Krag-Jørgensen

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Original Danish Krag-Jørgensen Model 1889/10 Rifle - 8x58R
Danish Krag-Jørgensen Model 1889/24 Infantry Carbine - 8x58R
Danish Krag-Jørgensen Model 1889/24 Artillery Carbine - 8x58R
Norwegian Krag Model 1894 - 6.5x55mm SE
US Property Marked Krag-Jørgensen Model 1896 Rifle - .30-40 Krag
1896 U.S.Krag-Jorgensen Carbine - .30-40 Krag
US Model 1898 Krag-Jørgensen Rifle - .30-40 Krag
"Sporterized" US M1898 Krag-Jørgensen long rifle - .30-40 Krag
Krag-Jørgensen US Model 1899 Constabulary Carbine - .30-40 Krag

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.

Contents


Background

Development

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.

Denmark

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.

United States

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.

Norway

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:

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
Hearts of the World Robert Harron The Boy US M1898 1918
French soldiers
Shoulder Arms Charlie Chaplin Charlie US M1898 1918
US Army soldiers
The Lost Battalion American and German soldiers US M1898 and M1899 1919
The Big Parade American and German soldiers US M1898 1925
The Lost World Wallace Beery Professor Challenger US M1896 or M1898 1925
Lewis Stone Sir John Roxton
7th Heaven German soldiers M1899 Constabulary 1927
Four Sons Charles Morton Johann Bernle US M1896 1928
German soldiers
Two Arabian Knights Arabian and German soldiers US M1898 1927
A Farewell to Arms Italian soldiers US M1898 1932
King Kong S.S. Venture Sailors US M1898 1933
Cavalcade Herbert Mundin Alfred Bridges US M1896 1933
Clive Brook Robert Marryot
British soldiers
China Seas Malay pirates, British Sikh soldiers US M1896 and M1898 1935
The Real Glory Tetsu Komai Alipang US M1899 Philippine Constabulary 1939
US Army Troops, Philippine rebels
Gunga Din Victor McLaglen Sergeant MacChesney M1899 Constabulary rifle 1939
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Sergeant Ballentine
Cary Grant Sergeant Cutter
Sam Jaffe Gunga Din
Cultists
Colonial troops M1892 rifle
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes British Royal Guards Unclear full-length model, likely US M96 or M98 1939
Tarzan's Secret Treasure Tom Conway Medford US M1898 Carbine 1941
Saboteur US soldiers US 1898 long rifle 1942
The Fighting Seabees John Wayne Lt. Cmdr. Wedge Donovan US Model 1896 1944
Japanese soldiers
To Kill a Mockingbird Gregory Peck Atticus Finch Sporterized US M1898 long rifle 1962
100 Rifles Raquel Welch Sarita US Model 1896 1969
Aldo Sambrell Sgt. Paletes
Indians
The Wind and the Lion Brian Keith Theodore Roosevelt US M1898 1975
United States' Marines
Death Hunt Lee Marvin RCMP Sgt. Millen Sporterized Norwegian M1894 long rifle 1981
Ironweed Jared Swartout US Army Officer US M1898 1987
U.S. Army Soldiers
Public Enemies East Liverpool Police officers US M1898 1987
Sioux Falls vigilante
April 9th Pilou Asbæk Second Lieutenant Sand Danish 1889/24 Artillery and Infantry Carbine 1987
Danish soldiers
Into the White Norwegian soldiers Norwegian Krag Model 1894 2012
The King's Choice Norwegian soldiers Norwegian Krag Model 1894 2016

Television

Show Title Actor Character Note / Episode Air Date
The Three Stooges Curly Howard Curly Spook Louder 1943
Hogan's Heroes John Banner Oberfeldwebel Schultz 1965 - 1971
Werner Klemperer Colonel Klink Season 2 Episode 3
Cliff Osmond Marko Season 3 Episode 1
Bob Crane Hogan Season 3 Episode 8
German soldiers Used in place of Kar98k
Rough Riders Freddie Joe Farnsworth Sgt. Farnsworth US M1896 Carbine 1997
Brad Johnson Nash
Francesco Quinn Lt. Castillo
Titus Welliver Goodrich
Chris Noth Craig Wadsworth
Buck Taylor George Neville
Holt McCallany Hamilton Fish
U.S. soldiers
The Son - Season 1 James Parks Niles 2017

Video Game

Game Title Appears as Note Release Date
Red Dead Redemption "Bolt-Action Rifle" US 1898 long rifle 2010
Red Dead Redemption II "Bolt-Action Rifle" Hybrid of US and Danish models 2018
Battlefield V "Krag-Jørgensen" Norwegian Model 1894 2018


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