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richhodg66
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Posted: July 07 2017 at 7:19am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

A rather nicely sporterized Krag showed up in a shop 50 miles away and I had been watching it for a while. This one has a commercial after market stock with some really nice figure and checkering on it and whoever did it also installed a hunting receiver sight on it, simple and strong with adjustments for windage and elevation. On the whole, a good sporterizing job done by someone who was obviously a rifleman.

Now I love old school American hunting rifles and had a rifle that was becoming a headache and I had pretty well lost interest in and got a little more than I had in it on trade for the Krag the other day. I already had a set of dies, a little brass and, of course, lots of cast .30 caliber bullets, so it was a turn key project.

I've had the bore soaking and scrubbing, the whole rifle could use a detail cleaning but not terribly bad. I mainly wanted to remove any traces of copper in the bore and she cleaned up pretty good and has a good bore.

SO this morning I loaded up some light target loads using some Lyman 311291s I had lying around and shot it at 25 yards. After the first group to foul the bore, the old rifle groups pretty well, though I was on a kind of make shift bench and I'm sure she'll do better when I get set up with some better loads.

We had Krags come and go over the years of my Dad's tradings at gun shows, but I honestly can't really remember ever having shot one before. I'm kind of intrigued with that side loading box, though I need to figure that out to, a couple of times I got the rims in front of previous rounds and the rifle wouldn't feed til I removed them.

I think I'm going to like this one.

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Rex
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Posted: July 07 2017 at 2:58pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

Rich, an old fellow down town gave me a box of 30-06 brass a while back but when I got home and opened the box I had 15 pieces of 30-40 brass. Two colored primers tell me they aren't once fired but if you can use them PM me an address.
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M700
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Posted: July 07 2017 at 3:36pm | IP Logged Quote M700

The Krag is really cool, and it seems your sporterized version is nice. Congrats!

Guy
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richhodg66
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Posted: July 07 2017 at 4:22pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Thanks, Rex. PM on the way.

The rifle I traded for this was a decently sporterized Swedish Mauser. Now, I have heard all the hype, "the quality control on them was so much better than any other military rifle", etc., and I couldn't get it to shoot very well with anything. I have since learned that the very fast twist makes it hard to get good performance with cast, and anything above 1500 FPs was spraying the countryside, not grouping. Bottom line, it was a headache and I was out of patience with it.

After this morning's plinkers with the 311291 and 6 grains of Alcan 120, a bit more than a gallery load, but not much, I loaded up some loads I thought would shoot well, my favorite old Ideal 311284 and 16 grains of SR4759, shot three rounds at 25 to make sure she'd be on the paper, then backed off to 100 yards and got serious about shooting and that old rifle very cooly turned in a 2" five shot group at 100 yards, better than anything I ever got out of the Swede. May not sound like much to some, but a 120 year old rifle which may have seen combat shooting cast with iron sights, I'll take it any day. Don't let anybody tell you Americans don't make the best stuff.

Seems like every gun I ever sold or traded off I regretted eventually but not this time.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: July 07 2017 at 6:17pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Primo! Old rifle with iron sights. Even better in an old cartridge to boot! That's a casters delight. Glad ya made the swap. Looking forward to further SITREP.

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REM1875
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Posted: July 07 2017 at 7:41pm | IP Logged Quote REM1875

One of the slickest sliding bolts ever- not sure where
mine was but it's born on date was around the time
Teddy went up San Juan Hill.
It's now a carbine length and sports gold plated
hardware?
She shoots and I now have some 220gr round nose cause
I want to "know"    

When I first saw it I wondered who would do that to
nice old rifle like that and I wondered what sort of
idiot would buy it like that. It was there every time
I went in and it finally ended up hanging on the wall.
So shortly before the shop closed Mrs Rem let me loose
with more cash than sense. I found out what sort of
idiot would buy one like that....
A friend had one when we were kids in HS And I always
waned one ........ I watched a Mexican pick the head
of a tweety bird at what paced off to to over 75 yards
back in the 70's --I was impressed....

Edited by REM1875 on July 07 2017 at 8:04pm


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REM1875
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Posted: July 07 2017 at 7:51pm | IP Logged Quote REM1875

Dang richhodg66 I though I was the only one who
was still using Alcan Powder (Alcan 8 in 357)

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richhodg66
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Posted: July 07 2017 at 8:04pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Yeah, I got about 4-5 pounds of Alcan 120 for free. It was in excellent shape, so I looked around for data. It was apparently intended for light trap loads, and was apparently never popular for anything, but in some 50+ year old manuals, I found enough handgun data to determine that it burns like Red Dot, so I've been using Red Dot data in a lot of different things for a couple of years now and have probably a pound and a half left. No problems so far and it's pretty good stuff in .45 Colt and .38 Special, but when it's gone, that's it.

I believe the other Alcan powders were more popular. 50 year old powder with scarce data would have scared many guys and maybe I'm reckless, but I'm not gonna throw away five pounds of fast burning pistol powder if I can help it.

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REM1875
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Posted: July 07 2017 at 8:19pm | IP Logged Quote REM1875

Yeah richhodg66 I agree- put a primer behind it
and lead in front of it is a heck of a lot better way to
spread it over the garden as fertilizer, than just
dumping it on the garden......

Stuff is starting to get expensive

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Loudenboomer
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Posted: July 10 2017 at 4:50am | IP Logged Quote Loudenboomer

Rich
Sounds like you've got the old krag working well.
I've been shooting the 311284 with 4198. Been wanting to try a full charge of WC860.
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richhodg66
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Posted: July 10 2017 at 4:59am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Loudenboomer wrote:
Rich
Sounds like you've got the old krag working well.
I've been shooting the 311284 with 4198. Been wanting to try a full charge of WC860.


Because they have stopped making SR4759 (damn shame, it's great stuff for cast loads), I'll eventually need to work with other powders, though it should be easy. The .30-40 Krag is said to be the perfect cartridge for cast loading like this, even more so than the .30-30.

I may up this charge a little and see if accuracy holds. I don't have a chronograph, but I'm guessing this load I'm using is doing 1600 FPS.

I think I'm out of 4198, but have IMR4895 which I have found to be very good in many cast applications too.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: July 10 2017 at 8:13am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Rich, you've got lots of trigger time with cast 30 cals and know how to make em sing. I expect to hear of cloverleaf patterns in no time!
I'm real proud you got that rifle.

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Rex
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Posted: July 13 2017 at 5:23pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

I see Graf and Sons have brass but it ain't cheap.
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richhodg66
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Posted: July 13 2017 at 5:33pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

It helps that I generally stick to low pressure loads. That'll make that brass last a while. Turns out you can in fact use .303 British brass, but they come up short and the rim is slightly different.

I really like this old rifle. Biggest gripe I have with it is the recoil pad. It was installed well, but I have a short length of pull anyway and never really liked recoil pads much. I'll probably fit a proper butt plate to it someday.

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richhodg66
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Posted: August 05 2017 at 3:10pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

After shooting quite a few rounds with this rifle only varying powders and charges and using the 311284, I think this afternoon's session has settled me on 24 grains of AA5744 as a deer hunting load. It shoots as well as anything else I've tried and should be giving 1800 FPS or so. With a bullet this heavy, it should retain energy down range pretty well and I tend to shoot close anyway. I'll cast some soft pointed ones when it cools down. Might get this one on a stand this year, though I had pretty much made up my mind to use a .45-70, at least in the early segment.

I'm really digging this Krag. Seems like people are pretty proud of them lately, I've seen a lot of hack job sporters of them for a lot higher asking price than this one was. If you get a chance to procure one, they are gratifying things to handload for and shoot.

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