Or were the early 8x56R cartridges loaded with compressed black powder, like the early .303 British?

skillest
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Re: 1887 Prototype #5

Post by skillest »

At this point in time the cartridge would have been an experimental version of 8x58R called Dansk 8 mm forsøgspatron, using compressed black powder to propel the projectile (as smokeless-powder ammunition was not developed for the Danish krag until just before the rifle's adoption). There was testing of 6 half-capsule prototype rifles at the Danish Shooting School in the early summer of 1887 (alongside one full-capsule magazine Krag–Jørgensen rifle), and were once again tested in August that year by the 23rd Battalion. Still, it is unclear if this was one of those examples. Some rifles at this time were created for marketing purposes as well. I would say that it is possible, likely even, due to the rifle being serialized as much as it is. If we can figure out its original configuration it would be easier to tell if it was involved in trials. It would have most likely looked similar to MODB/1886, the first "true" half-capsule Krag rifle.

skillest
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Re: 1887 Prototype #5

Post by skillest »

Something interesting about this is the magazine gate as well. MOD B/1886 and serial 16 (1888) both have the same style of magazine door/gate, but this has a different version. One of the other 1887 models, produced as a sporting-style carbine, also has the same magazine gate as MOD B/1886 and serial 16, so its possible that the gate was replaced at some point in time. However, the hinge on the gate is different from the final magazine design as well, and is similar to the original, except it doesn't mount to the action in the same way. It's possible the magazine for this is simply a different version that was developed as a unique feature, similar to the unique sights on this model.

It also seems to be missing the magazine cut-off, which at this time would have been a push-button design like MOD B and this unserialized model: https://digitaltmuseum.no/021025479384/gevaer does it look like the receiver should have this, and it was removed? or maybe it was made without one, since prototype Lees in 1886 during the same Danish tests were also made with and without the cut-off.

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butlersrangers
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Re: 1887 Prototype #5

Post by butlersrangers »

Thanks for your insights "Skillest".

The early Krags have some mighty sleek lines!

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FredC
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Re: 1887 Prototype #5

Post by FredC »

I would not have guessed this was the same Krag as first seen here: viewtopic.php?p=42337#p42337
The shape is there but the color of the stock is so different. Your mention of the stock being a sporter replacement makes sense. I had a hard time understanding how a military stock would have had so much extra material on it that you could carve away excess and have a cheek piece.

A real bit of history there.

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butlersrangers
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Re: 1887 Prototype #5

Post by butlersrangers »

It appears that the 'non-attached' 1/2 Capsule-Magazine, (like the one on Tom's new sporting Krag), could have been easily adapted to work on most 'turn-bolt' repeaters, like the 1871/84 Mauser, Kropatshek, Mannlicher, model 1888 Commission rifle, Remington-Lee, Hotchkis, Lebel, Berthier, and numerous others.

The magazine, as fitted to Krag-Jorgensen rifle #5, could also have offered 'magazine conversion' possibilities for single-shot bolt guns, like the Jarmann, Gras, 1871 Mauser, Berdan, and many others.

If a government did not adopt an entire design, it was possible that an inventor's action, barrel rifling, or magazine system, might be accepted and bring royalties.
A good method for converting single-shot rifles to magazine-rifles could have been quite lucrative in a period of rapid changes in firearms!

Tom, what style of rifling was used for the barrel of rifle #5?

Did the 'seller' describe any details about the original stock that he replaced?
Last edited by butlersrangers on Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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