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1898 Krag Manufacture Date

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Mkvolo13, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. Mkvolo13

    Mkvolo13 Member

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    Here we go.......I have never been on or used a forum before so if I am in the wrong place or break protocol please do not hesitate to let me know.

    I am trying to date US Springfield 1898 Krag...The serial number is 480531. I have looked at some
    list on line but none go that. Can someone shed some light on this for me? Thank you!
     
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Beats me. Two places I googled showed production ending by 478000.
     
  3. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Production figures can be wrong, but I think it more likely that the serial number on that gun is being read wrong, especially since the number stampings usually require magnification to be read accurately. As a suggestion, it could be 460531, for example.

    Jim
     
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  4. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    check serial number, then check Poyer, "The American Krag Rifle and Carbine".
     
  5. Mkvolo13

    Mkvolo13 Member

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    Than you all for your input. This is awesome!
     
  6. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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  7. Curator

    Curator Member

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    While the official production of the 1898/1901 Krag rifle ended in 1903, there were several thousand numbered actions, barrels and stocks that had not been assembled still in the pipeline. Military armorers had access to Krag parts until well after WWI. Bannerman bought most of the unassembled parts and made Krag Rifles and carbines for sale. The NRA also bought both surplus Krags and unassembled actions to make "NRA Sporters" using the Krag action and a new '03 barrel shortened and chambered for .30 US (Krag) I have "curated" two never issued Krag rifles with serial numbers in the 490K range for military museums. An "old-timer" at my gun club inherited an armorer's chest from his WWI Army armorer Dad that has several new unassmebled actions, bolts, and spare parts.
     
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  8. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    The military armories (and civilian factories as well) did not have any great concern for serial numbers in the days before "gun control" laws. To the military armories, serial numbers were seen primarily a means of inventory control by the using unit, not for production control or inventory at the production facility. so, as long as a serial number was not duplicated, it was of little concern. Further, the whole effort of the armory was concentrated on tooling up to produce the new rifle, not in worrying about past work. When production of a given model stopped, no one really cared when or at what number. Sometimes a "bean counter" (or a Congressman) would ask how many "Model X" were made and the armory folks scrambled to find an answer (not THE answer, just AN answer) and different people would provide different answers. Was it the last setting of the numbering machine (which was probably not kept), or the last number sent to stores, or the last number shipped to a using unit, or the number of the last rifle assembled, or something else?

    Jim
     
  9. tark

    tark Member

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    My Krag is 470148, cartouche is 1903. Yours is one of the last ones made, probably in 1903 or 1903.
     
  10. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    The real significance of the serial number on an M1898 Krag is in determining whether it was made before January 1, 1899, and is therefore an "antique" (and thus unregulated) under federal law. This is one of several guns whose production spanned the cutoff date (the famous '98 Mauser being another one).
     

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