Krag-Jørgensen Rifle

Country of OriginNorway
Caliber6.710 mm
Capacity5 rounds
Length986.000 mm
Barrel Length520.000 mm
Weight3.375 kg
Range900.000 m
Muzzle Velocity600 m/s


ww2dbaseThe Krag-Jørgensen bolt-action rifles were designed by Ole Krag, Norwegian Army Captain and a director of the national weapons factory Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk, and Erik Jørgensen, a gunsmith, in 1886. In the same year, Denmark was in search of a new rifle for its army, and one of the early prototypes was sent for review. The Danish Army tested the prototype and shared the comment that it was too heavy and the action needed improvement. Over the next several months, Krag and Jørgensen improved upon the design, and on 3 Jul 1889, the design was accepted by the Danish Army. The Danish rifles used 7.87-millimeter rounds; they remained in active service through the time of the German invasion of Denmark in Apr 1940. There were several variants of the Danish Krag-Jørgensen rifles between 1889 and 1940, including carbines and sniper rifles.

In 1892, the United States Army held a competition at Governors Island, New York, United States for the selection of its next rifle. In Aug 1892, the Krag-Jørgensen design was chosen as the winner. Production for the American Krag-Jørgensen was delayed, however, as American firms protested the selection of a foreign weapon maker. In Apr and May 1893, further reviews were conducted, and the Krag-Jørgensen design prevailed again. The American Krag-Jørgensen rifles were produced at the Springfield Armory in Massachusetts, United States between 1894 and 1904; about 500,000 examples were built. They saw action in the Boxer Rebellion in China, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War, and about 2,000 were deployed in WW1 with an engineering unit but did not see major action. A small number of carbines in the Krag-Jørgensen design were also manufactured, used mainly by cavalrymen serving in the American west fighting against Native Americans. The American Krag-Jørgensen rifles were replaced as the standard rifle after only 9 years by the Springfield M1903 design.

The rifle commission of the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, two nations joined by a personal union, was established in Dec 1893 to find the most optimal ammunition for the next standard rifle for its armies. About 50 Krag-Jørgensen rifles were given to the Norwegian and Swedish armies to review. The Norwegian Army chose the Krag-Jørgensen design over its competitors partly because they were of a domestic design; it formally adopted these rifles on 21 Apr 1894. More than 215,000 Norwegian Krag-Jørgensen rifles were made at the Kongsberg Arms Factory in Norway, while 33,500 additional rifles of the M/1894 variant design were produced for Norway by Steyr of Austria between 1896 and 1897. The Krag-Jørgensen design received regular improvements, with the M1930 sniper rifles as the final variant, which saw a production number of 466 between 1930 and 1939. During the German invasion of Norway, many Krag-Jørgensen rifles were in use by both the Norwegian Army and partisan groups.

About 300 Austrian-made Krag-Jørgensen rifles were delivered to the South African Republic. These weapons might had seen action in the Second Boer War.

After Germany had occupied Norway in 1940, the Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk factory began building Krag-Jørgensen rifles (among other designs) for the German military, turning out several thousand examples. They were most likely used by occupation forces or other non-front-line units only.

Source: Wikipedia ww2dbase

Last Major Revision: May 2011


Norwegian troops with Krag-Jørgensen rifles, 1905Norwegian troops with Krag-Jørgensen rifles north of Narvik, Norway, May 1940

Krag-Jørgensen Timeline

3 Jul 1889 Danish Army adopted the Norwegian Krag-Jørgensen rifle as its standard infantry rifle.
21 Apr 1894 Krag-Jørgensen rifles were adopted by the Norwegian Army as its standard weapon.

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Norwegian troops with Krag-Jørgensen rifles, 1905
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