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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all - I'm looking at purchasing a Gew 98 (Oberndorf, late WWI) with a stock cartouche that I can't quite make out.

Can someone help me identify this marking and its significance? Sorry - this is the best pic I have of it.

Also, the wood looks light to me compared to the 2 other Gew 98s I own... Is it most likely birch?

Thanks very much - MP
 

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Not sure what that cartouche is but it appears to be a beech stock. Is there a large "B" stamped on the side of the buttstock?

By "Oberndorf, late WWI", I assume you mean that it is dated 1917 or 1918. If so, you have a rifle made by Mauser and sent to Turkey as aid during WW1. The rifles imported from Turkey in the late 1980s - early 1990s are very often somewhat lighter in appearance due to the fact that their upkeep over their long careers was not of the best, Turkish recruits used the Gew98 in training as late as the 1970s. The wood on many is very, very dry and somewhat bleached in appearance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks - I don't see a B on the buttstock in any of the pics I was sent, but will ask the seller.

Would there be a Turkish proof on the receiver somewhere? I've attached a pic of the left rail. The receiver is from 1917.
 

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Turkish stamps on the metal usually come in the form of crescents above the maker and date or a letter in front of the serial number. So far the stock looks very good for Turkish use, which I agree with TP is more than likely considering the colour and maker/year. Can you post the rest of the pictures you were sent?
 

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Hmmm, definitely Turkish used and the stock wood is apparently beech but ask if it is "B" marked, if I am right it should be so marked. I do see what I take to be a problem; it looks like the forearm has been shortened, the barrel appears to extend too far past the front band and bayonet lug. Probably done after import, who knows why. Other than that it looks pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
True the stock is cut, but it doesn't look sanded at all, which would make it a good candidate for restoration.
Hmmm. The stock doesn't look sanded to me either, and the price is good. But how would be the best way to restore it and match the wood? I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to wood work, but have friends who do it well.
 

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Does not look like a Turk, rec and rear sight side still in the white. Can't make out the bolt. There were some rifles built up by Yugo patisans using German Gew 98 barreled actions and short stocks. I would investigate before doing anything!
 

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The Gew98 sent to Turkey from Mauser were new and made, marked and finished to German standard. That includes in the white receivers, etc. The blued receivers occasionally seen on Gew98 were done post WW1 by the Turks during refinishing/repair.

By all means do "investigate" but there is no reason to believe that this was made for Yugoslavian Partisans or any other such organization.
 

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I have a Turk-contract 98.22 with very similar beech stock. No visible markings on the wood, outside or inside. matching handguard. I have recently seen another with the same stock on these forums a couple months ago. Note the NM dimensions. Fit is very good. Makes ya' go hmmmm...

 

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Primo, I'm no expert with wood either, but the sharp edge on the top, plus the fact that the stock matches the action, and is readable, makes me think this Obie missed the refurb, or never made it to Turkey. I have an Oberndorf 98 with the cartouche on the bottom like yours, but the Turks sanded it. If you can find another beech stock from any long mauser, a good joiner could mate it to your stock pretty easily either where it ends, or under the rear band.
 

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I have seen Turked Gew.98's with bright receivers, not very many though. Most are well used & abused, often pitting at the edge of the wood line. I am not sure if this is a Turked Gew.98, could be, looks a little too good to be one, and like PM made note of, these "usually" have a prefix or sometimes suffix added by the Turks to the serial number, some have crescents, and or import markings- "Turkey" on the barrel, side of receiver, etc..

I would agree with TP in that the vast majority of 1917-1918 dated MO Gew.98's went to Turkey as aid, once the rail net was opened to Bulgaria, through defeated Serbia and Rumania. There are a decent number of 1917 MO that stayed in German hands though, maybe 20% or so in the database, most are Weimar era reworks, property marked or signs of nazi era upgrades. A VERY few are WWI era (Imperial configuration) rifles, some with neat variations in stocks, maple (A) versions. 1918 dated are much harder to find "German", though some exist too, almost all postwar upgrades.

Anyway, hard to say on this rifle, probable Turk, but it sure is a nice one, and that is unusual, especially without any signs of Turk service. I would closely look it over, right side of stock should have a cypher and acceptance at a minimum, try to disassemble to see if it has pitting at or under the wood, then thoroughly look for an import marking on the barrel or on the receiver. If nothing shows up, I would probably consider getting it as very well could be an actual "Imperial configuration" 1917 MO, which are very hard to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the knowledge guys.

I have decided to pass, but this rifle is still up for auction.

Since the auction is active (and not mine) I won't post the link, but if you are interested, PM me and I will send it to you. It's cheap at the moment, although I am guessing there are lurkers. :thumbsup:
 

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Hello Gents,

Nice find Primo! Per the other comments, if the price is right this would be an excellent restoration project. Splicing another forearm onto the original stock and concealing the joint underneath the barrel band is not difficult to do. There are a number of rifles other than Gew 98s that share the same forearm configuration, so the restoration could be achieved without butchering another Gew 98 stock.

Regarding the wood, here is a photo of the German marking indicating that the stock was produced with Beech. This example is on a Kar 98, however the mark on a Gew 98 would appear the same or very similar.



On a separate note, it's very interesting to see another Turkish issue Mauser that has been shortened in such a fashion as to allow the mounting of an export pattern bayonet complete with muzzle ring? That is the ONLY logical reason to have shortened the end of the stock forearm to this particular length. Interestingly enough, years ago I purchased a Kar 98 that has been shortened in the same manner. The amazing part of it is that after shortening the stock forend, they reinstalled the stacking hook???

The presence of the stacking hook was one of the primary reasons I purchased the rifle. I needed a stacking hook for another rifle, but ended up finding one at a gun show several weeks later and never ended up parting out the rifle. I have used it as a shooter ever since.

Nice find, an interesting rifle and a fairly easy restoration. Well done.

Warmest regards,

JPS
 
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