RIA: Danish 1889 Krag-Jorgensen Rifle

The Danes were the first military to adopt the Krag-Jorgensen rifle, with this infantry variant in 1889. It is chambered for the Danish 8x58R cartridge, which was also used in Remington Rolling Block rifles (although the Krag loading is more powerful than that of the Rolling Block). Unlike the Norwegian ad American Krags, the Danish rifles used a large barrel jacket akin to the German Gewehr 88, in order to float the barrel and theoretically improve accuracy.


  1. Hello Forgotten Weapons.

    I love seeing your videos regarding the Danish weapons, as I am a Dane myself, and I collect Danish militaria from the periode 1900-1943. I can tell you that the rifle you got there is marked 7.Regiment, and that regiment were from the fortress town of Fredericia. It is one of the more famous regiments in Danish history, as it took part in some of the most famous battle of both of the Danish-Schleswig wars.

  2. If you’re interested in Danish weapons and want to see as close as possible to “in action”, you all should try to find somewhere on the web a superb recent Danish war movie called ‘9 April’ (2015) showing the first hours of the German invasion of Denmark. This is really something we all should see, lots of old and crevice-in-the-bottom-of-the-narrow-niche guns: the Krag ’89 rifles, the Madsens: both a bicycle-transported mounted LMG and (a motorcycle sidecar-mounted!) 20 mm cannon, plus the Bergmann 10/21 pistol. The level of reenactment is just head and shoulder above customary in such movies – the uniforms, appearence, movements, close order drill, battle drill and manual of arms of the Danish side is just spot-on. OK, the rifle ammo boxes are shitty repros and lack the brass-foil cartridge holders, which were the most identifiable part of the Danish ammo packaging, while the Bergmann ammo box was – on the contrary – an 80-y.o. half-empty tattered original, while it should be fresh from the depot – but c’mon…
    Unfortunately it’s the Germans who got a short end of the stick, with an almost laughably-low-grade copy of the officer’s uniform (see the end of the trailer) and MG 42 (!!!) in 1940. Plus a 7,9mm bullet ricochetting off a barrel rim (see the trailer and battle scene links below) is also laughable – but other than these few bumps, I give the movie my rare accolades.

    battle for haderslev

    • The clips from “9 April” were pretty good.

      I was prompted to look up the little known story of the German invasion of Denmark. It seems the Germans lost 203 troops to the Danes’ 16. The Danish Madsen 20mm guns seemed to have done well against German armour, probably Panzer I or II models I expect.

      Sadly, the Danes seemed rather naive about Hitler. Although they feared an invasion, they declined to mobilise their troops in case it provided the Germans with a justification for war, as if Hitler ever needed that. The result was that Danish resistance lasted just 6 hours. In reality, Denmark was never going to hold out against the Wehrmacht, but with better planning they could have put up more resistance, and maybe would have given Norway a longer time to prepare to resist German invasion. A sad story really, but at least the Krags do not seems to have let them down.

  3. Thanks Ian for a very informative video.
    Isn’t there a long shallow lug just in front of the bolt handle? It ends up under the extractor when you rotate the bolt.
    Any idea how the rounds avoided overlapping the rims? In the Lee-Enfield there is a 3-up 2-down order you can see through the holes in the back of the stripper clip that ensures that the rims don’t cross.

    • How about training the user to be careful when loading the magazine? Rim-lock is very inconvenient so get it right the first time.

      • Shove the first round in hard up against the front wall of the magazine, then the next round slides in with its rim behind the first one’s, and so on.

        On the American Krag in .30-40, the stripper clip does this automatically, because you can’t load the clip with the rims in the wrong order, they won’t fit that way.

        The Norwegian Krag in 6.5 x 55 (Swedish) Mauser doesn’t have any such problem, of course, since it uses a rimless cartridge.



  4. Ian, as always, thanks for a great video! I have another strange mechanical question; you mentioned that the 8x58R cartridge for the Krag cannot be used in a Rolling Block of the same chambering due to differences in action-strength. What makes the Krag a stronger design than a rolling block? If the geometry of the breach block and hammer on the rolling block ensure a strong(er) action compared to other single-shot rifles, what makes the Krag, with its singular locking lug, capable of withstanding more pressure? Is it just a difference in metallurgy, or is there something else at play?

  5. Ian, thank you for a very informative video. I read in various sources about the peculiar magazine of the Krag, but only now I have a better idea of the way it works.
    Incidentally, would that be possible to present various attempts at solving the arangement of the magazine, before Mauser’s was generally accepted. I am especially interested in the magazines placed in the butt-stock (although I wonder if this would be possible to disassemble them on the video).

  6. A long time ago I read that if you have a dent in the barrel stroud the rifle will shot everver exept the aming point and that was the bigges flaw on the Gewehr 88. Was that that a big problem? The danish did not remove the stroud when updated the gun. Mayby mor wall thicknes in the stroud and not so easy to dend?

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