.30-40 Krag - maximum overall length?

Can anyone tell me the maximum overall length of .30-40 Krag cartridge that will feed through an 1898 Krag rifle magazine? Regards JohnP-C.


The nominal OAL of the Krag cartridge is 78.5mm (3.090").

However, if you are asking if longer cartridges will feed through the 1898 rifle and/or carbine, I will say yes, but not much. I don’t have one available to measure but maybe our 30-40 Exspurt, Randy, can measure a magazine for you.


John P-C: I no longer own an Krag rifles, so I can’t measure a magazine box, but a couple ofl Government drawings of Krag cartridges show the maximum overall length as 3.089" and the minimum as 3.08". These would almost certainly relate to the Krag rifle (and perhaps the Gatling Gun) and not to any other sporting rifle of this caliber (1895 Winchester, etc.).

Reference: “The Krag Rifle Story,” by Franklin B. Mallory and Ludwig Olson, pages 145 and 147.

Hello, John P-C…John M. is correct in the “official” dimensions for the max and min lengths of the loaded Krag cartridge, as determined by Frankford Arsenal. I have a Frankford Arsenal overall length guage with 3.08" MIN and 3.089" MAX imprinted therein. Match rounds of the 1900-1915 or so period were loaded longer, however, boxes for same state: “DO NOT FEED THROUGH MAGAZINE”. I also no longer own any Krag rifles to be able to measure the magazine box opening, however 3.09" would be about the maximum that will feed through the loading gate and not “hang up” when “bunched” by the magazine spring, and also not “hang up” when pushed forward up the feed ramp by the rifle bolt…Randy

All right you bunch of smart guys who is going to come help me put my Krag back together :-) The maxium length of my magazine is 3.14" on both the right and left side. The maxium length clearance of the side plate is 3.19". Would guess anything over 3.10" would be a problem. Have used old Kragy for 62 years and can say that round nosed bullets feed better that spitzer ones unless loaded very carefully. Tried as a young guy to load the magazine as the “oldtimers” said by just taking 5 cartridges in my hand, rolling them around and throwing them in the magazine. Always ended up with one rim behind another!!


Thanks Gentlemen - I believe you’ve answered my question. ‘History of Modern US military Small Arms Ammunition Volume 1: 1880-1939’ pp.95 decribes how the ‘Cal. .30 Sub-calibre Cartridge, Model 1925’ which was first loaded in 1924 used a 172 grain ptd blt. Some of these were issued in 1928 thro’ the US NRA for Match shooting - but unfortunately the O/A length is not given.
It seems certain though that a Kynoch loading of a Ptd blt .30-40 Krag in 1925 with O/A length of 3.21 inches was not meant to chamber thro’ a Krag action.

John…I measured the O/A length of a couple of M1925 Sub-caliber rounds with 172 grain bullet ( F A 25 and F A 26)…3.165"…but these were meant to be loaded one at a time in the sub-caliber action…could you please give me some info on the Kynoch cartridge you speak of…??..I wish I could obtain a specimen !!..Randy

I have seen advertising in some of the old shooting magazines selling surplus Krag rifles and GI ammunition. They listed the pointed 1925 bullet as being available for target shooting and suggested that the bullet be seated deeper in the case for feeding through the rifle’s magazine.


I assume you took the magazine apart and are having problems getting it back together. It’s simple really. Place the magazine spring, carrier, and follower loosly together in their proper position inside the loading gate. Hold the entire thing in your right hand and line them up with the opening in the receiver. Put the fingers of your left hand into the receiver to keep the parts from falling through. Take your right hand and squeeze the whole thing together, compressing the magazine spring. Then, with your third hand, slide the hinge pin through its holes. ;) :)


The question wasn’t asked, but I’ve noticed that the rim-over-rim jams mentioned by Gourd are encouraged by too-short OAL. The Krag is a very smooth and realiable feeder but works best when the bullets are loaded to standard length specs. JG

Hi Randy - thanks for measuring your .30 Krag sub-calibres - mine are long gone (Pete Bigler days!!) since I concentrated on British made stuff. You can see from attached why I’m so interested. Am writing up a piece on the ‘.30 Flanged (for Purdey rifles)’ hopefully for the IAA Journal. Was inspired when I picked up a CN FMJ hst’d ‘KYNOCH .30-220’ in the UK earlier this year - hadn’t realized there might be variations on the Purdey type.
Perhaps this loading was a prototype for a Purdey double rifle - but no paper trail to them. Interestingly - the finalized form of the ‘.30 Flanged (for Purdey rifles)’ had an o/a length of 2.960L-2.980H so it would have no trouble feeding through a .30 Krag rifle.
Regards JohnP-C.

Ray, they taught us a method in gunsmith school where we did not have to use our third hand :-) Can’t remember the times I have had my and dads Krag’s apart. Learned early on that when you hunt in the rain the action bottom turns a funny redddish brown color unless you clean and oil it. Krags are very sensitive to overall loaded length but seldom give trouble if you really crank the bolt.