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RC electro pencil serials and other RC questions regarding Russian methods

2108 Views 30 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  PK 637
I just got a new RC, 43, and this one has no electro pencil serials ......just the regular mis-matched numbers . Question. Was there any method to forced serials with the RC? Any background info about any of this?
Why did they electro pencil serial them anyway? Why did they let some go without it?

Mine also has those tiny capture screws. And what in the world do they do?They are so tiny.

As an aside, the bore looked like it had not been touched for 60 years....with lots of junk in there{I thought it might be bad when I first saw it} , but I took a chance and when I used the brass brush and CLP "Powder Blast" with Hoppes and a ton of rags through it , it's looking great, clear and shiny, almost like new. Took the barrel out and it looks super clean.

Another question I had was when the Russians got these all original k98s and{ from what I have heard on this forum} took the best parts and made mix-master- new k98s{RC}, what did they do with all those old parts?

And also, why didn't they just clean up the originals instead of taking them apart and mixing parts up? After all, the k98s were probably close to new.......or a few years old when The Nazis invaded Russian. This was the best equipped and most professional army ever. How bad could the majority of these rifles be? Why take them apart and mix them up? Didn't the Russians think that the original parts would go with each other in a rifle better than mixed parts??
When the Nazis invaded Russian, weren't their guns all in fine shape with little wear or maybe near new? This was when the Nazis were at their peak?
Well, as you can see, I am a newbe at all these questions{and this forum is such an awesome resource for answers}, I have lots of questions and it's all so interesting because I have been a big WWII buff ever since I saw THE LONGEST DAY" when it first came out in theaters in like 63 or something{?}. Thanks in advance for any insight on this.
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With all the the soviet capture k98s in the did they plan to shoot them? There must be ammo left over that was picked up also and/or maybe they manufactured some? Anyone ever hear of period manufactured Soviet ammo?

Great point. I know the conventional wisdom is that the RC Mausers were intended to be used by the proletariat to defend against a potential invasion, but that brings up a lot of questions... If the intent was to activate these weapons in an emergency, were there any stockpiles of 8mm ammo near the Mauser storage? It would also make sense to provide at least marginal training to the people if the guns were to be used with any sort of effectiveness, but we don't hear about that having ever happened either. And I believe the USSR did have trained/armed People's Militias (the DDR surely did) that would have provided the perfect framework for such training.

That the only "issued" RC 98k's come from places like Vietnam suggests, to me, that they might have been kept less as an emergency weapon stockpile than as just a general asset. The USSR was, after all, devastated by WWII, and they certainly tended to cart off and hoarde ANYTHING from conquered territory that might later prove of monetary value. These rifles might not have even been reworked and stored by a military or paramilitary agency (BTW, does anyone know where the warehouses where they were found were located? On military bases?) but by a part of governement concerned with trade, economics, or anything.

I certainly would not back any of my conjecture above, as I don't have proof for any of it. But neither, as far as I've seen, does anyone have any solid proof to back the generally accepted explanation behind why these rifles were kept. The truth might always remain a mystery.
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OK Bill, thank you for the reference. Seeing that I will most likely not purchase Suvarov's book and being a student of military history can you inform us
(me) as to why the Soviets broke down the captured Mauser 98's in such a fashion.

Thanks in advance.
+1. Would be very interested in hearing a brief abstract, could be very enlightening.
I pointed you to a source of information, I'm not going to read the book to you. If you are REALLY interested you will read the book.
I will buy and read the book, it sounds extremely interesting and I'm sure I'll learn a lot. But naming a source without actually making any meaningful reference to the content is a bit disingenious, and can hardly be seen as support for a position.
There are a number of reasons for not trying to sum up a complicated work consisting of hundreds of pages in 50 or 100 words here. Primarily, because it can not do the subject justice. If that is being "disingenous", then it would be a complete and utter waste of your time reading the book.
Come on now... if "not [doing] a subject justice" were cause enough to not engage a question or present evidence for a position, there would be little point in teaching history at any but a graduate level, and frankly not even then.

At any rate, the book is on its way. I have a couple other titles lined up, but I'll read it when I get the chance and see for myself if it in any way informs this topic. Thanks for the tip.
To a degree, you are right. When you factor in those millions of rifles they "Captured" that were damaged, it was often impossible to assemble a complete matching rifle per the German numbers. The rifles were disasembled for inspection, and to remove damaged parts. Those parts damaged get scrapped/repaired and the usable parts sent to be assembled into complete rifles.
This all makes perfect sense, but it doesn't take into account the masses of rifles that must have fallen into Soviet hands fresh from the factory, in factories ready to ship, or neatly stacked unused in depots. I have a dou45 RC that I strongly doubt was ever issued, and seen many other similar guns, and they all got mixed and matched with the rest of them. Those rifles could easily have been held aside from the general war-weary field captures, but they weren't. Obviously the Russians had some rationale for disassembling and reassembling EVERYTHING, but all the possible reasons I've heard are pure conjecture, and I doubt we'll ever have a definitive answer as to why they did what they did.
On the other hand, if you think the Soviets were not so silly as to just stand around and take things apart and put them back to gether again for no reason, then it makes a lot more sense to believe they were actually used, and issued, and that this use caused wear, and that this wear was the reason they needed to be refurbed/rebuilt... I agree...and taking apart perfectly good rifles for no reason, and putting them back together again is not rational.
Actually I think the Soviets WERE so silly as to take things apart and put them back together again for no reason. I can't speak directly to their treatment of surplus rifles, but I have an aunt who lived in the Latvian SSR. She worked at a "missle plant". The facility existed for the purpose of receiving partially built engines, installing ONE component on them, and then shipping them to another facility for the next step. She herself spoke about what a silly waste it was... essentially the same as if you were making cars, and built the chassis in Detroit, shipped it to Ohio to put in the motor, send it to New Jersey to install the electric, do the interiors in Georgia, etc. You wouldn't be building your cars very cheaply or competitively, but you'd have lots of people "employed," which was the idea.

Needless to say the plant closed as soon as the USSR collapsed. And this is something I heard firsthand, from a family member who was there. So I hope you can see that if the Soviet system engaged in that kind of silliness, then disassembly of mint rifles for no apparent reason is hardly a stretch. And if they were issued and used, and then needed subsequent rebuilds, they should show signs of use. The dou45 RC I have shows nothing. Granted, metal shows light use less than wood, but the RC semi-kriegs stock I have it in also appears to be stone mint. There are others I've seen as well.

One of the theories posted on why they mixed and matched was to train apprentice armorers. Could be. Or could be something else. All we have at this point are guesses. But from what I've seen of the Soviet way of doing things (not just the missle plant) the Soviet rationale for doing these rebuilds does not necessarily have to make sense by our Western standards. A rationale doesn't have to be rational.
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The soviets didn't suffer from a lack of work to keep people busy, they suffered from a lack of capacity and technology...
I wasn't basing the point that the Soviet system was rife with make-work projects and planned inefficiency on my aunt's experience, I was using that as an illustrative anecdote. If you really don't believe the overwhelming and well-documented evidence that the Soviet Union suffered from massive unemployment disguised as underemployment (according to the government, unemployment was completely and permanently eradicated in the USSR in 1930), there's little point in discussing this further. I'll try to look through my bookshelves and find some titles that might shed some light on this topic for you (as you so helpfully did for me above), but in the meantime I don't see myself getting any further with you on this than I would discussing, say, the organization of the Einsatzgruppen with a Holocaust denier.
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