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Discussion Starter #1
Have a chance to get an 1896 30-40 Krag carbine at a local auction. I know nothing about these guns. Just wondering what something like this would be worth? Serial number is 45199

Any help would be appreciated.

Mark
 

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Can't help with value as I'm no expert but would add that more information is required if you expect to get any meaningful responses to your question. All I can say is be sure that it is a real carbine and not one made from a cut down rifle which was commonly done to rifles. An 03 type front sight would be one indicator of a cut rifle and the plugged cleaning rod channel another. You should not have to do any federal paperwork on it since it was made pre 1899.
 

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Extra holes in the recvr or reblue would lower the value. Lots of faux ones out there. My Poyer book says it was built in September of ‘96. Look on line for images of a correct rifle. A good fake might be worth 600.00 while a legit ‘96 in good condition might be worth twice that. Good luck.
 

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As a pre-1898 antique, that would put a premium on it right there. Krag carbines have value as Krag carbines, but you would also have value as an antique firearm, not subject to the normal firearm restrictions under federal law, that also shoots readily available ammo. That might be surprisingly high. There are websites that sell/auction antique firearms exclusively. I follow these sites occasionally, and the items always sell at quite high prices.
 

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Correct me if I'm wrong folks, but in the over half century such I was actively collecting, one of the measures I always checked for on the Krags, the apparent barrel-integral front sight base. So many even with correct handguards/protector bands, still flunking that front sight test. Not that such couldn't be counterfeited, just that in my active days collecting, highly unlikely from a cost to resulting value increase. From that sight, if passing such 'sniff test' looking further. Conversely nowadays of Internet sales, IF offering a genuine product, to surely have a closeup photo of such sight feature since that requiring greater talent than simply swapping easily applied parts!

No expert here and no pricing info, but as noted above, the numbers qualifying as "fakes", rampant. Also the point that likely most, just era modifications making them more user friendly rifles! I have a few of such and appreciate them for the image of "working man's rifle".
Kudos to the gentlemen below who corrected my thinking concerning these Krag carbine front sights and now from which, this Post amended.

Best & Stay Safe!
John
 

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Look for a "C" mark on the rear sight. Original and often missing on these pieces. Carbines are a minefield. Krags have about the smoothest slickest actions of any military guns.
 

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Actually, the front sight base on a Krag rifle is not integral or part of the barrel. The base is a male dovetail that is very tight fitting in a female dovetail in the barrel and is sweat soldered in place. I once had a rifle that had been shortened to carbine length and fortunately found two cut off barrel sections with front sights at an auction. I removed one sight base from the barrel stub and filed a dovetail into my "carbine" barrel and soldered it in place. It was not quite as neat as a factory job but looked okay. I think I still have the donor barrel stub the other I sold on eBay.
 

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I should add that the reason the sight base looks to be integral is that the barrel is contoured and finished after the base is soldered in place. The seam essentially disappears then.
 

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Thanks for the front sight clarification guys! Wondering now whether I missed some opportunities deeming them not legit. But likely not, such to the extent of the sight "appearing" as integral; that tight a fit! I'm going to amend my post to comport with you experts lest someone believe there's conjecture concerning the subject! Again thanks!
Best & again... Stay Safe!
John
 

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That serial number is out of 96 carbine ranges it falls about half way between production blocks per SRS data in "The Krag Rifle Story" by Mallory/Olson. Unless it has some correct carbine parts I would probably not pay over $300-350 for it (pending more details and pictures of course)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow. Thanks for all the info. I am not good at posting pictures on the net, but I'm gonna try to so I can see what you guys think.
 

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As 'carbineer' stated, the serial #, 45199, is not in a model 1896 carbine range.
(Only model 1896 rifles are listed around that number).
The closest carbine listed is #39353 and that number is almost 4,000 above 'the pack'.
This makes it suspicious that this is probably a 'cut-down' rifle.

(FWIW - The Krag front-sight base was bronze brazed into a shallow dovetail, machined on an unrifled tube that had passed proof.
It was attached as a 'lug' at step 17 in an almost 30 step barrel making process.
The unfinished base became the reference point for cutting the "timed or clocked" barrel threads, positioning the barrel index mark and sight holes.
During final barrel shaping, the sight base took form and its attachment method became discrete).

When buying a Krag model 1896 or model 1898 carbine it takes an experienced eye.
As others have stated, there are a lot of fakes and 'cut-down' Deer Rifles that get billed as the real thing.
It is hard to Vet one on the internet and at the least requires quality detail photos of specific areas.
A legitimate 1896 carbine rear-sight and correct front-sight, (not banded 1903 Springfield or commercial sight), are good first clues.
Value of any Krag will be tied to originality and correctness of parts and finish, bore condition, and overall condition.
 
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