Stevens-Pope barrels for Krags

Historical threads originally posted to the 'Krag Forum' board
allegro
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Re: Stevens-Pope barrels for Krags

Post by allegro » Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:00 pm

"The Stevens-Pope serial number should be on the underside of the barrel. It would be greatly appreciated if you would locate the serial number and report it here."


I removed the stock from the .22 Krag rifle. The Stevens-Pope conversion barrel serial number is 893.

waterman
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Re: Stevens-Pope barrels for Krags

Post by waterman » Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:30 am

Now, magically, my Reincarnation has been rescinded and I am Waterman once again. Not mine to reason why.

I have learned nothing much new about Stevens-Pope barrels, but I learned that the fourth state National Guard to purchase a largish batch of barrels was the Washington D.C. Guard, not Washington State. The Inspector of Musketry for the DC National Guard at the time of purchase was 1st. Lt. Willard Milton Farrow (1848-1934). With Farrow running the show, rest assured that those Guardsmen learned to shoot. After the Bureau of Ordnance ordered the National Guard to get rid of the Stevens-Pope barrels, Farrow's machine shop made chamber inserts for the Krag, enabling issue Krags to fire .32 S&W Shorts on the NG indoor range.

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butlersrangers
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Re: Stevens-Pope barrels for Krags

Post by butlersrangers » Fri Jan 29, 2021 5:02 pm

"Waterman" is resurrected!

BTW - Washington D.C. was quite the 'hotbed' for competitive shooting, along with N.Y.C. and New Jersey, back in the early 1900's.

waterman
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Re: Stevens-Pope barrels for Krags

Post by waterman » Tue Feb 02, 2021 5:19 pm

From everything I've read to date, there appear to be just under 2,000 numbered Stevens-Pope barrels of all calibers. The numbers on the surviving .22 rimfire Krag barrels that I know about just doubled: 832, 893, and now 900 and 903. That's a spread of 71.

Given that these were made early in the Stevens-Pope period, and that if you were going to make them, it would be most efficient to make a batch, they were probably numbered sequentially. How many were made?

They were used by the National Guard units in 3 states and DC, and in sufficient numbers that they were used as intended, improved the marksmanship of all 4 organizations, and attracted the attention and ire of the Army bigshots, it was more than a few.

In "The Springfield 1903 Rifle", Brophy tells us that the State of Pennsylvania ordered 110 Stevens-Pope barrels for their Krags. If Pennsylvania ordered 110, how many did the other National Guard organizations order?

In "The Krag Rifle Story", p. 188, Mallory & Olsen show a photo of the bottom of a Stevens-Pope barrel with serial number 1441. In the caption, they wrote "High serial number indicates that many more .22 Krag barrels were made by Stevens than by Springfield."

In "The Krag Rifle", Brophy tells us that Springfield made 841 complete .22 rimfire Krag rifles or barreled actions.

All that leads me to believe that the Stevens-Pope .22 rimfire Krag barrels were numbered sequentially, but that the numbering now stretches to (1441-832) more than 609. Were they a separate series? Were they more than 1/3 of all the Stevens-Pope barrels made? Why are there so few survivors?

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Cat Man
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Re: Stevens-Pope barrels for Krags

Post by Cat Man » Tue Feb 09, 2021 5:06 pm

I don't think this was reported previously. The Stevens Pope .22 Cal barrel in our collection is installed on a Model 1896 Rifle.
I just removed the stock and inspected the number on the underside of the barrel. It is #1065.
Hope that helps the data base. The Stevens Pope Marking on the barrel has a small Ordinance Bomb stamped after the brand.

Jeff The Caterpillar Man
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IMG_0506 - Copy.JPG
IMG_0506 - Copy.JPG (179.19 KiB) Viewed 287 times

waterman
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Re: Stevens-Pope barrels for Krags

Post by waterman » Tue Feb 09, 2021 5:49 pm

Many thanks, Jeff. Is that a rifle barrel, not a carbine? Also, could you show us a photo of the flaming bomb mark and the location of both?

These barrels are not nearly as rare as Constabulary rifles or BoF rifles, but to those of us who have messed about with Stevens-Pope barrels of all sorts, not just Krag barrels, these are a mystery. As far as I know, no one has yet shared the existence of a Stevens-Pope barrel in .30-40 Krag caliber designed for use in military target matches.

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Cat Man
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Re: Stevens-Pope barrels for Krags

Post by Cat Man » Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:38 pm

Your reply caused me to pause from other activity at the reloading bench. But I needed a break.
Here are several more details of our Stevens Pope barreled 1896 Krag rifle. The rifle is as I purchased it. I never really did much research or attempted to change anything. I can confirm the receiver is in 38000 serial range. The stock cartouche is 1896 and there is the P proof behind the trigger guard.

A couple interesting observations now that I examined it more closely. As you can see it carries a 1902 rifle rear sight. In the photo, the sight is adjusted for 100 Yard range with .22 Cal ammunition. Yes I do shoot it.

I would like to know more about the dovetailed front sight. The barrel is the full rifle length. The Ord mark on the barrel is a faint stamp. Faked or at least added later after the barrel was installed? When I dismounted the stock from the receiver to inspect the barrel number, I found the wood fore end has a duffle cut under the band with a very old glue joint now separated. No big deal but a mystery. The fore end piece has a filled ramrod channel as would be consist with a converted 1892 rifle stock.

Other Krag .22's in the collection include a 98 gallery and a Norwegian boys trainer in .22. and a bunch of other military .22 trainers. It is kind of a "thing" for me.

I have some original Pope correspondence we should look at sometime.
Jeff the Caterpillar man
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Stevens Pope Front Sight.JPG
Stevens Pope Front Sight.JPG (79.21 KiB) Viewed 282 times
1902 Rear sight on the 1896 Stevens Pope.JPG
1902 Rear sight on the 1896 Stevens Pope.JPG (99.93 KiB) Viewed 282 times
Stevens Pope Marking.JPG
Stevens Pope Marking.JPG (132.34 KiB) Viewed 282 times

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butlersrangers
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Re: Stevens-Pope barrels for Krags

Post by butlersrangers » Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:56 pm

FWIW - I imagine the 'Ordnance Bomb' indicates your Stevens-Pope barrel was purchased by and was the property of the U.S. Government.

waterman
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Re: Stevens-Pope barrels for Krags

Post by waterman » Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:54 am

Very interesting since the Chief of Ordnance had, in a General Order, forbidden the installation &/or use of Stevens-Pope barrels on any Krag that was the property of the US Army.

waterman
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Re: Stevens-Pope barrels for Krags

Post by waterman » Wed Feb 10, 2021 3:13 am

The re-spliced stock is yet another mystery. How long has that been a practice? In the FWIW department, my guess is that the rifle was assembled, with the Stevens-Pope barrel in place, in its original military configuration. Perhaps it was an Ordnance Dep't test, part of the research that preceded the manufacture of the GPR. The dovetail front sight would be the easiest way to install a front sight that functions in the same way as the issue sight, plus allowing for some windage adjustment. IIRC, Stevens front sight dovetails of the day were NOT the now-standard 3/8" dovetails. Measuring the dovetail width might tell us something.

Maybe this rifle simply went home with someone involved with the development of the GPR. Cutting the stock might have been part of an accuracy test. But if done "back in the day", why not simply obtain another stock? Lots easier.

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