30.40 Craig Rounds

BearStalker

Well-Known Member
None of my rifles are newer than 1952, and, I feel comfortable with the older ones.

My question is: Where can I find rounds for my 30.40 Craig, in UK? I do have the basic start for reloading, but if I can find where to purchase them, it would be much easier. I am looking for 180 gr. rounds as they seem to give the results and required velocities for UK stalking.
 

Laurie

Well-Known Member
Ballistically, (and dimensionally) .30-40 Krag and .303 British are very close - so close that many American 303 Brit handloaders used .30-40 brass in their 303s. The main difference is of course bullet diameter, .303 using 0.311-312 dia and .30-40 being a true 0.300, hence 0.308" bullets.

What 303 can (or cannot) do applies equally to the 30-40. US factory ammo is loaded 'very soft' for both due to the prevalence of old surplus rifles in the calibres. Bob Forker no longer lists the 30-40 in his ammunition round-up 'Ammo and Ballistics' and the few US companies that used to load it seem to have dropped it in recent years, so that online enquiries show a few entries, but annotated 'no longer produced' (Nosler) or 'not in stock' (Remington).

COTW lists the 'factory loading' as 2,430 fps MV 2,360 ft/lb ME for the 180gn bullet. It doesn't show barrel length, but it may be quite long as long-barrel military Krags with cut-down stocks were widely used for many years. So, strictly speaking, factory 180gn ammo isn't quite Scottish deer legal even if you find any. It's an easy cartridge to handload for if you can find brass and dies.
 

Tartan_Terrier

Well-Known Member
In October 1899, after reviewing the experiences of the Spanish–American War, U.S. Army ordnance authorities developed a new loading for the .30 Army used in the Krag rifle, in an attempt to match the ballistics of the 7×57mm Mauser cartridge employed by Spanish forces in that conflict. The new loading increased the muzzle velocity in the rifle version of the Krag to 2,200 ft/s (670 m/s) at 45,000 psi. However, once the new loading was issued, reports of cracked locking lugs on service Krags began to surface. In March 1900 the remaining stocks of this ammunition (some 3.5 million rounds) were returned to the arsenals, broken down, and reloaded back to the original 2,000 ft/s (610 m/s) specification.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.30-40_Krag

I own a Norwegian Krag in 6.5x55, and I'm careful with what I use in it (though I only use it on targets), as I've heard it can have the same issue as mentioned above with higher pressure loads.
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
Ballistically, (and dimensionally) .30-40 Krag and .303 British are very close - so close that many American 303 Brit handloaders used .30-40 brass in their 303s. The main difference is of course bullet diameter, .303 using 0.311-312 dia and .30-40 being a true 0.300, hence 0.308" bullets.
No, no, no! .303 British is a higher pressure round and with a stronger action. See the maximum pressures. Krag is 40,000 CUP/47,000 psi and .303 is 45,000 CUP/52,000 psi. Please don't use .303 British data in your .30-40 Krag! .

303 British in it's Mark VIII ball configuration was a ballistic match for the THEN current 173 grain 7mm Mauser military round as it in fact was an attempt, post Boer War, to copy it.

It's loaded to at least 10% over pressure than the Krag and in the No4 configuartion the action was safe for .308 Winchester pressures. Please don't use .303 British loading data in your .30-40 Krag!
 
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Laurie

Well-Known Member
No, no, no! .303 British is a higher pressure round and with a stronger action. See the maximum pressures. Krag is 40,000 CUP/47,000 psi and .303 is 45,000 CUP/52,000 psi. Please don't use .303 British data in your .30-40 Krag!/QUOTE]

Please point out where I said to use 303 loading data for the 30-40. Likewise, 7.62X54R may be a close ballistic match for 308 Win or even .30-06, but that doesn't mean loads data are interchangeable and that applies to lots of cartridges if grouped by performance!

Also if you trouble to read the original post, the question is about factory .30-40 ammunition. (I though SD is a deerstalking forum!) ..... NOT FMJ rifle or machinegun or any other loads developed for and used by military forces.

Whatever loadings the 303 once received for British military use, I'll stick by my assertion that factory 180gn SP ammunition was loaded to near identical levels by US ammunition companies, COTW and Forker quoting it (.303) as 2,460 fps or all of 30 fps more than the 'nominal' 30-40 value. Although I've never chronographed Winchester 303 ammo that was once widely available here myself, I've read several times that actual MVs fail to achieve the listed levels by a substantial margin. In the days when Norma loaded the 303, its ammunition was likely somewhat 'hotter' though.

As to the two cartridges being dimensionally similar, I suggest you refer to Ken Bird's 'Pet Loads' and his two articles for Handloader magazine on loading the 303 British where he both comments on the similarities (hardly surprising as the US Army copied the existing British design with minimal changes to get a 'smallbore' cartridge in service quickly) and recommends using 30-40 brass in the British rifles. This was partly because 30-40 was more easily found in the US at the time, but also because its brass was regarded as stronger and better matching 303 chambers better too, and gave a longer life.

Finally, you seem to assume that Bearstalker must be using a weak US M1892-99 series single lug 'Krag' based rifle. Whilst this is likely, it is certainly not inevitable and a much stronger action may be in the intended recipient - the P'14 has been used many times as the basis of .30-40 sporting rifles, a shot-out 0.312" groove barrel replaced by a 0.308" groove dia. equivalent with the benefit to North American users of much better availabality of .30-cal sporting bullets.
 
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enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
What 303 can (or cannot) do applies equally to the 30-40.
Depends how you interpret that. A novice might believe that to mean that as a .303 British CAN use 41.5 grains of N140 behind a 173 grain bullet and think it means that a .30-40 Krag CAN too.

In this loading game I never cease to hear of people misunderstanding what the original writer knows what a thing means as to what the person reading it thinks it means.
 
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Laurie

Well-Known Member
In this loading game I never cease to hear of people misunderstanding what the original writer knows what a thing means as to what the person reading it thinks it means.
Absolutely so ............ but the OP asked about factory ammunition NOT handloading and that's what my response was about and said so throughout. So, what safe maximum handloading levels are is irrelevant unless or until somebody asks about handloads' data.

FWIW, you may be surprised anyway as to how close maximum charges are for the pair in US handloading manuals, especially older editions. Speer #10 gives identical maxima for 180gn flat-base SPs in IMR 4831 and 4350 (favoured 180gn bullet propellants for decades with the 'Krag' in the US), but allows slightly higher loads in faster burning powders such as 4895 and 4320 in the 303's favour. Older Lyman manuals give the 303 a mere 1gn advantage with 180s with almost every powder listed.

This isn't too surprising as SAAMI lists US industry maximum average pressure (MAP) cartridge loadings of 49,000 psi for the 303 and 47,127 psi for the 30-40, so close as to make very little performance difference. But since Ken Bird, Frank Barnes and others believed actual commercial loadings for both were kept well below these modest levels anyway in the 40,000-45,000 psi range because of worries over the potential smokepoles they'd be fired through, the engineers' thoughts on appropriate / safe / litigation avoidance loading levels most likely determined actual MVs anyway.
 

alberta boy

Well-Known Member
The 30/40 is a great old round , I've owned some Krags in the past and I'm still looking for a Ruger No 3 in 30/40 . The downside is finding brass and/or loaded ammo . You have to look around for either around here , I think it will be much more difficult to locate in the UK . I hope you get yours up and running , it'll definitely turn a few heads when you're out .

AB
 

A Guy Out West

Well-Known Member
$5.00 says Muir will tell you to look in a loading manual, as we all should. Also, if a 180 gr. won't get the speed you need, how about a 150 gr?
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
Remington and Starline run batches of .30-40 Krag brass from time to time, and Midway carries it.

PCI loads ammunition with the Hornady 160-gr FTX bullet ( made for the .30-30 Win ).
 

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