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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First time posting because I never have been in a position like this and am curious about y 'all's opinion.
I found a very Bubba'd K98 with AX 41 markings at a price I couldn't say no to and was curious how far gone is too far gone? Would it cost more in parts to restore it than its worth? And what would be the best way to remove the screw holes on the side of the receiver?

Edit: I bought it for $200 so I wouldn't mind putting in a couple hundred
 

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I'm nowhere near as knowledgeable about the Kar98k as most if not all the folks on here so I can't speak toward the rarity of the AX mfg rifles, but I think when it comes to remilitarizing a sporter it all comes down to personal preference. What I mean by that is as follows:
-When you say "would it cost more in parts than it's worth?", it's not going to be original, so it will never fetch what an AX 41 Kar98k is worth unless you can tap into Don Mitchell's customer base. I'd say a resto-sporter is closer to a Russian or Yugo Capture in value, if not less. Now, if the AX 41 is special enough to you you're willing to spend more, then knock yourself out.
-I don't know your gunsmithing abilities, but plain and simple you're going to have to attach a new front sight and rear sight, or just rebarrel the thing (another non-original addition and easily a $100 piece).
-You'll have to weld the rear peep sight holes shut, and those marks will remain unless you reblue the whole thing and even then...
-The whole stock set is going to be north of $250 minimum depending on how nice of a set up you're wanting to get.

So, in short, you're going to be out a minimum $350 just in parts and you're not even to the gunsmith part yet. If I were you, I'd really think on it but it's your gun and would no doubt be fun to have the project of restoring it. I personally don't think it's worth it. In my humble opinion, leave the sporters to the hunters who will take them out and use them rather than sinking money into something that will just become a mixmaster. I really like the look of your sporter and to me, it would be an excellent brush gun that's a departure from the world of plastic we live in today. 8x57 is fantastic and to someone who reloads for their military mausers, being able to get a hunting rifle that I can use the same caliber in is a delight. Prices on cut up sporters keep going up and it just baffles me as I see mostly newbies buying their first milsurp and thinking it'd be a cheap alternative that "just needs a little work". All it does is drive up the price on guns that would otherwise be perfectly functional and useful to a seperate crowd and creates a headache for the guy who wants to do a resto job. A buddy of mine just sold an eddystone 1917 for $200 that had the stinking rear sight protectors dremeled off; heaven help the kid that bought it when he realizes how SOL he is. That might just be me wanting to keep demand of sporters down so I can continue to pick up $150 guns I toss around out in the wilds and loan to friends on hunting trips, but unless you really are saving money I don't see the point of restoring sporters. Just my $0.02. Until any kind of milsurp gets prohibitively spendy, use your money to get an original example.
 

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If you have some basic tools the screw holes are easy to fix, I'll post some pics later of that. Ace Hardware carries gun screws, usually a #6 or #8 screw will fit the hole, put a little loctite on the screw thread it in, let it set overnight. Apply tape to the receiver around the hole to protect the finish. Cut the screw down (Dremel tool works great for that) close to the receiver. Finish it off with a file. While it's not professional level I apply some Oxpho Blue over what is left and they come out looking pretty good, hard to see unless up close. A rear sight assembly can be found (with base) to reinstall onto the barrel. I've never removed an aftermarket front sight, but I imagine it's pretty easy. Don't know how altered the barrel would be up front under the front sight after removing it though? If it was me....I'd try to restore it. The stock set will be expensive as Coues106 pointed out, if patient you might find a decent stock set with bands for around 200$..... Just my .02 cents... It won't be original, but an AX41 is a cool code IMO. Nice rifle! Chris...
 

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Hard pass. Much better candidates out there if you want a restoration. That's a money pit.
 

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I got the same problem, but my barrel's front sight remained intact. Just that it had the added on Lyman sight. It is an all matching bring back. Worse--- it had a wood Bishop stock and Lyman sight. I dropped my action into a nice $25 VZ 24 stock and kept the Lyman sight. I use it as a fun shooter. The wood Bishop stock was cut short for a small person with short arms; hence, the Vz 24 intact stock restored the rifle to a normal length. A nice hunting rifle and target shooter with the Lyman late 1950's sight. I got the rifle for $150. It is very accurate. And that Bishop stock was sold to a short guy for $100 at a gun show. He was happy and thought I was nuts. A perfect deal when both the seller and buyer are happy.
And the last intact finish, German, non cracked, K98K stock with a hand guard was on a table at $450 about a year ago. If you get an RC stock its going to be $250-300. And add more money into a pit and you still have a $200 dog rifle. It's a truck gun to leave as is. I would get rid of the black stock. There are still a few nice VZ 24 stocks at gun shows. K98K intact stocks are a hard find. Those Lyman sights are very nice, you can obtain two different size apertures and it has 1/4 minute adjustments. A nice $150 hunting rifle. That is what the WW II farm boys used Mausers for, rather than buying an expensive hardware store, new rifle back in the 1950s, they converted the souvenir. The funny thing, mine had papers.

I forgot , my rear sight and base was removed. I left it as such.
Added photos of my shooter
Now at todays prices, I figure the original rod is $50, the all matching bolt $150, the sight $25, the stock $50.
Also note, I did not have to notch the stock for the Lyman sight, yours is a Williams??? And VZ 24 stocks come for rifles with a straight bolt or bent bolt. My VZ 24 had a bent bolt and the stock was notched as found. I like the filthy original wood over a fancy Bishop or polymer black stock.
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If it's priced really low I'd still go for it...but I'm talking like the 200$ range to clarify. Oftentimes as well if it has a nice stock on it that can be sold and will cover some of the expense of a stockset. Here's an example of filled holes and a restoration I just finished. The stock was cut at the front, I found a new section for the front beyond the barrel band. I had an original ZF41 sight base that was missing the handguard ring (that was repaired as well). This was a junky-beat 200$ sporter when I found it. I put less than 250$ into my "restoration" (minus the original scope and scope mount), It can be done, is it an original 98? No, but close enough for me. That's the question you have to ask, is it something I will like, and it is sensible cost wise any time you attempt this....
 

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I've brought back worse ,TG it's not drilled & tapped for a scope ,that is a killer,if the holes mess up the lettering ! That one is doable . f it was mine and was doing it for my self.I have stocks, barrels and box's of other parts.But I am the exception .I have at least 20 project Mil-surps waiting for me to restore.So I don't take outside work any more. As it would be a money pit, Leave it alone !
 

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This gun is never going to be origional or correct. IMHO Coes106 got it about right. For a few hundred the gun can be back in a military stock with sights. The holes can simple be pluged with filler screws. I am not sayign this was a good idea to start. But a correct K9k is mega bucks and so many are incorrect. For me, a restored bring back is a lot safer than risking 2,000 only to post pics and find out I just got some else remake. What do you thing carbine_crossland is doing with 20 guns. Future mine field. I did one that was a lot closer to origional than this. But; the OP has this now and personally I dont like it. There is a whole wide world of better hunting rifles out there. Very light weight that can be scoped, ie Ruger American or Tikka. As-is the gun serves no purpose. There is a reason it was almost a gift. Nobody wants that. I hate it.

My warning is dont go wasting money on some $450 correct stock! That is a total waste. Forget the holes. They dont matter. Do the project. And have some control, keep it simple: Stock plus metal parts and sights = done for $300 total. Shoot it. I bet 90% of your club members never know the difference. Or sell it and buy a Yugo M48.
 

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Many milsurps value essentially "die" with the first extra hole and about as bad as lopping the barrel. The cost of restoring even an undrilled K98 is now very cost ineffective. As inflation ramps up parts/stocks will be out of reach for many. I stopped looking on many net sites as the asking price have become absurdly high. Inflation and gouging have become common and the number of sellers who still have reasonable prices is dwindling fast.
 

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It depends. $2000 for an origional or $300 plus gun for a redo. It takes a pretty die-in-the-wool collector to RISK $2000 in this hobby. The OP can still get a so-called Yugo refurb stock. Plenty good enough.

I came here a few month back with a similar project. The forum members found the parts for me. It was great! I got a gun, had a good time doing it. I shot it last week for the first time. Very satisfied. True, the OP's gun is more far gone. That is on him, not us to decide. What can he live with.
 

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People get this “noble” and “collector” feeling while throwing stacks of money at ruined rifles. Unless you plan on drilling more holes, making a replica sniper, this thing is cooked.
 

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This gun is never going to be origional or correct. IMHO Coes106 got it about right. For a few hundred the gun can be back in a military stock with sights. The holes can simple be pluged with filler screws. I am not sayign this was a good idea to start. But a correct K9k is mega bucks and so many are incorrect. For me, a restored bring back is a lot safer than risking 2,000 only to post pics and find out I just got some else remake. What do you thing carbine_crossland is doing with 20 guns. Future mine field. I did one that was a lot closer to origional than this. But; the OP has this now and personally I dont like it. There is a whole wide world of better hunting rifles out there. Very light weight that can be scoped, ie Ruger American or Tikka. As-is the gun serves no purpose. There is a reason it was almost a gift. Nobody wants that. I hate it.

My warning is don't go wasting money on some $450 correct stock! That is a total waste. Forget the holes. They don't matter. Do the project. And have some control, keep it simple: Stock plus metal parts and sights = done for $300 total. Shoot it. I bet 90% of your club members never know the difference. Or sell it and buy a Yugo M48.
You have never seen my work.I can fill the holes with out screws ,match all the parts and fool anyone ,no brag,just fact ! I had a great teacher ,who just passed away,Two more friends of mine who live less than 70 miles from me are just as good ! Can't, can't do anything ! Cars get restored ,and a lot of other things ! If you think guns can't think again !
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It depends. $2000 for an origional or $300 plus gun for a redo. It takes a pretty die-in-the-wool collector to RISK $2000 in this hobby. The OP can still get a so-called Yugo refurb stock. Plenty good enough.

I came here a few month back with a similar project. The forum members found the parts for me. It was great! I got a gun, had a good time doing it. I shot it last week for the first time. Very satisfied. True, the OP's gun is more far gone. That is on him, not us to decide. What can he live with.
I bought it for $200 before tax so I don't mind putting a little bit of work into it, and I am fairly interested in gunsmithing and think this could be a good way to get started outside of just putting together stripped AR-15 parts kits
 

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At this point I think you would be better suited to spend your money on a hunting license and get some venison for the pot.My cousin had a k98 "bubba special and took a lot of deer with it.If it cost u $200.00 well I would have gone for it
 

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That bore looks rough too. I'd just re-barrel it to 270 Winchester. Put a scope on it and use it as a deer rifle. Trying to restore it would be pointless.
 
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