The Krag rifle and carbine were the first smokeless powder, magazine loading arms used by the United States Army. It was adopted from a Norwegian design in 1892 and reached the troops starting in mid-1894.
The Krag was the first precision-machined, small caliber, magazine loading rifle adopted by the U.S. Army. This meant that the production facilities and work force had to be completely rebuilt and reorganized. In just four short years, the entire U.S. Army, both mounted and dismounted branches, were completely equipped with the new rifle and carbine. So successful had been the design and initial production phase, that only minor changes were made to the rifle and carbine afterward.
It was the ideal time to introduce a new rifle. The U.S. Army in the 1890s was a peacetime organization. The frontier had been settled in the late 1880s and the Army had been reduced in strength to not quite 18,000 strong, and was scattered halfway around the world from Plattsburgh, New York to Anchorage, Alaska to Honolulu, Hawaii. All but two troops of cavalry were still stationed west of the Mississippi River and no military formations in regimental strength had been assembled since the Sioux Wars in 1876-1877.
But the combination of Spanish imperialism in Cuba and the sinking of the battleship, USS Maine, led the United States into a short, sharp war in 1898 that gave way to a longer, more bitter fight in the Philippines. In 1900, Chinese revolutionaries styled the "Boxers" threatened to murder all foreigners in China. The U.S. Army and Marines brought their Krag rifles to mainland China in concert with forces from other European nations and quickly relieved the siege of the Foreign Legations at Peking and then helped clear the country of insurgents.
Even though the Krag only served the U.S. Army for eleven years, it did so admirably and saw much hard fighting. It only gave way to the Model 1903 Springfield as the latter rifle could be loaded quickly and easily with a five round clip.
The American Krag Rifle and Carbine provides the arms collector, historian and target shooter with a part-by-part analysis of what has been called the "rifle with the smoothest bolt action ever designed." Each of the fifteen models of the American Krag rifle and carbine are described in detail. All changes to all parts are described and matched to serial number ranges. A monthly serial number chart by production year has been devised that will provide the collector with the year and month in which his rifle or carbine was manufactured.
The mystery of the so-called Philippine Constabulary rifles is solved and the "School" rifle is introduced. A new and complete exploded view is included as are instructions for assembly and disassembly of the rifle and carbine.