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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,
I just picked up a Springfield Krag 1898 in very nice condition. The left side of the stock is marked with what appears to be a date (1903) with some initials in a box. There is another marking on the pistol grip portion of the stock, looks like more initials. The metal is fairly nice with no rust or pitting. I was wondering if someone could give me a bit of information about this weapon, and if there is any collector value associated with this model? One more interesting thing, the butt contains a flip open compartment with an oiler inside. This model does not have a front mounted cleaning rod. Thank you in advance for your responses.
Mike
 

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Very nice late krag. The cartouche marks also look very nice, I love it

Year - number produced - serial number range
1894 - 2,953 1 - 2953
1895 - 13,430 2954 - 16384
1896 - 16,262 16385 - 32647
1897 - 31,819 32648 - 64557
1898 - 41,588 64556 - 116146
1899 - 103,778 116147 - 219925
1900 - 70,652 219926 - 290578
1901 - 54,739 290579 - 345318
1902 - 53,246 345319 - 398565
1903 - 61,841 398566 - 460407
1904 - 17,354 460408 - 477762
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi,
I appreciate your response. By the way, any collector interest in these Krag's? I've got a 1903 Rock Island along with an exceptional Garand and mid war Inland carbine. I'm fairly well versed when it comes to the WW1 and WW2 combat rifles, but don't know very much about the Krag. I'd appreciate any information you could share.
Thank you,
Mike
 

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The fact that the front sight is not original but a 1903 rifle type sight, reduces the collectors value substantially. The rear sight is a Krag sight but it is a Model 1892 sight and would not have been issued on your rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Now that I look at it, the front sight and the front band (bayonet lug) appear the same as what I have on my Springfield (Rock Island) model 1903.
Thank you,
Mike
 

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I thought that band looked funny at first glance, but couldn't make out the hump in your pic. Is there a space that the Springfield's full length handguard would fit into? Is that a 30" barrel or has it been shortened a bit? No sense in replacing the original front sight with a Springfield sight, unless the barrel got shortened a bit. Looks to me like the stock is wide at the rear of the band, like other shortened rifles I've seen.
 

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There were some 26" barreled Krag rifles made, 100 of them, known as the Board of Ordnance and Fortifications rifles. Their trials led to the shorter barrel of the 03. I doubt yours was originally made as one though, they had the Krag front sight. I agree with carbineer, shoot and enjoy! They can be very accurate with the right loads.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi,
Thank you for your response. Is it possible that the barrel on this Krag was changed at some point, as opposed to having been cut down? Everything looks original as opposed to having been altered. Were there arsenal rebuilds at that time?
Thanks again,
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I did a bit more research, and found that a number of these rifles had been modified during the 1920's by the DCM. They shortened the barrels to both 22 and 24 inches. I'm currently doing a bit more research to find out if my rifle might have been one of these issues. I've spoken with one of the historians at the Springfield Armory Museum, and he gave me a bit more information to help with my search. He mentioned a number of companies that attempted to modifiy these rifles after WW1, but was doubtful that my rifle was one of those. He felt from my description and photos that my 1898's modification was done by the DCM. He did mention the fact that after so many years, and not having documentation, it would be hard to prove. The rifle is still a decent example, and I'm having a great time doing my research. If nothing else, I'm learning a great deal about a weapon that served our military prior to WW1.
 

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It's not a DCM rifle. I've never heard of a 24" barreled DCM rifle, let alone a 26". I hate to state absolutes though, with something so old and a lot of things unrecorded, who knows. Could be someone got something in the very end of the barrel and it had to be cut down a couple inches. If one of the Armories had done the conversion, the wood behind the front band would have been sanded down so that it flowed smoothly to the rear of the band. A lot of Veterans Organizations had men with some gunsmithing know how. Often the Krags were cut down so that the younger people on the drill teams could handle them a bit easier. Generally they left them with 22 or 24 inch barrels though. Stokes and Bannerman are a couple other possibilities. Then there used to be lots of guys like me with a closet full of parts that sometimes become whole rifles.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi,
As you say, so many years have gone by, anything is possible. It is a curiosity, and I'm sure it will make a very nice shooter.
 
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