Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, April 29, 2011

Scout Rifle

There has been a lot of ink spilled since Jeff Cooper began advocating for a modern scout rifle. But one sort of existed 100 years ago.

This is a 1899 Krag carbine that has been lightly sporterized.


As you can see, the front handguard has been removed. If you look closely at the rear of the receiver, you will see that a peep sight has been added.


All you would need to turn it into a scout rifle is to take off the tangent rear sight and put on a scope mount. The .30-40 Krag round is maybe not a .308, but with modern cartridges, it is pretty damn close.

Of course, you're not going to see a modern Krag. The loading gate is a marvel of pre-Great War forging and machining that likely cannot be duplicated today at a reasonable cost.

Still, fun to think about.

2 comments:

Turk said...

I actually own a commercially sporterized Krag in .243 Win. It was a Norwegian 6.5 that had been factory sportered in Austria in the 1950's. SWEET shooter....

Mktwain said...

Cooper was well aware of the Krag's handiness, here is his take (found online in a Cooper's Commentary archive):
"We note a feature in the current American Rifleman about the Krag-Jorgensen rifle once issued to our armed forces. The article is historically interesting, but does little justice to the virtues of this excellent arm. I have been a Krag fancier since early childhood, when I used one to shoot goats on Catalina Island and sharks in the Catalina Channel. When fitted with a really good trigger, such as can be had on order from the Kongsberg Factory near Oslo, this is a really nifty gun. It has the smoothest bolt-action ever manufactured, and its charging system is so neat it can be operated eyes-off at a dead run in the dark. When you flip that gate open to the right, you have only to drop a cartridge in. You do not have to seat it or place it accurately - as long as you do not throw it in backwards, it will feed. This allows the shooter to top off his magazine without opening the bolt and taking the weapon out of action. The piece is generally found in caliber 30-40, at one time referred to as "30 Army," which is quite a respectable cartridge, though not quite up to the 30-06.

The principle drawback of the Krag action is that it is designed for a low pressure cartridge and uses only one locking lug. This single lug is quite strong enough, but it stresses the bolt asymmetrically, sometimes giving rise to a hairline crack at the rear of the extrusion.

If I were up in the bucks, I would engage a designer and manufacturer to produce a modern high-pressure version of the Krag. It would be necessarily expensive, since that feeding system calls for precise and delicate machining; however, when I see the prices charged for essentially obsolete double-express rifles, I can hardly view expense as a serious drawback.
(In case you are interested, the name is pronounced "crock," but do not tell anybody I said so."We note a feature in the current American Rifleman about the Krag-Jorgensen rifle once issued to our armed forces. The article is historically interesting, but does little justice to the virtues of this excellent arm. I have been a Krag fancier since early childhood, when I used one to shoot goats on Catalina Island and sharks in the Catalina Channel. When fitted with a really good trigger, such as can be had on order from the Kongsberg Factory near Oslo, this is a really nifty gun. It has the smoothest bolt-action ever manufactured, and its charging system is so neat it can be operated eyes-off at a dead run in the dark. When you flip that gate open to the right, you have only to drop a cartridge in. You do not have to seat it or place it accurately - as long as you do not throw it in backwards, it will feed. This allows the shooter to top off his magazine without opening the bolt and taking the weapon out of action. The piece is generally found in caliber 30-40, at one time referred to as "30 Army," which is quite a respectable cartridge, though not quite up to the 30-06.

The principle drawback of the Krag action is that it is designed for a low pressure cartridge and uses only one locking lug. This single lug is quite strong enough, but it stresses the bolt asymmetrically, sometimes giving rise to a hairline crack at the rear of the extrusion.

If I were up in the bucks, I would engage a designer and manufacturer to produce a modern high-pressure version of the Krag. It would be necessarily expensive, since that feeding system calls for precise and delicate machining; however, when I see the prices charged for essentially obsolete double-express rifles, I can hardly view expense as a serious drawback.
In case you are interested, the name is pronounced "crock," but do not tell anybody I said so.