Various Israeli marks and British Proof marks which I have fully identified, it was just these odd ones on the sides/bottom that I havnt worked out. I wasnt sure it is was a Z as on other examples on the web the ends of the letter have a little bend down or up at the ends. IanThe Cirkle Z is the inspection mark of Czech arms company. The others---haven't a clue! More inspection marks I assume. What else is on the reciever?, top for instance.
If only they were there, the problem is the Israeli's were rather good at scrubbing off that sort of info. From all the marks and comments from others I have pieced together some of its history but as with most converted 7.62's in Israel its made of a bunch of different parts and probably had parts swapped in and out over its life until it came to the UK in the early 1980's. Thanks for identifying one of the marks though. IanThose are called serifs (sp?) just an older style of western letter. I was looking for a dou and date. K98's were made in Czech. under German occupation.
I was thinking a Spanish volunteer fighting with the Germans on the eastern front carried into Russia and then they sold it to Israel.The WZ29 is the Polish standard rifle, model of 1929. With a bent bolt handle like yours it would be a cavalry rifle; infantry rifles had straight bolts. The ones with blank receiver rings and circle Z markings are normally rifles used in the Spanish Civil War - which is why it is so unusual to find one in Israel. Israel bought a lot of used Mausers after WWII and strange ones pop up now and then. Your rifle is quite unique.
See post 247 on page 6 of Mausers, Only Mausers
Added: After a closer look, it seems like all that remains of the original WZ29 rifle may be just the receiver. That's not unusual for Israeli rebuilt Mausers and yours is still very interesting.
I wonder if someone in Spain made a few bucks by unofficially selling some ex-Spanish Civil War rifles to Israel?
This gets more and more interesting, the bolt also has the same serial number on it, and based on other research, as it has oval gas holes is I am told it is a pre 1944 bolt.Hi Ian,
Polish serial numbers were on the left side of the receiver ring in a smaller font just above the wood line, usually with an upper case letter suffix. Added Spanish serial numbers were in the same place, usually four digits in a larger font, no prefix or suffix, sometimes in a very large font, maybe a bit higher on the side of the receiver ring than the Polish number.
Added: Looking at the photos, the 23173 looks like an original Polish s/n. Polish WZ29 rifles rebuilt by Spain after the Spanish Civil War have been seen with:
* original serial numbers
* new Spanish serial numbers with the original number removed
* original serial numbers with a horizontal line through them and no new serial number added
Markings on the bottom of the receiver normally don't mean much to collectors.
The photos show other markings which I think may be British import proofs. That's a very confusing receiver. Perhaps it was imported to England after Israeli service.