My first US Krag, an 1899 Carbine

U.S. Military Krags
Monster Man
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:21 am

My first US Krag, an 1899 Carbine

Post by Monster Man » Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:43 am

I have a small collection of 1903 Springfield variations, and have often lusted after Krag rifles and more especially the Krag Carbines. Last weekend at a gun show I found an 1899 Carbine in fabulous shape. The stock cartouche is very sharp and , if I read the cursive stamp correctly, is JLA 1901; the serial number is either 355715 or 855715 (hard to tell if it is a 3 or an 8, but I believe it is a 3). The carbine is in fabulous condition, with near 100% bluing, humped hand guard and the stock has a rub mark on the right side of the butt but no dings or dents. It is like a time capsule.

I just joined this site and will try to learn how to post pictures tomorrow. I would like to know if there is anything special about this Krag Carbine. I bought it along with two very rare 1903 Springfields, and was told the collector who accumulated them only collected unusual pieces.....and the two 1903's certainly fit that billing. I have never studied the Krag as I have the Model of 1903 Springfield rifles, and I have no Krag reference books to study.

What can you knowledgable Krag Collectors tell me about my carbine based on the information provided?

Whig
Posts: 1377
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:53 am

Re: My first US Krag, an 1899 Carbine

Post by Whig » Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:20 am

Mr. Monster- Welcome to KCA! You will find out everything you wanted to know, and maybe some things you didn't want to know, about your Krag here. Most of us can be quite friendly too!

We love pictures to really be able to give detailed info about your new treasure. So, we'll look forward to those when you are able to post.

Two comments. The deeply stamped "3" serial numbers on Krags are often mistaken for "8"s. The serial numbers for Krags did not reach into the 800,000 range, so, your Krag is most likely 355715. Pictures will help confirm. Also, the inspector's cartouche is JSA for J. Sumner Adams. The "S" does look like an "L". If the receiver is stamped "Model 1899" it definitely started life as a carbine. Many were altered after leaving Springfield Armory for different reasons. Hopefully, yours is still in full military configuration.

Early collectors often buy a copy of Poyer's Krag reference, which only costs about $30 on ebay, to get started learning about Krags, other than this site. There are more expensive, and better, references, but Poyer's is good to start with and has a lot of great pictures.

The pictures will show more but it is common for these rifles and carbines to have been refinished. That can lower collector's value some but maybe you do have a nice piece. The 1899 Krag carbines are the more common carbines but still quite nice and collectible. They shoot well, too.

How is the bore? Do you plan to shoot it? Most of us reload for our Krags and can help in that pursuit if you reload. Ammo is still available but sometimes takes some searching.

You can post in the Other Firearms section about your 1903s. Most of us have those too and would love to see your collection and learn a little from you about them.

Thanks for stopping by and if you need help with posting pictures, let us know.
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Monster Man
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:21 am

Re: My first US Krag, an 1899 Carbine

Post by Monster Man » Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:12 pm

My carbine is marked 1899 on the receiver, and I do not believe it has ever been refinished. The 1913 Gallery Practice Rifle (Hoffer-Thompson), the 1926 National Match ‘03 and the 1938 ‘03 Springfield Sporter that came from the same collection have not been refinished either (the latter two also look nearly new, as if they had not been shot much or carried about, as their stocks were very close to as new).

Tonight I’ll take some photos of the Krag carbine and see if I can post them. The cartouche behind the trigger guard is a cursive “P” and above it is stamped a small “N” .

The seller told me he did not bring the entire collection to the show, and he described some other ‘03 variants that I hope to acquire.

I am a hand loader, have been for 43 years. If you have a favorite loading, I’d like to have the info. I’ve not checked my manuals yet, and will need to order the brass and bullets.

Whig
Posts: 1377
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:53 am

Re: My first US Krag, an 1899 Carbine

Post by Whig » Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:23 pm

Sounds good. You can check our ammo and reloading posts and find many choice loads to fit your set up.

Sounds like a good pick up! Hope the price was great too.

Monster Man
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:21 am

Re: My first US Krag, an 1899 Carbine

Post by Monster Man » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:02 am

Here are some photos of my Krag Carbine. I could only figure out how to post links and not the actual photos, but the links work, I would like to know your observations and thoughts on what I have.

http://cubeupload.com/im/RPHampton/IMG1320.jpeg

http://cubeupload.com/im/RPHampton/IMG1321.jpeg

http://cubeupload.com/im/RPHampton/IMG1322.jpeg

http://cubeupload.com/im/RPHampton/IMG1327.jpeg

http://cubeupload.com/im/RPHampton/IMG1323.jpeg

Monster Man
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:21 am

Re: My first US Krag, an 1899 Carbine

Post by Monster Man » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:08 am

I forgot to state that the bore is bright and shiny; absolutely no sign of degradation whatsoever. There is an oiler and three sections of a cleaning rod in the cavity under the butt plate. Should there have been four? It does not appear that three sections are long enough to extend through the length of the barrel.

Whig
Posts: 1377
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:53 am

Re: My first US Krag, an 1899 Carbine

Post by Whig » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:36 pm

Monster- your pictures show a really nice condition M1899 Krag carbine that has a great stock with little wear and the metal shows very little wear, as well. It appears to be unaltered which is nice.

In my opinion, it has been reblued. One interesting thing about the Krag is each different metal part went through a different finish. Some parts were rust blued, some were case hardened (receiver and magazine cover, if I remember correctly) and the extractors were fire blued. I forget exactly which parts had what done but your Krag metal parts all look like they were just polished and blued. Remember- this Krag is over 100 years old! It has been stored somewhere and probably in many hands. Parts don't look that perfect after 100+ years of storage and handling.

Also, if you look into the bottom of the stamped numbers and letters on the receiver, they are blued. The stampings were done after the finish was applied and the bottom of these stamped characters should not be evenly blued. That's a dead give-away for a re-bluing job on firearms. I examine a lot of 1911s in this manner and see the same thing.

Beautiful Krag carbine, still quite nice and valuable, especially in virtually unused condition, it would seem. I don't know why it would have been re-blued (again, my opinion without a close-up examination and further pictures) if it is little used. A nice bore is an added plus. The cartouche is perfect- couldn't be better! You got a dandy, overall!

Thanks for sharing and if you get more pictures, let us see. (You can drop and drag them into your posting box or upload them using the attachments link below. keep the size smaller- too big and they might be hard to load.)
Last edited by Whig on Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Whig
Posts: 1377
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:53 am

Re: My first US Krag, an 1899 Carbine

Post by Whig » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:39 pm

Also, you are correct- the three cleaning rod sections are not quite enough to use in your rifle. The early carbines only had two sections. It was meant that you would work with another Krag owning soldier and use his sections to make a rod long enough to use. There are three holes for three sections and the oiler. Nice to have these with your carbine.

Monster Man
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:21 am

Re: My first US Krag, an 1899 Carbine

Post by Monster Man » Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:13 pm

The extractor is fire blued, and the barrel is rust blued. When I get home I will take a look at the rest of the parts to reassess how they look based on your post.

By the way, what are these going for these days?

Whig
Posts: 1377
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:53 am

Re: My first US Krag, an 1899 Carbine

Post by Whig » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:12 am

I would say an all original and correct M1899 Krag carbine in near unused condition could be worth $1500 to $2000. One that is re-blued in the same condition would possibly be worth $1000 to $1200.

You can check Gun Broker or past auctions to see what some of these have sold for.

M1896 carbines are less common and can be much more valuable, especially with a correct and authentic M1896 rear sight (worth around $600 by itself!)

I forgot to ask about your Krag's rear sight. Is it a M1901 carbine rear sight with the three "c" stampings? I can't quite tell from the pictures. The M1901 rifle sight is similar but not marked with the "c"s.

Pictures would help. M1901 carbine rear sights cost around $150-200. All authentic carbines have a carbine marked sight to accommodate the 22 inch barrel ballistic difference from the rifle's 30 inch barrel with the same .30-40 Krag round with a 220 grain bullet.

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