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I lucked out one Saturday on this one, and took a bit of a chance on an auction with very few pics. Turned out to be a nice rifle. Late SS contract oversize bnz44 code. Serial numbering is just like the single rune guns. This one has the EagleH on the stock. Barrel code is DQ (very important for everyone to include barrel codes on the post). Some call these Variation 1 bnz44's because of backbone, but I think that moniker is not correct. Enjoy!
 

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Wow! Two big scores for you this week ;) Farb, put this one on the pic sticky.
 

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How do you think the s/n's worked on these?

Is it possible the SS contract guns were alloted a block of s/n's, and after December 1943 the s/n's just continued into January 1944? (ie, the last contract gun produced in 1943 was say, 3400, then in January 1944 the first gun produced was 3401? Oversimplified, but you get my meaning I hope...)

Curious, as I have a large font bnz 43 SS contract that is numbered 3382, no suffix. Makes me wonder if the SS contract guns had their own seperate s/n block...

PS SWEET GUN!!!!
 

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It's a large letter bnz without a serial number suffix and without a final inspection Waffenamt. The confusing part is the eagle/H stock and hopefully that is something that ScottB will cover in his book.
 

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Very nice! Is it just me, or is the buttplate protruding above the stock?
It does protrude- I've seen a lot like that. It almost looks like the stock were over sanded in that area.

Thanks for all the kind comments- the sling came on the gun, along with the cleaning rod and hood. I think the hood is replaced as it's nicer than the gun, but the rod appears to be original. The sling is RB Nr'd, but I can't make out the number.


As to why it has an EagleH, I have a theory- the late bnz4 single runes also show up with Eagle H proofed stocks. In fact, Hambone has one (maybe he will post a few pics). Anyway, it's my assumption that production of these single rune and SS contract guns was converted over to Army production (late bnz44 letter block guns and then bnz45 rifles). At some point during the transition some of the finished rifles were fed into the Army acceptance system-- it may be as simple as the loss of Radom production led to this, or something more complex. I did email Scott B, and he is going to cover these in his book- I'm sure he's like me in that the damn book is four times as much work as you suspect, then throw life in on top of it.
 

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Farb, I had two bnz 4 single rune rifles at one time (now only one) that were completely matching and had eagle H stocks. These two rifles were bought about eight years apart, one a vet rifle out of the woodwork down south, the other at the Max show. They were about identical in all respects. There are several explanations for these being eagle H (Heer) property marked. Yours is as plausible, or more so, than the reused stock theory. The stock on my two, and the E/Hs, are identical to yours, and both stocks are numbered internally.
 

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I think it obvious the serial ranges on the SR/no finals are unique (if you can sort through the “variations”), they were not part of normal Steyr production. I also think 1943 receivers were "assembled" in 1944 and there is over lap.

I think it was (simplification) a continuous run 1943-1944 and to say standards were lowered is to understate what happened. 1943-45 Steyr is one of the sloppier of the makers; they even used 1944 bnz receivers in the 1943 serial run (u block) to make things extra complicated for us. They set the standard for lowering quality on finish, and over all I think Steyr is one of the lesser quality makers of the group who assembled rifles 1943-45. Their popularity is based upon the sinister nature of their product; some have an unrealistic impression of how things developed regarding the ss and Steyr.

All that said, the 98k was to Steyr what the P08 was to HK, it was of such insignificance to the company overall and such a sideline as to be irrelevant.

Steyr was like GE or GM (was), they were a company of great importance and the 98k was just some small part (one miniscule part) of their bottom line.

How do you think the s/n's worked on these?

Is it possible the SS contract guns were alloted a block of s/n's, and after December 1943 the s/n's just continued into January 1944? (ie, the last contract gun produced in 1943 was say, 3400, then in January 1944 the first gun produced was 3401? Oversimplified, but you get my meaning I hope...)

Curious, as I have a large font bnz 43 SS contract that is numbered 3382, no suffix. Makes me wonder if the SS contract guns had their own seperate s/n block...

PS SWEET GUN!!!!
 

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It's a large letter bnz without a serial number suffix and without a final inspection Waffenamt. The confusing part is the eagle/H stock and hopefully that is something that ScottB will cover in his book.
Farb that's a nice looking rifle.Speaking of books, when will ScottB's book be out and are there any other books on k98s coming out soon?
 
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