Restore it or Leave it.

Sporterized and unofficial modified Krags
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Musicmanhd130
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2022 6:56 am

Restore it or Leave it.

Post by Musicmanhd130 »

I was gifted a 1898 springfield dated 1900 based on serial number referencing. It came with only a stock, bolt and barreled receiver. I have been piecing it back together and I'm just about done I still need a handgaurd and a rear sight. My question is about the stock. It has been cut down about 10 inches or so. Just curious what the best thing to do as far as restoration. I believe the stock is original based on the cartouche stamp. So should I leave it alone repair the original stock with a replica foregrip or just get a complete replica stock. My goal is to restore it with out worsening the integrity of the rifle and not to spend more money than it is worth. Any information is greatly appreciated.
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butlersrangers
Posts: 8671
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:35 pm
Location: Below the Bridge, Michigan

Re: Restore it or Leave it.

Post by butlersrangers »

Musicmanhd130 - Welcome to the KCA forum. It is always fun for us to see a Krag, that is "gifted" and maybe a family heirloom.

IMO - What you do with this Krag will have a lot to do with your interests and the rifle's connection to you.

Are you a shooter, reloader, hunter, good with hand tools, a military history 'buff' or just wanting a fun conversation piece and decorator item?

Also important, for value and utility, is the condition of your Krag rifle's bore. (The rifle does seem to have its full barrel length and original front-sight).

What you now possess is RB's Hunting rifle. (If "RB" is a known and cherished ancestor, it is neat to leave it, 'as is').

If you want to shoot this Krag, you can just put a model 1901 or 1902 U.S. Krag military sight or an old commercial "no-drill" peep-sight on it.
Such Krag sights show up on eBay and will cost about $75 to $100, with installation screws.
A rear-sight is money that will be well spent; a cash outlay that can always be 'recovered'. Just shop for a good deal.
(Don't have new holes drilled & tapped for sight or scope attachment)!

As you have anticipated, restoring this Krag to its military configuration is a money pit.
Your present stock appears solid for shooting, but it has blemishes, (initials, a sliver of wood missing from in front of the bolt-handle, and it has been sanded).
Replacement original or reproduction Krag stocks and hand-guards are very expensive.

Stretching a cut-down Krag stock and adding a front barrel-band/swivel, hand-guard, and rear-sight, will probably cost around $300 to $400.
You will have an obvious restored 'parts gun' that will be worth around $600 and very hard to sell.

My recommendation is to shop for an economical 'bolt on' rear sight, find a box of 180 grain .30-40 ammo, and enjoy RB's 'sportered' Krag at the Range.

Whig
Posts: 1656
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:53 am

Re: Restore it or Leave it.

Post by Whig »

Also, to add to Butlers post above, you do not need a hand guard to enjoy and shoot your Krag. All of the Krag sights have the same hole spacing but may use different screws, which are a strange threading. If you buy a rear sight to use, make sure you buy one, as Butlers said, that has the screws with it. Hope you enjoy shooting your Krag!

Musicmanhd130
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2022 6:56 am

Re: Restore it or Leave it.

Post by Musicmanhd130 »

Thank you for the replies. I was already leaning towards leaving it as it is. It has character. My plan was to get an original 1898-1900 rear sight to keep it as original as possible.

Before I run a few rounds through it is there any thing I should look at like Head spacing? The rifling and breach looks as good if not better than some of my newer rifles. There are no visible damage to the bolt or lugs. No major pitting on any of the surfaces and no pitting at all in the rifling. Are there any production issues that I need to be aware of like the low number 03A3's? Just wanna be safe. Thank you all again for your info.
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FredC
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Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 4:38 pm
Location: Dewees Texas

Re: Restore it or Leave it.

Post by FredC »

Welcome Musicman.
Your stock has more grain figuring than I am used to seeing. A lot of the parts that are on the market that could be used to make yours look more original will come from ones that are breaking up honest rifles to sell parts. The ones that break up original rifles make a lot of money as the parts go in circle. Grandpa's sells a lot of surplus and new surplus parts, I do not mind buying from him to round something out or repair a broken part.

I am a machinist if your rifle was mine I would shorten it to 24 to 26 inches to make it handier. It would not cost me anything but most others it probably would to have it done by gunsmith. A sporter does not have to look like a carbine. A carbine does have a good look to it and faux carbine that is not done to deceive can have the same good look also, but there are other looks.

Your second post came before I finished, I will go back and look at your rifling. Your Krag does have a nice look to it.

Headspace is rarely a problem, if you are really concerned it is easy enough to check with head space gauges or shims with a known size case.

Your rifling is not bad, a lot with worse have shot very well.

Musicmanhd130
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2022 6:56 am

Re: Restore it or Leave it.

Post by Musicmanhd130 »

I did use grandpa's for the small stuff like sling swivels and screws. Rest of it was sourced from ebay. I think I have everything except a handgaurd and rear sight. I'm positive i have all the essentials. I'm not terribly worried about the handgaurd. Thank you for your reply Fred.

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butlersrangers
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:35 pm
Location: Below the Bridge, Michigan

Re: Restore it or Leave it.

Post by butlersrangers »

Original hand-guard prices have gotten silly. Currently, complete reproduction hand-guards do not seem to be available.
If you are content without using a hand-guard, it will save a lot of money!

The metallurgy/heat-treat of the Krag action is the same that was used with the 1903 'low number' Springfield rifles.

A big difference with the Krag is that a rimmed cartridge-case prevents escaped gases, from a failed cartridge case, leaking back into the action.
(Failed .30-06 rimless cartridge-cases allow high pressure gases to enter the action of the single heat-treat 1903 receivers and cause mischief).

Of course, lower pressures are involved with the .30-40 cartridge, than with the .30-06.
Head-space dimensions with the .30-40 cartridge run close to the actual rim thickness and not the complicated distance from a case-shoulder 'datum line' to the bolt face.

Model 1901 and 1902 rear sights are what ultimately were used on model 1898 Krags. These are usually the least expensive Krag sights and are adjustable for windage.








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