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Thread: The Mystery of the Lost Krag Gunsmith

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  1. #1
    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    The Mystery of the Lost Krag Gunsmith

    One of the less read Sherlock Holmes novels, to be sure.



    This is a little project I've been meaning to do for a while. Had a bit of time so I finally put it together.
    You all may recall my fancy Kragicon sporter. The work is really top notch but unfortunately, it's not named anywhere.
    Sedgley and Stoeger come to mind as custom Krag-smiths, so I scoured the web for some pictures of Krags refurbished by them.

    By importing these images in AutoCad, I was able to "trace" the stock, scale it, and overlay it to my stock.

    The Stoeger Peerless:


    And the Sedgley:


    Neither are quite right though I think the Stoeger would be closer if I could compare it to an actual example rather than this advertisement.

    What do you guys think? Any other known 'smiths I should look into?
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  3. #2
    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Found a single shot Griffin and Howe Kragicon online for sale. This isn't it either. Drop's all wrong.


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    Really Senior Member mark1's Avatar
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    In the 50' and 60's there were a lot more gunsmiths than today. Quite a few had great talents but did not mark their work. Military rifles were in easy to get and a lot of them were customized. Trying to pin point the gunsmith will next to impossible. Unless you can trace the Kragicon to its previous owner(s).

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    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark1 View Post
    Quite a few had great talents but did not mark their work. Military rifles were in easy to get and a lot of them were customized. Trying to pin point the gunsmith will next to impossible.
    Agreed. My hope is it will be one of the "famous" ones. If it is, I think it will be possible to build a compelling argument that it came from XYZ gunsmith.

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    Really Senior Member mark1's Avatar
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    Have you removed the butt plate and action to see for there are any markings there? I had a custom Kragicon stock that had a business card in the cleaning rod hole from a gunsmith in Montana. I looked up the gunsmith but found nothing for a active business.

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    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark1 View Post
    Have you removed the butt plate and action to see for there are any markings there? I had a custom Kragicon stock that had a business card in the cleaning rod hole from a gunsmith in Montana. I looked up the gunsmith but found nothing for a active business.
    I sure did. That was my hope as well. At least a name.

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    Really Senior Member Salt Flat's Avatar
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    RC, I have an old book titled “Custom Built Rifles” by Richard F. Simmons (copyright 1949 and 1955). Simmons lists some gunsmiths that used Kragicon actions to build custom rifles. They are/were the following: Griffin and Howe, Vernon Gipson, Ackley, Milhoan, Niedner, Hervey Lovell, Sukalle, H.A Donaldson, Fred Ness, Ned Roberts and Townsend Whelen. (ref Pg 133)

    Also I will post a photo of a Krag sporter that I have--

    Salt Flat

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    Really Senior Member Salt Flat's Avatar
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    Rc, Here's my Kragicon sporter. I would call this more of a folk art stock. It has some diamond inlays and and a buffalo! I bought this to restore back to military but got to looking at it and decided to leave as is. The finiishing is rough but I like the shape and overall look--
    Salt Flat
    Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Thanks for looking into that. And thanks for naming the book. It looks great and I found a copy on eBay for $17. Mine now!

    I like the looks of yours too. That buffalo is actually quite nicely done!

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    Is/was that a carbine? Looks like the muzzle was turned down to take a bayonet.

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