View Full Version : Norwegian Krags and SAMMI spec 6.5x55

02-24-2010, 04:07 PM
I just acquired a very nice Norwegian Krag in 6.5x55. I would like to shot it and see how it does against my Swedish Mauser in the same caliber, but I read somewhere that the Norwegians loaded their 6.5x55 a bit lighter then the Swedes did :eek:. The 6.5x55 ammo I have it withing the SAMMI specs, but at the top end of the spec (as per the Sierra reloading manual). Is it safe to shoot in a Norwegian Krag, or do I need to load some a bit lighter? If so how much lighter.



02-24-2010, 05:13 PM
i shoot my Norski all the time with Swedish military ammo..
shoots great.

02-24-2010, 10:14 PM
That's going tobe my next Krag. I'm looking for one that's already been butchered.


03-16-2010, 04:31 AM
I have a m1912 and when I had the swede I always used the same ammo. Unfortunately the krag has a rather poor bore and while it is a pleasure to shoot it does not have the accuracy the m38 did. I have since acquired a m1889 danish krag in good condition. I hope to get some ammo loaded for it soon. Forming cases may prove to be a chore.

03-16-2010, 05:40 AM
Let us know how it works out for you, Pavogrande. Don't know of many folk shooting the '89s.

09-23-2010, 08:49 PM
You might want to be careful there with interchanging 6.5 x 55 ammo in Swedish and Norwegian Krags. On page #81 of his book, "Neutrality through Marksmanship: The Collectors and Shooters Guide to Swedish Military Rifles 1867-1942", Doug Bowser says, "WARNING!!!! Do not shoot Danish manufactured 6.5 x 55 ammunition in a Swedish mauser. The combination of soft jacket material and sharp edges on the lands and grooves of the rifling contributes to heavy fouling, which may cause high chamber pressures. There have been reports of several Swedish Mauser Rifles being blown up by this ammunition." Bowser goes on to cite "The Book of Rifles" by Smith & Smith as the first reference that he saw on this problem.

11-09-2010, 05:19 AM
The whole idea of Norway and Sweden using the same ammunition was to ensure commonalty of supply in case they were both fighting the same enemy.

With this in mind one would think that the ammunition should interchange safely.

I have used Norma Amotfors, Norma Oslo and Sellier & Bellot in my Norski gevaer (1918) and it is still in one piece.

Patrick Chadwick
11-09-2010, 08:25 AM
The curse with all the scare stories ("There have been reports...") is that you NEVER seem to get a first-hand source reference.
Note that Bowser cites an earlier work, but a reference to another book cannot be any more reliable than the original reference. So legends get propagated, which may have not more foundation than some fool somewhere fired a "hot load" that was way above the original and damaged his rifle and/or himself. These fools then do not want to admit that they filled their rifle cartridge case with pistol powder (maybe because of insurance liability?) and blame it on the "weak" action.

There was a gentleman by the name of Hatcher who took some trouble to find out just when various actions went bang. I must state at once that I myself do not have his writings, so it is hearsay evidence from my part of view, but I am sure that there are plenty of you out there who do have Hatcher's works. I seem to remember that, in general, it took a dreadfully excessive load to destroy a typical service rifle in good condition. I have been on a firing point next to an idiot who cammed 308 rounds into an old hunting rifle in 30-06 and complained about the lousy accuracy and the funny-looking necks after firing! If that had exploded, do you think he would have admitted his stupidity?

So if there really was an accident caused by firing Danish 6.5x55 ammo in a Swedish Mauser, then someone out there ought to have real source info, not "someone wrote that someone wrote that someone wrote....!

And the Krag action is supposed to be weaker in the locking action than the Mauser action in the Swedes - as indicated by the lighter loading (if that is true). So it is a mystery to me how a Krag load could endanger a Swedish Mauser. Perhaps someone could explain?

Sorry about the rant, but in safety matters we need checkable facts, not hearsay.

And it is SAAMI, not SAMMI
And (a matter that has been dealt with exhaustively in other places) military rifles in 6,5x55 were NOT made to SAAMI standard - they were made long before SAAMI was set up in 1926 - which is why it is ACWOTAM to check out Scandivian milsurps with SAAMI headspace gauges, for instance.

Rant over. Apologies to those who may feel irritated!


"The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI) is an association of the nation's leading manufacturers of firearms, ammunition and components. SAAMI was founded in 1926 at the request of the federal government .... (end of quote from the SAAMI website9

Patrick Chadwick
11-09-2010, 08:33 AM
Getting back to the original question from hsr, which has not yet been properly answered:
Since the Krag action is supposed to be weaker in the bolt locking than the Swedish Mauser, general safety principles indicate that you should start off with the lightest load from the manual, and work up carefully. checking for signs of overpressure - the standard procedure for all old rifles!

As you have already suspected yourself, the max. pressure according to SAAMI - which can only be valid for new rifles made to SAAMI specs, not for a 110-120 year old rifle that was NOT made to those specs - would be inadvisable for an old banger.


11-12-2010, 10:43 PM
The whole idea of Norway and Sweden using the same ammunition was to ensure commonalty of supply in case they were both fighting the same enemy.


Our great uncle Olaf told us when we wer kids. "Do youknow what these long skinny bullets are for, boys?" "It's for shooting dem long tall Svedes!" So much for joint defense.


11-15-2010, 07:43 PM
I have a Norwegian Krag and have fired light loads through it using a medium burning powder (Winchester 760). Using the Hodgdon's reloader website and a Hornady reloading manual, I found a great light load using 140 grain lead gas check bullets, and 100 grain soft point jacketed Hornady bullets, on top of 44 grains of Winchester 760 powder. I did load a couple rounds out at 42 grains, and found that the round did not completely seal in the chamber. No harm done, but I suggest a minimum load of 43-44 grains. I found accuracy to be good, and safe. I used a 1906 Krag "Seal Hunt" sporter. I am trying to get a friend to put up a video on the net of the firing of it, if he ever does, I'll post here!
Generally, I load my Krag lower than my Swede (which is usually at 46-48 grains).
Hope that helps!

11-27-2010, 10:10 PM
As unpatriotic as it is, being a Norwegian, i only have a M96 swede and not a Krag. But i've been informed from a very reliable source that the Sellier & Bellot 140 gr FMJ should be safe in a Krag. SAAMI specs says 45,000 PSI is max for the 6.5x55, and they play it safe for legal reasons and cater to the lowest common denominator, in the venerable 6.5x55 that is the Krag.

I'll dig up my reloading book and look for a few recepies recommended for krags. We have one Norwegian authored reload manual going on its 7th or 8th edition now and well respected by every singel Norwegian reloader, so they will be guaranteed safe.

11-28-2010, 10:14 PM

I'm thinking of having a Norwegian Krag action barreled in 8x57. I need to talk to my 'smith. I have a pretty nice cut-down US Krag I use for elk hunting, but would like to get the stronger round. The Norwegians use the bolt rib as a second lug - how much load it takes off the front locking lug I don't know. My thought is it could be as little as 10% and as much as 25%. Because of the receiver stretching under load, I'm thinking that bolt rib is not going to contribute as much as would a second locking lug.

But the metallurgy in the late-model Norwegian Krags is definitely an advance over SA 1893-1903


12-04-2010, 12:34 PM
Hi Gang,
I have been lucky with my Norwegian Krag so far. A friend who is not a gun person bought it at an auction in Fairfax, VA several years ago (Fairfax is in the Metro Washington D.C area). I admired its smooth action, in spite of the fact that it was missing its trigger guard and stock screws, and some jerk had Cut the fore end off a half inch in front of the rear sight and had squared off the butt I admired it until I found a trigger guard and stock screws on Gunbroker, then I gave him what he had in it - $275.

To cut to the chase, It wouldn't group at 50 yards, it only patterned, then I had its muzzle counter bored and snugged the barrel to what remained of the fore end with cable ties and worked on my load, which is basically the starting load for the Swede 6.5. It now shoots minute of antler anyway. BTW, the fellow who sold me the trigger guard was in Norway and was very helpful with information on these little jewels, including identifying mine as originally having been a 1908 field artillery carbine, one of only 750 made it its original configuration (sniff..).

My questions is: do you think I should alter a barrel band I have to do a better snugging job between barrel and fore end, or try for an original stock and front hardware?

All thoughts will be greatly appreciated.


12-04-2010, 12:45 PM
Hi JN,
My contact in Norway (see my recent post) told me that every farmstead in Norway had a Krag standing in the corner by the front door as their rifle of choice to take all big game, including moose (their name for elk). So based on this, I would leave it alone and use 140 gr. bullets (which he also recommend), and place your shots. But what do I know? :o)=)

Patrick Chadwick
12-04-2010, 01:27 PM
My questions is: do you think I should alter a barrel band I have to do a better snugging job between barrel and fore end, or try for an original stock and front hardware?

Only a week or so ago I provoked the fates by telling someone that his chances of finding the extra barrel bands to fit his Mauser 1891 Argentine Engineer's Carbine fell into the hen's teeth range of probability. He prompty found such bands a day or so later!

So maybe I can push luck your way by saying that the chances of finding a spare stock and hardware for a Norwegian Krag are pretty dim, and your are more likely to find a wall-hanger that you can plunder.

There! Now someone will offer you a brand-new stock within 48 hours!

12-05-2010, 01:30 AM

I'm thinking a US Krag stock might be close to a drop-in fit. You can get walnut repro stocks for about $110-20 from S&S and other suppliers. You might have to do a little cutting and maybe filling. I've got a 6.5x55 rifle and I love it, but it would not be my first choice for elk. The 30-40 is pretty good, but the 8x57 is even better, in the wooded, rough-country where I tend to hunt.

Yeah, more that I think about it, it sounds like the answer to the question nobody asked. If I want to carry an 8, I've got a butchered BRNO with a scope. Still, the Krag is just such a great rifle to carry and shoot ....