Load Data for 30-40 Kraig

  • Last Post 19 October 2016
mike morrison posted this 21 August 2010

recently purchased a lee 200gr gc mould. plans are to use it in a 30-40 Kraig. I have tried Unique so far. 12.0 gr. and 14.0 gr. both shoot well but i question if it may be too hot. i see no pressure signs. but am curious. have tried 7.0 red dot. also.

i also have some data 2200 powder. would anyone have any suggestions for a load with this powder and bullet.

reason for asking is i can't find any unique data for the 30-40 but do find data for the 303 british. verry simular case capacity.

info or opinions welcome.

and thanks,


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BerdanIII posted this 22 August 2010

I'll look in some of the older Lyman/Ideal manuals and Sharpe's book for recommended data with Unique. The .303 British and .30-40 Krag are so close in operating pressure and bullet weight in their original configuration of a 215 /220-grain bullet at about 2000 fps that you can interchange cast load data, given rifles in good condition. The longer neck of the Krag case comes in handy for cast bullets.

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LWesthoff posted this 22 August 2010

My copy of the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook (no publishing date, but it came out about the same time as Lyman's 45th Reloading Handbook) lists, for Lyman gas check bullet 311290 (213 gr.), a suggested starting load of 8 gr. Unique for a muzzle velocity of 1138 fps. Max. load 11 gr. Unique for 1365 fps. Your 12 to 14 gr. loads may be a little warm.

Hope this helps,


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mike morrison posted this 22 August 2010

taking what Berdanlll said was my understanding also. what caused me to post here for info and opinions was the fact that 11 shows max for the 30-40. but goes to 15.0 for the 303. maybe i should have posed the question differently. why so much difference if the two are so simulur. could be the strength of some of the guns chambered in 30-40. thanks for the info. m

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raytear posted this 23 August 2010

Short answer to the discrepancy between .303 and .30-40 is that the Enfield rifles have a stronger action than the Krag; 2 locking lugs vs. 1 for the Krag.

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BerdanIII posted this 23 August 2010

Attached please find....

The youngest Krag is still about 110 years old; the youngest LE dates from the '40"s.


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mike morrison posted this 23 August 2010

Berdanlll Excelent info. thank you m

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JeffinNZ posted this 23 August 2010

My .303 Brits just love a charge for H4227 from 17 - 20gr under a 200-220gr bullet.

Cheers from New Zealand

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curator posted this 08 September 2010


 The Krag doesn't have the safety factor of a newer Lee Enfield what with one locking lug. Nonetheless, I shoot 18 grains of SR 4759 and the Lyman 311284 (220 grain) bullet in my 1898 Krags with no problem. I also substitute 16 grains of Alliant 2400 or 20 grains of Reloder 7 for similar ballistics. About 1650 fps and good accuracy assuming the bullet fits the rifle's throat. My 2 Krags have .313 throats and .3105 groove diameters so I shoot them as cast at .313 diameter cast from wheel weight alloy and air hardened.

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Ed Harris posted this 09 September 2010

I would be careful in loading for the Krag in general, because many of them around are “parts guns,” often assembled from leftovers which never gaged up or had proper heat treatment in the first place.

Max. avg. pressure in the .303 Brit is quite a bit higher than for the Krag. In lack of specific .30-40 Krag data, you can use .30-30 data for the same weight of bullet and you will not get into any trouble, given its larger case, typically longer throat, etc.

A useful jacketed hunting load which has given good results in my Bannerman Krag sporter, 38 grs. of RL-15 gives 2185 f.p.s. from a cut of 22-inch barrel with the Remington .311” diameter 180-gr. softpoint intended for the .303 British. My Krag sporter has a .3095” groove diameter and cylindrical throat diameter of .314” and in that particular rifle I use the same cast or jacketed bullets I would in the .303 British, but with a 20 percent reduction from my .303 load. That works out to 30.5 grains of RL-15 in my case, which has proven to be a very satisfactory load. 

With cast I reduce my 30 grain Max. charge of RL-7 with #311299 in the .303 to 24 grs. in the Krag, or reduce 4198 from 28 grs. of 22, #2400 from 20 grs. to 16 grs., 13 grs. of Red  Dot to 10 grs., etc. 

I have found that in most .30 and .303 calibers a 20 percent reduction from a teste and published jacketed charge makes a good full-power load with a similar weight of cast, gaschecked bullet.  

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Clod Hopper posted this 06 September 2011

Don't use the data for .30-40 Krag in the Lyman 45 Book!! Some of it is hotter than data developed by Ken Waters in a Ruger .30-40 in his Pet Loads articles. I'm with Ed, use .30-30 data, or start 20 percent low, and don't load these fine old rifles for top velocity. If you want/need a .30-06, get one! They are readily available, safer, and cheaper to boot. My Krag Sporter is for fun shooting of cast bullets.

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Eddie Southgate posted this 18 October 2016

LWesthoff wrote: My copy of the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook (no publishing date, but it came out about the same time as Lyman's 45th Reloading Handbook) lists, for Lyman gas check bullet 311290 (213 gr.), a suggested starting load of 8 gr. Unique for a muzzle velocity of 1138 fps. Max. load 11 gr. Unique for 1365 fps. Your 12 to 14 gr. loads may be a little warm.

Hope this helps,


Lyman 45 came out in 1970 and is the first book I consult .;}  Eddie

Grumpy Old Man With A Gun......Do Not Touch .

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rockquarry posted this 18 October 2016

Call Western Powders at 406-234-0422. They can advise you as to whether or not the powder is suitable for the .30-40 and perhaps provide data if it is.

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gnoahhh posted this 18 October 2016

Michael Petrov conducted an experiment a few years ago with a Krag. He upped his powder charges of Bullseye incrementally until he was waaay into the danger zone. 20+ grains as I recall, and the bolt held. That, of course was with the single locking lug ground completely off. Yes, the whole experiment was done by relying solely on the safety lug. Point of it? Don't know exactly, but it does show that the Krag is safer than we think- if the main lug fails, the thing won't launch itself into our eye socket. I'm not advocating wild powder charges for a Krag. I think prudence is the better part of valor with these things.

I gotta chuckle a bit when I hear tales of woe concerning bullet diameters for individual Krag barrels whose dimensions vary all over the map. My personal Krag wears a new Criterion barrel from the CMP- internal dimensions are .308 groove, .300 bore, with a .309 throat. Makes bullet selection a breeze. :)

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Westhoff posted this 19 October 2016

I bought my Krag sometime near the end of WWII, when I was home on shore leave. It had already had the barrel shortened and the military stock bobbed and a pistol grip added with lots of wood putty. I put a Bushnell 2.75 power Scopechief and a Herter's pre-inletted rough “do-it-yourself” exterior stock on it and it was my deer-bear-etc. rifle for quite a few years.

Haven't shot it much for quite a few years. Been competing with an issue 03-A3 and cast bullets.

However, a couple of targets hanging on the wall in my loading room remind me that the old gal will shoot when I ask her to. The oldest has a note on it that says “10 rds. 30-40 Krag Bench, 100 yds, 28.5 gr. 4064, Lyman 311291 - lino, dacron filler. (I DO NOT USE ANY FILLER ANY MORE, AND HAVEN'T FOR YEARS.) The target was a 25 yard Bullseye pistol repair center, but I put a tracing of a standard MR31 100 yard rifle target over it and it scores 96 4X. The other target was shot more recently (on an M1 target). It scored 99-3X. I used 29.0 gr. H4895 behind a Lyman 311299 (lino) bullet.

Both these targets were shot bench rest, at 100 yds, and they were probably the best I've done or they wouldn't be hanging on the wall. However, they will show what the rifle WILL do, and they give you a couple of pretty good loads to try.

Hope this helps.

Wes P.S.  In case you're trying to add up numbers, I graduated from High School when I was 16 and almost immediately went in the Merchant Marines  (they needed “MEN” pretty bad).  I'll be 90 next year.

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