The .30-40 Krag
By Chuck Hawks
Back in 1892 the US Army adopted its first bolt action service rifle and its first smokeless powder cartridge, the .30-40 Krag (.30 US Army). The rifle was a slightly modified version of the Danish 1892 Krag-Jorgensen infantry rifle.
Modern factory loads for the .30-40 are still available from Remington and Winchester, both with 180 grain bullets. Remington loads their pointed soft point Core-Lokt bullet and Winchester their reliable Power Point (soft point) bullet. Both have a MV of 2430 fps and muzzle energy (ME) of 2360 ft. lbs. At 200 yards the Remington figures show 2007 fps and 1610 ft. lbs.
According to the Sierra Reloading Manual, Second Edition their 180 grain bullets can be driven to a MV of 2300 fps and 2114 ft. lbs. of energy with 40.8 grains of IMR 4895, 41.9 grains of IMR 4064, or 42.4 grains of IMR 4320 powders. The trajectory figures for the Sierra Pro-Hunter spitzer bullet fired from a scoped rifle at 2300 fps look like this: +3.1" at 100 yards, 0 at 200 yards, and -12.19" at 300 yards. I would regard that as a good all-around load for a .30-40 rifle, for game ranging in size from deer to elk (approximately 100-500 pounds live weight).
The Sierra 200 grain GameKing boat tail spitzer bullet can be driven to a MV of 2200 fps with 2149 ft. lbs. of ME by 40.2 grains of IMR 4895, or 40.9 grains of IMR 4064 powders. The trajectory tables for this sleek bullet show that if zeroed at 200 yards it will strike +3.33" at 100 yards, 0 at 200 yards, and -12.64" at 300 yards. It would probably be a fine choice for elk or Scandinavian moose.
Note: A complete article about the .30-40 Krag can be found on the Rifle Cartridge Page.
Copyright 2004, 2013 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.