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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, I'm taking my 1898 Krag (made 1902) out for a military shooting match this Saturday. I've reloaded 60 rounds with 150 grain BTHPs. It's raining here today so hopefully I can check my zero tomorrow, but does anyone have any tips on zeroing these Krags or any helpful tips with shooting these in general? I'm used to just plinking around with 200 gr. lead loads. Any help would greatly be appreciated. Thanks a lot!
 

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My 1898 rifle shoots pretty much point of aim with a Sierra 220 gr round nose over I-4895. I believe this is close to the round that the rifle was designed to shoot. It's not an unpleasant load to shoot, as I recall. I haven't shot mine that much, but it did put 10 shots in a 2-inch group at 100 yds once with that load.
Sorry this is going to be too late for your match, but let us know how you did.
 

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My 1898 rifle and carbine both shoot about 3" low of point of aim at 100 yards with Remchester 180 gr. loads. If I set the rear sight on 200 yards they print dead on.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I ended up not shooting in the match as my friends chickened out on me the night before and there was a line a of thunderstorms moving through the area throughout the day of.

I did zero my Krag with 150 grain SPs (only .30 cals I had to reload with at the time). I cannot remember the powder or charge of my handloads, but I was able to get a 1.5" group out of her with those lighter bullets. I'm thinking that a heavier projectile would do better. I'd really like to get a 180 or 200-something grain round nose to try in her.

Hopefully, I'll get to shoot my Krag in a match soon.
 

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I ended up not shooting in the match as my friends chickened out on me the night before and there was a line a of thunderstorms moving through the area throughout the day of.

I did zero my Krag with 150 grain SPs (only .30 cals I had to reload with at the time). I cannot remember the powder or charge of my handloads, but I was able to get a 1.5" group out of her with those lighter bullets. I'm thinking that a heavier projectile would do better. I'd really like to get a 180 or 200-something grain round nose to try in her.

Hopefully, I'll get to shoot my Krag in a match soon.
Sounds like you have a good shooter--good luck when you get her to a match.
 

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Outstanding group!

My best advise for zeroing a Krag is adjust the sight in small increments and take good notes!

Have fun.
 

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With light bullets, OAL is *everything*. Seat as long as you can. The Krag is thoated VERY long for the old 220gr RNs. This is why Krags do well with cast bullets, or anything with a lot of bearing area.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks very much for the advice, guys. I think when I load another box or two of 30-40, I'll seat the bullets higher as Dave suggested. When my buddy gets back from Army training in Mississippi, I'll head to the range with him and check my Krag out on a 250 yard course. That'll be fun. :)
 

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" Boat-tail bullets in a 30/40 Krag..."

WHOA..!!! If you want some good advice from an oldtimer, please do not use boat-tails of any weight in your old Krag. Take heed of what has been suggested - 220gn round nose, or 180gn RN's are perfect.
Seat a trial bullet out in an empty sized dummy case until it touches the lands, and wind back half a turn on your seating die. This will become your bench-mark for seating depth.
If your throat is worn, ensure that your bullet is seated in the case no less than .30". this may have to go a bit deeper if you are going competition, and using your magazine.

Loads : (1) 220gn RNSP x 42gns of either IMR4350, OR W760, OR H414/H4350, OR Tu 7000 (Vectan). Start at 40gns, and check primers for signs of flattening as you go up with your load.
(2) 180gn RNSP: start at 42gns with any of the above powders. don't exceed 44gns (no problem here, but just keep the loads at a comfortable level for both you, and th' ol' girl).
(3) 200-220gn RNFB or RNGC lead cast 1 : 15 behind 19gns of either Reloader 7, OR IMR4198, OR W680, OR H4198, OR Tu 2000.
With a good clean bore, free of rust/pitting, these lead loads off a bench at 100yds, military sights, should give you 5 shots into 1.5" to 1.75" on a calm day, 6 o'clock hold, on an 8" black aiming mark, with 7/10ths cloud cover. Hope this is of some help :D.
I should have added just use standard CCI, Win, or Federal primers.
 

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There is nothing wrong with shooting lighter bullets, or boattails in your 30/40 Krag . All of my rifles and all of my friend's rifles shoot better with 130 to 168 grain bullets . I have test fired 100's of 5-shot 100 yard groups in my 6 rifles . The 220 rn is about 2.8 , the 180 rn is about 3.1 , the 168 bthp about 1.5 , the 150 fb about 1.4 , the 155 bthp about 1.2 and the 130 fb is about 1.2 . This is the average of many groups from all the rifles. In real rifle matches with 5-shot 100 yard targets I have done a 1.02 with the 130 , a friend did 0.710 with the 130 , I did 1.26 with the 150 . Another friend just got a Krag and did 1.1 with the 150 and 0.92 with the 168 bthp . These were groups shot on demand, not just the best 5 from a cluster or a one off group . The Krag was not "made" to shoot the 220 for the best accuracy [ the twist rate is too slow ] , the military used the 220 to get the down range performance it wanted . The sights are fully adjustable so you can zero to what ever bullet you want to use . With what I have seen from a sample of 14 different rifles and 4 different people, the 130 to 168 grain bullets [ some boattails ] out shoot the 220 rn bullet . mag
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all of the imput, fellas.

Next box of 30-40 I load will be with a heavier weight since I've tried out the 150s SPBT. I'm leaning to the 180 RNSP as of now.

Mag, I've had wonderful results using 168 gr. projectiles in my Garand and 1903A3. I'm glad you brought that up. I'd also like to try 168s in the Krag.
 

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With your Krag shooting and my friend's shooting of his "new" Krag, I got intersted again in shooting some of mine. I dug out a M-98 1901 lr that I have not shot in a while to do some more test shooting. It's best performance today was with the SI-168 bthp mk bullet. The best 5-shot group at 100 yards was a 0.74 [ in the 10 ring ] and the worst was 1.12 . The rifle also did well with the SI-220 rn with an average of 2.14. I then went 5 for 5 on a 8 inch steel circle at 200 yards with the 168's . Through the spotting scope the group looked to be about 3 - 4 inches . You may want to try your 168's at about 2150 fps with a slow powder like I-4350 . Let us know how it works for you. The 1901 and the 168's worked so well I think I will shoot them in the next military rifle match . mag
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Mag, I'm glad to hear about the success you had with the 168s. I found a whole box of 168 gr. BTHPs in the basement the other night and I've set them aside for a run of 30-40. Now if my cartridge tumbler (that is a million years old) will magically start working again, I can reload! :p

I'm also glad to hear you pulled out your Krag. I love to hear that people still actively shoot these works of art. I just can't say enough about these rifles. Out of my collection of pre-1919 rifles, this is bar none my favorite.
 
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