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  1. #1
    Legacy Member Alex.California's Avatar
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    1898 Krag with "E 21" on the buttstock

    Hello,

    I recently inherited several firearms. After I determined the manufacture dates of each and other basic characteristics, I am trying to find out more about each one.

    This one is an 1898 Springfield Kragicon, S/N 430058, from that could check the manufacture year as 1902. After I removed what looked like urethane on the stock (which was all gummy and sticky), I found several markings, including the cartouche, the inspector's mark "B" (right? I thought it was usually "P"?) behind the trigger guard, what looks like "N J" on the butt plate, and an "E 21" on the top of rear of the stock. The barrel band is marked "U" and I could not find any markings on the bolt. I cannot find any information regarding the "E 21", or the "N J" for that matter. Any thoughts?

    Much appreciated,

    Alex

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Nice looking rifle, the yellow on it is probably hardened motor oil used for rifle oil. Comes off with acetone. The number is probably a rack number and the NJ is likely the National guard of NJ... Serial number draws nothing from SRS. Others will be along.
    Regards, Jim

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    Legacy Member m1903rifle's Avatar
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    +1 on browningautorifleicon's comments.

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    Legacy Member butlersrangers's Avatar
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    'Alex' - You inherited a serviceable looking U.S. Model 1898 Kragicon Rifle.
    Your Krag, #430058, was likely assembled around December 1902 to January 1903.
    The Joseph Sumner Adams [J.S.A. - 1903] 'acceptance cartouche', stamped on your stock, shows nice agreement with the production period of your receiver.
    That is a script 'circled P' (proof mark) stamped behind your trigger-guard; it indicates the rifle was function tested.

    The 'U' on the barrel-band is an assembly aid. It should be on the right-side of the rifle, with the open-end pointing toward the muzzle.

    The 'N.J.' stamp indicates use by the New Jersey National Guard. The 'E21' is likely a 'company-rack number'.

    Your rear-sight is the model 1901 (Buffington-type sight), which is very popular with target shooters and influenced model 1903 Springfield rifle sight design.

    Enjoy your family Krag!
    Last edited by butlersrangers; 10-21-2021 at 07:36 PM.

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    Legacy Member Alex.California's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Excellent, many thanks to you all for the insights / information. Being able to understand these details makes a big difference. I do know that it is been in our family since the 1940s or so.

    It does look like it is certainly in good shape, and was happy that the urethane wiped right off with just rubbing alcohol as it had become sticky and mottled -- perhaps the urethane, in its deteriorated state, bled and yellowed some of the metal? See the attached "before" pic.

    Will take it out soon if, that is, I can find ammo -- this was one of the pieces that didn't have any ammo with it. I only found one online source with in-stock 30-40: HSM 180gr flat nose. Should I wait and find a different grade or is that fine?

    Thanks again.

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    Legacy Member butlersrangers's Avatar
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    'Alex' - Hints on disassembly:
    First the stock can be removed by sliding barrel-bands forward to the front-sight and removing the two trigger guard screws.
    (The front-sight blade height prevents the front-band from being removed. If necessary, the front-sight blade can be removed by driving the small tapered-pin, left to right, with a fine drift-punch).

    The rear barrel-band is moved forward by removing the sling-swivel & screw. The band can be spread slightly to clear the stock cross-pin.

    Kragicon wooden hand-guards are fragile and age makes them more so. Do Not 'snap' a hand-guard on and off the barrel.
    Remove the rear-sight screws & sight. Soften-up old storage grease coating the barrel with solvent or mineral spirits.
    The hand-guard can be slid forward down the barrel taper, toward the muzzle, where it is easily removed.

    Store the loose hand-guard with a Quarter and a Penny twisted into the barrel spring-clips to counter the strong inward spring tension.

    Reassemble in reverse order, making sure the action and barrel are nicely seated in stock. Firmly tighten the front guard-screw. The rear-screw should just be snug. If over-tightened, the barrel will be 'levered' upward, off the stock-channel.
    Last edited by butlersrangers; 10-21-2021 at 09:32 PM.

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    Legacy Member Alex.California's Avatar
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    Ah, thanks. I got as far as the front barrel band and the front-blade stumped me -- so it needs a tap with a pin punch, got it. And noted on the hand guard. In fact, on my 1942 M1903 Modified (which I will post together with the 1919 Mark 1 on their respective forum), the rear of the upper hand guard is a bit loose and thus has a 1/8" of play between it and the barrel, so perhaps it had been damaged from a hasty disassembly.

    Will be interesting to try this followed by the M1903 and the M1917 for comparison.

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    Legacy Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    220gr was the military bullet weight. Doesn't mean you can't shoot any other as long as its safe.
    Last edited by Daan Kemp; 10-22-2021 at 01:15 AM. Reason: Corrected bullet weight

  11. #9
    Legacy Member Alex.California's Avatar
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    Thanks Daan, I did find some Remington so will try to grab that.

    And "Browning" ... I found the probable culprit for the yellowing ... when I disassembled the bolt, the spring was coated with brownish-yellow liquid nastiness that dripped out of it, certainly would pass as motor oil. And the yellow spots on the metal came right off with diluted lacquer thinner and a q-tip. I was careful to just soak up the yellow and not polish the patina off. Thanks for the tip.

    Also, found an "A" on the underside of the bolt lever.

  12. Thank You to Alex.California For This Useful Post:


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    Legacy Member butlersrangers's Avatar
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    U.S. Kragicon Bolt markings just seem to have been utilized to identify different 'manufacturing batches' of bolts. The bolts were all made at Springfield Armory.

    Only some early model 1892 Krags, (not in production until 1894), had the bolt numbered to match receiver.

    There are evolutionary changes in bolts from model 1892, model 1896, to model 1898/1899.

    The 1898/1899 bolt will work in earlier actions.

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