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30-40 Krag questions

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Bbacharach, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Bbacharach

    Bbacharach Member

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    Hi all. I have a couple of questions regarding my new old krag. I've posted several pictures for your interest and to aid in your answers. This is my great grandfathers rifle whom I never met. My grandfather (who is still alive) and his father both bought krags at the same time sometime in the 40's. When My great grandfather died, my grandfather sold his fathers rifle to his dear friend and neighbor. Well recently the grapevine informed me that his friend needed a little cash and was selling this rifle. I was not even aware of this story of the rifles until I was informed of it for sale. I didn't even hesitate. I ran over the next day and bought it.
    So, I took it out shooting, and absolutely love it. I have a large collection of high end rifles, and this might be my favorite among them. However, at 87 yards I was shooting approximately 17" high.
    I have found as much information online as I think I can find. In fact there was a similar concern expressed on this forum that I read through, but my situation is a little more extreme. Maybe I have the wrong front blade? I know bullit ballistics may be a factor. I'm using 180gr vs the original 220gr. My grandfather told me today his rifle doesn't shoot high with 180gr so I don't know.
    My other question is I would like to cast the original bullit 220gr RN, but the closest thing I can find is 210 gr. Would anyone know where I can find a 220 mold? I don't want to get into casting for this rifle though unless I know those bullits will hit what I intend.
    On a side not that I find interesting, is my grandfather told me that back in the 40's 50s and 60s ammo was very hard to come by so he had an adaptor to load and fire 32 acp as an alternate round. He said it was accurate out to about 100 ft.
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. Bbacharach

    Bbacharach Member

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    Also I'm curious of the value of this rifle. The side of the sight has the letter C on it. You can kind of see in the photo, the print of "1896 US Springfiield Armory. 32352" . I understand if this is a true 1896 carbine it could have some primo value to it.
    Any of your expertise and opinions is much appreciated.
     
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  3. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    1. The front sight blade should be taller. That's why it's shooting high. This is an easy replacement. The rear sight is correct.

    2. That screw should not be sticking out of the bolt sleeve. It looks like an incorrect replacement. The screw should be flush.

    3. The carbine once had a sling bar and ring on the left side. This was removed and replaced by an inletted piece of wood. (You can see it in your third picture.) Perhaps this was an arsenal modification? Anyway, an original sling bar and ring that would match the condition of your gun could be found for about $125.

    4. I would say that this is an honest original M1896 carbine. I won't hazard a guess as to the value, because completed listings on GunBroker appear to be all over the place. It is quite valuable, though.

    5. Ammo can be made using .303 British cases if the proper .30-40 cases are unavailable.
     
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  4. Curator

    Curator Member

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    New brass is available sporadically. Try Grafs & Son as they had some a few months back. Also try Ebay for once-fired cases. The Lyman bullet mould #311284 was designed specifically for the Krag and will drop at 220 grains from the mould if cast from Wheel weight alloy with 2% tin added. US Krags are great guns to shoot but now 120+ years old so care needs to be exercised in selecting your loads.
     
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  5. Bbacharach

    Bbacharach Member

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    Thank you for your reply.
    I'm not sure what the story of that screw on bolt sleeve is. I'll see if I can get a replacement. I am looking for a ring and bar. I ordered one on ebay but it was too short.
    Taking care into consideration for the loads what would you guys recommend? Maybe 220 gr is working the old iron a little hard? I would like to shoot it on occasion, but without stressing it any.
     
  6. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

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    To get pretty quick velocities with lowish chamber pressures and little recoil, you could try 150 grain bullets with gas checks (I use a Lee 150 that can take GC's), or you could try 165 grain cast bullets sold by a ton of online vendors. Personally I like to have bullets sized as large that can be easily chambered... Could be as large as say .310/.311", and work wonderfully.

    With gas checks, proper lube, sizing and alloy you can push these 150's north of 2000 fps, but I usually run them around 1700-1800 fps with great results. The 165's I'd run around 1200 to say 1400 fps assuming lube/sizing/alloy are up to snuff. I've even loaded 150's to around 900 fps as a rabbit and squirrel load, and you can even make your own "cat sneeze" gallery loads using certain sizes of buckshot.

    Attached you will find some Lyman cast data for 30/40, and if you look around you can even find data for fast'ish pistol powders like Unique, Red Dot, etc. Shooting cast is a real hoot, saves a lot of $$$, and takes a minimal toll on your rifle. Good luck, and enjoy that fine rifle.

    30 40 data.jpg Lyman 30 40.jpg
     
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  7. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Posters above covered most of what I would say. You do see Remington corelokt 180 gr soft point ammo sold around deer season periodically as well.

    Check your rear sight and make sure it has a c Mark for carbine. Using a rifle Sight blade will throw it off. To cross check, there is a formula for determining the proper front sight height using several variables that should get you close. Changing the front sight blade pin is best done with a proper us issued punch. Try old guns.net for one.

    Grandpa's gun parts has the sling attachment for 55. S and S firearms is another good krag part source though some are now reproductions. Might be good to buy but if you plan on shooting it, leave the part off as krags have weak stocks and you don't want to do something to damage an original stock if you are not used to working with stocks. The sling attachment is in a delicate place on the stock where a lot have cracked or broke when shooting.

    If you want it complete, either get advice from gunny usmc on the forum or hire a qualified restorer. A bad job in putting the carbine sling attachment back could cost u far more than leaving it alone. If u plan to sell to a collector, having the part with the rifle gives them the option.

    Dick Hosmer, a commenter on jousters forum had a list of how to spot a genuine carbine from a cut down rifle. Try Google to find it. There is also a krag collector forum that can help.
     
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  8. LRDGCO

    LRDGCO Member

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    I shoot the Lyman 311284 in my Krag sporter over 22 grs IMR 4227. Quite accurate and pleasant to shoot at @1675 fps.
     
  9. Bbacharach

    Bbacharach Member

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    Thanks. It does have the C mark on the rear sight. I'll look for that specialized punch. LRDGCO, what bullit weight is it that you use?
     
  10. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Be sure to properly support the front sight base when punching out the pin. The base is silver soldered to the barrel and could break off. Any suitable punch would work; it doesn't have to be GI issue.

    You might consider adding a front sight protector. They are pricey, though. https://www.granpasgunparts.com/krag-accessories
     
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  11. LRDGCO

    LRDGCO Member

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    My 311284 is 212 grs. 22 grs IMR4227 is fine for 220 grs
     
  12. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Alexander,
    Cheaper to buy this guy's original U.S. Army punch which is sized properly and wont mushroom or break the tip of when trying to remove the sight blade like a lot of punches made with Chinese steel. Don't ask me how I know. I am now buying most of my tools used from Fleabay as the quality in even Brand Name stuff like Nicholson has went South since offshoring production.

    132 U.S. ARMY ORDNANCE PIN PUNCH- .046” (roughly 3/64”) (1903 Front sight pin, etc) - Part or Drawing number 43-P-3552. This is size suitable for use on the tiny pins used in the front sight blade on the M1903, 1903A3 and Krag rifles. Also, the slide cap pin on the Krag and M193 rear sight. It is nearly impossible to find small ones like this from commercial sources and filed down nails and the like are not very satisfactory. We stumbled on a number of these still in the original Ordnance Department cosmoline and wrappings and they really make like easier in the shop. However, tiny punches like this are easy to break, so might as well plan ahead and order some spares. Price for 1 punch- $3.00 Price for 4 punches- $10.00 Price for 12 punches- $25.00 Price for Ordnance wrapped bundle of 24 punches- $49.00 (View Picture)

    http://oldguns.net/catacc.htm#Tools
     
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  13. Archie

    Archie Member

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    I have a 1898 rifle version. The issue ammo, for which the sights were intended, was a 220 grain round nose at about 2000 fps. The lighter bullet may not agree with the original sights. The rear sight should be all the way down in the 'battle sight' position.

    I agree the front sight (if using more or less original ammunition, including reloads) is too short hitting as high as you report.
     
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  14. retread12345

    retread12345 Member

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    NO EXPERT Looks like a genuine carbine . Try S . and . S for original and repro parts Also try . JOUSTER 2 for good KRAG info
     
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