M1894 Krag Jørgensen rifles/carbines
The Krag Jørgensen (Krag-Jorgensen) rifle is by far Norway’s most produced arms design. There were produced close to 1 mill of the various Krag Jørgens rifles world wide. United States produced a good 500 000 and the Norwegian army almost 200 000 in addition to the navy’s 3400 and the civilian rifles. I have no figures on the Danish production.
Denmark was the first country to adopt the Krag Jørgensen rifle – in 1889 with a 8x58R calibre. United States adopted it in 1892 as a 30-40 calibre, but did not start production before in 1894. Norway adopted the rifle in 1894 as a 6,5×55. The Krag Jørgensens were also purchased in limited quantities by South Africa, probably of the rejected rifles from Steyr.
The mechanics on the US and Norwegian Krag’s are very much alike, whilst the Danish bolt and loading gate is rather different. The loading gate lid on the Danish rifles moves out and forwards. The American and Norwegian lids fold down.
Only ten years after the M1884 Jarmann was approved and produced in the (for Norway) amazing quantity of about 30 000 rifles, Norway decided to abandon it and introduce the Krag Jørgensen rifle full scale (and this was way before Norway found oil!).
There is rather much on the internet about Krags in general and also about the Norwegian Krag Jørgensen rifle, so I’ll just identify the main models here. I’ve tried to post the pictures in correct scale, showing the difference in size – and I am planning to get a better camera in the future….
This is the “ordinary” Krag Jørgensen infantry rifle – Lang-Krag – 30 000 were produced for the Norwegian Army by Steyr in Austria, 122 000 produced at Kongsberg – in addition comes production for the civilian market and for the navy. There should be tons of this rifle laying around, there were made one for every 10(!) Norwegian citizen. Regretfully most have been cut down, refitted with new stocks, mounted different sights, sold to the US etc. – it is surprisingly difficult finding an original army Lang-Krag (Long-Krag).
M1895 Cavalry carbine
M1897 Mountain artillery & engineer carbine
All the different Krag carbine models were numbered as one series. The difference between the M1895 and the M1897 is only that the strap fastening was moved. I count these as one and the same rifle. The M1895 was very popular for hunting reindeer and there was not really all that much to modify. As a result, there are a number of original ones around in the mountain valleys, but they often show a lot wear and tear. These really have been used!
M1904 Engineer carbine