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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
According to the book Karabiner K98k Volume I, there were two contracts for Japanese K98k rifles. These are known to be K98k type because the contract specified:
“Art.4: The only difference from the rifles for the German account is external, this rifle has a business stamp” (Mauser Banner) “imprinted on the stock”. They also lacked the third (service acceptance) stamp on the right side of the stock. (page 293)

The original order on page 294 states “. . . the rifles would be removed from current production . . .” (1938 and 1939) (page 295)

The first contract for 20,000 rifles was dated December 15, 1938 (page 294) and the second contract for 20,000 rifles was dated August 18, 1939 (page 296). Only 10,000 rifles from the second contract were shipped, making a total of 30,000 K98k rifles for Japan. (page 299)

It is crystal clear that the 30,000 rifles were K98k – but Standard Modell rifles are known to have been brought back from Japan. Where did the Standard Modell rifles come from?

A photo of a ledger entry for fiscal year 1937-1938 Mauser sales shows:
Japan 185,443.69
Manchukuo 31,037.25
The book states “The sales to Japan in late 1938 are represented in totals for the following fiscal year 1938-1939.” (page 289)

So the fiscal year 1937-1938 Mauser sales predated the two Japanese K98k contracts. That is where the Japanese Standard Modell rifles came from, and that is why the Japanese manual has:
Type I – Standard Modell
Type II – K98k
Type III – VZ24 (page 296)

Italics are from translations of original Japanese and German documents.

Regards,
Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm trying to understand what the Japan and Manchukuo figures mean. Are they German marks, and if so how many rifles would that buy?
Presumably they are Reichmarks. I think Backbone of the Wehrmacht has some figures on what the German government paid for Mausers. Probably Karabiner 98k Volume I does too, but I just got the book in the mail. Reading it is like reading an encyclopedia.

I do know from the book that the K98k rifles sold to Japan included a bayonet, sling, and muzzle cover - so allow for that.

Regards,
Bill
 

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Thanks Bill - very helpful. That explains the German production serial no's and K98k configeration on my 'Japanese' K98k stock. There are no Japanese markings anywhere on the stock (including the wrist) - everything is German & Oberndorf.

http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?358175-Banner-mauser-inquery

So the rifles would be stamped with S/42 receivers (or '42' in 1939?) and standard German ordinance markings. Would you expect to see any Japanese markings on the metalwork?

It would be nice to see a detailed photo of a complete Japanese contract K98k.
 

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Platinum Bullet Member and Certified Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Bill - very helpful. That explains the German production serial no's and K98k configeration on my 'Japanese' K98k stock. There are no Japanese markings anywhere on the stock (including the wrist) - everything is German & Oberndorf.

http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?358175-Banner-mauser-inquery

So the rifles would be stamped with S/42 receivers (or '42' in 1939?) and standard German ordinance markings. Would you expect to see any Japanese markings on the metalwork?

It would be nice to see a detailed photo of a complete Japanese contract K98k.
Since the Japanese K98k rifles were pulled out of the regular Orberndorf 1938 and 1939 production lines, The ONLY difference is a Mauser banner stamp on the left butt and the lack of a third stamp on the right butt. No Japanese markings on the metal are known.

Regards,
Bill
 

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I've been recording serial numbers and vet info on Japanese weapons for well over 50 years and have yet to see a 98k bring-back from Japan. I've seen numerous VZ-24's, all P series dated 1937, and took the time over the years to ask vets where they were found. The idea of 98k's in Japan still gives me heartburn. I do know the Japanese control of Manchukuo was semi-autonomous in the late 1930's and can't help but wonder if contracts were made directly to Mauser from that location. The IJA colonel responsible for acquisitions at the time was not aware of 98k's - he is pictured in my book, Military Rifles of Japan, posing with Italian officers at completion of the Type I contract. The reference in your 98k book to Manchukuo may be a big clue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm trying to understand what the Japan and Manchukuo figures mean. Are they German marks, and if so how many rifles would that buy?
At 62.40 RM per rifle/bayonet/sling/muzzle cover (1933 price, page 143), that would be 3,469 rifles.

Regards,
Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've been recording serial numbers and vet info on Japanese weapons for well over 50 years and have yet to see a 98k bring-back from Japan. I've seen numerous VZ-24's, all P series dated 1937, and took the time over the years to ask vets where they were found. The idea of 98k's in Japan still gives me heartburn. I do know the Japanese control of Manchukuo was semi-autonomous in the late 1930's and can't help but wonder if contracts were made directly to Mauser from that location. The IJA colonel responsible for acquisitions at the time was not aware of 98k's - he is pictured in my book, Military Rifles of Japan, posing with Italian officers at completion of the Type I contract. The reference in your 98k book to Manchukuo may be a big clue.
Post #11 http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?357067-Japanese-Mauser-Rifles-Standard-Model

mman
Senior Member
Join Date Dec 1969Location West VirginiaPosts 413
I worked with an Army vet @ APG who was with the first ordnance company who landed in Tokyo. He gave me a mint unissued K98k, S/42 1937 in 1969 that he picked up along with another unissued, unground T99. I sold it to a friend for $35. I think I sold the T99 for same. The keeper I got from him was a Mauser Bolo pistol in Japanese holster w/ T26 cleaning rod and green Lanyard. A Japanese officer/MP surrendered it to him.

FWIW

Jack​
 
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