III. Firearm Information by Type

D. Rifles

2. Models & Manufacturers

a. Non-Self-Loading Rifles

10. Krag Rifles
b. Krag-Jorgensen Rifles and the Danish & Norwegian Military
by Bjoern Andersen (bjoernan@sn.no).

This text gives a brief description of the various models of Krag-Jorgensen rifles as adopted by the Danish and Norwegian military.

Denmark was the first country to adopt the rifle developed by Krag and Jorgensen. This weapon was later adopted in a modified form by Norway and USA. The main difference between the Danish Krag and the Norwegian and US models is the loading gate, the Danish version swings horisontally forward and the Norwegian and US loading gate swings downward. The Danish 1889 rifle and several of the carbines have a metal barrel jacket while the Norwegian and US models have wooden handguards. All Danish Krags were chambered for the 8x58R cartridge. The Norwegian models were chambered for the 6.5x55 cartridge, known both as Swedish Mauser and Norwegian Krag cartridge. The original loading data for 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser and Norwegian Krag cartridge was identical but keep in mind that the Krag is inherently weaker than the Swedish Mauser and the cartridge was designed with a max pressure of 45000psi. The 6.5x55 cartridge were designed by a joint Norwegian/ Swedish commision but as time went by the Norwegians tended to go with the maximum chamber dimentions in the Krag and the Swedes used the minimum dimentions in their Mauser. As such, there might actually be some justification in using different names on the cartridge but in theory they should be the same. The Swedes also reportedly upped the pressure somewhat later. Some Norwegian Krags were chambered for the 7.92x57IS after the war but this was a special reduced load, no Krag chambered for 7.92x57IS may be fired with standard 7.92x57IS Mauser ammunition. Also, to be on the safe side, be very careful with any 6.5x55 ammunition unless you know that it is loaded to Krag specs.

Now, some data about different Krag versions, Danish first.

Rifle M1889, This weapon is typical of the period in having a long barrel and stock without pistol grip. A metal handguard encircles the barrel. As originally issued this rifle had no safety catch, a half- cock notch on the cocking piece/firing pin assembly served this purpose. In 1910, this weapon was modified by the addition of a manual safety, wich was placed on the left side of the receiver just behind the closed bolt handle. Overall length was 52.28 inches with a barrel of 32.78 inches, it weighed in at 9.5lb.

Infantry carbine M1889, Introduced in 1924, this weapon also has a metal barrel jacket and a stud for a bayonet. This carbine has the letter F before the serial number. It has a straight bolt handle. Overall length is 43.3 inches with a barrel of 24 inches and a it weighs 8.8lb.

Artillery carbine M1889, This carbine was also introduced in 1924. It is generally similar to the Infantry carbine, but it has a turned- down bolt handle, a triangular upper sling swivel and a stud on the left side of the stock. This stud was used to hang the carbine from a leather hanger worn on the gunner's back.

Engineer carbine M1889, The Engineer carbine was also introduced in 1924. It has a wooden handguard, and the barrel was shortened to 23.6 inches to accommodate the muzzle cap of the Cavalry rifle M1889. The letter I appears before the serial number.

Cavalry rifle M1889, This weapon was introduced in 1914. The rear sling swivel is mounted on the left side jusat ahead of the trigger guard. It has a straight bolt handle and a mounting stud similar to that of the M1889 cavalry carbine on the left side of the stock. The letter R appears before the serial number. This rifle is not fitted for a bayonet.

Sniper rifle M1928, This is an alteration of the rifle M1889 and has a heavier barrel with wooden handguard, a sporting type stock with pistol grip, a turned-down bolt handle, micrometer rear sight and hooded front sight. This rifle weighs 11.7lb and is 46 inches long with a 26.3 inch barrel.

Now for the Norwegian versions.

Rifle M1894, Full length stock with pistol grip, half length cleaning rod under barrel, half length handguard and fitted with bayonet lug. Length 49.9 inches, barrel 29.9 inches, weight 9.38lb. 33500 M1894 rifles made by Steyr of Austria, those guns were serial- number 1 to 20000 and 30001 to 39000 for the Norwegian Army except number 3001 to 7500 that went to Landsskytterstyret (an organisation for the development of civillian markmanship). The earliest weapons delivered from ÷sterreichishe Waffenfabrik Gesellschaft had a very high failure rate at the final Norwegian inspection, somthing that led to financial loss for ÷WG. Guns are marked with production year 1896 and 1897.

Carbine M1895, Sporter type stock, no bayonet lug. Length 40 inches, barrel 20.5 inches, weight 7.5lb.

Carbine M1897, Similar to M1895 but butt swivel is placed futher to the rear of stock.

Carbine M1904, Similar to M1895 except full length stock with pistol grip and full length handguard. Weight 8.4lb.

Carbine M1907, Similar to M1904 except sling swivels placed on rear band and on the butt.

Carbine M1912, Stocked to the muzzle with full length hand guard, similar to the Sniper rifle M1923, has bayonet lug mounted on compination upper band nose cap. Length 43.6 inches, barrel 24 inches, weight 8.8lb.

Sniper rifle M1923, Full length stock with full checked pistol grip, full length hand guard, wide upper band/nose cap with bayonet lug, micrometer rear sight. The rifle is marked M/1894. Length 44 inches, barrel 24 inches, weight 9lb.

Sniper rifle M1925, Basically the same as rifle M1894, but has checked full pistol grip, micrometer rear sight. Marked M/25. Weight 9.9lb.

Sniper rifle M1930, Sporter type stock with checked full pistol grip, heavy barrel, no bayonet lug, micrometer rear sight. Marked M/1894/30. Length 48 inches, barrel 29.5 inches, weight 11.46lb.