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randywortman
Starting Member

3 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2009 :  11:05:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Does anyone know anything about the 25 Krag. It is a 30 40 Krag modified by P.O. Ackley on an 1894 lever action. The gun was manufactured in 1903.

contact me at randywortman@earthlink.net

nononsense
Moderator

9022 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2009 :  12:14:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
randywortman,

Welcome to the GunBroker Forums!

A brief biographic sketch for clarification:

"Parker Otto Ackley (25 May 1903, Granville, New York 23 August 1989) was a prolific gunsmith, author, columnist, and wildcat cartridge developer. The Ackley Improved family of wildcat cartridges are designed to be easily made by rechambering existing firearms, and fireforming the ammunition to decrease body taper and increase shoulder angle, resulting in a higher case capacity. Ackley improved not only standard cartridges, but also other popular wildcats, and was the first to create a .17 caliber (4.5 mm) centerfire cartridge.

Ackley began gunsmithing full time in Oregon in 1936, but was interrupted by World War II. In 1945, he established a new shop in Trinidad, Colorado, and soon became one of the largest custom gunmakers in the United States. He was also on the staff of the magazines Guns&Ammo and Shooting Times, and was an instructor at the Trinidad State Junior College from 1946 to 1951, where he did much experimentation in the field of firearms."


While the rifle may have been manufactured in 1903, the work performed would have been done after that if it is indeed marked by P.O. Ackley and his shop.

This should also indicate that the chamber is the standard .30-40 Krag case necked down to .25 cal. instead of the later Ackley Improved version which works at near .25-06 pressure. These higher pressures from the Ackley version would not be advisable in an M1894 lever action rifle. The sharper shoulder of the Improved variant also makes chambering a real problem in lever actions.

I have used the Ackley Improved version in Siamese Mausers for varmints and big game hunting. The cartridge feeds from the magazine, requires no work on the bolt face and only needs a little adjustment to the feed ramp. This has always been a far better solution as opposed to those idiotic .45-70 conversions which were responsible for so many butcher jobs on the Siamese rifles.

Here is some information regarding the cartridge and the various spin-offs from the original.

Historical Notes:

The .25 Krag is certainly one of the oldest wildcat cartridges in existence. It is illustrated on page 176 of Dr. Mann's book, The Bullets Flight From Powder to Target, published in 1909. Mann makes reference to firing tests involving this cartridge on page 166, Test No. 114, and dates these tests as haven taking place during 1906.

The original cartridge was based on necking down the .30-40 Krag case to accept 257 caliber bullets without any other change except reaming the neck. However, actual chamber dimensions were never standardized and varied widely between gunsmiths. A.O. Niedner, a well known gunsmith of the 1920's and 1930's, chambered many single shot rifles for the .25 Krag, and it was also called the .25 Krag Niedner. There are, in addition, several Improved versions of the .25 Krag with the usual blown out case and 40 degree shoulder. Some of these were made up on a shortened Krag case and some employ the full length case. Probably the most popular of the Improved .25 Krag cartridges were the Ackley versions. The various .25 Krag cartridges were used almost exclusively in single shot rifles or those built up on the P14 Enfield bolt action. Top loads of this cartridge develop pressures very much in excess of the 42,000 psi working pressures of the U.S. military Krag action and should never be used in this rifle.

General Comments:

The .25 Krag has nearly the same case capacity as the .250 Savage or the .257 Roberts, depending on whether we are dealing with the short or long version. In a strong action, either version is capable of generating 3200 fps or more with a 100 grain bullet, which puts the .25 Krag in the same class as the .25-06 Remington. It is a flat shooting varmint through deer class cartridge and has been used successfully on larger game. Although fairly popular in the 1920's and 1930's, it began to decline after the .257 Roberts was adopted as a commercial cartridge in 1934. Although a good cartridge, there is very little need for the .25 Krag in the present scheme of things. The recommended twist is either 1 in 10 inches or 1 in 12 inches, with the faster twist for the heavier bullets.

It isn't practical to list loading data for the .25 Krag because there are too many different versions and case capacity can vary by as much as 5 to 10 grains, or more.

Source: Cartridges of the World

Best.








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rufe-snow
Advanced Member

15925 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2009 :  12:20:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's whats called a "Wildcat" varmint cartridge from the old days, probably 1940's. It could be a real hot high pressure number. All the rifles I have heard that it was chambered for have been old single shots like the High Wall Winchester, Sharps Borchart etc. Never was aware that Ackley or any body else would use a Winchester Lever Action as a platform for it.

More then likely it's a Model 1895 Winchester, rather then a 1894 though.

Their is always the possibility that some third party gunsmith rebarreled a Model 1895 with a Ackley barrel. I just don't see Ackley using a 1895 for the 25 Krag?

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tsr1965
Advanced Member

USA
7158 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2009 :  4:18:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If in fact it was chambered in a Winchester lever action, it would have been the 1895 model, not the 1894. The 30 U.S. or 30-40 Craig as we know it most often was a standard chambering in the 1895.

Best
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randywortman
Starting Member

3 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2009 :  7:44:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the info on the 25 Krag. I have looked close and can find no markings on the barrel. I do know the cartridges come from necked down 30 40"s as I have several boxes of catridges. Some necked down and some not. The rifle came to me with a set of hand reloading dies and those are marked P.O. Ackley .25 Krag.
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rufe-snow
Advanced Member

15925 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2009 :  8:10:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is a photo of a 1895 Winchester, it's very distinctive because of the magazine in front of the trigger guard.






The 25 Krag can be a very hot high pressure wildcat cartridge. Perhaps to hot for the mechanism of the 95 Winchester. Great care should be taken before firing the loaded cartridges you have, as they are someones handloads. This individual might or might not have loaded them with correct and safe amounts of powder. Ackely's loads in his book were for single shot rifles with much stronger mechanisms.



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randywortman
Starting Member

3 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2009 :  11:53:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bullseye on the photo of the 1895. I was starting to think I had the only 25 Krag built out of this Winchester model. I found a note my Dad wrote on a box that said 42 gr seemed a little too hot and that he reduced it to 38 grains. And, as was noted, shooter beware. Dad said the last time he fired it, the action sprang open, and that if I were to fire it, "Hold on tight".
I had thoughts of selling the outfit, rifle, ammo, reloading dies, but collectors don't want anything that has been modified. Their loss. My gain. Thanks again for all the input
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