paul2012 wrote:Out of curiosity does anyone here have experience with reloading? With more obscure surplus rifle cartridges comes hard to find ammo. For example Remington just ended their most recent run of 30-40 krag of which I was able to snag a couple of boxes, however it may be a while before they make another batch. As such, and to try and get better accuracy, I've decided to try my hand at reloading. So far I picked up a Hornady Lock and Load classic kit, some press die sets, a 50ct empty krag reloading brass bag (which is also hard to come by nowadays) and a box of 50 Nosler ballistic tip 220 grain .308 diameter bullets.
My krag, having an original military sights, I was not sure if they'd have a good zero without the original ammo that the sights where designed for. After testing the Remington 180gr corelokt I found that it was shooting about 2ft high at 50yds. My theory is to try the 220gr bullets as that was the standard in the original 1890s service load.
I am just getting into this hobby and I'd be interested in hearing about peoples experiences. Maybe I can even make this its own thread.
Having shot the 180gr remington core-lokt's out of a few krags, including my own (which was previously one that a fellow smith of mine owned, and he sold it to me cheap because it was the one in the worst condition of all of his - it's bore has opened to ~.310), out of a remington rolling block, and two winchester 1895's and from the word of mouth of my fellow smiths, the 180 gr core-lokt gives terrible accuracy out of krags in general - it's far better out of the sporting arms of the era in 30-40 krag, like the aformentioned rolling block, winchester 1895, winchester 1885 high walls, and the few sharps out there in 30-40, it's also perfectly fine for modern guns in 30-40, military krag barrels just dont like it though.
if you're looking for 30-40 factory ammo, the winchester loaded 30-40 works realy well, but it's so hard to find anymore, i dont even know if winchester produces it anymore - barring that, Ventura Munitions out of Las Vegas, NV, loads it (they have a website and do online sales) - with a 220gr round nose, that works realy well - if your bore still measures between .307-.308 after being slugged.
If your bore has opened up, say past .309 to .312, the only way you are going to get good results is with a cast bullet matched to your slugged barrel, or to step up to using .311 or .312 dia bullets ment for .303's. If your bore has opened up past .312, i'd say it's time to rebarrel that krag, or retire the old girl.
The lower grain weight wont matter too much - Krags have 1 in 10 twist barrels - the same twist rate used on 1903 springfields in 30-03 with a 220gr bullet, and the M1 (173gr) and M2 (150gr) ball loadings of 30-06, 1 in 10 twist for 30 cals will work fine with anything between 150-220gr.
Also, US krags have one locking lug, but three contact surfaces - the bolt handle and the guide rib on the side of the bolt, if the lockup on those two surfaces is tight (cant fit a business card inbetween them and the receiver when closed) you're in better shape, however, on later production krags, after about 1896, it was common for those two surfaces to be opened up to make the action smoother - which caused a large problem with the 2200 fps improved loading adopted after the spanish-american war - it was within the limits of the action as designed by Col. Krag and Erik Jorgensen, as they had designed it, but the later krags between 1896 and 1899 with their altered locking surfaces just couldnt handle it - but even if your krag does have all three of it's contact surfaces in good shape, it's still not going to take a hotrodded round too well.