Cartage conversions?

Sporterized and unofficial modified Krags
nokool61@yahoo.com
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:44 am

Cartage conversions?

Post by nokool61@yahoo.com »

Ok got a 1896 krag a few months back and have yet to find any ammo. Was thinking converting it to another rimmed cartridge that's more available. Based in on my web hunt I believe 303 British would be the best option. The bolt shouldn't need any modification just a custom barrel.

Anyone ever try this or have a better cartridge for the project?

Also I know it's blasphemy but this rifle has already been sporterized

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Parashooter
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Location: Kragmudgeon House, CT

Re: Cartage conversions?

Post by Parashooter »

.303 British operates at about 15% higher peak pressure and uses fatter bullets than .30/40. Not a good candidate. Take the funds intended for conversion and obtain reloading gear instead, solving problem of ammunition availability. You can even use .303 British cases if you can't find .30/40 brass.

nokool61@yahoo.com
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:44 am

Re: Cartage conversions?

Post by nokool61@yahoo.com »

Well I would be having a custom barrel made for the conversion. With modern metals most modern barrel blanks are designed to handle cartridge pressure without a recover so I don't think the extra 5kpsi will be an issue.

That said hard to do reloading when you don't have room.

todd444
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Location: windber, pa

Re: Cartage conversions?

Post by todd444 »

nokool61@yahoo.com wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 3:20 pm Well I would be having a custom barrel made for the conversion. With modern metals most modern barrel blanks are designed to handle cartridge pressure without a recover so I don't think the extra 5kpsi will be an issue.

That said hard to do reloading when you don't have room.
the action and bolt are not modern. if you are going to use 30-40 krag, find the cartridges.

https://ammoseek.com/ammo/30-40-krag
https://www.targetsportsusa.com/csearch ... -40%20krag
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Parashooter
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Location: Kragmudgeon House, CT

Re: Cartage conversions?

Post by Parashooter »

nokool61@yahoo.com wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 3:20 pm. . . hard to do reloading when you don't have room.
I often wonder how much space folks think it takes to handload rifle cartridges. If we have enough table space for a light breakfast, that's enough. Equipment can be stored in a shoebox under the bed and components about anywhere that isn't damp or hot. Hand press, dies, caliper, powder scale, and a set of dippers are all the toolis really needed to start.

nokool61@yahoo.com
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:44 am

Re: Cartage conversions?

Post by nokool61@yahoo.com »

Well one bedroom apartment apt with 3 adults. So room is an issue. I inherited a full reloading shop, kit no where to put it.

nokool61@yahoo.com
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:44 am

Re: Cartage conversions?

Post by nokool61@yahoo.com »

todd444 wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 4:29 pm
nokool61@yahoo.com wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 3:20 pm Well I would be having a custom barrel made for the conversion. With modern metals most modern barrel blanks are designed to handle cartridge pressure without a recover so I don't think the extra 5kpsi will be an issue.

That said hard to do reloading when you don't have room.
the action and bolt are not modern. if you are going to use 30-40 krag, find the cartridges.


Well considering the lee Enfield and 303 British went into service roughly the same time as the krag and 30-40 I wouldn't consider "modern" as being a issue. Both cartridges are close in rim size and thickness and the pressure is similar and not even over the 30% over pressure the krag would have been tested at. Plus for not too much more than the cost of 40 rounds of 30-40 I could have a custom barrel made...

https://ammoseek.com/ammo/30-40-krag
https://www.targetsportsusa.com/csearch ... -40%20krag

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butlersrangers
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Location: Below the Bridge, Michigan

Re: Cartage conversions?

Post by butlersrangers »

Cartridge Conversions? (I likely will regret this post).
Not really practical, you are tied to the .30-40 case (or reformed .303 brass) for magazine feed.

Who is going to do the custom barrel? Who is going to install the barrel? Very few Smiths will work on Krags.

If your thought is to shoot issue .303 British military or factory ammo, the pressures are too high. Trade or sell your Krag and buy a Lee-Enfield.

'nokool61' - You have been given some excellent suggestions and warned about safety concerns.

Hear what is said and think about internal ballistics, rather than Forensics (debate).

A stronger barrel does not make a stronger Krag rifle action.

With Krag rifles the weakest links are a 120 year old casehardened action and the brass cartridge case.

In normal times, .30-40 ammo loaded for U.S. Krag pressures, makes it to gun shop shelves. Presently, all ammo prices are insane.
For economy, most Krag enthusiasts reload and stay within safe established data. (Reloading components are currently at insane prices). Many of us fortunately bought supplies ahead of time.

(Please don't copy my observations and attach them to a reply post. I'm not trying to engage in a debate).

I just want you to stay safe and avoid wasting a lot of money to make a $300 rifle.

nokool61@yahoo.com
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Re: Cartage conversions?

Post by nokool61@yahoo.com »

Well as I mentioned based on a basic search the pressure of each cartridge is within 5,000psi. I've already found a company that can produce the barrel using the original to copy profile and threading and it's literally the cost of 2 boxes of the only krag ammo available. I would convert to 30-30 to be on the safe side but then that requires modification to the bolt. Now I know the weakness of the krag is the single lug design but the pressure difference doesn't come close to the 30% over pressure the gun should be safe for which is 52,000psi.

As I stated above reloading isn't an option and I don't care so much about keeping the rifle original as it's already been partially sporterized. I'd rather have a rifle I can use and still look original than simply sell it for something else's.

If it was a matter of simply having a rifle to shoot I would just buy some more remington 700s but that's not the point to my inquiry
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Zac952
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:37 am

Re: Cartage conversions?

Post by Zac952 »

Nokool61 in my opinion well it may seem like the pressure is close enough, the military experimented with a 30-40 krag cartridge loaded with a 220gr bullet at 2200 fps in 1898, only 200fps faster than the original loading, and it seemed like the action was taking it, but then they started to get cracked bolt lugs so they had to reduce the charge back to the standard load.
So no a chambering in 303 British would not be safe. I understand the not having space for reloading idea as I was in the same boat when I first turned 18, instead of giving up on the hobby that I had done since I was 12 I purchased a lee hand press and a lee dipper set, I then proceeded to reload ammo out of a shoebox until I purchased my house. You will actually really be happy you took the plunge I to reloading in the long run as you can save a ton of money.
This is what I would suggest as a starting reloading setup, as you say you inherited a full reloading set up this is what I would put in your shoebox,
Reloading handbook based on what bullets you plan to use or the lee handbook as it has many brands of bullets $30
Lee hand press kit $50
30-40 Krag dies $30-$80
Lee dipper set $20
Lee safety scale $30
1lb of powder that matches your dippers for a load $30
Large rifle primers $4 to $5 but you will have to search for this now,
30-40 brass, Graf has some in stock now,
30 cal bullets 150gr or heavier preferably but check your load data $35

So all in all it sounds like a lot but I guarantee it would be cheaper than rebarreling it, buying ammo, and then ruining your rifle.
Not to be blunt here but no excuses on why you can't reload as I used to work 2 jobs 60-70 hours a week with no full day off, and I reloaded out of a shoebox. If you don't want to reload than ok, but obscure military rifles may not be for you either then.
Just trying to help not argue, as all the people on this forum have been extremely helpful both to me and others, they are trying to give you good advice on not throwing your money away.

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