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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was recently given a SA 1898 rifle from my Aunt. It was my uncles fathers rifle. While trying to research anything about it I have found value of $500-$3000. I know something is only worth what someone will pay for it. Haven't decided weather I want to keep it or sell it. Based on the serial number (387xxx) a website listed it as made in 1902. The rifle over all is just over 40 in. I saw on another website that the SA 1898 is just over 48in. The gun is clearly stamper Springfield Armory model 1898 with the serial number. Only other marking on the gun in a letter U. Just curious what exactly I have. I learned about Jeeps on Jeep forums so I hope to learn about guns here. posting some pics so I hope that helps
 

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What you have there is a Krag Carbine made by Springfield. Caliber is .30-40 Krag. Originals dating from the Spanish American war command the high prices. I have an original Spanish American War Krag Cavalry Carbine. Judging by the date of manufacturer of yours there is a very good chance that yours is one of the many Carbines that were converted by cutting down Krag Infantry Rifles as the Carbines were and are in high demand. Many that were modified into carbines were done by Francis Bannerman & Company in NYC back in the 1920's
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mike/Popeye thank you for the info! that would definitely explain why its shorter in length. Would you recommend I take it to a local gunsmith to get it checked out? I don't plan on firing it but I would assume if I sell it I would need to know if it could be fired safely.
 

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It’s a great shooter so why not get it checked and take it t the range? Selling some of these old war horses can be difficult. Lots of guys want them but getting the money isn’t. There’s a collector out there with disposable cash to lay down. It’s just a matter of you two finding each other without having to split with a dealer. I’d keep it and shoot it. You may be on a range one day and a guy will say “how much?”
 
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So I am a bit of a Krag afficianado, but not a serious collector. I agree that you may have an 1898 carbine and it certainly looks cosmetically right, although the overall length appears to be out by about an inch, which could point to a Bannerman or later "conversion". It also looks to be in good condition. For some reason, I cant get the second set of pictures to open for me, so I can't tell if it has the correct front sight. If it is an original 1898 carbine, it would probably be viable in private sale at $1500 - $1800. If a later conversion, somewhere between $500 and $800.

As Stamps6 notes above, these can be great shooters if the bore is in good condition. Barrel groove dimensions had a fairly wide tolerance, as in .308 - .312, so slugging the bore is an important step to understanding how to get it to shoot. I have an 1898 rifle that I shoot in local competition. Mine is tight at .3085" and, with the Lyman 311284 210 grs RN bullet at .310", it is a very accurate rifle indeed. Also, while people make much of the weak one lug design, that is relative to modern 60,000 + psi actions and cartridges. The B&C record for elk was held from 1899 to 1968 by John Plute who scored with 30-40 Krag. Elmer Keith wrote highly of the 30-40 with 180 grs bullets as a deep penetrator on elk. In the world of internet hunting today where most deer and DRT with one shot of a 6mm bullet at 750 yards, it is easy to forget that the 30-30 did yeoman's work killing deer and elk for many, many decades, and that 180 grs at 2350 is an extremely effective elk round out to 250 yards. In fact, I will be using a Win 1895 in 30-40 for elk this coming October.

So, while I would not suggest that your Krag is an ideal hunting rifle, were you so inclined, it is a viable and fun rifle for iron sites shooting.

To determine whether it is an original carbine and get a precise value, this is the place to go:http://http://kragcollectorsassociation.org/
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can't thank everyone enough. I learned more about this gun reading your posts and attached articles than I did researching online for 3 days. LOL. I watched a guy on you tube today shoot a carbine. His was a model1899 from1903 he said. After watching him and how much fun he was having with it, I don't think I am going to sell it. I am going to get it checked out and definitely take it to the range if its in safe working order. If someone one day makes a really good offer I might sell it.
 

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To determine whether it is an original carbine and get a precise value, this is the place to go:http://http://kragcollectorsassociation.org/
I checked out the Krag collectors association. Posted some pics on the forum and this is one of the responses I got. Figured I share it here it case anyone was interested.

"Sorry, but that serial number is WAY out of whack to be an original 1898 carbine. Barring the extremely unlikely case where it was an "official" repair, at some unknown point in time, the gun was apparently assembled outside the control of SA.

The stock appears to be a correct carbine stock, albeit of M1899 (32") form, and the rear sight appears to be a genuine M1896C - all good points. Original 30" M1898C stocks are very scarce, if not rare. The rear sight is, as stated, quite valuable on its' own.

As it sits, it would have to be evaluated as an M1899 carbine. It is in very nice shape, and if the bore is good should be a really fun shooter."
 
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