A completed 6.5 X 55 Norwegian Krag pre-war sporter
This is a new build of a typical pre-war sporter in the style of the great custom makers of our country such as Ludwig Wundhammer. He was one of the early custom rifles makers with contemporaries like Neidner, Sedgley, and Griffin and Howe.
Ludwig is the man who the palm swell, or Wundhammer swell is named for, which this rifle exhibits. Most of the sporter Krags in this country were built on the 30-40, 30 US caliber, version by returning soldiers who needed a hunting rifle.
My grandfather purchased his service rifle 30-40 Krag for $7.00 when he mustered out of the U.S. Army. His was customized by Pennsylvania gunsmith, Louie Gensel and passed down to my father, Benjamin Franklin Gordner Jr.
I own this rifle today. I always admired my Grandfathers rifle and searched for many years to find a Norwegian Krag rifle to sporterize.
This rifle is the culmination of many years of dreaming it into reality. I wanted to create a copy of something Ludwig Wundhammer may have built in his shop since we share a German heritage.
I ordered a custom barrel with a 1:8 twist to accommodate the big bullets the old timers used in this caliber to hunt moose in the old country.
The 6.5 X 55 Swede was loaded with 156 gr. round nose bullets. Today Hornady makes a 160 gr. round nose which I load for elk hunting. The Lyman receiver sight was the finest sight available in the pre-war period before scopes came into vogue.
I copied the comb dimensions Wundhammer used, which Colonel Townsend Whelen believed were the most perfect fit: 1 3/4″drop at nose, 3″ drop at heel, from line of sight.
These dimensions line up the iron sights exactly. The color case was performed by Doug Turnbull. I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do shooting my Norwegian Krag.