Page 1 of 2

Identified Early Krag

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:58 am
by rickhill
I have a rather nice, early Model 1892 Krag rifle, #4809, that been Armory converted to Model 1896 specifications as most were. It is in the SRS records as "Documented as being issued to “Company C, 8th Infantry (1894)”. I see that there are several other similarly described rifles in the records. Just wondering if the SRS information is detailed enough to warrant getting a letter?

Appreciate any thoughts..........

Re: Identified Early Krag

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:12 am
by Dick Hosmer
It's a crapshoot. Sometimes they (SRS) have a lot of info, sometimes all that they have is the citation in the s/n book.

But, you never know where things will lead. I have a Krag carbine whose number was listed - it was re-blued at the St. Louis Arsenal in July 1900. BFD, right?

Well, some years later I was reading Gen. Chaffee's report on the campaign in Peking. He mentioned, several times, a troop of the 6th commanded by one DeRosey Carroll Cabell (not a name one is likely to forget!). Guess who signed for the re-blued carbines? Our friend DCC. Guess where the unit was headed? San Francisco, for embarkation to China! And so do a bunch of others, assuming the guns still exist - the SRS citation was for 60-70 carbines.

Re: Identified Early Krag

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:20 am
by butlersrangers

I am curious, what does it cost to get a "Krag SRS Letter"?

Who does these Letters? How and Where do you request one? (I don't know anything about them).

I have never owned a U.S. Krag that has a serial number listed in the SRS Data, so, this has yet to be an issue for me.
I did get a Colt Letter, once, for a "Police Marked" revolver, hoping it would throw light on the "C.D.P.D." marking.

(The Colt Company Letter cost about $100 and proved to be of little interest. I had to get the letter to know. It probably increased the value of my Detective Special a bit, but in hindsight, I just wished I had spent the money on a good gun book).

You have an early Krag with a long service history. Its later upgrade to model 1896 configuration is an interesting Krag 'chapter'.
(A lot of this information and the SRS mention on your Krag, #4809, are contained in Mallory's "KRS", 2nd edition).

IMHO - If an SRS Letter contained a copy of the official document, that recorded the issue of your Krag to Co. "C", 8th U.S. Infantry in 1894, that would be special and might justify the expense.

If the Letter is just a summary of information that you can find through your own research and library and may already have, why bother?

Re: Identified Early Krag

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:59 am
by Whig
The "Krag Letter" is not the same, in most cases, as a "Colt Letter" for an interesting or historic Colt firearm. I have a couple of both.

The Krag letter is usually just a repeat of the simple documentation in the Springfield Service Records that gives information that was collected from historic records searching. The Colt letter contains information directly from Colt records that were kept regarding the origination of a firearm and how it may have left the factory and usually to whom it was shipped. A Colt letter on an historic firearm can add to its value, especially Single Action Army Colts.

A Krag letter, unless it contains some added historic researched info that is not in the SRS or available on the internent (rarely) does not add much value to a Krag, as far as I have seen with many sold at auction and otherwise. The fact that a Krag serial numbered rifle or carbine is listed in the SRS is what usually adds to its value, especially if it was sent to someone of historic significance or documented as having been used in one of the important wars.

So, I wouldn't think you'd find anything of more interest or value to your already nice, early Krag than you already. You can search through Krags sold at auction and on Gun Broker and see what many have sold for in your rifle's similar configuration with an SRS "hit" and see what the general value is. The letter, in my experience, would not add any more value.

What adds value to a Krag is the SRS documentation, condition of the rifle including the bore, how correct and original it is in the military configuration from Springfield Armory and any provenance it may have of interest. Many Krags, especially early ones, have seen a lot of rebuilding, alteration and other damage done by people who were not official military arsenal gun smiths. Most of this work devalues the firearm.

But, an early documented Krag that you have sounds wonderful and congratulations. We would like to know more about it and see lots of pictures when you can post some. Maybe we can help find some more information about your Krag than even an official letter would give!

Re: Identified Early Krag

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:56 pm
by butlersrangers
Oh, bother!

I agree with 'Whig', the SRS letter will likely give nothing that you don't already know about your SRS 'documented Krag'.

I appreciate Dick Hosmer's experience and commentary: "It's a Crap Shoot".
With Dick's knowledge and ability to 'connect dots', a slight reference provided an interesting link to more on his Krag carbine's Story.
I am glad it lead him to more insights and knowledge about his carbine and that he shares it with others.

I don't know the 'players' involved at SRS or what 'archives' are there.
I don't have an SRS Krag nor do I necessarily want one. All Krags are an interesting study to me ... documented and undocumented!
(My 'Colt Letter' experience, although a different situation, is the only time I paid someone to search records on a firearm).

Oh, what to do ... what to do .... Do you feel Lucky?

Re: Identified Early Krag

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:35 pm
by rickhill
Trying to post a picture of my Krags. Please bear with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Identified Early Krag

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:03 pm
by Ned Butts
Very nice!! But I don't see a Norwegian!?

Re: Identified Early Krag

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:20 pm
by rickhill
Yeah, there is room for one more on the display. You don't happen to know where I can find a nice one do you?

Re: Identified Early Krag

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:41 pm
by butlersrangers
You have a nice collection of Krag rifles and carbines. Thanks for sharing your photograph.

I repeat a couple of earlier questions: How much does it cost to get an SRS Letter and how is a letter ordered?

Re: Identified Early Krag

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:13 pm
by Dick Hosmer
Chuck, and others,

Contact Wayne Gagner at - he is the current owner/operator of SRS. He was Frank Mallory's partner. He might tell you what he has on the gun, or he might not, which could possibly affect the price of the letter. Expect several months wait as well.

As explained above, it really is a crap-shoot. You get what they found, which may be spectacular or utterly mundane. Of course, sometimes the mundane ones turn out better than they looked at first sight. I can tell you I wasn't really thrilled with my letter on 70210 - but it worked out.