Before I start I want to note that I did not sporterize this rifle, I bought it with that already done to it so put away your pitchforks I had been lusting after this 1898 krag in the local pawn shop for I believe 3 years. When I originally saw it on the rack it was listed for $775. I go in there a couple times a year to browse and he has been dropping the price as time went by. This spring it was marked $625 and when I went in December it was $525. I confronted him with the fact that he had had it for longer than I've had my dog and offered him $450 and he agreed without argument. The original barrel has been shortened to 22", a set of Williams sights were on it, and it had of course been restocked and reblued. this is how it came to me I fell in love with the rifle but the sights were a problem and it needed stock work. Its such a beautiful and smooth action it just begs to be taken hunting. My goal for this rifle is to make a fully functional deer rifle out of it that is just as usable and accurate as a modern scoped bolt rifle. I want to go hunting with this 119 year old rifle with no compromises. So on to fixing it. The issue with the stock was that a krag only has two action screws in the trigger guard and they rely on barrel bands to hold the rifle in the stock forward of the receiver. That combined with the mag cutout in the stock meant that the forearm flopped around like a sandal. The fix to this was to add another action screw forward of the receiver. I considered several options such as drilling and tapping the bottom of the front receiver ring for another screw but I wanted the attachment point to be further forward so as to offer more strength to the stock. I considered adding a barrel band toward the front of the forend and tying it into a sling swivel stud and also thought about cutting a dovetail into the bottom of the barrel to add a lug. Ultimately I decided to make a lug to attach to the bottom of the barrel just forward of the receiver out of a section of tubing with the right radius. To keep things somewhat authentic I wanted to use the correct Krag action screw for this so they would all match. I found that a Krag uses a 1/4-25 thread pitch screw, which no longer exists, but fortunately Brownells sells reproduction screws as well as the correct size tap. For the screw attachment point I tig welded a stainless steel nut to the plate and drilled a relief hold in the back to allow full thread engagement. I believe the nut was an M6x1.0, which is fairly close in pitch but smaller diameter than 1/4-25, and then chased it out with the 1/4-25 tap. I attached this to the barrel by roughing it up with a file and epoxying it in place with Devcon Titanium Putty, which is an extremely tough industrial epoxy. I have used this epoxy for several application at work and it seams to be just about impervious to solvents and heat cycling. It should take many thousands of lbs of force to break the epoxy bond. The stock of course had to be inletted for this lug. I whittled it out with an endmill in my drill press and then sunk a blind hole with a forstner bit for the aluminum pillar. When I get around to it I will glass in this recess. Third action screw from below. It is extremely solid now and I floated the forend about .080" while I was at it. Now with the stock taken care of, on to the sights. The problem with the sights is that they were to low for me to be able to get a sight picture with the monte carlo stock that is on it. I waffled back and forth on just getting taller sight inserts from Williams or trying to figure out a scope mounting solution. Iron sights for me though are not really a viable option. I am very near sighted and can't really shoot iron sights past 75 yards or so without the aid of a steady rest to adjust my sight picture and focus. I could have taken it hunting and limited myself to short range shots but I want to be able to hunt with no compromises and for me that means I need optics. The problem with a Krag is that the rear of the receiver is split at the back for the extractor which rides at the top, so there is nowhere to put a rear scope mount. Also due to the way the bolt comes out of a krag if you put a scope in the normal position we are used to you can't get the bolt out. There is a company that makes an offset scope mount that clamps on and offsets the scope to the left but frankly they are quite homely and the clamp on attachment is janky. I could not find any scope mount available that fit what I wanted. I thought long and hard about a scout scope arrangement but poo pood that after mocking up a spare pistol scope. The scout scopes just don't have the field of view I want for a timber rifle. My ideal scope mount would mount the scope in the normal centered position, be removable to allow the bolt to come out for occasional cleaning, not cover the roll stamps on the side of the receiver, use standard dovetail rings so as to allow swapping out rings of different height, not use a weaver style rail for aesthetic reasons, leave the action opening unobstructed in the center, and I wanted to be able to make it in my shop with my tools. I looked for an off the shelf dovetail base to put on the front receiver bridge but all the ones I found had too wide of screw spacing to fit on the narrow krag bridge. I had a spare redfield contender mount in my drawer and realized that the screw spacing wa close enough to work and could be made to fit with some reshaping. I cut the rear section off and filed the curve on the bottom with a large curved file to match the radius of the receiver. Once it was close I wrapped a piece of sandpaper around a pipe and profiled it till it was right. I drilled and tapped the receiver for two 6-40 star drive screws. For the rear mount I gut the front off the same contender mount and trimmed it down till it was basically just a square with the dovetail centered. To attach to the side of the reciever I made a small piece from a tube with the same inside diameter as the receiver radius. I drilled and tapped the side of the receiver for two 8/32 taper head screws and countersunk the mount to flush mount the screws. With the scope mounted by just the front mount and ring I centered the scope reticle and bore sighted across the shop to get the scope alignment right. This took taking it apart and grinding and adjusting about a half dozen times. Once I had the scope lined up right I covered the scope in aluminum foil and tacked the pieces together with the tig welder. I think that redfield base was cast because it was all sorts of unhappy about being welded on. As soon as the Tig arc would hit it, it would start to bubble and pit. After grinding it out and filling it back in a few times I was finally able to get it to look decent with no surface pitting. It would have worked much better to use stainless filler but that won't take a blue. My intent was to file and sand the weld down to make it look like one smooth piece but I'm not going to mess with it now for fear of uncovering the horror show underneath, so it will have to stay as a raw weld. I did put it in the vice and torque on it with a wrench and its solid, it will pull the screws out before that mount gives. After that I polished everything up and blued the mounts with this kit from blue wonder. I highly recomend this for anyone needing to cold blue a part. It works pretty much like any other cold bluing solution except it has a "developer" that you put on after the bluing solution which smells like toilet bowl cleaner. The moment you put the developer on it turns the part a nice deep gloss black. While I was at it I did a touch up blue on the rest of the action and was extremely impressed with the results. The finish is much deeper and tougher than other bluing products I have used. https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1006363070/blue-wonder-gun-blue-cold-blue-2-oz-kit Here is the final result. The scope is an older Bausch and Lomb 3-9x40 Elite 3000 I got on ebay for this build. There is a tang on the top of the bolt that the extractor pivots in that the mount had to be made to clear I also needed to clearance the bottom of the mount to allow the extractor room to ride up over its detent at the rear of bolt travel. I happened to have found this new old stock safety lever on ebay to clear the scope. The factory safety pivots all the way over and would have hit the scope if not shortened. Its pretty chincy quality but it does function. Guessing it was made in the late 40's or 50's? And here is the important part, by taking the two rear mount screws out the whole thing can pivot around on the front dovetail to allow the bolt to be removed. As you can see when the bolt is removed on a krag the extractor pivots up and would hit any scope mounted in the conventional position. Now to shoot it! I have 50 rounds of brass and 5 or 6 kinds of .308 bullets to try. Will start with IMR4350 and 180 grain ballistic tips. If anyone has any 30-40 brass they want to send me I can put it to good use!