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Special Interests - Groups & Societies => The Barracks => Topic started by: Galen on March 18, 2021, 08:33:05 AM

Title: NRA krag carbine
Post by: Galen on March 18, 2021, 08:33:05 AM
Would anyone have information on NRA krag carbine Barrels? How they were marked if at all? Dimensions?
Thank You
Title: Re: NRA krag carbine
Post by: Drydock on March 18, 2021, 08:56:35 AM

Based on physical evidence alone there is no definitive way to establish that a given example is an "authentic" DCM / NRA Krag Carbine. The government did not maintain a central record of serial numbers sold, nor was there any particular block of serial numbers used for the conversions. Hence, in the absence of an original Bill of Sale or other record of provenance, all we have to go by is the "preponderance of evidence" (to use a legal term). Indeed, all the parts needed to "roll your own" Carbine were available for purchase directly from the DCM, so an enterprising individual could have assembled his own example using authentic Springfield parts.

Three of the key indicators would be:

1) An original DCM / NRA Carbine would have been fitted with an unissued 1899 Carbine stock at the time of conversion. By contrast, all of the Bannerman / Kirk conversions that I have seen over the years used a cut-down surplus rifle stock. While stocks can be readily swapped around, this is the first thing I would check to start building a case for originality. Stock markings may or may not be present, although the presence of a script cartouche would be convincing evidence of a recycled (previously issued) stock.

2) The front sight on DCM Carbines was actually the familiar M.1903 front sight, with the band reamed out to fit the 22" Krag barrel (which has a slightly larger diameter than the M.1903 barrel). Col. Brophy used language like "arsenal crown" and "expertly done" to describe the original conversions. However, I contend that he was simply referring to the quality of work since there was nothing magical about the techniques employed; indeed there is no way to distinguish the arsenal sight conversion from one done by a competent gunsmith. By contrast, the workmanship on Bannerman / Kirk conversions was generally pretty crude (think of them as the Century Arms of their day) and often omitted the keyway slot entirely, relying instead on a simple cross pin for alignment. In the days before WW2, there were also a number of aftermarket front sights offered to fit on sporterized (shortened) Krag rifles; although an aftermarket blade with a brass bead would not be unusual, you would not expect to see a Pacific or Lyman banded front sight on an original DCM Carbine.

3) Also according to Col. Brophy, all DCM Carbines used the M.1901 rear sight and corresponding handguard, so this would be the another indicator of originality. Obviously, these can also be easily swapped around, but aftermarket conversions typically used whatever was available at the time. Since the M.1901 sight had a comparatively short production run, non-arsenal conversions are usually seen with the more common M.1898 or M.1902 signts, or even M.1896 rear sights, often fitted with incorrect or crudely modified handguards.
Title: Re: NRA krag carbine
Post by: Galen on April 05, 2021, 01:14:13 AM
Thank You.