bought my first Krag - help needed with dating the rifle

U.S. Military Krags
DShK
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Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:03 pm

Re: bought my first Krag - help needed with dating the rifle

Post by DShK »

Bore is very good - maybe a little dark though but with strong rifling. I have attached a few more pictures showing the action as well as the barrel and bands. Leems like the finish on the bands has turned to patina faster than the finish on the barrel which looks stronger - is that common?
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rifle2.jpg
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rifle3.jpg
rifle3.jpg (90.35 KiB) Viewed 182 times

Zac952
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:37 am

Re: bought my first Krag - help needed with dating the rifle

Post by Zac952 »

I thought that the pictures maybe were just showing the bolt as blued and I am glad that is the case, the barrel was rust blued and the bands I believe were either case hardened and quenched in oil or maybe nitre blued, either way wear on the bands would be faster as the bluing used on these is not as durable, sights were a rolling change with Krags, so as a new sight was developed it was changed as soon as it could be and not on January 1st, so since your Krag was early 1901 the 1901 rifle sight wasn't developed until later that year 330,000 serial number and up, but the 1901 sight was updated onto Krags still in service after 1904, and with guard units, I wouldn't go changing the sight and handguard as this would be changing the history of the rifle as it was still likely changed in military service, I prefer the 1901 sight to the 1896 sight regardless. I would be very happy with a uncut Krag at $750. Very nice rifle, and if you happen to get the Krag bug as I did, Joe Poyers book on the Krag rifle and Carbine is a fun read and has much historical information on the correct configuration and changes to the rifle

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

Re: bought my first Krag - help needed with dating the rifle

Post by butlersrangers »

Your metal looks good and has been together for a long long time. Now hunt up some ammunition!

DShK
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Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:03 pm

Re: bought my first Krag - help needed with dating the rifle

Post by DShK »

butlersrangers wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:20 pm Your metal looks good and has been together for a long long time. Now hunt up some ammunition!
Will do - I'm on the hunt for some ammo for sure.

Also, how hard would it be to find an unsanded Krag stock? Would it be worth just replacing the wood to make the rifle nicer? Does anyone know how much a decent, unsanded, uncut Krag 1898 rifle stock would run for?

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butlersrangers
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Location: Below the Bridge, Michigan

Re: bought my first Krag - help needed with dating the rifle

Post by butlersrangers »

IMHO - Take a breath, be patient, and enjoy your Krag, as is.

A slightly "better" stock will cost you about $300, delivered, if it survives shipping. (You will have increased the value of your Krag, maybe, $100).

Several operators on ebay, routinely pillage complete rifles in order to make a profit, "parting them out".
I basically dislike this practice because it likely destroys some "correct" U.S. Krag rifles and skews "history".
(I won't patronize these sellers).

In time you will 'luck' into a "mix-master" Krag, with a nicer stock that is a better 'match' for your current metal parts and handguard.

By switching stocks, you will have one Krag that you really like and a second Krag, that you like too!

You will have two "parts" Krags, but, you will be happier (and will not have contributed to the destruction of history).
Just be honest and aboveboard with what you have done.

Not every Gun Aficionado will agree with my logic and ethics.

Zac952
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:37 am

Re: bought my first Krag - help needed with dating the rifle

Post by Zac952 »

BR is spot on, myself I would enjoy shooting this krag in the meantime and keep my eye out for another Krag that was in the condition you desire, in my opinion finding a Krag with the correct stock cartouche would be difficult and costly, and even when replaced wouldn't feel right as you know it isn't correct.
Really it takes a sharp eye to catch that the stock is sanded and doesn't really detract at all from a working piece of history. If you want a collector piece then I would keep an eye out for one and then only shoot and use it sparingly if at all (differing opinions on this), but having a collector piece and a shooter is a good combination, and even a replaced stock wouldn't turn this into a true collector piece in my opinion.
In my opinion you scored on this deal and got a very fine rifle.
Depending on how prevalent hunting is in your area unsporterized Krags can be quite rare and costly, in my area, I have only saw a slight few that were even close to original condition and sell for gunbroker prices and up.

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