Krag-Jorgensen 30-40 Carbine

From 1894 to 1904 the Krag-Jorgensen (originally a Norwegian designed rifle) became the first smokeless powder cartridge rifle to be adopted by the United States Military.  The cartridge was called the .30/40 (.30 caliber and 40 grains of smokeless powder).  Originally propelling a 220 grain bullet approximately 2,000 FPS.  This cartridge was called the .30 US, .30 Army, .30 Government or more commonly (civilian usage) referred to as the 30-40 Krag.

Manufactured in 1900 this cut-down Krag-Jorgensen carbine with 22" barrel (cut down from original 30" barrel rifle length) is 112 years old. Original 1917 leather sling adorns this carbine.

Manufactured in 1900 this cut-down Krag-Jorgensen carbine with 22″ barrel (cut down from original 30″ barrel rifle length) is 112 years old. Original 1917 leather sling adorns this carbine.

The original Springfield Armory produced approximately 500,000 rifles for the US Military from 1894 to 1904.  Serving the US Military for only nine (9) years before being replaced by the famous 1903 Springfield bolt action rifle which heavily copied the Mauser designed bolt action rifle.

The Krag-Jorgensen rifle is readily recognized by its side-loading magazine and butter smooth action.  The side loading magazine feature allowed the individual soldier to load or top-off a partially filled magazine while keeping the action closed and chamber loaded.

Side loading magazine feature allowed the individual soldier to load or top-off the magazine without opening the action or having to reach over the top of the rifle unnecessarily exposing the soldier to enemy fire.

Mainly seeing action during the Boxer Rebellion, the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War.  A few even seeing action by US Calvary units fighting the Apache Indians in New Mexico.  A couple thousand rifles also ended up in France during WWI but were never recorded as seeing combat.

My particular Krag-Jorgensen .30-40 carbine was cut-down from its original rifle length  sometime after it left the Springfield Armory in 1900.  The 22″ length barrel offers much additional handiness when compared to the original 30″ barrel length.

Shooting Remington’s 180 grain bullet at 2,300 FPS. Still shooting good groups after 112 years.

Current ammunition loadings usually propels a 180 grain bullet approximately 2,300 FPS.  Making for a soft recoiling accurate and effective deer cartridge.

The tiny & narrow front and shallow “V” grooved rear sights make shooting quick tight groups difficult.  My particular Krag carbine shoots pretty decent groups, but it’s sight design hinders speed and precision when shooting.  My carbine’s particular front sight is too short making my groups hit too high.  At 40 yards my Krag carbine shoots 5″ high.  When using the “ladder” rear sight at it’s lowest setting (400 yard setting) the carbine’s groups print 17″ high.

Front sight of my Krag-Jorgensen carbine is too short. This makes for groups that print too high. The front sight is also very narrow making it hard to see quickly against various target backgrounds.

The Krag’s rear sight’s shallow “V” notch hinders making quick accurate shots. The sights “ladder” design has markings for making optimistic shots out to 2,000 yards.

This particular Krag-Jorgensen carbine must have some wonderful stories to tell during it’s 112 year history which started in 1900.  The forged steel bolt action mated to a full grained walnut stock makes owning and shooting this rifle a privilege.