General questions about rifle

U.S. Military Krags
Rabjaegar
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:14 pm
Location: Florida

General questions about rifle

Post by Rabjaegar »

Hello I bought this sporterized 1898 Krag rifle last week, and while I like the way it looks now, I want to bring it back to its original military configuration. If possible could someone tell me if it is a real carbine? The barrel does measure 22 inches which I understand is the standard carbine length for these rifles.
The rifles serial number reads: U.S. ,Model 1898, Springfield Armory, 208568. I have looked around on the internet and it seems that my serial number indicates that it is an 1899 Krag instead of 1898.

I appreciate any help you guys can give. Thanks!
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FredC
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Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 4:38 pm
Location: Dewees Texas

Re: General questions about rifle

Post by FredC »

Welcome to the KCA.

Front sight does look too tall for a carbine. Close ups will tell more. The stock looks like an after market sporter stock. I see no splice marks to indicate it started out as original. Also no barrel band is seen. Is it possible that a band is holding down the barrel but not seen? More close ups of the model number and sights as well as the stock will help us decipher the puzzle. Sometimes model number stamps get hard to read if they are pressed too deep.

Modified Krags make excellent hunting and target weapons but loose their collector value. A lot of times a fun shooter is better than a mint condition museum piece that you only look at.

Lead Snowstorm
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:20 am

Re: General questions about rifle

Post by Lead Snowstorm »

I have looked around on the internet and it seems that my serial number indicates that it is an 1899 Krag instead of 1898.
Krags are complicated beasts with Byzantine histories. In this case, there are two things to consider.

First, "Model 1898" rifles were made each year from 1898 to 1903. Your serial number does fit with a weapon made in 1899. (It does not appear in the SRS database, although a weapon just two(!) numbers higher does. A miss is as good as a mile with this database, and in this case it is fortuitous as well, as while 208570 appears in the record, it is to be reported as being destroyed in 1929.)

"Model 1899" weapons were all carbines, but, more importantly, they were all stamped "Model 1899" on the receiver.

There were "Model 1898" carbines that were made in 1898 and stamped "Model 1898." Those weapons' serial numbers are below 150K.

I believe, as you have surmised, you have a Model 1898, that began life in 1899 as a full-length rifle, subsequently altered to its present form with a cut-down barrel, aftermarked shorter stock with pistol grip, and a replaced sighting system. Although I cannot quite tell from the photo, it looks like the front sight may be the band-type front sight often seen with these shortened weapons. Your ability to restore it will be limited by the cut-down barrel and stock; I personally would enjoy it as-is or sell/trade towards a configuration you prefer.

Rabjaegar
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:14 pm
Location: Florida

Re: General questions about rifle

Post by Rabjaegar »

Here is the front sight and the receiver
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Rabjaegar
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:14 pm
Location: Florida

Re: General questions about rifle

Post by Rabjaegar »

FredC wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:06 pm Welcome to the KCA.

Front sight does look too tall for a carbine. Close ups will tell more. The stock looks like an after market sporter stock. I see no splice marks to indicate it started out as original. Also no barrel band is seen. Is it possible that a band is holding down the barrel but not seen? More close ups of the model number and sights as well as the stock will help us decipher the puzzle. Sometimes model number stamps get hard to read if they are pressed too deep.

Modified Krags make excellent hunting and target weapons but loose their collector value. A lot of times a fun shooter is better than a mint condition museum piece that you only look at.
Thank you for your response! I have posted a picture of the serial and sights, and I agree with you on your last comment - I am going to enjoy this rifle sporterized or not.

Rabjaegar
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:14 pm
Location: Florida

Re: General questions about rifle

Post by Rabjaegar »

Lead Snowstorm wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:09 pm
I have looked around on the internet and it seems that my serial number indicates that it is an 1899 Krag instead of 1898.
Krags are complicated beasts with Byzantine histories. In this case, there are two things to consider.

First, "Model 1898" rifles were made each year from 1898 to 1903. Your serial number does fit with a weapon made in 1899. (It does not appear in the SRS database, although a weapon just two(!) numbers higher does. A miss is as good as a mile with this database, and in this case it is fortuitous as well, as while 208570 appears in the record, it is to be reported as being destroyed in 1929.)

"Model 1899" weapons were all carbines, but, more importantly, they were all stamped "Model 1899" on the receiver.

There were "Model 1898" carbines that were made in 1898 and stamped "Model 1898." Those weapons' serial numbers are below 150K.

I believe, as you have surmised, you have a Model 1898, that began life in 1899 as a full-length rifle, subsequently altered to its present form with a cut-down barrel, aftermarked shorter stock with pistol grip, and a replaced sighting system. Although I cannot quite tell from the photo, it looks like the front sight may be the band-type front sight often seen with these shortened weapons. Your ability to restore it will be limited by the cut-down barrel and stock; I personally would enjoy it as-is or sell/trade towards a configuration you prefer.
Thank you for your response! If I were to make a somewhat accurate carbine clone all I would need would be the 1898 carbine stock and iron sights correct?

FredC
Posts: 1124
Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 4:38 pm
Location: Dewees Texas

Re: General questions about rifle

Post by FredC »

Butlersrangers has built faux carbines from parts. That said the sporter stock and rear aftermarket sight have a lot to be said for them. Probably faster on target and maybe slightly better sight picture. They sold these things for a reason. You might try it as it is and make picking up parts a take your time affair to get better stuff and prices.

Most of us like to see a forward hold down on the barrel or receiver to keep the barreled action from jumping out of the stock when fired. The two trigger guard screws are very close together. Any chance you have such a feature there and we just can not see it?

Knute1
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Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2016 3:22 am

Re: General questions about rifle

Post by Knute1 »

You will need a stock, handguard, buttplate, front sight, rear sight, barrel band of sorts and maybe a saddle ring. Original rear sights are highly collectable and highly priced. You have aspirations that many of us had when we got our first Krag and it was sporterized, including me. I eventually saved money for a Krag rifle that was unaltered except by the Springfield Armory. I enjoy both firearms. Hunted with one and enjoy the other as a true piece of history. There are still deals to be had if you be patient and wait for a good one to come along at the right time.

Once you fully investigate what it takes to get your rifle into a carbine you may choose to leave it as is. Not that making a carbine out of a sporterized rifle hasn't been done. But the stock on your sporter appears to be a good one. Townsend Whelen had a sporterized Krag that looked mighty fine. There is still some nostalgia with a Krag sporter and harkens back to the 1920'-1950's. My personal preference would be to clean the rifle up, maybe replacing the blade for the front sight, and some work on the finish. But it is your rifle. Whatever you choose I am sure you will enjoy it very much.

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

Re: General questions about rifle

Post by butlersrangers »

'Rabjaegar' - Welcome to the KCA Forum. You have a nice looking 'sporter' built from a model 1898 Krag rifle.

As others have said, it would make the most sense to use & enjoy your altered Krag, as it is.

You can save the $400-plus, that you would be investing in parts for a dubious 'restoration' attempt, to buy another Krag, more to your liking.

Your Krag, #208568, was assembled around June, 1899, as a model 1898 rifle.
Krag #208570, that was destroyed at the New Cumberland Depot in 1929 and any SRS listed serial numbers, near yours, are for model 1898 rifles.

Looking at your photographs reveals that your front-sight base is from a model 1903A3 'Springfield' rifle, built by Remington Arms.
Someone 'stepped' or reduced the diameter of your barrel, in the muzzle area, to fit the Springfield 'banded' base.
Your front-sight blade is a commercial blade. Different height blades are available for the '03A3 base and retained by the fine cross-pin.

Your rear "peep" sight appears to be a Redfield #70KH 'No-Drill' receiver sight with "Hunter" (micrometer) knobs. This sight required no alteration to the receiver or stock.
It is held on to the receiver with a longer Redfield made side-plate screw and a metal plate that 'hooks' into a hole, that normally holds the "magazine cut-off" lever.

It does appear your receiver has been altered by beveling or 'stream-lining' the front edge of the 'receiver-ring'.
There also seems to be a vertical-screw going up through the stock and anchoring into the barrel, (to replace the need for a barrel-band to prevent 'barrel-lift', when fired).
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Last edited by butlersrangers on Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FredC
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Location: Dewees Texas

Re: General questions about rifle

Post by FredC »

BR did some good catches. The taper on the front of the receiver looks too long to be just tapering of the receiver. I have heard the term "beauty ring" before describing a tapered sleeve to go over the barrel and make the transition from receiver to barrel seem more smooth. It also gave a place to attach a forward hold down screw. Looks like Rabjaegar got the ultimate 1930's sporter. It has all the bells and whistles of the day. It is a well thought out custom rifle. Hopefully it has a good barrel and shoots to its potential.

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