1895 Dutch Mannlicher 30-40 Krag

richhodg66

Well-Known Member
It is funny what one man see's as charm, while another might call it an abomination.

Like my "Mannlicher" Krag I picked up about the same time as this Danish carbine. I love it, but I am sure it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea.

View attachment 26009
As unorthodox as that rifle looks, I find myself strangely drawn to it. That would be a very nice one to sit in the woods and admire while waiting for a buck to show up and I bet it's a great shooter.

One of these days, I'm gonna bite the bullet and drop the money on a nice, original Krag, they ain't cheap anymore, but I really need to have one.
 

Ian

Notorious member
That would be a very nice one to sit in the woods and admire while waiting for a buck to show up

You struck a chord with me there. I have had different ways of thinking about it but that's about the best I've seen it written. Who wants to gaze at an ugly rifle while contemplating eternity, the cycle of life, and the mysteries of the universe on a quiet fall morning?
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
or worse having to cut it up and carry it out.
i'm pretty much over the dragging them out thing,,, unless it's all down hill on frost covered grass.
even at that i still can't just throw the damn thing in the back of the truck or bronco alone anymore.
 

Ian

Notorious member
I bet John can give you some tips on preparing your property a bit to get some deer heading your way.
 

FrankCVA42

Active Member
I had a mannlicher of sorts. Argentine 1891 in 7,65x53mm. Had the 29" long barrel cut back about 1.4 or so past the front barrel band. Front band was cut to allow the ramp front sight to be mounted and had an old Lyman steel 57 for the rear. Check out Williams Gun sight booklet "converting military surplus rifles" Same as in the pics in the booklet. Frank
 

hporter

Active Member
Thread Update.

I prepped 20 new PPU cases in 303 British, resizing them in my 30-40 Krag dies. Although the rifle is chambered in 30-40 Krag, the Krag rims are too thick to function in the enbloc clips. The 303 cases work very well in the clips.

I decided for the first outing to just use the old standby of 16 grains of Alliant 2400. I loaded 3 bullets, my NOE copy of the Lyman 311299 sized .310, my NOE copy of the Lyman 311284 sized to .310 and the NOE 190gr "Hunter" bullet sized to .310 (just because it was in the foremost part of my 30 caliber cast bullet drawer).

I loaded these the night before our outing. I did not have time to experiment with determining how far out I could seat the bullet, so I just covered the lube grooves and called it good. This was going to be the first time I shot this rifle, so I was more interested in fire forming the 303 brass to fit my 30-40 chamber. And I also wanted to make sure it would go bang.

I had spent the morning shooting my Enfield No 2 star in 38 S&W to see POA/POI with 158 grain bullets vs 200 grain bullets. I was able to confirm that someone had modified the front sight to work with 158 grain-ish bullets. I had set the shooting table up at 15 yards, and also set up my chronograph.

I also spent some time shooting my 44 special Ruger Flattop with my new over-sized mesquite Texas Grips versus my little Ruger 44 special Vaquero Sheriff with it's standard sized Elk grips. I will be buying more of the oversized grips from Texas Grips. They are very comfortable and fit my hand well.

So by that time the sun was fully out, the temps were in the 80's and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. The wind was gusting 20-25 mph though. We had planned to shoot some clays in the afternoon, so I didn't feel like moving the shooting table and chronograph, so I shot the rifle at 15 yards just to get the chrono data and to see what would happen on the target.

The group size at 15 yards is meaningless, but I was pleased it grouped anyway.

30-40 Dutch Mannlicher 2022-04-08.jpg

The 311284 and 190gr Hunter bullet didn't group as tightly as the 311299, but they were still under an inch. Since I didn't do any homework seating out the bullets, I wasn't expecting anything more than the rifle to go bang. All three bullets were loaded with 16.0 grains of 2400. The average velocities were: 311299 = 1553.2 fps, 311284 = 1535.2 fps, Hunter bullet = 1559.0.


Mannlicher loads.jpg

Last month I had created a report in my reloading database to print out letter sized targets with my load data on them. It makes it easy to match up the load number with the target, the loaded rounds and the chronograph data. And with as sloppy as my handwriting is, it is actually legible. I need to make a new target template for rifles with a bigger bullseye though. My eyes are so bad, there would be no way I could see this bullseye at 50 yards or beyond with open sights. But it worked pretty well at short ranges.

I'm starting to get my workflow down now. After shooting, I can just take the letter sized target generated in my reloading database, dump it into my sheetfed scanner and load it into the On Target TDS target software. It only takes a minute or so to input the POA and mark the bullet holes, and then I can capture group size and offset from POA/POI. I know this is probably overkill, but I am working harder to keep more and better records of my outings and handload performance in specific firearms.

So we had a great day shooting. I got sunburned and wind burned. And have a big smile on my face today.
 
Last edited:

fiver

Well-Known Member
i use a straight black circle on manilla colored or non reflective paper.
it's a little easier to keep that circle on a big square front sight.
moon on post the guys around here call it.
at 100 a triangle point down works pretty good if the circle is umm fuzzy.
 

Bret4207

Northern NY Dangerous extremist...???
Harold, 15 yards or not, that's a very encouraging group. I have loaded and shot far worse groups at 50 feet!!! I like your record keeping system, very common sense.

Fiver- the inverted triangle is way better than a bull IMO as eyes age. For me it works with a post or bead.
 

hporter

Active Member
I hadn't thought to try a triangle shape. Thanks for the tip.

I did put up an NRA B-5 target at 50 yards and popped off the fourth and last enbloc clip offhand. I could see its big black bullseye very well. The first shot was low, with the slider in the bottom notch on the buckhorn rear sight. So I moved it 1 notch up and fired three more that landed the shots CtC about 2 inches. Then I tried to do some Kentucky windage and wasted the last round, though it did move the shot 2 inches over.

Dutch Mannlicher 50yds.jpg

Normally when I shoot a buckhorn rear sight, I have to choose between seeing the rear sight clearly, and the target is a big fuzzy blob - or seeing the target clearly and the rear sight is a fuzzy blob. Either way - I can usually hit what I am aiming at. But making tight little groups is then the issue. I need to find my little eye pal stick on aperture thing for my glasses or my Merit version of the same thing. They helped in the past.

Most of my rifles wear aperture rear sights, which makes the dilemma easier as I don't have to "see" the rear sight to use it.

Oh to have the eyesight of my youth. My eye doctor has told me that my astigmatism is so bad, that laser corrective surgery would probably not bring the desired result. Though I know many acquaintances that have restored their vision going that route.
 

hporter

Active Member
I waited to ask this until I had some free time to do some measuring.....

All twenty of the 303 British cases that I resized in an RCBS 30-40 Krag die came out of the chamber looking like this:

Brass Ring.jpg

There is a ring at exactly 1.20 inches from the cartridge base. On the rim side of the ring, the diameter is approximately .445 in diameter. On the neck side of the ring the diameter is approximately .433.

I took measurements of the cases that were fired in the chamber of this rifle, and overlaid them in red against the SAAMI drawing for the 30-40 Krag cartridge. (I don't have a micrometer, so used a set of calipers.)

Mannlicher Ringed Case Dimensions.jpg


My measured OAL is 2.22, which is the same length as shown on the SAAMI 303 case drawing. And since I used 303 Brass, that makes sense. The diameter just forward of the rim is .456 (got my decimal in the wrong place on the markup...) Which is closer to the 303 SAAMI drawing than the 30-40 drawing. I am guessing that part of the case is thick enough not to expand as much?

When I bought this rifle, I was working crazy hours on an out of town job and just shoved it in the safe when I got home. I wish I would have taken a better look at it now.

I found my bore light that is a foot and a half long and rammed it up the barrel. Sorry for the poor photo, but I had a heck of a time getting my phone to get the picture.

Chamber Ring.jpg

I've never had a chamber cut, and I am having trouble understanding how a ring like this could have been left there? I can't imagine stopping there and then selling the rifle to someone else.

I need to put that Teslong bore scope that Ian mentioned in another thread on my Birthday list this year. I just can't see well enough close up without a bright light source.
 

RBHarter

West Central AR
That's not an uncommon line in a short chambered barrel . It also happens when a guy reams a 243 to 6mm/244 Rem and anywhere that a roughing reamer is the same size as the finish reamer .
It's also possible that the chamber was drilled and cut a fraction too deep before it was finish reamed .

Aside from diminished case life I don't know that the "defect" will cause an issue .
If it does a carefully selected alternative reamer might allow you to remove the hard edge without going full AI . 7.7 Arisaka , maybe 8×57 . It will still be there but it'll a soft edge rather than a hard edge .
 

hporter

Active Member
Thank you for that explanation. The cases felt very funny running a thumbnail over them, but none looked stressed or about to split. The transition seems to be more of a rounded bump than a crease. I always neck size my 303 and 30-40 brass to maximize case life, and I will keep an eye out for further issues.

I didn't pay much for the rifle, and it's probably not worth much. So I will have to see what my gunsmith thinks about cleaning the chamber up. It is a well balanced and fun to shoot carbine though - I would like to keep it.
 

Bret4207

Northern NY Dangerous extremist...???
Could be short chambered and not finished. I'd compare your measurements to a SAAMI drawing and see if that looks possible. If so, rent a reamer and finish the chamber. If not, I think there's a 303 Ackley or something similar with a blown out case that might be a help.
 

hporter

Active Member
Thanks Brett.

I overlaid my dimensions on top of the SAAMI drawing that I downloaded from their organization this morning. It is above in post #34.

I also measured fired 30-40 brass from my 1894 Krag against new unfired brass. The numbers I measured aren't very far out of the range of these other cases.

It would be nice to be able to just clean this chamber up.
 

Bret4207

Northern NY Dangerous extremist...???
Okay, missed that, sorry. Doesn't look too promising to me. Sleeving the chamber and recutting it is a possibility, or looking up that 30-40 Ackley. I wonder of lapping that area would work out the ring?
 

hporter

Active Member
I just sent an inquiry to 4D Reamers Rentals with my red-lined dimensions. I figure they would know if their reamer could remove this or not. I wouldn't mind renting a reamer if it has a chance to remedy this, as the rifle shot fairly well for the first outing.

I have the 1962 copyright version of PO Ackley's Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders. The 30-40 Ackley improved with the shoulder blown out does look like it could be an easy way of rectifying the ring. And 4D does rent the reamer for it. It would be ironic to chamber this rifle for an "improved" round when I would only shoot low pressure cast bullet loads in it.

Thanks again for the Ackley Improved tip.