The Krag-Jørgensen is a series of bolt-action repeating rifles designed by Captain Ole Herman Johannes Krag and gunsmith Erik Jørgensen of Norway. Instead of being loaded through the action, the Krag's distinctive horizontal magazine is located beneath the bolt on the side of the rifle, with a prominent loading door on the right side of the action, so each round can simply be placed into the magazine, which leads to quick reloading. Unfortunately, a lack of a clip loading aid proved cumbersome in combat, and the Krag was largely removed from military use and replaced by clip-fed Mauser designs. However, the Krag's novel magazine and smooth action keeps it popular among gun enthusiasts today.
In 1884, Krag and Jørgensen decided to develop an alternative magazine design for the existing Norwegian service rifle, the tube-fed Jarmann rifle. They designed a 10-round spring-loaded magazine that sat horizontally beneath the bolt action and wrapped up around the left side of the receiver to feed cartridges into the action. A hinged gate on the right side of the magazine swung open for loading, simultaneously retracting the spring-loaded magazine follower.
In 1886, the pair submitted a prototype to the Danish military service trials. The design was revised over the course of the test, eventually becoming an entirely new design with a single forward locking lug, elongated safety lug/bolt guide, and external claw extractor on top of the bolt. The magazine was reduced to 5-rounds, and featured a cutoff switch that prevented cartridges from feeding from the magazine; thus making the rifle into a single-shot action. The design also incorporated cock-on-opening, wherein as the bolt rotates into the unlocked position the cocking piece cams against a spiral-cut ramp in the wall of the bolt body pulling the firing pin backward and compressing the mainspring. The rifle proved successful, being selected for the Danish armed forces in 1889 chambered for the Danish 8x56mmR cartridge. Danish Krags featured a straight bolt handle, and a tubular steel barrel shroud running the full length of the barrel.
In 1892 the United States Army held a competition to select a new bolt-action repeating rifle to replace the Model 1873/1884 Trapdoor Springfield Rifles . The Krag-Jørgensen was selected from 53 competing rifle designs. It was chambered in the .30USG cartridge (now known as the .30-40 Krag), which was specifically developed for the trial rifles by the US Army. The rifle featured a 30" barrel, Turned-down bolt handle, two-position safety on the rear of the bolt, and the magazine door hinge was made horizontal, so the door would open upward. The Krag design was chosen due to its ability to be reloaded without opening the bolt, and the magazine cutoff, which was seen as necessary to prevent soldiers from firing too rapidly and wasting ammunition. A carbine version with a 22" barrel was developed for the US Cavalry.
Roughly 442,000 rifles and 63,000 carbines were produced at the US Springfield Armory from 1894-1904, when the rifle was replaced by the M1903 Springfield after the Krag's poor performance against the Spanish M1893 Mauser during the Spanish-American War.
In 1891, the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway created the 6.5x55mm cartridge for use in all future military rifles. In 1893 the Norwegian Army held a competition to select a new service rifle, which was patterned after the earlier US Army trials. The Krag-Jørgensen design was selected based on the same criteria that won it favor with the US Army, but primarily because it was a domestic design. It was formally adopted in 1894. The Norwegian Krag featured a 30" barrel, half-length handguard, and a pistol-grip for more comfortable shooting. Roughly 215,000 long rifles and carbines were manufactured at Kongsberg Vapenfabrikk, the state weapons arsenal, and 33,500 were produced by Waffenfabrik Steyr, Austria.
Several hundred Steyr-manufactured M1894 long rifles were supplied via an unknown source to the Boers of South Africa during the Second Boer War (1899-1902). Many lack the Norwegian acceptance stamps, but some with acceptance marks may have been supplied by a small Scandinavian volunteer force that fought for the Boers.
The Krag-Jørgensen and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:
|Hearts of the World||Robert Harron||The Boy||US M1898 long rifle||1918|
|French soldiers||US M1898 long rifle|
|Shoulder Arms||Charlie Chaplin||Charlie||US M1898 long rifle||1918|
|US Army soldiers||US M1898 long rifle|
|King Kong||S.S. Venture Sailors||US 1898 long rifle||1933|
|The Real Glory||Tetsu Komai||Alipang||M1899 Philippine Constabulary rifle||1939|
|The Real Glory||US Army Troops, Philippine rebels||US M1898 long rifle, M1899 Philippine Constabulary rifle||1939|
|Gunga Din||Victor McLaglen||M1899 Constabulary rifle||1939|
|Gunga Din||Douglas Fairbanks Jr.||M1899 Constabulary rifle||1939|
|Gunga Din||Cary Grant||M1899 Constabulary rifle||1939|
|Gunga Din||Sam Jaffe||M1899 Constabulary rifle||1939|
|Gunga Din||cultists||M1899 Constabulary rifle||1939|
|Gunga Din||Colonial troops||M1892 rifle||1939|
|Tarzan's Secret Treasure||Tom Conway||Medford||US M1898 Carbine||1941|
|Saboteur||US soldiers||US 1898 long rifle||1942|
|The Fighting Seabees||Japanese soldiers||US Model 1896 Rifle||1944|
|The Fighting Seabees||John Wayne||Lt. Cmdr. Wedge Donovan||US Model 1896 Rifle||1944|
|To Kill a Mockingbird||Gregory Peck||Atticus Finch||Sporterized US M1898 long rifle||1962|
|100 Rifles||Raquel Welch||Sarita||US Model 1896 Rifle||1969|
|100 Rifles||Aldo Sambrell||Sgt. Paletes||US Model 1896 Rifle||1969|
|100 Rifles||Indians||US Model 1896 Rifle||1969|
|The Wind and the Lion||Brian Keith||Theodore Roosevelt||Sporterized US M1898 long rifle||1975|
|The Wind and the Lion||United States' Marines||M1898 long rifle||1975|
|Death Hunt||Lee Marvin||RCMP Sgt. Millen||Sporterized Norwegian M1894 long rifle||1981|
|Ironweed||Jared Swartout||US Army Officer||M1898 long rifle||1987|
|Ironweed||US Army Soldiers||M1898 long rifle||1987|
|Rough Riders||Freddie Joe Farnsworth||Sgt. Farnsworth||M1896 carbine||1997|
|Rough Riders||Brad Johnson||Nash||M1896 carbine||1997|
|Rough Riders||Francesco Quinn||Lt. Castillo||M1896 carbine||1997|
|Rough Riders||Titus Welliver||Goodrich||M1896 carbine||1997|
|Rough Riders||Chris Noth||Craig Wadsworth||M1896 Carbine||1997|
|Rough Riders||Holt McCallany||Hamilton Fish||M1896 Carbine||1997|
|Public Enemies||East Liverpool Police officers||M1898 long rifle||2009|
|Public Enemies||Sioux Falls vigilante||M1898 long rifle||2009|
|Into the White||Norwegian soldiers||Norwegian Krag Model 1894||2012|
|April 9th||Danish soldiers||Danish Krag-Jørgensen Model 1889/24 Artillery and Infantry Carbine||2015|
|The King's Choice||Norwegian soldiers||Norwegian Krag Model 1894||2016|
|Show Title||Actor||Character||Note / Episode||Air Date|
|The Three Stooges||Curly Howard||Curly||Spook Louder||1943|
|Hogan's Heroes||John Banner||Oberfeldwebel Schultz||Used in place of Kar98k||1965-1971|
|Hogan's Heroes||Werner Klemperer||Colonel Klink||Used in place of Kar98k; Season 2 Episode 3||1967|
|Hogan's Heroes||Cliff Osmond||Marko||Used in place of Kar98k; Season 3 Episode 1||1968|
|Hogan's Heroes||Bob Crane||Hogan||Used in place of Kar98k; Season 3 Episode 8||1968|
|Deadliest Warrior||Theodore Roosevelt|
|Game Title||Appears as||Note||Release Date|
|Red Dead Redemption||2010|