Krieger Detachable Magazines

March 4th, 2010 by admin


[spacer height="20px"]Many attempts have been made at converting Remington Model 8 & 81’s to detachable magazine format, most of which turned out more near a butchering of the rifle than actual usefulness. There are a few exceptions however, and the most notable is the work of R. Krieger & Sons of Mt. Clemens, Michigan. Their conversions were done using the rifle’s existing 4/5 round box magazine. What sets a Krieger apart from all other conversions is the outstanding quality of the machine work, an almost factory appearance. Krieger & Sons also had a gunsmith’s working knowledge of the 8/81 action and knew the necessary alterations to ensure safe, reliable operation. These two factors made most other conversions pale in comparison to a Krieger. It is not known how many of these conversions were performed (perhaps in the hundreds) but we do know they were done in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. In 1951 Krieger’s were advertised in NRA’s American Rifleman (Fig 1) with conversions costing $20 (eventually increased to $25) and $12.50 per extra magazine. Compare this to the Model 81’s last advertised price of $142.95 (standard A grade) in 1950, and the work doesn’t seem so cheap.

 

What did R. Krieger & Son’s do in a conversion?

         Two main things made Krieger’s superior to other conversions, the modification and retaining of the magazine indicator assembly (this allowed the bolt to lock back after the last round unlike on Police rifle conversions), and the modification to the barrel lock to make certain it did not fall out when the magazine was removed. While Krieger’s modifications varied over the course of their conversions, below is a list of what alterations are commonly found.

  • – modification to the magazine indicator assembly
  • – widening of the side spring cutouts on the trigger plate
  • – installation of a spring loaded magazine release button
  • – installation of a safety over travel screw on the right side of the receiver (later conversions)
  • – modification of the barrel lock so that it remains secure without the magazine
  • – modification of the magazine itself, retaining ribs altered, permanent attachment of both side springs, removal of the back portion to allow easier magazine manipulation.

 

How to spot a true Krieger

         Not all Kriegers are identical, but there are certain characteristics common to all. Many owners have a rifle they believe is a Krieger and are mistaken; even so many owners have Kriegers in their collections and do not even know it. Probably the most obvious feature is the magazine catch found on the bottom of the trigger plate. Krieger magazine release buttons generally measure 13.5mm x 9.5mm (Fig 2). The fitting of this button involved machining a small inlet into the bottom of the trigger plate, and by drilling & installing a pin to secure the spring loaded magazine release. Authentic Kriegers will always have their magazine catch secured by a pin.

       

 

  The next sign to look for in a true Krieger is the widening of the side spring cutouts in the trigger plate (Fig 3). These were machined larger to accommodate easy movement of the magazine in and out of the receiver without rubbing of the side springs against the trigger plate. They should be noticeably wider than standard 8/81’s. Keep in mind that Krieger did work on Model 81’s and Model 8’s, even Model 8’s with only 1 side spring. However the rifle came into Krieger, all would have left with double side spring magazines and trigger plates with double side spring cutouts.

 

 

 

 

      

   Another way to spot a Krieger is to inspect the left side of the receiver. Where standard 8/81’s have 3 flat head screws total, a Krieger should always have 4 (Fig 4). The head of the magazine indicator assembly was drilled and secured with a flat-head screw. This prevents the assembly from falling out when the magazine is removed.

 

 

       

  Later production Kriegers will be found with a small flat head screw beneath the safety on the right side of the receiver. (Fig. 5) The purpose of this screw is to serve as a safety over travel stop. Standard 8 & 81’s had a safety stop installed into the right side of the magazine box in the form of a flat head screw. Being necessary to make the magazine detachable, Krieger had to remove this screw from the magazine (Fig 6). Without another safety stop, disengaging the safety too hard can result in over travel and scratching of the receiver finish. Earlier Kriegers will be found without this safety stop screw and some will be found with scratched receivers as well.

 

Where do Krieger’s vary?

        Not all Kriegers are alike. Some will be found with safety stop screws while others without. The method of side spring attachment may differ with most being riveted in place but some have been observed glued with some sort of epoxy. Since these conversions were done by hand to match each magazine to each rifle, some magazines will be found with more or less material removed. Just depending on how much hand filing was required to guarantee a tight fitting magazine, each may vary in appearance. The manner in which barrel locks were held in place isn’t entirely consistent either. Most will be found , recessed, drilled and threaded for a small retaining screw to make sure the barrel lock did not fall out.

 

Summing up the Krieger Conversion

         Krieger conversions appear to be progressive, with small improvements over time. The majority of Kriegers seen are Model 81’s in either 35Rem or 300Sav; the likelihood being they were popular during the time of conversions. Kriegers during this study were observed in all calibers but not 25Rem. We see no reason such rifles wouldn’t exist, but given the 25Rem’s limited production and low popularity at the time, we doubt many are out there. Krieger’s today are sought after by Model 8 & 81 aficionados for their uniqueness and rarity. No doubt there are some other decent conversions out there, but few of them look and function as good as a Krieger.

 

Study done by Cam Woodall and Pete Verschneider. For any questions regarding Krieger conversions or other detachable magazine formats please contact Cam Woodall @

cat9x@hotmail.com