1939 Mauser/8mm

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by tripod_76548, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. tripod_76548

    tripod_76548 New Member

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    I have a sportorized Mauser circa 1939:
    Top Receiver Marking = "1939"
    Receiver Left = Eagle 53xx/under script M, beside Mod.98
    Receiver Rt = 214, 214, 214 (as well as barrel)

    From what I can decipher, it was manufactured @ Berlin Lubecker Maschienfabrik, Lubeck. Is this correct?

    The bolt is finely milled; SN 28xx. with a "script" b underneath... underneath that is o1 and Ioo.

    The Scope is Claw-mounted (finely machined), H&H Liebert-Wetzlar 4x81L Jaguar.

    The rifle is "floated" in the stock and has 3 steps to the muzzel.

    The weapon was given to my father, I believe by a "forrest meister" Am Der Lahn/Giessen-Marburg after the war; during the occupation. He used the rifle to hunt many boar and deer during the period in the walds surrounding Giessen.

    The 4x scope is an antique only suited for the rifle and mount. About 5 yrs ago I located the mfgr/gunsimth whom originally affixed the scope to the mount in the hope of them duplicating the claw profile, but I decided to not screw w/ the original intent - 4x.

    My question is to anyone who might explain why the bolt SN 28xx and the reciever SN 53xx are so deparant. Were Mauser Rifles mfged in 1939 for "forrest meister's" custom-fitted with earlier (more finely machined bolts?

    Look forward to one who is knowledgeable of the era.

    Thanks, Hank
  2. tripod_76548

    tripod_76548 New Member

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    Question still are outstanding -- must research.
  3. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there were any real mystery, the bolt was replaced sometime in its life time, they would not have put a " special " bolt in a game wardens rifle. A standard Mauser K98 bolt and action would have provided more than adequate accuracy. For whatever reason it's simply a mis-match.
  4. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The rifle was originally a standard K.98k, made for the German army in 1939. The Waffenamt inspector assigned code 214 did work at Lubeck, so your information is correct. Under the scope mount is probably the code "237"; they were later assigned the alphabetic code "duv".

    The rifle was not made for game wardens, it was made for the Wehrmacht. In the post war period, German gunsmiths made thousands of ex-military rifles into sporters to sell to American occupation troops. Mismatched bolts were very common, since in many places, U.S. troops either destroyed captured rifles, or removed the bolts so that German POWs could not re-capture them and use them in an escape. The result was that tens of thousands of K.98k's brought back or imported later have mismatched bolts.

    Of course, I have no way of knowing how the rifle came into your father's hands, but I can't see a German game warden being able to just give away a rifle for which he would likely have been accountable. It would be more likely that your father obtained the rifle and perhaps he and the game warden were friends and the story got mixed up.

    Jim
  5. Teejay9

    Teejay9 New Member

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    At the wars' end, the Germans came in by the thousands and dumped the rifles in one pile, and the bolts in another. GIs who wanted a trophy to bring home grabbed a rifle and then grabbed a bolt. That's why it's hard to come by a matching set. TJ
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Hi, Teejay9,

    This is OT here, but I don't "do" friend requests. If you want, send me a PM and I will give you my e-mail address.

    Jim
  7. tripod_76548

    tripod_76548 New Member

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    RJay, Jim K and Teejay9: Thanks for the quick response. I think I've got the barrell & receiver group nailed down.

    Is there anyway of determining the history of the bolt: SN 28xx with the script "b" underneath (top): below bend - eagle "140 or 740?"; on lug Ioo or 1oo? It has a stalnless slide guide. Was that standard construction or altered during sporterization?
    Where would one find the ID of the gunsmith who performed the sportrization? Did they affix an identifying proof mark?

    Thanks again for your efforts....... Hank
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    There was no stainless steel used on K.98k's. The WaA inspector number "140" is reported on bolts used by Mauser and Gustloff. Since it is unlikely that an officer inspected only bolts at a rifle factory, he probably worked at the factory of a subcontractor who made bolts and possibly other parts.

    The upshot is that the maker of your bolt can't be traced absolutely; I wouldn't worry about it.

    Jim
  9. Teejay9

    Teejay9 New Member

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    OK, Thanks for the head's up. TJ
  10. tripod_76548

    tripod_76548 New Member

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    Jim K; Therein (the uniqueness, given the stainless slide guide) lends me to believe that in 1939 Mauser was manufacturing rifles "customized" for feld meisters in the republic. The eagle 214 markings first led me to Lubeck; but upon further research, the proof marking indicated origin as Heerswaffenamt inspectors for the Wilhelm-Gustloff-Werke. Was the Werke located in Bayern - hence the script "b" on the bolt? I realize I need to provide some pictures to help in figuring out the history of the weapon. Apparently, the rifle is not a run-of-the-mill K.98k. I doubt that in the immediate post-war period german gunsmiths under occupation could mfgr "custom" stailess slide guides for the trophy-oriented GI sportsman.

    Perhaps there is German archive that documents Feld Meisters' Mauser distributions.

    I shall provide some photos, in the help of determining the history of the weapon. The proofs are of high and deliberate quality: unlike those I have observed for a standard
    K.98k. Definitely, not a common bolt mis-match as explained by TJ9.

    Thanks for your ear and experience in my search.... Hank
  11. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Hi, Hank,

    You can believe anything you want, but the Heereswaffenamt (Army Weapons Office) was not in the business of inspecting and accepting rifes for game wardens.

    Going by Backbone of the Wehrmacht, the 140 code seems to appear first in 1942 on rifles made by Mauser at Oberndorf and Mauser/Gustloff at Borsigwalde. The latter town (district) is a suburb of Berlin and of course Oberndorf is in Baden-Württemberg, so neither is in Bavaria. Since it is unlikely that a German officer spent his time commuting between them, I think it probable that he worked at a subcontractor who made bolts for Mauser.

    I am sure that the rifle today is not a run-of-mill K.98k, but I am just as sure that it was when it came out of the factory.

    I am unclear what "stainless steel guides" you are talking about. The guide rib on a Mauser 98 bolt is part of the bolt, and no bolts were made of stainless steel.

    Jim
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