krag 30-40 rifle


July 2, 2006, 06:02 PM
I'm new at this game, so here goes. I have a Krag 30-40 rifle, model 1899, s/n 869141. The only other marking is on the band on the forepiece, the symbol "U". could be the symbol for Omega as well. It has sling swivels on it as well. What ammunition does it use? Thanks for any help.

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July 2, 2006, 06:38 PM
At the risk of sounding obtuse, the Krag uses .30-40 Gov. ammunition and I know that Winchester still makes a 180 grn. load for it. Any well stocked gunstore should have it. BTW the Krag also came chambered in 6.5mm X 55 Mauser. They were a favorite in the Eastern deer woods until WWII.

July 2, 2006, 06:40 PM
I appreciate your time and the info. I have enjoyed browsing your site and have enjoyed the conversations.

pete f
July 2, 2006, 06:55 PM
There are many old timers who believe that the 30-40 Krag cartridge is among the best ever made, I have a 30-40 in winchester 95 and the man i got it from says he killed everything from pronghorn to grizzly with it. He certainly had the collection of mounts to back it up....when loaded with the heavier bullets, 200 and 220's the 30-40 was equal to elk, big bear, buffalo, and moose with little concern for being undergunned.

both Winchester and Remington make 180 loads which should be great black bear and deer loads.

not outlandishly expensive either***690***

July 2, 2006, 06:56 PM
My dad had an old Krag I remember shooting when I was a kid. Tons of fun.

Jim Watson
July 2, 2006, 06:57 PM
"U" stands for "up." The letter should be showing with the rifle laying on its left side with the bolt handle (hammer of a muzzleloader) up.

Texas Moon
July 2, 2006, 07:31 PM
Your U.S.Krag is chambered in .30 USArmy, otherwise known as the .30-40 Krag. All U.S. Krag rifles and carbines were chambered in .30 USArmy.
The Swedish Krags were in 6.5x55mm.
Winchester and Remington make ammo for the .30-40K. Maybe Remington has stopped.
Krags are fine old rifles. They only have one locking lug on the bolt so DO NOT over load the rounds if you handload. Stick strictly to the manuals.
The cartridge itself is a wonderful round. Ballistically very similar to the .303 Brit. A real hard hitter, it works great for deer and similar sized game.
You need to check the locking lug on your bolt. Removing the bolt on a Krag isn't difficult, just takes a trick to know how.
Open the bolt and draw it all the way back.
Use your finger tip to lift straight up on the extractor spring at the top front of the bolt.
Gently turn the bolt as you pull it out of the action.
Clean the bolt and examine the base of the bolt were it meets the bolt body.
That lug is the one weakness of these fine old rifles. Look for any hairline cracks. If it is cracked DO NOT shoot the gun. Retire it to the rack.

July 2, 2006, 08:23 PM
You have a classic rifle there. Information on the Krag is available from the Krag Collector's Association (

Vern Humphrey
July 2, 2006, 08:25 PM
Clean the bolt and examine the base of the bolt were it meets the bolt body.
That lug is the one weakness of these fine old rifles. Look for any hairline cracks. If it is cracked DO NOT shoot the gun. Retire it to the rack.

A good trick is to de-grease the bolt and then put it in some thin solvent to soak for a while. Dry it off, and put it in the oven at about 250 degrees for about 10 minutes -- any crack should be visible, with solvent oozing out.

July 2, 2006, 09:04 PM
You can also take it to a machine shop and for a few bucks have it magnafluxed or dye-pen tested. Both are non-destructive procedures.

Livin in Texas

July 2, 2006, 09:07 PM
Texas Moon, the Swedes used a Mauser in 6.5x55, the Norwegians used a Krag in 6.5x55 . Mr Krag and Mr Jorgensen , the designers were Norwegians ! The first batch of our Krags were made in Norway the later ones with some modifications were made here. If you want to shoot it you might inspect the locking lug for cracks using magnetic particle or die penetrant tests. Don't exceed standard loads.

July 2, 2006, 09:34 PM
Congrats on your rifle. I acquired a 1899 Carbine, and will never part with it. As mentioned above, the Krag Collectors Association is a good resource. Mine had a worn sear, and a 'smith was able to take care of that and check the headspace for me, and it's been a fine shooter. BTW, getting the bolt out was easy for me, but getting it back in took some headscratching. :D

July 2, 2006, 10:45 PM
A sporterized 1898 Krag was my first real rifle and it's still a great shooter despite a bore that looks like a sewer pipe. It was my grandpa's primary hunting rifle for many years, and his dad's before that. I've never had trouble finding ammo for it, as long as you're happy with 180gr bullet (it likes those best anyway). As others have said, it's a good idea to have it checked over before firing.

August 8, 2006, 10:29 PM
Wow, thanks for all the info!!! I'm grateful for each posting. Thanks. The words about the locking lug examination is well appreciated. I will have it checked post haste. Many, many years ago I used a .303 for deer hunting on the ranch but it was given away when I went into the service and the ranch was sold. Now, I need to buy some ammo and test this one out. Thanks again. I'll post a post-performance report after I try it out.

August 8, 2006, 11:33 PM
At the risk of sounding obtuse, the Krag uses .30-40 Gov. ammunitionThere's a reason the Krag is called the Krag "30-40"....

Nice find on the gun, though. Happy shooting!:D

August 9, 2006, 12:00 AM
Great rifle. One of the smoothest bolt actions ever. And you can reload or top-off the side-mount magazine while a round is in the chamber.

Also a very flat-shooting and accurate round you could use in highpower matches (once you've checked out the bolt as mentioned above). My Dad used to "rent" one from the VFW for deer hunting season for a buck or two every year. He finally saved up and just bought one from them for ~$10. I'm still looking for one myself -- but they all seem to command quite a price.


August 13, 2006, 04:17 AM
Just an FYI. Always X out the last two number in the serial number. So your s/n would look like this 8691XX. Looks like you got a nice rifle. I wish I could find a good Krag.

August 13, 2006, 10:30 AM
Not sure why you "must" always X out part of the serial number. What's somebody going to do with your serial number? Call the cops and report the gun stolen? Making a false police report is a felony and will cause the prankster far more trouble than it will cause the gun owner.

Anyway, the Krag has an interesting if short history with the U.S. military. I believe it has the shortest length of service of any U.S. Army rifle, only about 8 years or something like that. The Krag has a very slick action but be aware of the noted situation with one locking lug.

The Krag got a bad rap in the Spanish-American War and folks say it fared poorly against the Mauser 95s in 7x57 the Spaniards were using in that conflict. I always felt that one big problem was the 220 grain round nose load the Army used in the Krag. Had they used a 165 grain spitzer bullet at 2500 FPS the Mausers would not have seemed so superior. The Mauser was faster to reload with stripper clips, for sure.

When I was a kid my best friend's dad carried an old Krag deer hunting each season. I thought it a very elegant looking action and wanted one. But by the time I was old enough to seriously look collectors were driving the prices beyond what I was willing to pay. All during the 1980s and into the early 1990s I searched for a shooter Krag priced at no more than $150. I searched in vain.

Then, in early 1992 I went to a local gun show (this was right before I left CA) and at the first table was a Krag that had been crudely sporterized. I casually asked how much and the dealer said $90. I fought the urge to rip out my wallet and counter-offered $80. I walked away with it for $85. Two tables over a guy had a used set of RCBS dies for $8 and I was in business.

Since then I have found two more Krags at $70 and $75. I bought both but sold them for what I paid to friends who wanted them.

A few years ago I decided to upgrade the old girl with a new stock. It was supposed to be 95% inletted but that was a lie. I spent countless hours making the stock fit. Would have helped if I had known what I was doing. Oh well. One more thing I need to do is replace that shark fin front sight with something on a ramp to look a little racier.

Here's ( how it looks now.

August 13, 2006, 11:01 AM
FYI The nomenclature of the 30-40 name comes from the black powder days. Those older black powder designations for the cartridges (25-35, 30-30, 32-20, 32-40, 30-40, 45-70, 50-90, 50-110 and so on) the first number was the caliber and the second number is the black powder capacity in grains.

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