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Old 09-08-2019, 6:20 PM
JaredKaragen JaredKaragen is offline
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Default Springfield 1898, Help me date it?

So, for many many years I have owned this old rifle. It was a gift from my friends dad when I was a lot younger, and has always been in his gun safe.

I'm almost 40 now; and he isn't getting any younger.... so I figured I would finally dive in and see what its actually worth, and if it indeed is worth bringing into California's BS registration and whatnot.... It would be nice to bring it out here for once in its life.

It is a Springfield Model 1898 Ser#196xxx and its still in fairly decent condition. I shot a few boxes of ammo out of it over the years when im able to go out and visit. Reminds me of a mosin in many ways... It is definitely a long range tack driver as well. (can call him up for the full serial if I need to, 196xxx is what I remember)

I figure this thing is right on the cusp of being considered a collectors item and not a firearm.... So if any experts out there can fill me in, it would be much appreciated. Everything that I can tell, it will MFG in mid 1899. I have had a few people tell me MFG in pre-1899, and some say pre-1900 for the whole "not a firearm" thing... but the MFG date on my particular rifle is very close, and it is purely a guess on my part as to exactly when it was manufactured (given the searchable info I have been able to find).

Just seeing what hoops I am going to have to jump through to finally bring this thing home after owning but not possessing it for most of my life. Maybe it will just go to another out-of-state place again to avoid CA's BS.... We will see.
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Old 09-08-2019, 6:33 PM
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SkyHawk SkyHawk is offline
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196xxx means 1899 fiscal year, which ran from July 1 1898 - June 30 1899.

There are good records for these, here are the serial ranges by fiscal year.

I don’t know where you can find specific month info though, but in your case it matters very much. It seems more likely yours was made in 1899 since it is near the end of that production range. Until proven otherwise, I would play safe and treat it as such, which means it is not antique and needs FFL for transfer.

You should ask for this thread to be moved to the C&R subforum where you may get more help dating it to a specific month.

Last edited by SkyHawk; 09-08-2019 at 6:41 PM..
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Old 09-11-2019, 2:06 PM
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MajorSideburns MajorSideburns is offline
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Old 09-11-2019, 6:39 PM
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Bainter1212 Bainter1212 is offline
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Dude you're not even a dad. Total dad joke.

Yeah you have a US Krag. Those are considered firearms by the ATF IIRC.
I would avoid registering it and keep it out of state. I have a feeling the CA govt is going to go apecrap soon.
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Old 09-11-2019, 9:47 PM
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Ora Serrata Ora Serrata is offline
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Is it rifle length or a carbine? Krags are really cool, I have a couple of them. Most you find are mixmasters and a lot of rifles were cut to make replica carbines out of them. Since yours has been in storage so long hopefully it’s period correct and complete.
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Old 09-12-2019, 5:06 AM
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highpower highpower is offline
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Ora Serrata nailed it. For many years Krags were cheap and thousands were converted to hunting rifles by cutting down the stocks and/or shortening the barrel.

Those that just have the stocks cut down are easy to recognize, but people tend to think that any Krag with a short barrel is a "carbine". To add to the confusion, back in the early twentieth century, the government would sell Krags to public through the DCM. When they ran out of "real" carbines, Springfield Armory would shorten rifles into carbine configuration.

If you know what you are looking at, it is fairly easy to determine a genuine carbine from a cut down rifle. The easiest way is to look at the front sight, cut down rifles generally have a 1903 Springfield front sight band vs the original Krag silver soldered sight.

Generally speaking, any Krag that has a 1898 marked receiver is going to have started life as a rifle, but, they did make 5002 1898 marked carbines. They are very rare and most were upgraded to 1899 stocks and rear sights during their service life.

Krag carbines were always produced in specific serial number ranges and in 1898, Krag carbines fall into the serial range from 113,000 through 139,000. You can see that the serial number of your rifle falls outside of this, so it was definitely produced as a rifle, so it should have a full length stock and a 30" barrel.

I am fortunate to have both an original 1898 Krag rifle and an original condition 1898 Krag carbine and can furnish pictures if you need an aid in any identification questions you may have.
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Old 09-13-2019, 9:39 PM
overlandflyer overlandflyer is offline
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i bought an 1898 K-J rifle (1903) earlier this year, sent to CA through my local FFL and now resides here, no problem...

perhaps the smoothest bolt action ever made.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Krag Jorgensen.01.jpg (50.2 KB, 66 views)

Last edited by overlandflyer; 09-13-2019 at 9:42 PM..
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Old 09-14-2019, 9:38 AM
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81turbota 81turbota is offline
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That’s a very nice one, overlandflyer

A few of those....A couple of that....but just enough to have fun :D
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Old 09-17-2019, 1:01 AM
JaredKaragen JaredKaragen is offline
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Its all original, only missing the ring at the front end of the stock around the middle of the barrel. Its in rather stunningly good shape from what i recall, definitely been fired a bit, on top of what I did way back when.

Its not the model that has the wood stock going to the end of the barrel, it travels half way down the barrels length... maybe it was cut down, but it doesn't initially appear to be that way or show markings from the strap at the top of the barrel area. The barrel and sight seem original.

The blueing and overall condition of the metal is in excellent shape, maybe a few minor blemishes. The barrel has plenty of even rifling.

I remember loving shooting it. It felt like a tack driver that punched its target.

I need to find out if his house is in CA or not; its in the sierras, near the border... either way, I have to make up my mind on what to do sometime soon.
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Old 09-17-2019, 4:18 AM
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highpower highpower is offline
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Quite simply, in the serial number range of the rifle you posted, if the stock isn't full length, it has been cut down.

Here is a couple of pictures of an original Krag carbine. Note the general configuration of the stock and the front sight. Carbine barrels are exactly 22" from the bolt face to the end of the barrel and the front sight is as pictured. While this is a rather rare Model 1898 carbine, it is identical in every way to a Model 1896 carbine, only differing in the model year stamped on the receiver. As I mentioned in my earlier post, carbines were produced in specific serial number ranges and any Krag serial number that does not fall into those ranges was not originally made as a carbine.

While it is possible that the original barrel has been changed and a genuine carbine barrel installed, my experience has shown that to be very unlikely as nearly every single cut down rifle that I have seen has a front sight either with a band around the barrel or some other type of commercial front sight installed.

Even those rifles that were cut down by Springfield Armory for sale to NRA members in the 1920's, used cut down rifle barrels with 1903 front sights installed as they had stopped making carbine spare parts many years earlier.

Carbines made prior to 1899 will have a sling bar and ring. Those made in fiscal year 1899 or later (or earlier carbines that have been upgraded to 1899 specs later on), will not have this. The portion of the stock forward of the receiver is slightly longer also. Carbine rear sights will have a "C" on them as will the front sight blade.

Front sight:

Typical cut down rifle front sight:

Edited to add: If I were you I would grab it as they are wonderful rifle with quite possibly the smoothest action ever made. Both of my Krags put even my M96 Swede to shame in how smooth the bolt glides in the rails. Give it the home it deserves.....

Last edited by highpower; 09-17-2019 at 4:24 AM..
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