Springfield Armory magazine rifle development 1878 to 1899
This is the Museum space displaying Springfield Armory magazine-loaded weapons developed from about 1878 to 1899.

Springfield Armory NHS, US NPS

The breechloader improved the inherent safety of a weapon and increased the speed of loading and firing. The development of magazine loaded weapons gave another great increase in the rate which rounds could be loaded and fired. Neither Springfield Armory nor American manufacturers were leaders in the development of this new generation of weapons. Indeed, at the time of the Spanish-American War, the Armory was building the Krag-Jorgensen bolt action rifle under a license agreement with the European inventors.

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Early Springfield Armory magizine rifles
Case 22

Springfield Armory NHS, US NPS


Winchester-Hotchkiss Rifle SPAR4174 .45 caliber, 1878-1881 - Benjamin B. Hotchkiss designed this weapon and sold the rights to Winchester which made it in sporting versions. Springfield Armory obtained license to build the weapon and produced it in rifle and carbine versions.

M1882 Chaffee-Reece Rifle SPAR1612 .45 caliber, 1884, 753 made. This weapon was an attempt to develop a magazine type repeating rifle.


Krag-Jorgensens Springfield Armory and private manufacturers continued striving to increase the rate of fire of their weapons. Some Trapdoor models were modified to incorporate a ready supply of cartridges in compartments in their stocks, other versions experimented with magazines. The bolt action Krag-Jorgensen was a European-licensed design and was the first effective repeating rifle adopted by the U.S. military. The Krag’s distinguishing feature was the magazine door on the side which allowed five loose cartridges to be loaded.

VIDEO - Operation of the US Krag-Jorgensen Rifle

M1892 Rifle SPAR6363 .30 caliber 1894-1896 24,962 made. This is first of the bolt-action Krag-Jorgensen magazine rifles built by Springfield Armory and the first to use the small caliber, smokeless powder cartridges.

M1896 Rifle SPAR1172 .30 caliber 1896-1898 c.82,000 made. This model, which includes carbine and cadet versions, displays a few minor improvements over the M1892 Krag.

M1898 Rifle SPAR5530 .30 caliber, 1898-1903, c 336,000 made. The Model 1898, including carbine and gallery practice rifles, was the last of the Krag series built by the Armory.

M1898 Rifle A scope for sniping is mounted on this M1898 Krag rifle.

Rifle SPAR6367 Scope SPAR7179

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Krag carbines and rare rifles and bayonets
Case 23

Springfield Armory NHS, US NPS

Carbines and Special Krags

In addition to the standard issue Krag-Jorgensen rifles, Springfield Armory turned out several carbine and other variations.

M1899 Krag Carbine SPAR6283 .30 caliber 1899-1902 36,000 made. The M1899 Krag carbine differs from the M1898 carbine principally in having a slightly longer stock, and in some versions, different sights.

M1896 Krag Board of Ordnance and Fortifications Rifle SPAR6373 .30 caliber. 1902. 100 made. Named after the high-level Army committee which sponsored it, these 26-inch barrel arms were produced at Springfield Armory in March 1902. Later that year, field trials of these rifles were carried out at Plattsburg Barracks, N.Y. with a generally favorable reaction from the troops.

M1898 Krag Carbine SPAR6286 .30 caliber, 1898, 36,000 made.

M1899 Philippine Constabulary Krag Carbine SPAR6281 .30 caliber, 1906-1914, 8,000 made. Known as the "M1899 carbine altered for knife bayonet" this carbine was intended specifically for the police force of the Philippines, a territory of the United States captured during the Spanish-American War.

Bayonet, M1892 SPAR1082 The standard issued bayonet for the M1892 and M1898 Krag-Jorgensen rifles, these are a close copy of the Swiss Schmidt-Rubin design.

M1896 Krag Carbine SPAR1906 This is a very early pre-production model, dated 1895.

Bayonet, M1898 SPAR1083 Known as the Krag-Bowie bayonet, this weapon was designed to give the American soldier a useful jungle tool. The resulting tool was too light for jungle service and not a very proper bayonet.


Last updated: February 26, 2015

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Springfield Armory National Historic Site
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