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Thread: Value and Venue for Sale of M1896, Serial No 53420

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    Legacy Member dt1950's Avatar
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    Value and Venue for Sale of M1896, Serial No 53420

    Greetings! You may have seen my request for information on another M1896. It's an upgrade to this one and I don't need two. Any suggestions I what I should ask for it? And the best venue to sell it? It's a pretty rifle and probably went to Cuba or the Philippines as it went through the clean and repair program. Externally in great shape with a fine bore but it has pitting under the wood. The pitting has the clean and repair bluing in it.
    Photos: M1896 Krag Rifle - Google Photos
    Your valued input will be appreciated. Thanks! H.T. Rea, Katy, Texas

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    Legacy Member dt1950's Avatar
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    For general information to the gallery, the rifle sold for $1995 on GunsInternational. Regards, H.T.

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    Legacy Member butlersrangers's Avatar
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    With currency inflation, Covid, and other World Events, our experience on the value of many items from antique firearms to houses is totally upended.

    That appears to be a nice U.S. Model 1896 Kragicon-Jorgensen rifle.
    With the condition of the wood, I'd have valued it much lower than it sold for at auction.

    Auction 'Sold Prices' give us a clue to firearm values, but, tend to be high, due to bidding 'wars'.

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    Legacy Member dt1950's Avatar
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    Thought I would clarify a bit on the sale as the previous gentleman's comments refer to an "auction sale". I agree with his comments about auctions and their associated prices not necessarily being a good indicator of value. In this instance, I sold the rifle on GunsInternational which is not an auction site and the rifle sold at the price I specified. GunsInternational charged me $18 to place the ad. As far as the price is concerned, I placed the ad at $1995 which is about $200 less than comparable rifles I saw for sale on collector webpages, e.g. J&J Militeria and The Horse Soldier. The reality is that things just continue to go up! Regards, H.T.

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    I have a copy of the book of military arms values, last edition just before all the lockdown pandemic made everything crazy. I'll look it up when I get home.

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    Well I am confused. You want an assessment on a Kragicon you have already sold for $1995? The krag in the pictures has been refinished and is not 1896 correct. The bolt is an M1898 and some of the screws do not look right / original. The front band is also a M1898 not 1896. If you sold it for $1995 than you did well.

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    no. he sold a krag for 1995 and bought another one, and posted pictures of the later....right?

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    Legacy Member butlersrangers's Avatar
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    If I understand correctly, the OP obtained a nicer model 1896 Kragicon some time ago. We have not been shown photos of the new acquisition.

    He posted his questions about selling his 'lesser' (pictured) model 1896 on another forum in the past.

    On this forum, he was just updating' (for those interested), how he sold it and the price it sold for.

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    Now I'm confused, so the one with the pictures sold for $1995? Congrats on the sale then. I suppose old saying that something is worth whatever someone is willing to pay is appropriate.

    Given the condition in the pictures, I would say condition is fair or below. The bolt has been re-polished or is one of those nice NOS ones that grandpasgunparts.com still has a case of. The rifle appears to me to be re finished at some point. The exterior corrosion didn't leave that finish behind. The stock has likely been sanded, and only the faintest evidence of being original remains.

    Standard catalog of military firearms from 2020 lists the 1896 krag rifle at
    Fair 750, good 1600, Very Good 2000, Excellent 2740.

    At the Virginia Gun Collectors Association Show in Prince William county yesterday, a guy was walking around with a Kragicon for sale in very similar condition. I got to handle it. It had similar corrosion all over the exterior, and no finish left anywhere around the receiver. He wanted 1k for it. I pointed to one in pristine condition on a table for 1250 that he should look at, and pointed him to the corner where the appraisal table was. What a nice show that was. wish they were all like that. Chatting with the appraisers about how they think was fun.

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    Legacy Member dt1950's Avatar
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    Gentlemen: I've read with interest the subsequent comments to my earlier postings. I thought I would clarify what went down. I did not receive any comments back from my original message so I went ahead and posted the rifle on GunsInternational. Thought I would provide current pricing that I received as information to this forum and that was my second message.

    FYI this is the posting that appeared on GunsInternational:

    "M1896 30-40 Krag Rifle, NRA Antique Excellent (Mostly)
    Time to move my 1897 manufactured Krag on to another custodian of this piece of history. As this rifle is classified as an antique it can be shipped directly to your door.
    The bore is bright and shiny with no pitting in the 30” barrel. It has the proper M1896 rear sight (Krags are infamous for having later sights installed). Parts are blued and receiver case-hardened in oil. Some parts such as the trigger guard were niter blued and that finish does not hold up well. I would place the amount of finish remaining at about 90% +/-
    The butt plate is the only part that has lost all its finish. The upper band (the part the bayonet attaches to) is the only part not M1896. It is an M1898 as indicated by the split in the bottom that allows the band to tighten more. Perhaps it was installed as an upgrade during the clean and repair work. No oiler or cleaning rods in the butt trap.
    And for those of you that actually shoot old rifles (as I have this one), the muzzle gauges right at 2.
    The actual war with Spain was fought with the M1892 and M1896 Krags. The M1898’s came afterwards. 62,587 M1896’s were manufactured. Springfield Research Service did not list this serial number but stated it was in the range with the 1st United Statesicon Volunteer Engineers.
    Now for the reality check. There is every indication that this rifle served in the tropics, e.g. Cuba, the Philippines etc. and just didn’t stand in some arms room. The soldier that used this rifle took good care of it externally and the bore - almost in immaculate condition; then you look under the wood.
    Both the receiver and the barrel sustained pitting, under the wood where it is not seen. I theorize that the rifle went through the ordnance department clean and repair shops. The new finish in the pitted areas is consistent with the rest of the rifle. The handsome stock has been scrapped to the point that only a shadow of the JLA/1897 cartouche is present. I know that many (perhaps most) collectors never disassemble their collectibles but it is important to me that prospective buyers have a full picture of the rifle."

    I went to great lengths to advise potential buyers of the current condition of the rifle and the hypothesis that it had been re-finished by government armorers in the "clean and repair" program. The one gentleman does have me on the bolt though; I missed that it was a '98 as opposed to the proper '96. I did indeed clean the bolt but it is original to the rifle as when I bought it in the '90's.

    Always appreciate the comments of those with greater knowledge than myself and that is why I reached out to this forum with my original message.

    Best regards,

    H.T.

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