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30-40 Krag

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20 August 2012, 09:03
30-40 Krag
I have never collected old guns, but I would like to start by getting a Krag I could hunt with. I'm thinking of a peep sight for old eyes. I know there is a lot of experience here and no doubt some hard earned lessons. During my initial Internet research it is clear that without some professional guidance, I'm going to screw this up. I am looking for a very nice stock (your definition of that is ok) with very good wood to metal fit (same) on very good finished rifle.

I do not want what they call a Bubba'ed sporter.

If you can help guide me in any way, thank you.
20 August 2012, 16:34
Send me an e-mail.......I have a really nice and professionally sporterized Krag. No peep sight.
20 August 2012, 18:23
If the rifle you decide on isn't drilled and tapped for a receiver sight (few are in actuality), and you wish to add one, go with a no-drill style such as the old Redfield 102 or the old Pacific no-drill. They both work well and obviate the necessity to drill and tap those glass hard receivers.
21 August 2012, 00:14
Thanks for the tip. I wrote it in my notebook with all the information I've gathered so far on the Krag.
21 August 2012, 00:41
Are you wanting one with a very good well fitted modern stock, such as a sporting rifle would have, or you looking for one in military configuration with a good stock? In the military configuration with good wood and're going to pay for that dearly. Someone on this forum said that Krag actions (or maybe complete rifles in bad shape) are available from CMP. I don't know, but if so you could build your own rifle.

Now as for hunting I've done that with mine and let me say the 30-40 cartridge is very efficient on deer. No handy cap there.
21 August 2012, 04:58
as to which stock, I honestly dont know. I am not opposed to either. I actually assumed they were modified military stocks. Very good point.
21 August 2012, 06:14
Alberta Canuck
A lot of the old Krags I've seen in the western U.S. are equipped with the Rice peep sight which was made for the Krags. Seems to me it was made in San Francisco before WWII and maybe for a bit afterward, though I can't vouch for that last part.

Anyway, it is a dead simple little sight, screw (not click) adjustable for both windage and elevation, mounts onto the bolt, and was very inexpensive. When they were new they sold for $1.

I've owned three Krags which were converted to carbine sporters by Lord Knows Who...and all three of them had Rice peep sights when I bought them. The sights and rifles all worked very well.

Perhaps you may run across one of those. Or if you look at a picture of one, you can see it would be dead easy to make your own.

My country gal's just a moonshiner's daughter, but I love her still.

21 August 2012, 06:28
Michael Petrov
I agree the "Rice" is a simple little sight that works well.

The drawback of most receiver sights is that you have to move them to remove the bolt. I like both the bolt peep or the Rice.

About a sporter. I prefer a good cut down military over a bad bubba.

My beater with a Rice,

Something to look for,

21 August 2012, 06:42
Alberta Canuck
I tried to post an "edit" to my first post on the Rice peep sight, but for some reason it didn't "take".

Turns out the Rice who made the peep for the Krag was apparently a different man and outfit from the Rice Gun Sight Company of San Francisco. The sight for the Krag such as the one on Mr. Petrov's rifle was made by Leroy Rice of Elyria, Ohio. At least that is where he was located in 1939.

Still a great little sight, with real nostalgic "class"..

My country gal's just a moonshiner's daughter, but I love her still.

21 August 2012, 07:00
Wow those are 2 rifles I am going to save the pictures of. Either looks very nice, but I suspect the 2nd one is a fair weather gun. Who knows, maybe I will end up with two.
21 August 2012, 09:04
Michael Petrov
I might also add that when you are looking at a cut down rifle that the stock has many cutouts in the bottom of the barrel channel. When the stock is cut back to a place that looks right for most folks they then fill in the cut with a piece of wood. IMO this does not look good, serviceable..yes.

Below is how I attached a solid piece of wood to the forend hidden by the barrel band.

21 August 2012, 10:03
Alberta Canuck
Michael - I find that really interesting. As I am not a knowledgeable person on Krag carbines, I had just assumed mine were all conversions from rifles. But, none of the three had those barrel channel cutouts which would require adding wood to the front of the there were no add ons. Could they all have possibly been genuine carbines?

I got every one of them for well under $150, and sold them for what I paid for them after several years each of use. (They were all owned "serial" in my accumulation...never had more than one at a time.)

Oh, and that did not include a fourth one, a G&H carbine I had in Canada and which BATF wouldn't let me bring when I moved to the 'states in '82 because it was "a military rifle". It was entirely restocked and barrel altered by G&H.

Oddly enough, BATF did let me bring a completely unsporterized, full original military No. 4 MkI* Long Branch built for the Canadian Forces rifle team and originally chambered at Long Branch in 7.62 NATO, which I got when I was V-P of the King's Own Calgary Regiment Military Rifle Association. Those BATF guys boggle the mind sometimes.

My country gal's just a moonshiner's daughter, but I love her still.

21 August 2012, 21:59
Michael Petrov
Could they all have possibly been genuine carbines?

Very possible, the way I keep them sorted out, which may not be correct, is that the rifle have a steel pin through the stock just in front of the barrel band. The carbines have a long spring load keeper on the right side.

Hopefully a Krag person will come along and straighten this out.
23 August 2012, 23:59
Alberta Canuck
Good grief!! Thanks for the info. Sure wish I had known that at least 4 or 5 years ago.

ALL of mine had that long spring front band keeper on the right hand side of the forestock. And I let them go real cheap 'cause I thought they likely weren't the real carbines. Oh well, that's how a guy learns in a way so as to not forget.

Thanks again.

My country gal's just a moonshiner's daughter, but I love her still.

25 August 2012, 01:39
Michael Petrov
Speaking of Rice peep sights I took my old Krag to the range this morning.

Anyone who has some time with a peep sight knows how the sun can move the bullets around ;-)...fired number 9-10 just as the sun broke out of the clouds. After it left I first two more to make sure.

25 August 2012, 03:03
Alberta Canuck
Not bad shooting for a $1 sight, eh? Dontcha just love those old crowbar Krags? I know I do.

One of the guns I have always wanted but never got built was one just like Townie Whelen's .30-40 Winchester Hi-wall which he took with him on a long trip in B.C (I think he was still a Lieutenant then, but I could well be wrong).

My country gal's just a moonshiner's daughter, but I love her still.

25 August 2012, 03:56
Michael Petrov
The high-wall you are talking about is in the rack, third down from the top. The picture is Townsend Whelen's quarters at Fort Benning, I forgot the date. Picture from Townsend Whelen Bowling.

25 August 2012, 05:10
Alberta Canuck
Too bad I am not Bill Gates, or at least had his financial resources. I'd find a way to get permission to use that rifle once in a while regardless of cost, though I wouldn't try to own it. It is where it belongs (most of the time). I'd definitely have a completely correct copy made to the best of human ability, as my own personal treasure.

Townie, as you can probably tell, was and is one of my heroes from my youth.

Thanks for sharing the picture. I'm really tickled to see the gun still exists and is still being taken care of.

My country gal's just a moonshiner's daughter, but I love her still.

25 August 2012, 06:33
Michael Petrov
I got the picture from Townsend's grandson. I don't know where the rifle is today.

Here is his Adolph-Krag that belongs to a friend.

25 August 2012, 06:35
Michael Petrov
If it would make you feel any better you can stop by the house and I'll let you play with his Wundhammer Smiler

30 August 2012, 10:48
Absolutely gorgeous rifles.

31 August 2012, 09:51
N E 450 No2
A buddy of mine had a Krag that looked like the one in Michaels picture, minus the peep sight.

It was one little slick rifle and it shot and handled great.

I tried to get a gunsmith from Norway to make me a Krag in 308 from a 6.5x55. I promised to shoot only light loads suitable for its action but he refused, being afraid some one would shoot full power ammo in it. No doubt a wise choice. I just did not want to start loading a new calibre...

Krags are fun rifles.

13 September 2012, 20:02
Joe R. Lock
If the Krag was a Danish or Norwegian Krag, they used the bolt rail as a second locking lug. It should have been strong enough to handle even the .308 w/ factory and below max handloads.
14 September 2012, 03:54
N E 450 No2

While I thought that it would take a few factory loads, I was going to shoot only my 165gr bullet with 39.5gr of IMR 3031 in it.

Or even lighter if he recommended it. Still I could not get him to barrel me one in 308...

Which ever time I see a picture or handle one of these Sporter Krags I regret, as I do like them...

23 September 2012, 04:59
Originally posted by Michael Petrov:

Something to look for,

Where do I find a stock like that one?
I too usually prefer a well done sporterized Military stock, but if I could get my hands on a stock like that I'd change my tune.

Mine looks like this and shoots absolutely fantastic with factory Win 180 grains and sierra 180 grain handloads:

23 September 2012, 08:15
45-70 shooter
Mike is having a bit of fun with you.
When it comes to 20th century classic rifles he is "the man".
Buy his book you'll have to wear a bib !
24 September 2012, 00:21
Oh I know I've seen hundreds (maybe) of his rifle photos here on AR and without a doubt he is the expert on classic rifles.
24 September 2012, 20:18
Here is my old Krag I found in a local pawn shop. I removed the buckhorn sight and added the Rice peep like Mr. Petrov, but this was the best sporter I'd seen done in a long time with the original military stock.

25 September 2012, 20:32

If you replace this stock shone in your pictures, I would be interested in it.

The cut down stock on my Krag is not in as nice of shape

God Bless ya'll.

"You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Bera
29 September 2012, 21:08
Krags are really nice rifles and most of them shoot very accurately.
20 March 2013, 18:30
Adding a receiver sight is easy. Most of the cut down Krags I have seen were already drilled. I stocked this one a few years ago and added the ramp front sight to go with the aperture sight already installed.

21 March 2013, 03:25
Larry Matherne
I like mine!

22 March 2013, 12:08
Here's mine. I don't know who did the stock work but haven't seen this much birdseye in a stock in a long time.


"...I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprize, and independance to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks." Thomas Jefferson
22 March 2013, 12:44
Those are some beautiful rifles. I love the old Krag rifles.

One of my friends used his grandfathers sporterized Krag to take his big bull elk when we were in high school. Everyone made fun of him because the 30-40 was such a puny round and wasn't big enough for elk. Well one well placed factory Winchester silver tip was all it took.
Ever since then I have always liked the Krag.
24 March 2013, 21:37
Great photos/rifles

NRA Life Member, Band of Bubbas Charter Member, PGCA, DRSS.
Shoot & hunt with vintage classics.
11 July 2013, 01:12
Growing up in rural Alabama in the days when centerfire rifles were seldom encountered, I was always fascinated by a friend’s collection that he (actually, his dad) inherited from his grandfather. Apparently the granddad was quite an individual that went to Alaska during the gold rush and developed and owned an operating gold mine. He later returned to AL and bought a huge tract of land that is now subdivided into many parcels owned by his descendants. Anyway, an 1886 Winchester and a cut down Krag were there for us teenagers to play with whenever anyone could find ammo for them and sneak them out of the house.

The story told about the Krag was that the Alaskan locals got to kidding the Southerner about his Krag. Of course, he didn’t take it well and they soon were able to goad him into proving he could shoot it. It seems that during the argument, a moose had wandered out into the open way off in the distance. The story I was told was that it was a mile, but it could have been most any distance….just way off. Although Mr. O knew that he was being had, he took a shot anyway. As the moose kept wandering along, the locals really raked him over the coals until a couple of minutes later the animal dropped. Of course, Mr. O admitted to his family that the shot was a once in a million hit, but he acted as though he could make it anytime to the others in AK.

Handling and shooting that Krag and 1886 left such an impression on me that I knew someday I had to have one like them. My 1886 is a Browning SRC and the Krag is a bubba'ed original with a peep that mounts in the magazine cutoff slot. I will never get rid of either of them.
25 February 2014, 10:22
Idaho Sharpshooter recently acquired hundreds of patterns for the old rifles. They have several, including Mannlicher and Monte Carlo for Krags.

05 May 2014, 21:40
Nick Adams
Okay, I'll play along with some "inspirational" pics ... Smiler

This is my grampa's "custom" Krag rifle, which is now mine.
I added the leather sling (his was tearing) and the cartridge stock pack.

Have no idea who did the work, but it's heads & shoulders above the many bubba-rized Krags I've seen littering the gunshows for years.
It's got matching Lyman front & rear sights. Both the front sight & the front sling swivel are barrel-banded.
It's never been drilled & tapped for a scope, so I'll keep it that way - shooting it irons only, just the way Gramps did.

When's the last time you saw a checkered grip cap on a Krag? ...

... Or knurling on the knob of the bolt handle?

I've found several loads it likes, but my favorite is the Hornady 220s over some Varget. Shoots very accurately with the Lyman sights too.

Krags absolutely reak of "old-school cool." Cool

06 May 2014, 19:26
Damn! Now I've got to get out my Krag. My father bought it as a kid in Wisconsin. He was born in 1916, so I would guess he bought it in 1930 or so, for $4.75 from the CMP or NRA. I've shot it with the rear peep and it groups well with factory Remington ammunition. Maybe I'll have to take my next Whitetail with it in Dad's memory...he passed on peacefully at 90 a few years ago.
15 December 2015, 02:19
wildcat junkie
Still a work in progress. My son & I both took N.Y. bucks with it this year. I still need to rust blue the metal & I'm shopping for pricing om color case hardening on the loading door, side plate & the bolt shroud/extractor. The stock need a final wet sanding with turpentine & a coat of Minwax Antique Oil Finish

Rear sight is a Pacific K-2 9micrometer click windage/elevation) that fits in the magazine cut-off hole.