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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Mike442
Posted - 07/02/2007 : 8:31:50 PM
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Are the barrel bands on these rifles supposed to be serial numbered or unnumbered? I know they are numbered on the M96's and M96/38's. Thanks!



Swedeman
Posted - 07/02/2007 : 10:02:22 PM
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No, they are not serial-numbered. However, it has been SPECULATED that a very small number of the very first rifles built in the first production year (1941) MAY HAVE HAD serial numbers on some of the same parts as the M96's ... such as the band springs, rear sight parts, etc.

For all practical purposes, there are only 10 serial-numbered parts on Husky M38's ... the receiver, 5 bolt parts, butt plate, stock, handguard and barrel. The serial numbers on the bolt parts are sometimes electro-pencilled. Barrels are frequently not numbered probably due to being replaced by the armory and not stamped. The stock and handguard frequently don't match.



Mike442
Posted - 07/03/2007 : 1:35:03 PM
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Thanks Swedeman for the info. I didn't think the bands should be serial numbered, but was not sure. However, I have a mint 1941 (S/N in the 600,000 range) that is all matching except for the lower barrel band (which has a non-matching S/N and a straight crown) and a non-matching S/N on top of the ejector box. The upper band is unnumbered and has the tilted crown. From your info, apparently the ejector box should not be numbered either. And I assume should have a tilted crown on it. Is that correct? Thanks!



swede
Posted - 07/03/2007 : 5:37:46 PM
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Existing CG mfg'ed parts in stock , as well as new Husqvarna parts were used in the mfg. of the Husqvarna M-38's . So, mixed mfg'ed parts are known , although not common . I would guess your mismatched parts are a result an arsenal rebuild .

All matching numbers do occur on Husqvarna M-38's , just like the M-96's . I have seen one dated 1943 , #679001 . I did not get to disassemble the gun to check the numbers inside . Others have been reported as well .



Swedeman
Posted - 07/03/2007 : 9:41:01 PM
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I too have seen CG parts on Huskies, but the serial numbers did not match. The question is whether the few rifles with the parts serialized like a M96 were 1) the result of parts being replaced during a repair / rebuild (at which time the repair person stamped the parts like he did on the M96's), or 2) whether the rifles were originally built that way (with stamped numbers on the same parts as the M96's). If they were originally manufactured that way on an assembly line, then why would they make the vast majority one way and a very small number of them the other way when they are making them back-to-back, side-by-side? Or, 3) maybe these few isolated cases were individual rifles built from scratch from available parts, outside the normal manufacturing assembly line. We have seen M96's dated 1927 and 1935 which were individually built this way. Since no official production records have survived, we may never know.



MP78
Posted - 07/04/2007 : 11:37:07 AM
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Most Swedish Mausers have been repaired at least once. After a certain time in the military life cycle of these rifles it wasn't required to keep parts that didn't need to be hand fit for safety or propper function to be numbered. These rifle also left front line service and were issued to rear guard units as newer technology rifles were issued to the front line troops. The newer semi-autos and full auto rifles were now catching all the attention and the "old" bolt actions didn't need to be as scrutinized. Anders has posted in the past tech papers covering some of these changes...Jim



Swedeman
Posted - 07/06/2007 : 05:55:04 AM
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I am not sure what you are trying to say. Yes, most Swedish Mausers have been repaired at least once ... but certainly not all. There are many examples of mint and/or near-mint, original M38 Huskies that still have their original parts from the day they were first built in 1941 - 1944. In fact, many of the non-mint examples do also. These rifles did not get all those extra years of use and abuse that the M96's did.

And, I believe Anders was talking about all Swedish Mausers (M96, M38 and M94) when he made that statement. In later years the Swedes were less serious / conscientious about keeping less-critical (such as the non-bolt parts) serialized. That's why we have seen so many M96's coming directly from the Swedish armories with mismatched minor parts such as barrel bands, rear sights, etc.



jorma
Posted - 07/06/2007 : 09:38:58 AM
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I am with Swedeman, think only certain amount of Mausers were issued fo troops for peace
time training the left overs were staying in warehouses waiting salty days to come.



MP78
Posted - 07/06/2007 : 7:25:30 PM
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Swedeman,
So your saying that all m/38 Husqvarna's had less numbers stamped matching to the receiver because the Swede's had already changed the spec's which required 19 parts to be numbered. Then after this requirement had been changed some armorer or repairman said, I don't care how many parts the new spec's require to be numbered I'm just going to keep doing it the old way. I guess 8 or 10 could have slipped through before the quality control guy or line inspector saw that this guy was slowing the rebuild time down because he was numbering too many parts. Maybe it was a unit armorer that was doing it and he just refused to change his ways after he got a tech notice saying that things had changed? I've known a couple unit armorers and they wouldn't have wanted any crap for not following updated tech sheets at their next inspection. In the military I was in that guy would have been pulling extra duty changing them because you just didn't ignor tech sheets.

I would be more inclined to go with a change was made to speed up production time because of unstable conditions in Europe and putting 19 numbers on something is time consuming. Just like the Germans did with late production K98k's...



Mopar Lou
Posted - 07/07/2007 : 07:43:26 AM
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I have a 42 dated Husky, with all matching numbers, and they are all stamped, no electro-pencil numbers, the bbl bands are numbered, the top of ejector box too. I can't remember about the wood, and the barrell itself.



Swedeman
Posted - 07/09/2007 : 12:02:29 AM
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I am saying that the Husqvarna factory only stamped serial numbers on the 10 parts we see today, as listed above, during REGULAR production. We don’t have the original production records / specs, but apparently by 1941 the Swedes had decided that it was unnecessary to keep stamping all the 19 or so parts like they had done on the M96's. This was 16 years after regular M96 production had ended in 1925, and this was Husqvarna manufacturing the rifles, not Carl Gustaf or Mauser Oberndorf. Maybe it was at least partly due to expediency reasons because of WWII like you said. We do know they had changed production specs by 1941 because they didn’t stamp serial numbers on the M38 cleaning rods like they did on the M96 cleaning rods.

I personally believe that these 8 parts ... barrel bands, mag. box, mag. floor plate, rear sight, and ejector box ... were NOT serial-numbered during REGULAR production, and I have very good reasons for believing this:

1) You would see many M38 Huskies today with those 8 parts serialized, and you simply do not. These 8 parts are the most durable and least-replaced parts on any rifle ... they just don't wear out very often, if at all, except for damage in exceptional circumstances. It is also important to note that the M38 Huskies were most likely used by truck drivers, the few mechanized units of the infantry, the Swedish navy, and by the 1st Infantry Regiment for ceremonial guard duty and parades (Crown Jewels, page 83). Therefore, these rifles saw very little use compared to the M96 and M94 Swedish Mausers which were extensively used in training and in active military units. But, you rarely see a Husky M38 with these 8 parts with matching serial numbers (on Husky parts). I said "rarely", not "never" ... these exceptions could simply be flukes or be due to serial-number-happy repair techs / armorers accustomed to stamping these parts on repaired M96's. You DO frequently see these parts serialized on many far-older M96's made by CG and Mauser ... on M96's these 8 original, most-durable parts have survived all those many more years (23 - 46 years more) with serial numbers. This is simply not the case with M38 Huskies with many less years of use in much less-stressful duties. Why not? Because these 8 parts never had serial numbers to begin with. IF these 8 most-durable parts ever had serial numbers, these 8 durable parts would surely be the ones to survive, and many M38’s would exist today with these 8 durable parts with serial numbers. Obviously, they would not have swapped out serialized parts with non-serialized ones simply to get rid of the serial numbers. In contrast, the other least-durable parts ... barrel, 5 bolt parts, stock and hand guard ... are the parts that take the most punishment by far, and they are ones that are replaced most often as a result. This is obvious and unquestionable. But, these are the parts that show up today with serial numbers consistently ... NOT the other way around ... again, IF the 8 most-durable parts ever had serial numbers, they would certainly be the ones to show up today with serial numbers. Statistically, the odds are so far off the chart it is a near-certainty, and it doesn’t take a degree in mathematics / statistics to see this (which I have).

Bottom line ... IF these 8 most-durable parts originally had serial numbers then today you would see (1) a few M38's with all those parts numbered, (2) many / most with mixed parts numbered, and (3) a few with all those parts NOT numbered ... most rifles would fit into category (2). However, what you actually see is a few rifles with all those parts numbered and almost all the rest of the M38's with all those parts not numbered. There are very, very few in between the extremes in category (2) where you would expect to see the bulk of the rifles, i.e., hardly any with only some of these parts numbered. This indicates these parts were not numbered to begin with.

2) Many of the mint or near-mint, all-matching, Husky M38's that have survived would still have many of those 8 most-durable parts, and these parts would still have serial numbers ... and they don't.

3) As you pointed out, sometime later after regular M96 production ended in 1925, the Swedes were less conscientious about keeping the minor parts serialized / matching on Swedish Mausers. We see this on M96's as well as on M38's and M94's. That's also why so many M38 Huskies have barrels that are not numbered at all, and why the stocks and hand guards on M38 Huskies frequently don't match. So, why would they bother to stamp all 19 parts with serial numbers during regular production?

By the way, I would think that the electro-pencilled bolt parts we see today occurred during repairs / replacements later (after normal production), and that the original parts were stamped ... just my opinion.

4) You can also look at the specs for the M96 FSR rifles also made by Husqvarna at the same time (1943 - 1944) ... serial numbers are stamped on the receiver, barrel, stock & handguard (numbers, not serial numbers), some bolt parts ... NOT on those most-durable parts ... the barrel bands, mag. box, mag. floorplate, rear sight, etc. This is the same pattern more or less as for the Husky M38. Is this a coincidence? I don’t think so.

5) The Husqvarna factory would not have manufactured some M38's with 19 serial-numbered parts and some with only 10 ... on the assembly line at the same time, side-by-side, during REGULAR production. It is completely illogical to think that they would have done otherwise ... a factory simply does not do this ... they stick to the specs during normal production and produce them all one way or the other. If they change specs during production, then all rifles produced after that point would be done the new way, again, the same way.

So, to answer your question - NO, I am not saying that some flunky on the production line decided to not follow the specs and number all 19 parts … you are assuming that a flunky did this during REGULAR production, and you simply don’t know that. As stated above, production rifles were produced uniformly, not some one way and some another. It’s a another question altogether as to whether the statistically very few rifles with the parts serialized like a M96 were possibly the result of parts being replaced during a repair / rebuild (at which time the repair person stamped the parts like he did on the M96's), or maybe whether these few isolated cases were individual rifles built from scratch from available parts, outside the normal manufacturing assembly line. We have seen M96's dated 1927 and 1935 which were individually built this way. I suppose it is possible that a very small number of the very first M38 Huskies made in 1941 might have been serialized like M96’s (19 parts), but not the vast majority of them produced after that.

You cannot use a few, statistically scarce examples to apply to the universe as a whole. If that were the case then I could say that all M96’s originally had serial-numbered triggers or M38 Huskies originally had serial¬-numbered rear sight parts … and, there are other examples of other serial-numbered parts showing up on Swedish Mausers. Over the years we have all seen all kinds of anomalies and exceptions to the rules … if it can happen, it will happen. Dana Jones even had a topic in Crown Jewels entitled “Exceptions Which Prove the Rule” (page 78) … quote: “Of course, for every rule there are always exceptions for one reason or another …”.

I don't necessarily accept Swedish Mauser information without evaluating the info first. This includes info from undocumented sources or that has been passed down by word of mouth, or some of the info that originated from "Neutrality Through Marksmanship" and "The Swedish Mauser Rifles", or from incorrect, old assumptions perpetuated from the early days of Swedish Mauser collecting websites when no one had any info to go on other than conjecture, speculation, supposition, or that someone has read in the past etc. Heck, I read somewhere that the world was flat, but I certainly don’t accept it. Those 2 earlier books are full of errors.

When it comes to Swedish Mausers, if the info simply doesn't make sense, especially when it contradicts observations, then I don't swallow it! To me it is completely illogical to consider that all of these rifles were originally serialized like M96's, and based on the multitude of Husky M38's we have seen, there is no way I could think otherwise.
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Edited by - Swedeman on 07/10/2007 3:16:54 PM



Mopar Lou
Posted - 07/09/2007 : 07:24:43 AM
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Swedeman, what is your theory on the Husky I have? If you think maybe during replacement of parts, some armorer that was used to doing things the old way went ahead and stamped the replacement parts, I can understand, but the rifle I have , on these Most Durable 8 parts, the numbers are stamped, and these are the parts most likely not to have been replaced. My theory is that sometime in 42 (since my rifle is dated 42) that maybe they changed procedure to not stamp these durable parts. But then again people have rifles dated earlier that have no serial number on these parts, and the parts most likely to have been replaced on mine, have a Stamped no. not a electro-penciled one..This rifle is in very good condition, I've had it 4 years, and the previous owner had it at least two..It is the only Husky I've seen with all stamped parts,but I haven't been looking for an absence of a number, like on the bbl bands, only for the presence of electro penciled parts.. my bbl bands besides the stamped numbers also have the tilted crowns. Alas with the passing of the armorers who did the work and would know , we will probably never know, only speculate
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Edited by - Mopar Lou on 07/09/2007 07:42:15 AM



Swedeman
Posted - 07/09/2007 : 09:23:09 AM
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I can only speculate ... which sometimes is not worth squat ... but, only a few have surfaced with all the parts serial-numbered, so they are definitely outside the norm, but I wouldn't necessarily say "rare" because we don't have the stats to judge. However, I do think it is very poignant that when these rifles do show up they have all / almost all of the parts serialized and not just a few. That would tend to indicate that they were built that way, and all those parts have survived ... if the armorers were repairing the rifle they would only replace the damaged / worn out parts, and those parts probably would not have serial numbers since obviously they quit serializing those most-durable parts at some point. In other words, you would end up with a LOT of the M38's with serial numbers on just some of these parts. But, what we have is a high percentage of the M38's with no serial numbers on these 8 most-durable parts and a few with serial numbers on most / almost all of the parts ... virtually nothing in between.

IF all these parts were originally serialized on all M38's and the rifles had repairs later (and most had repairs), you would definitely see many or most of the M38's with mixed serialization on these parts ... and you definitely do not. As I said earlier, statistically it would be a near certainty that you would see a LOT of mixed examples!!!

For this reason I feel that your rifle was built as you have it, and it is a jewel, so to speak ... a definite keeper for a collector.



Swedeman
Posted - 07/09/2007 : 09:30:03 AM
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BTW, in my lengthy epistle I forgot to mention one obvious inconsistency in "Crown Jewels" ... the book states that the M38 Huskies were most likely used by truck drivers, the few mechanized units of the infantry, the Swedish navy, and by the 1st Infantry Regiment for ceremonial guard duty and parades (Crown Jewels, page 83). However, we DO know that the M38's were probably used in at least some training units because a lot of the M38's show up with threaded barrels. So, I guess Dana needs to add / correct that in his next edition.



Mopar Lou
Posted - 07/09/2007 : 11:20:53 AM
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Yes I will definitely keep it, funny though, the bore disc is marked a 1, but this is the worst shooter of the 7-8 Swedes that I have, I think though it is a stock to metal fit problem, because after a couple of rounds it starts stringing shots. Only will shoot a 3-4 inch 5 shot group at 100 yards my M-41 will do 11/4-3/4" and a Husky I had previously, before I started wearing bi-focals would do an inch with open sights... this is the reason my friend sold it to me,, he is a shooter instead of collector,,,lucky me.... Thanks for info..
 
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