When the Germans occupied Norway, they took advantage of the arms production facilities at the Kongsberg Arsenal to make a number of Krag rifles to their own specifications. They were made with a mixture of new parts and existing rifles, and all retained the Norwegian 6.5x55mm chambering. The German features were elements like sights, sight hood, and bayonet lug that duplicated those of a Kar98k. Despite being made for two years, not many were actually completed – a testament to the Norwegian stubbornness against aiding Germany (Quisling aside).
To be fair, Ian did point out that the Norwegians did their best to sabotage production for the Germans! “Oh sure Herr General, that’s a Krag, I promise you.”
Is there a way to speed load a Krag-Jorgensen in combat conditions? The trapdoor magazine won’t accept clips!
No, there isn’t. At least not with what a soldier had to hand.
Mmmmmmm….kinda. Pop open the trapdoor, grasp cartridges between thumb and forefinger (as many as will fit) and you kinda slid them in. Easier to do than describe.
And yes, I will be bidding on that lovely bunch of Krags. 🙂
I meant if you were in the heat of battle, not camping the enemy from a picnic table on the top of a hill. It’s rather difficult to grab lots of rounds from your pocket if your hands are covered in dirt or bandages. I know there was a way to speed load the Krag-Jorgensen for target shooters but it involved loose “cartridge holders.” The method was mentioned in the comments following the Blake Rifle post.
No cartridge holders involved. Merely pulling cartridges from belt loops such as the Mills belt. I’d guess the soldiers of the past had their own system.
Considering the prevalence of magazine cut-off switches in weapons of the era, I wonder just how much the militaries of the era cared about speed-loading?
I’ve lost track of it at the moment, but somebody on Cast Boolits forum showed a stripper clip that you could simply flush into the open magazine. I’ve got a bunch of photos but don’t know how to post ’em here. It looks a little like the clips use with the Swiss K-31.
BTW I have one of those wartime Krags, but it’s been “sporterized”.
I’ve seen pictures of a Danish soldier who used a metal tray with a flat spring on it to load one. Whether it was used by the military and to what extend, I do not know.
The Andersen & Braaten Speedloader was produced from the 1920s. It never became an official military issue item, but was popular among civilian shooters, so it’s fairly likey it was used during the 1940 campaign. It was produced in relatively large numbers and was considered reliable.
http://www.kvf.no/vaapen.php?type=Utstyr&weaponid=UT0029 (text in Norwegian)
Looks like a ton of Lugers in the cases behind you.
This explains why Sergeant Schultz carried a Krag. He must have served in occupied Norway before his Stalag days.
Oh, good one! That always had me scratching my head… sorta like all those Winchester 92s the Union cavalry carried during the Civil War in more movies than I can count….
I’ve also seen photos of Nazi-stamped .45 ACP (actually I think they called it an 11.35 mm or something) Norwegian-made 1911s, which I think the Norwegians called a 1914. Might make for a fun 2-gun match….
Screw heads, sticking out of buttplate – good way how to punish occupiers.
IIRC Sgt Schultz had a US M1898 Krag.
My own theory is that it was his personal property he bought at Bannermans NY while he was on a prewar sales trip for his company the Schottzy Toy Co.
That IS a story of WWII all in it’s OWN; gun makers making funny with firearms for the occupying troops. I have made a living fixing everything that involves International Airports; don’t believe you want me on your OTHER side!
Did any of Krags made by Kongsberg for the Nazi’s incorporate clip loading? I know that some models of Norwegian Military Krags did incorporate clip loading devices. One of the clip packets required no clip lips on the magazine door. This may have been what they were using at that time but I’m no Norwegian Krag expert.
As I posted above, I actually have one of these Krags, and I see no sign that it had any features to enable clip loading. However, it has been sporterized, so who knows?
There was an experimental clip loading guide fitted to a few US Krags which used a Mauser style clip, Parkhurst device.
A quickloading device consisting of a sheet metal box holding 5 ctgs retained by a wire spring was made in limited numbers for the Danish Krag.
For those wondering up here about “speedreloading” a Krag Jørgensen. There were prodused sheet-metal reloading “boxes” that were just a magasine with a release that dropped all five rounds of 6.5×55 in the gun. These were mostly prodused for competition shooters after the war and such but I have one for my Krags that I belive is older then the 50s 60s. But then again I am not sure. But i am shure you americans could “reproduse” such things cant you?
interesting history of the rifle, and the “91 stomperud” cartoon is actually a ripoff of a swedish cartoon called “91 Karlsson” its just translated to norwegian, you can see that he is actually wearing swedish uniforms.
N.Krag speedloader is called a “Hurtiglader”.
Not sure if they were of war-time issue, possibly a post-war convenience.
The norwegian “Riflecommision of 1891” who were responisble for the trials that lead to the adoption of the M/94 Krag did design a clip. it was never adopted by the military though, because the tactics of the day was to use the rifle as a single loader with the mag. as a reserve. It looks like this:http://digitaltmuseum.no/011022714496/
The same commission also did extencive caliber / ammo trials between 1891 – 1893. Forty norwegian Jarmann rifles were reworked in various calibers and shapes. Here’s one from 1892 using a Mauser style clip, and an early version of the 6,5×55 cartridge.
The army also made a batch of Krag that used an ordinary Mauser clip. They were tested by troops and functioned well, but still not adopted.
Several other patents were used by civillian shooters. The Andersen & Braathen from around 1920 were the most common. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC4_g6N3aLA
91 Stomperud as shown above is wearing a british type battledress, but he changed uniforms several times during the years…
I can also add that the Kongsberg factory museum have a “Stomperud” Krag in 8x57IS, dated 1944.
I feel stupid now for all the times I mocked “Hogan’s Heroes” for issuing Sgt. Schultz a Krag.
A Krag in 6.5×55, I bet you that has to be one of the most accurate military bolt guns ever made.
Interesting. I have a book on German mountain troops. There’s a couple pics of SS mountain troop artillery unit where they’re clearly armed with Krags. I’ve wondered about that.
The Germans maintained a huge garrison ~400k troops, give or take, in Norway throughout the war. The Atlantik Wall installations built there became Norwegian NATO coastal artillery positions postwar. German occupation troops frequently used weapons from the occupied nation. Norway “repaid” the favor, I guess, by using the MP40 for a good long while postwar.
A lot of german garrisons in Norway used Krags, but I’ve also seen pics. of them being used in Russia. There’s one showing german troops in Minsk,in August 1941. See this link (you must register though):
same pic. but smaller: https://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/cross-search/search/_1435001243/?search%5Bview%5D=detail&search%5Bfocus%5D=27
Ian Baxter’s MITLERS MTN. TROOPS 1939-45 ( Images of war – Pen & Sword ) has several photos showing Gebirgs. manhandling a small, probably foreign capture artillery piece in snow. The author identifies the location as Yugoslavia. There are up to 8 Krags hanging off the barrel & shield – plus one K98. I’m thinking it’s more likely Norway either 1940 or training after occupation.
We know the Germans used captured weapons for occupation troops – there is a wonderful photo of cheerful Germans in post war Norway stacking a flat bed truck 2-3 feet deep with US M-1 Carbines under the supervision of British Paratroopers. I have also seen a photo of a German POW Camp guard bartering with a GI carrying a P14 Enfield slung over his shoulder- you can see the brass disk hole in the stock.
The last post in this thread shows a pic. from germany, 1945, were two GI’s are looking through a capture pile. I counted at least four norwegian Krags there.
Krag-Jørgensens were used in Yugoslavia?
Actually, did no one noticed that Ian stated the Germans came into Norway in 1943? Hmm. And what was going on there all the years since 1940 Battle of Narvik? Whom then The Heroes of the Telemark fought in 1942?
Maybe I just toss in the occasional error like that to give you something to find…? Yeah, not really. I was paying attention to the 1943 start of production of these rifles and goofed.
After the end of the war, gunsmiths from Norway and Denmark took possession of the left-behind Mauser rifles and reverse-engineered these for civilian use by removing the swastika emblem, raising the comb of the stock, and replacing the rear scope with a diopter peephole sight. The reason for the adoption of Mauser rifles was because during the occupation, the Nazis destroyed the two countries’ stockpiles of Jarmann and Krag bolt-action rifles due to their obsolescence compared to the newer types like the Lee-Enfield.
During the Krag rifle’s early service life, there was an attempt to make it a light machine gun with a 25-round magazine but the gun’s bolt-action system made it slow compared to gas-operated systems like the Chauchat, Browning Automatic Rifle, and AR-15 Ares.