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Old 02-20-2019, 11:56 PM
sfhurst sfhurst is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 23
Default Competition Loads for 30-40 Krag?

I recently acquired an 1898 Krag (actually made in 1903) that I plan to use in CMP Vintage Rifle matches. I have searched the Internet for what might be the most common loads for competition. Based on the post found on other forums I have decided to start with either the 180gr Hornady RN and 42gr of IMR4350, or the 220gr Hornady RN and 42.2gr of IMR4350.

Powder/Bullet choice -- Any comments? 180gr or 220gr? What are other CMP Krag shooters using? Again, based on the comments on other forums I went with RN over spitzer due to concerns with chambering the round.

COAL - Both Sierra and Lee state that the maximum COAL length should be 3.089" This seems to fit and flow through the magazine with no problem, but I have had an occasionaly hang up with the second or third cartridge. I think this is due more to a dirty follower than cartridge length. Thoughts?

180gr vs 220gr Bullet -- As with my 1917 Enfield and 1903A3 I tried to come up with an "on the lands" COAL. I have a tool I use to push a bullet forward through a chambered case until it contacts the lands and grooves, but it seems the extended throat of the 1898 makes this impossible. Using the 180gr bullet, the bullet falls out of the case long before it makes contact with the lands and grooves. The 220gr bullet just reaches the lands and grooves before losing contact with the neck of the case. For this reason it seems far less power will be lost by using the 220gr bullet over the 180gr bullet.

What are your thoughts and recommendations on this subject? Thanks in advance for any and all comments and suggestions.
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Old 02-21-2019, 12:28 AM
stripper clip stripper clip is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Illinois
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An interesting topic. As for either the choice of a 180 grain bullet or 220 grain bullet, I would suspect the 220 grain bullet to be a better choice because that bullet would offer a longer bearing surface on the rifling. Perhaps some research would be in order to try to get a bullet with a high ballistic coefficient. If I am not mistaken, the original Krag bullet was a 220 grain round nosed bullet and the yardage increments of the rear sight calibrated for such as well. The argument can be made that the rear sight yardage calibrations are only approximations, especially when factoring unique properties of handloaded ammunition, but the rifle was designed with those sights for a reason.
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:42 AM
ceresco ceresco is offline
 
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Obviously, you are not going to be able to get close to the lands. Doesn't matter, bullets jump just fine. Seating close to the lands is not relevant in CMP games matches. You are likely to find many loads that will shoot tight enough--if you have a decent barrel. I would be looking for 100% reliable feeding and practice the rapid fire loading procedure a lot as the Krag is somewhat unique. My observation is that the points lost with Krags in matches are often from saved rounds during rapid prone. Bullet choice for me always starts with lighter bullets as recoil is never your friend. Some Krags will feed pointed bullets fine but even if round nose bullets are needed, Krag loads are generally rather light, so a 150gr might be completely satisfactory. Again, lots of testing and practice. Good Shooting ......
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:26 PM
Jpm Jpm is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Massachusetts
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My tackdriver load in 3 different Krags (rifle, carbine, cutdown rifle) is the 175gr SMK with 37gr H4895 seated to 3.080" with a light crimp. Easy load you can shoot all day without breaking your shoulder. They load fine too, only very infrequently does one get hung up and I need to give the bolt handle an extra push (or quick pull push) to chamber it.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:24 AM
Kerz Kerz is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Eastern KY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceresco View Post
Obviously, you are not going to be able to get close to the lands. Doesn't matter, bullets jump just fine. Seating close to the lands is not relevant in CMP games matches. You are likely to find many loads that will shoot tight enough--if you have a decent barrel. I would be looking for 100% reliable feeding and practice the rapid fire loading procedure a lot as the Krag is somewhat unique. My observation is that the points lost with Krags in matches are often from saved rounds during rapid prone. Bullet choice for me always starts with lighter bullets as recoil is never your friend. Some Krags will feed pointed bullets fine but even if round nose bullets are needed, Krag loads are generally rather light, so a 150gr might be completely satisfactory. Again, lots of testing and practice. Good Shooting ......
Excellent advice. Practice and try different loads/bullet combinations. I found the 160 Hornady FlexTip worked very well in my 1898s.
Vic

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  #6  
Old 02-23-2019, 10:40 AM
Calif-Steve Calif-Steve is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: California
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I use 45gr of 4831 and Hornady A Max bullets. You must practice rapid re-loading prior to your matches. The 220gr bullet puts a dent in my shoulder and I find the A Max bullet to be very accurate. Good luck.
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  #7  
Old 02-27-2019, 11:26 PM
HighpowerRifleBrony HighpowerRifleBrony is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Texas
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Make your own clips.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC4_g6N3aLA
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2019, 01:57 PM
RC20 RC20 is offline
 
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I can addrewss the finding the lands situation (not relevant for this use but fore others) While finding it is useful, I think I have one load that likes close to the lands (I shoot 3 target rifles in various 30 caliber) - for me it is a starting point not a goal to get them that close unless working with a load it seems to like closer.

Also, the Ogive where it actually does hit if its seated that far out has variations as well (tip is more but Ogives are not perfect) - so in reality you have to give it a good .005 or you will wind up with one into the lands.

The tools work as ball park, but they tend to be short about .015.

I use a metal one my brother built as its better, but then I use a round (dummy is best safety wise) full re-sized and seat a bullet long and try to close the bolt very gently.

If you meet resistance, shorten it up .010 and do again.

The nw longer ELD bullets tend to stick with some lands even being gentle, tap on the bolt handle with a plastic handled tool usually pops them out., If not a rod down the bore will work fine (you don'g care about the tip - its the Ogive curve that is relevant.

You do want to check the Ogige COAL going in so if it pushes the bullet back a bit you can see it.

Often you will see a faint mark but no stick. You are there at that point.

Drop it back .010 and you are good. Too tight with a full load and you can get a pressure peak you don't want. Weatherby has a lot of jump because they put a god awful amount of powder in a case and the long run reduces the pressure.

I have documented that one case type likes them shorter and another mfg likes them almost into the lands. No explanation, just stuff you play with when you get a good looking load.

Some will want a really long jump, just accept it and worth a try if it seems like it should be decent or really good and is not.
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