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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, this is my first post on the gunboards forums! About a year ago I acquired from a guy on the VAGuntrader Forums a German K98 Mauser (bnz. 41). I was under the impression that it was a Russian capture due to the lack of cleaning rod and front sight hood. It also appears that the stock has been refinished with Russian red shellac. When I posed to /r/guns and milsurp forums though, a number of people insisted that it was not a Russian capture. Some people thought that the stock had been refinished, which is possible, its shiny, but no more shiny than any of my Mosin Nagants that have the Russian shellac on them. Also the gun is not missing the typical screws that the RC rifles normally do. There are no X marks on the receiver and the none of the Nazi marks are peened. My question is, what do I have here exactly? Also is it worth refinishing the stock to replicate the original finish or would I ruin the value of the rifle potentially? This is my first Mauser, and I am not too knowledgeable about them, any information or discussion would be fantastic. I love learning about these old rifles and want to learn more!

Here's a link to an Imgur album, the files would not upload and when inserted them manually the pictures were HUGE

http://imgur.com/a/jiXl8


Also I know the rear barrel band is on backwards, these are pictures I took right when I got the thing home, its been put on correctly now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Question about a k98's post war origin

Hello everyone! This is my first post on the gunboards! I have a German K98 (bnz. 41) that I purchased from a fellow on the VAGuntrader forums about a year ago. I was originally under the impression it was a Russian capture but after posting for more info on reddit/r/guns and the millsurps forums, I am not so sure anymore. The rifle shows some characteristics of being a Russian capture: the finish looks appropriate, the shiny red Russian shellac, the rifle was missing the cleaning rod and front sight hood, and the bolt does not match the barrel and receiver. BUT there are a number of features missing. None of the markings are peened, there is no X stamp on the receiver, the typical screws were not missing, there is no electro-penciling to force match any parts, the bluing appears to be original. Also the serial number was not stamped into the butstock. The rifle was imported by CAI Vermont at some point, but I don't know when. Also in the pictures the the rear barrel band is on backwards...got home and took pictures before anything!

My question: What exactly do I have here? Is it a RC, a buba'd rifle, a mostly original k98? Any information or discussion about this rifle or these rifles in general would be fantastic! This is my first Mauser Rifle and I love learning about these old rifles!

Pictures
http://imgur.com/a/jiXl8
 

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Hello. It appears you have a nice original bnz that someone messed with the stock. Could be a restored sporter. I would remove that horrible finish if it were mine.
 

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Do any other numbers match Besides the barrel and receiver? Stock appears to have definitely been refinished. Could be a restored sporter as Milsurp stated but if the stock #'s match then thats a different story! Is there any import marks anywhere?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The gun was imported by Century Arms (CAI Vermomt as the stamp says). Unfortunately I don't have the rifle with me as I'm away at college so I can't double check markings, but from what I remember, the bolt is the only non matching part.

Also, what would the correct finish for this rifle's stock be? I am familiar with stripping and refinishing stocks, I've fixed an M1 Carbine and Lee Enfield that were re-finished with some type of clear coat.
 

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It is not an RC. The barreled receiver seem to have the original finish, and the bands and the stock are of the correct type for a bnz 41 rifle, those features in addition to no parts having electropencil numbers, you can pretty much rule out an RC. To get a better idea if you have a parts gun, a restored sporter, or a partial mm, you will need to post pictures of the serial numbers on all parts, including the stock. If the stock serial number on the bottom behind the grip has been sanded away, it will be stamped inside the barrel channel. In any case someone has done a refinish job on the stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can't...I'm away at college right now and don't have but the pictures I took before I left. I know it said "C.A.I Vermont" on the barrel close to the front sight. It is not terribly big or deep, nothing like those hideous blue sky import marks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Excellent! Once I can get back home from school to take a look I will have to do a follow up post. From what I remember, the bolt was the only thing missing...I don't remember seeing any numbers in the stock but I'm not sure where i looked and how hard I looked last time I saw it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I realize this thread is pretty old at this point, but quite a few years have passed, I've gotten much more into surplus rifle collecting, I've still got this rifle and I have some better photos. Shortly after I posted this thread, I did remove the poly finish on the stock, but have otherwise done nothing to the rifle beyond install a repro front hood, sling and cleaning rod. Some more details on the rifle:

Serial number 1302 i on the barrel and receiver. WaA 214 marked on the stock reinforcing bolt. Not sure who made the stock. Serial number ranges during 1941 were observed from 2005 to 7811 i, which would make this rifle a later production 1941 rifle. The bolt is matched to itself ( serial 299), but missmatched to the rifle. WaA 623 is the proper Waffenamt for a Steyr produced K98k in 1941. The receiver is marked with a 77 Waffenamt, which indicates it was made at the Polish Radom factory prior to being sent to Steyr to be completed and marked with the appropriate WaA623 Waffenamts. There are WaA623 acceptance marks on the barrel. I've not been able to confirm, but there is a star stamp that may reflect there being some rework before moving along in the manufacturing process. WaA623 marked on the missmatched trigger housing (8910), Floorplate is missmatched (2777). Missmatched front band (2941). "K98 Germany 8mm C.A.I S.T. ALB. V.T" is the mark made by Century arms. A very faint number is visible below the wrist of the buttstock on the bottom.

Any further thoughts. As far as I can tell, I think its just a mixmaster/sporter rescue. The only thing that makes me think it may be a Balkan rebuild or some other nation rebuild is that there is a serial number stamped into the stock very faintly. See photo.

Trigger Wood Shotgun Wood stain Air gun
Gun accessory Metal Composite material Fashion accessory Natural material
Wood Material property Rectangle Font Cylinder
Wood Wood stain Gas Tints and shades Font
Wood Trunk Twig Table Wood stain


See more photos of the rifle here in this photo album.
 

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I would guess a sporter rescue, or some foreign user mixmaster the most likely scenarios. A lot of such rifles have been de-sportered and re-assembled back into military configuration for many years now. Some of the early CIA Balkan imports were not expensive (under $100) and got parted out if they had a nice stock. The stock number on the bottom edge is the German number for that stock originally. They put the s/n in that location up until 1941-maybe early 42. Not to be confused with the RC number stamped on the left side of the buttstock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
They put the s/n in that location up until 1941-maybe early 42. Not to be confused with the RC number stamped on the left side of the buttstock.
Any idea who made the stock? I don't recognize the WaA mark and haven't been able to find any info in my only reference book Backbone of the Wehrmacht, which I understand has some mistakes.

I also wasn't aware that they marked the stocks in that location, so thank you for that nugget of info!

The import mark does look like an early(er) CAI mark, seeing as it doesn't meet modern standards set by ATF. Its pre 2002 because it doesn't use the pin stamper, and its pre November 2000 because it has St. Alb. Vt. as the address.
 

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The recoil cross bolt is marked 214. I would think it is probably original to the stock. Being a cupped buttplate and still having an external s/n, might have been from a duv 41 or 42 (BLM) rifle originally. See if the bayonet lug is marked as well as the buttplate. Probably the rifle was a 1990's import. They usually got stamped on the barrel back before ATF required the receivers to be marked.
 

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We like ;)ld threads (w/ :cool:ld rifles).

Any idea who made the stock? I don't recognize the WaA mark and haven't been able to find any info ...... also wasn't aware that they marked the stocks in that location ....
Yes (as runner has noted above), so far this lumber appears to be native Steyr - as it has their telltale shorter/shallower bolt handle relief.
Check forward of that wrist s/n for a WaA, & also look closely here (circled in red, where I can faintly see 2 eagle cartouches). Can you read the WaA#s below these 2 eagles?:

3791739
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Try as I might, I could not for the life of me manage to make out any more detail than what it shown in this photo. Quite frankly, I'm pretty sure this photo is more clear than I could see it with my own eyes. There is clearly a WaA mark there, the small eagle is visible, but the text below I cannot decipher. The H is also visible.

The number in the stock appears to be 290"?", so very likely not a matching stock.

I did find some markings beneath the buttplate, but no WaA marks on the buttplate. See the attached photo Wood Artifact Wood stain Font Trunk
 

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Thanks for trying.
They can sometimes be tough to pick-up without some soft, diffused lighting. I've occasionally spent over an hour doing this, & found that heavily-overcasted days yield the best natural light for viewing. Outdoors, & any magnifing lens helps.
That, or a soft artist's pencil "tracing" using tissue paper might be worth a try.

Regarding the s/n: same here, I'm seeing 290x on the keel. The last character is smeared, but hoping it's a 2.

"3.45.41" would be the laminated blank's cure date: 3rd day, 45th week of 1941.

Could you please verify if there's an "eagle 623" & 2-digit s/n on the front face of your bayonet lug? If original, it may sport an "02" s/n there.
 

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Try as I might, I could not for the life of me manage to make out any more detail than what it shown in this photo. Quite frankly, I'm pretty sure this photo is more clear than I could see it with my own eyes. There is clearly a WaA mark there, the small eagle is visible, but the text below I cannot decipher. The H is also visible.

The number in the stock appears to be 290"?", so very likely not a matching stock.

I did find some markings beneath the buttplate, but no WaA marks on the buttplate. See the attached photo View attachment 3792580

Did you look inside the stock barrel channel? The s/n is also there and usually better condition than the external stock s/n stamping. I would agree that the stock is mismatched in any case. Was there any markings on the front edge of the bayonet lug base?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for trying.
They can sometimes be tough to pick-up without some soft, diffused lighting. I've occasionally spent over an hour doing this, & found that heavily-overcasted days yield the best natural light for viewing. Outdoors, & any magnifing lens helps.
That, or a soft artist's pencil "tracing" using tissue paper might be worth a try.

Regarding the s/n: same here, I'm seeing 290x on the keel. The last character is smeared, but hoping it's a 2.

"3.45.41" would be the laminated blank's cure date: 3rd day, 45th week of 1941.

Could you please verify if there's an "eagle 623" & 2-digit s/n on the front face of your bayonet lug? If original, it may sport an "02" s/n there.
The bayonet lug has the same marking as the recoil lug: WaA 214. It is also marked with two digits: 05. The inside of the stock is marked but very difficult to read. I can't say for sure if it ends in 05 or not, but it seems possible. It looks like a 0 and something. I suspect the original serial number was 2905. I noticed the two digits on the bolt release lever don't match any of the numbers on the gun either. The upper handguard is marked "509" internally, so also missmatched. To my knowledge, WaA 214 is the mark for Berlin-Lübecker Maschinenfabrik and not for Steyr.

Not sure this helps narrow anything down. Maybe it was a Balkan state rebuild? Maybe it was a bubba restoration? Maybe it was both those things? I'll probably never know for sure. If anyone has any more theories, I'd love to hear them, but if not thank you for the help and the input! I didn't know that information about the cure date, which is very cool to learn now! I wonder whether that can be used to help date the stock against known serial number blocks from that timeframe?
 

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The E/37 (seen on the mismatched s/n 84 bolt release) pegs to Sauer - so it's all starting to spell "Mixmaster". Still like the looks of it.
To my eye, it lacks all of the classic Balkan rework footprints & is looking simply like a stateside parts rifle: for starters, the stock is too pristine (but is lightly sanded, some of the stock pics do make it look like shellac may be present, & others don't - but def none of them show hand-carved graffiti, or peened markings), & very much of the original bluing on the iron is intact from stem to stern.
Sling is a common/current asian repop, & the front sight hood may be repop as well - just by noting its darker color.
Doubt if the cure date will help w/ a production date much, but some of the other fine gents whom haunt this great site may have input re duration of blank cure .... at minimum, we could safely figure several months.
However, I will offer & state this butt's date lettering is applied at 90* off from normal - & is only the 2nd such example that I've ever seen like this.

Bottom line is that you have an honest, very interesting keeper here. The flaws are minimal, & the best part is that Bubba has left his grubby mitts off'n it. In my book, this specimen beats the heck outta some RC - so live with it, mate.

p.s: just for the helluvitt, please advise - what's the WaA upon the s/n 2777 floorplate?
 
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