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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm really curious. Why is the demand for K98k so much higher then other WW2 bolt actions? 1903A3s, No4s, M39s. Aren't they as well built and as accurate and as full of history? I didn't mention run of the mill mid war 91/30 Mosin because I guess it can be argued the quality is not there, and on the other spectrum the Garand has its war winning heritage, and SVT-40 has its scarcity in the US. So I can see the pricing on those having some basis, but why the K98k craze?
 

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I could write a treatise on the subject but to be brief....

Collecting goes in stages.... 98k's were always popular even in the 50's and 60's. Today people like all types of history even more with the popularity of Facebook groups, You Tube etc.....

People thumbed their noses at Russian Captures NOW look what they are selling for...

People thumbed their noses at Carcanos look how popular they are now.....
 

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I bought my first 98K (CE 41) in the late 50's and was attracted mainly by the aesthetics. A nice, matching, early rifle sold for an average price of $35, which for me, was a week's pay. Sometimes I bought P.38's and 98Ks from the vets who brought them back for even less than market, especially if they were on strike. In those days, all of my buddies were Luger-happy and these typically brought twice the price of a 98K. Slings were hard to find because many armies were still using them.
 

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An old line I probably first read in the Rifleman decades ago held that in the Great War, "Americans had the best target rifle, Germans the best hunting rifle and British the best battle rifle."

I better run away from this thread now before getting pelted with spent 8x57 cartridges. :)

(Seriously, that so many countries adopted them, most with different markings and other variations, offers a broad field for collecting. That war's "best battle rifle" offers some of that variety not nearly as much.)
 

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I bought my first 98K (CE 41) in the late 50's and was attracted mainly by the aesthetics. A nice, matching, early rifle sold for an average price of $35, which for me, was a week's pay. Sometimes I bought P.38's and 98Ks from the vets who brought them back for even less than market, especially if they were on strike. In those days, all of my buddies were Luger-happy and these typically brought twice the price of a 98K. Slings were hard to find because many armies were still using them.
My goodness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
So it’s either "Nazis!" or "I play tour of duty so now I want the rifle from my game, and oh yea, Nazis!”...

That people are old enough now enough to pick up a $30 rifle back when dinosaurs roamed the earth is all nice , but doesn’t really explain the feeding frenzy I see for every K98k that’s even remotely related to German service. Examples are RC and Yugoslav reworked rifles . Old timers already got theirs, so where is the demand coming from?
 

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Granted that some find the NS era fascinating, but the 98K is one of the most handsome military rifles ever produced. Add the elements of all matching numbers, four-digit dates, high original condition, and they fetch in the mid $3,000 range. Other factors that increase the popularity of many NS era firearms are engineering and quality of manufacture. As Mauser9 mentioned, most firearm collectors have a love of history upon which, even Mitchell is able to capitalize. Sadly, most of my late WWII era buddies brought them home for inexpensive deer rifles and Mausers with considerable investment potential became parts guns. I rescued a late prewar Oberndorf '39 at a little local show last year that fortunately hadn't been drilled or refinished and matched down to the screws. I'd give anything to find its original stock and hardware, but I'd have a better chance of finding a cheap iron frame Henry. Had to settle for a Norwegian Oberndorf '39 stock and matching hardware which made a perfect fit, but at least it's pretty and I couldn't ask for a better shooter.
 

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Every little Millenial wants the rifle that he played in his video game..... They blow $7 on an iced drink whats $800 for a rifle?? I think that is the driving force behind it...... Anyone over 40 years of age remembers what it was like to save money and buy something... Today they want instant gratification. Just my 2 cents.....
 

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I think Tempest2 got it right for the 50's and 60's. It was the "Go to" action for a custom sporter. There were a lot more 98's made into sporters than collected in those years. The 98 action sounds like a safe when you close it. Most of the other actions are just not "Hunter friendly". Personally, I was always partial to Arisaka actions for sporters.
 

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For me it's the styling of the rifle itself that attracted me first. A prewar K98k with flat buttplate, H bands, rich blued finish - they are just aesthetically pleasing. Then throw all that well made crap out and collect phosphate rifles with rough chatter stocks. Then Nazi's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
The 91/30 Mosin, the No1&No4 Enfields, and the M1 Garand? The firearms that helped beat back the evil hordes. :)

Seventy-five years later, and people still have a fascination with WW2....Having said this, people clamor for iconic pieces from that time period....What is more iconic to a WW2 military collector, than the German K98k?...Bodes
 

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The 91/30 Mosin, the No4 Enfield, and the M1 Garand? Three firearms that helped beat back the evil hordes. :)
I would have to argue that you need to say No.3/No.4 Enfield, as in many respects, the No.3 saw more widespread use in British/Commonwealth forces in WW2 than the No.4 did. The No.4 only really saw widespread use post D-Day in NW Europe, and in the very latter parts of Italy campaign, as well as last 9-12 months of the fighting in the Far East with British Army use, the Aussie's never even adopted the No.4.
 

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A lot of reasons.

For me, first it started with a desire to have a representative of the main battle rifles from each of the main Axis and Allied combatants of WWII. An M1 Garand, No4 Mk1, M91/30, Type 99 and K98k seemed like the bare minimum. Multiples of these, and many others are now part of my collection.

Second, the K98k is iconic and aesthetically pleasing and arguably the culmination of the Mauser lineage, certainly the pinnacle of the large ring 1898 lineage.

Third, the Germans were the main belligerent nation of WWII and had tremendous success militarily at the outset but fortunately they over-extended (etc.) and ended up the vanquished military. All of that history adds to the appeal.

Fourth, I love collecting Mausers in general, in large part because of all the different countries that contracted for them, arsenals that built them, and the consequent rich history that reside in their acquisition and use. There exists a great amount of variation in markings, many of the crests are quite beautiful.

Fifth (related to fourth), the K98k has tremendous variation in receiver ring markings by arsenal and year. They also vary in smaller ways in finish and manufacturing processes. Collecting the seemingly infinite (hyperbole) variations these days would require a small fortune but that variation certainly makes them fascinating and can lead to someone focusing solely on K98k rifle variants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I agree.

I would have to argue that you need to say No.3/No.4 Enfield, as in many respects, the No.3 saw more widespread use in British/Commonwealth forces in WW2 than the No.4 did. The No.4 only really saw widespread use post D-Day in NW Europe, and in the very latter parts of Italy campaign, as well as last 9-12 months of the fighting in the Far East with British Army use, the Aussie's never even adopted the No.4.
 
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I would have to argue that you need to say No.3/No.4 Enfield, as in many respects, the No.3 saw more widespread use in British/Commonwealth forces in WW2 than the No.4 did. The No.4 only really saw widespread use post D-Day in NW Europe, and in the very latter parts of Italy campaign, as well as last 9-12 months of the fighting in the Far East with British Army use, the Aussie's never even adopted the No.4.
I assume by “No.3” you mean the No1 MkIII. True about the use of the No1 MkIII by Australian, New Zealand and Indian troops, as well as by British and Canadian troops in Europe early in the war.
 
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