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Old 02-26-2010, 04:57 PM
surplusshooter surplusshooter is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: East central Illinois
Posts: 1,219

My mistake, I thought that I read somewhere that the early 30-40 Krag's were blackpowder rounds.
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Old 02-26-2010, 05:29 PM
Calif-Steve Calif-Steve is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: California
Posts: 2,474

The Krag was an entirely different design from the M1903. The rifle fired a much less intense cartridge. However, as they tried to push up .30-40 velocities the receiver began to have problems. You see, that receiver, was indeed a low number receiver.
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:30 PM
leadman leadman is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 46

The 2010 Gun Digest has an article on the use of grease to reduce the lumpy fouling left from the cupro-nickel bullet jackets. It was found that with the higher velocity of the 150gr '06 bullet the cupro-nickel would build up enough in 25 rounds to destroy accurracy. This did not happen with the lower velocity of the Krag and the '03 cartridges with the 220gr bullet.

The article says most of the blow-ups could be traced to over lubing the bullet with the grease and the grease getting on the cartridge case resulting in the case not gripping the sides of the chambers.

The grease was prohibited for use by the government on military owned rifles in 1921, but one blew up at Camp Perry when a soldier snuck in some grease and used it.

There are even pressure figures given as to how much it increased and how much extra bolt thrust was created.

Could this have been the cause of the blow-ups, combined with marginally safe recievers? We will probably never know for sure.

Last edited by leadman; 03-08-2010 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:36 PM
LavaTech LavaTech is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Top of my mountain, in rural Reno, NV
Posts: 912

Further interesting reading.....'03 receiver failures.

(Couldn't resist throwing more gasoline on this fire!)
Appleseed Project: Where marksmanship meets history and the heritage begins.
Revolutionary War Veterans Association http://www.appleseedinfo.org/
Paying Tribute To April 19, 1775 Through Awareness, Learning & Marksmanship.
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:46 PM
wrwindsor wrwindsor is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Texas!
Posts: 781

30-40 Krags also have a single-lug bolt, which can be very unfun if you overcook what the rifle can handle.

The 30-40 Krag round was the first foray into "smokeless powder", replacing the .45-70-405-chambered M1873 "Trapdoor" rifles. The bullets were still round-nosed, since the spitzer shape wasn't tested/understood at the time.
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:15 PM
fonejac fonejac is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ky
Posts: 1

You could also drive your LN 01-11 Toyota to the range to shoot your LN Springfield 03....
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:37 PM
Brazos Brazos is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 663

After reading Hatcher's Notebook I have no problem shooting LN rifles as long as the action and barrel is in good condition and you are using good quality, M2 pressure, ammo.

Its clear there were issues with the heat treating, but the problem is also due to the design of the Springfield action (it does not support the case fully in the chamber) and these two factors are further agrivated by poor quality wartime ammo that had poor QC of brass and powder.

The rifles where used extensively and no major issues developed until the bad ammo came along. They where used before and during WW2 by the USMC, and again no issues. Could one let go? Anything is possible. But what is likely?
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:12 AM
Rick the Librarian Rick the Librarian is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: NW Washington State
Posts: 7,087

Actually, I have seen a few (I admit not many) burst rifles reports in the SRS listings before WWI and the advent of bad ammo. Cause was not listed (although maybe if you ordered the SRS record it would tell you).

In the end, what you do about LN M1903s depends on your own perception of the risks involved. I know several people who shoot LN M1903s. I don't, but respect the right of each person to make up their own mind. I would hope, that whatever decision you come to, that it is based on a careful reading of the facts.
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:41 PM
KRAG-30-40 KRAG-30-40 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Paris,Illinoios
Posts: 3,634

Originally Posted by Rick the Librarian View Post
I think your last sentence says it all: "...these early receivers have no margin of safety in an accident."
This is as good an arguement as I've seen for not shooting one as you'll find.An "accident" is something unexpected happening.Anybody who wants to shoot their LN is OK by me but I'm not shooting mine.I've been in a couple of "accidents",I don't like hospitals.
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:09 PM
wrwindsor wrwindsor is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Texas!
Posts: 781

Another item of note.. most gunsmiths (that have a clue) won't touch them.

All it takes is a clueless shooter, a frustrated widow, and an over-eager attorney to make a mess out of something they enjoy doing.
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failure, m1903, receiver, springfield

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