Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 42

FEATURE | KRAG

AMERICA'S
.30-40 KRAG
IS STILL IN THE RING FOR VMR COMPETITION
The .30-40 Krag-Jorgenson is the oldest U.S. rifle eligible for
Vintage Military Rifle competition and isn't going anywhere soon.
STORY AND PHOTOS BY ART MERRILL, FIELD EDITOR

T

he Krag-Jorgenson rifle is the oldest
American rifle eligible for Civilian
Marksmanship Program Vintage
Military Rifle competition. Though the
Krag replaced the single-shot Springfield
Trapdoor as a general-issue rifle, it is not
the first repeating cartridge rifle fielded by
the U.S. Army, with several lever-action
repeaters having seen limited use during
the Civil War. The U.S. Navy's 6mm Lee
Navy not-really-a-bolt-action repeater also
beat the Krag into U.S. uniform, but the War
Department decided the Krag would become
the first repeating general-issue rifle for
both the Army, Navy and Marines. The rifle
also went into military service in Denmark
and Norway. While not exactly rare, the U.S.
produced only about 236,000 Krag rifles, so

42

MARCH 2020 | SSUSA.ORG

the Krag isn't exactly ubiquitous today. Less
seen are the 5,000 Krag carbines produced
for cavalry and artillerymen.
Designated Model 1892 for the year of
adoption, the first Krags didn't actually roll
out of Springfield Armory until 1894. The
cartridge, first baptized ".30 U.S. Army"
and then renamed "Cal .30 Service (Krag)
Cartridge Model 1898" after the adoption
of the M1903 Springfield rifle and its .3003 cartridge, was already at the edge of
obsolescence by the time the Krag went
on active duty. Though designed from the
outset as a smokeless powder cartridge,
early trials nonetheless utilized black
powder; the ".30-40" moniker is from the
days of designating black powder cartridges
by bullet and powder charge. As fielded, the


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Shooting Sports USA - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA - March 2020

Contents
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - Cover1
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - Cover2
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 3
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 4
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 5
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - Contents
Shooting Sports USA - March 2020 - 7
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