Saturday, November 04, 2006

Good News Comes in Long Packages

Yes indeed, packages about as long as a Browning 1895 Grade I rifle chambered for the .30 US (aka .30-40 cartridge). The monkey is taking quite a ride this year. I just bought this very nice rifle from Terry M. in Michigan and despite some drama that often seems to accompany long distance deals the rifle arrived safely. I've been coonfingering it ever since I got it into the house.

The .30-40 cartridge was adopted by the US Army in 1892 along with the U.S Magazine Rifle, Model 1892 (aka "Krag") rifle and was one of the first three cartridges for which the Winchester 1895 was chambered. Like many military smokeless cartridges of the period it moved a 220 gr. jacketed bullet out the muzzle at about 2000-2100 fps. One could say that it is the US version of the British .303 round. Aside from the ballistics with the 215-220 gr. bullets, both cartridges will push a 174-180 gr. bullet at about 2400 fps or 150 gr. at about 2500 fps and have similar dimensions. One thing about fans of the 220 gr. bullet at 2000 fps is that it is much easier to get such bullets in .308" than in .311" or .312" diameter (and cheaper).

The Browning rifle was also produced in .30-06. I guess I could have looked for one of those. I have lots of brass, dies, etc, but the .30-06 just doesn't float my boat the way the .303 Brit and .30-40 do. I'm looking forward to working with the cartridge. I've already got some brass and more brass, 220 gr. Hornady RNs and dies on order. They should arrive next week and if possible I'll take the gun hunting this year.

I'll be looking for a Lyman 56 or perhaps I'll save up the money and get a Lyman 38 reproduction to install. I like the Williams Foolproof but, let's just face facts, it wouldn't look right on this gun. I'm really leaning towards the 38 as having a much wider range of elevation adjustment.

The gun itself is very handy. Much handier than expected with the 24" barrel and magazine protruding below the receiver. The balance point is just at the front of the magazine and the gun rests well between the hands coming to the shoulder smoothly and aligning the sights to the eye like a good shotgun. I'm sure my very average dimensions have something to do with that. Still, I can see how the gun was pretty popular among a number of people on the cutting edge of technology in 1895 or so. It is a much nicer gun than a bolt action of the period.

I still haven't gotten to take a good photo of the gun or shoot it. I hope to do so this week and will post the results of both endeavors ASAP.

See also:
.30-40 Krag Cartridge Board - by Gil Sengel

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