My First Mauser 98k

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by RonC, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. RonC

    RonC New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    I've posted this on some collector sites, but I know there are some knowledgeable people here. So, please excuse if you have seen my post before. I am trying to put all the historical pieces about this rifle together.

    I purchased this Mauser from an acquaintance at an outdoor gun range I belong to. I have Swedish Mausers (6.55) but this is my first 98k.
    The serial numbers are mix and match. I have linked some codes to their manufacture sites.
    An unusual feature is that the lower band swivel for the sling is under the stock, not on the side (like a Belgian F.N. style Mauser). The rear sling swivel is underneath, and the stock has the standard sling slot on the butt stock as well.
    [​IMG]

    Some of the code and serial numbers: Mod 98; 332#; top of receiver byf 41 (Obendorf, I believe); 79 (bore size, I've learned); 335# on bolt top; 49 on safety; 38 on bolt release; floor plate 372#; bolt handle 6446; barrel band 33; front barrel band 208. I've been able to link the numbers 208, 49, 38 and 33 to the Waffennamt manufacturer.
    There is a strange number on the top of the receiver. It is 40 funny backwards C0 501, that is: 40 )0 501.
    [​IMG]
    There are 3 eagles with 655 in their claws on the side of the forward end of the receiver.
    [​IMG]
    The side of the butt stock has some stenciled numbers on it.
    <img src="http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/3233/98mauser1941buttstocksm.jpg" alt="Image Hosted by ImageShack.us"/><br/>Shot at 2009-12-16

    Some other photos:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    So, what sort of mish-mash of parts do I have here?
    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Ron
  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,306
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    Could the numbers be Russian? I am NO expert but my son-in-law, who is close to one, tells me that after WW II the Russians captured tons of K98 Mausers and refurb-ed them. They pulled them apart in bunches and put them back together randomly. Hence the mis-matches parts. While collectable as a shooter and "just to have a Mauser" they have no value beyond that, supposedly. But even then, demand has increased their value to somewhere between $200 and $500 based on condition. The key for a shooter is a bright bore with no signs of corrosion and sharp lands. These guns can shoot very well indeed.

    I have a couple of Mausers and my son-in-law has three safes full! We shoot at a range that has metal target out to 800 yds and a deer sized ram at 500 yds. A good Mauser with open sight can hit that ram most of the time after a few sight in shots. The Russian refurbs often do well if the barrels are good.

    I never had an interest in military guns, except for my Garand, until I started shooting with him. Now I have several and especially semi-auto's from after WW II. I have a pretty good collection of modern guns and it amazes me how well some of these military guns shoot at distance. My favorites are my FN-FAL and my PTR-91, a H&K 91 clone. My two Garands are neat too.

    LDBennett
  3. RonC

    RonC New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    Actually, LDBennett, I thought it might be a Russian capture or RC.
    I was surprised when the responses on the various collector's specialty forums did not mention that possibilities. So, I will wait for some more comments from people who know more than I do to see if that might be the case. I also thought that perhaps the stock was added later, given the atypical sling attachments.

    Frankly, I am happy to add a Kar98k to my collection and I am not too hung up on the matching numbers or parts.

    This 98k may trigger a sudden desire to start adding to my collection.

    Thanks,
    Ron
  4. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    9,002
    Location:
    Northeast Georgia
    Welcome to the forum, RonC.

    No matter what, it is a good looking rifle. I hope it shoots well for you.
  5. RonC

    RonC New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    Thank you, gdmoody!

    If their condition permits, I love to shoot these old rifles. It may sound sentimental, but it feels as though I am holding a bit of history in my arms. I remember the feeling I had when I purchased a 1943 M1 Garand just like my father carried in the Anzio landings.

    Ron
  6. TRAP55

    TRAP55 New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,834
    Location:
    Occupied Territory Of Kalifornia
    Ron, the Russian Captures usually had the Waffenampts( the small eagle acceptance proofs) "pinged" out with a punch when they had time. They all had an X stamped somewhere on the receiver ring.
    First guess would be a Czech refurb. The sling swivels tell me middle east, Turk possibly. The stencil markings on the stock are a rack number, typical of Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Israel, etc.
    Are there any importers marks stamped on the barrel near the front sight?
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,306
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    RonC:

    Here's what my son-in-law says aobut your rifle:

    "It is not a R/C, but is a total mismatch rifle. R/C usually have a X stamped on the receiver but not all the time and have a poorly done reblue job on them and a nasty shellac on the stock. As for the comment about the Russians peening or grinding off the swastikas most were not defaced. The rear band is wrong as is the trigger guard. K-98s don't have the hole in trigger guard. The stock looks like it has been heavy sanded as the trigger guard is not flush with the bottom of the stock. R/C and Yugo capture rifles have the serial number stamped on the left side of the stock not painted on. I have seen painted on #s from Czech, Turk, Israeli and other countries rifles.The bolt should be blued not in the white. His rifle was made by Mauser Obendorf in 1941 and the barrel was made in 1940. Which is common. Tell him to please check the head space. It's just a shooter. So have fun with it and blast away."


    LDBennett
  8. RonC

    RonC New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    Very interesting!

    Someone on another site said that the trigger guard was likely a GEW and that they sometimes put the GEW assembly on when re-arsenaled. They also said to have the trigger guard checked to be certain it integrates well with the rest of the rifle.

    Thank you and have a wonderful Christmas!
    Ron
  9. RonC

    RonC New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    I have some new information on the Mauser after taking it to my favorite gun shop.

    The trigger guard did not sit flush because the front bolt holding it on wouldn't thread all the way into the housing that had the threads thoroughly buggered. The trigger guard was moved away from the stock so it was flush with the bolt. Once the bolt was removed, the trigger guard could be pushed in flush with the stock. The fellow who works at the shop, an old Army armorer, will rethread the bolt and housing.

    The barrel matches the receiver. We found the matching serial numbers.

    The bolt is not in the white, but just has the bluing worn. There is some bueing left here and there.

    The headspace looks good, so it is good to fire.

    Thanks,
    Ron
  10. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    West TN.
    LDBennett:

    Is it easy to see in those photos that the trigger guard is not flush with the bottom of the stock?

    Mausers are brand new to me, and I could not see this.

    RonC:
    Very nice gun. Do medium/smaller cities usually have a gun smith equipped to check an 8mm Mauser's headspace?
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  11. RonC

    RonC New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    I don't know about smaller cities, but if a location can command the title "city", I would suspect there has to be a smith around to test headspace.

    Each year, when I take a 3000 mile or so motorcycle ride, I stay off of highways and just ride the back roads. When I pass through small towns, I typically see pawn shops with signs offering guns and often a note on the signs offering gun smith services. I would suspect that such a place might have the tools to measure head space for common calibers. That's just a guess, though.

    Ron
  12. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    West TN.
    Thanks Ron.

    Will remember that.
  13. jim brady

    jim brady Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,310
    This is really refreshing!!!! Here is a guy with questions on an apparent Russian Capture (RC), and NOBODY acted like a jerk over it!!!!!! I quit another site over this same issue. Somebody's son had given this old guy an RC, and he had questions about re-finishing the stock. You wouldn't believe the snide, rude comments he got from the regulars on that site. Basically told him he had junk. But again that was another site, and in fairness, those were 'Collectors".

    My comments here are the same as I gave that old guy..... It's not a collector grade rifle, so fix it up to your liking and enjoy it. Some of those K98are great shooters, even if the numbers don't match.

    Don't know how much experiance you have, so here's my nickle's worth: A lot of the surplus 8mm ammo are hang-fires. I like to buy commercial 8mm brass cases, prime them with modern primers, pull the powder and bullets from the old 8mm cases and reload that into modern cases. That gives you four advantages - 1.) the new primer is always reliable, (2.) you get away from the corrosive salts that the old primers would have left for you to clean out of the barrel, (3.) saves money over commercial ammo and you can reload those cases multiple times and finally (4.) the sights will be calibrated for military loads.

    Or if you can put up with the hang-fire or mis-fire issue, swab out the bore with windex to kill the corrosive salts after firing, then clean it as normal with solvents and oil it up.
  14. RonC

    RonC New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    Thank you for those suggestions, Jim! And thanks to all of you for your comments and suggestions.

    I probably paid a bit too much for what it is, but live and learn. I enjoy my old military rifles as a piece of history I can touch and hold. There aren't may historic items that are in the realm of affordability to a middle income earner, and military rifles fill that role for me. If I can safely fire them, then so much the better.

    I will save up to purchase a K98 that will have a more "collectible" history, but this one will do until then.

    Regards,
    Ron
  15. jim brady

    jim brady Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,310
    Just noticed you are in Golden - not too far from me. If you get stuck on that project - send me an e-mail. I belong to a Gun Club that used to be in Golden.

    As far as price, you didn't get hurt too much if you only paid a couple hundred for it. Looks like a pretty nice rifle to start with. A decent barreled action should at least be worth that alone. Besides, if you take your time that should be a fun project and if you shop around it shouln't 'break the bank'.
  16. gandog56

    gandog56 Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    343
    Location:
    Mobile AL.

    All that matters to me is how well does my Russian Capture shoot?

    Good enough

    [​IMG]
  17. jim brady

    jim brady Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,310
    Right On, Gandog56!!! I kind of think that maybe those who shoot military rifles are more into history than maybe a lot of others are. These rifles are history to the max. Looks from that picture that your 98 puts 'em in there!

    RonC has a decent rifle, and a great start if he wanted to put it looking like it used to. I think I'd likely put on a German 98K stock and swap out that front sling band. Don't know if I'd bother getting another trigger guard. That is a BYF 41, so not being an expert, I think they still used milled guards on those.

    That stock is a mystery. Looks from the photos that it has the thru-cut for a standard sling? Maybe somebody just inletted that lower swivel into the stock? If so, I think the front band has been changed out. The sling is normally a side mount.

    A front sight hood, cleaning rod and maybe a repo sling would top it off. Figure maybe another $60 to $70 for all that? (Including maybe a 98K stock from Ebay at about $45?)

    All that said, I'd be proud to take that one to the range. It is a 98K, maybe not a pampered 98K, but one that sure could tell some tales.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
  18. TRAP55

    TRAP55 New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,834
    Location:
    Occupied Territory Of Kalifornia
    Jim, What kind of ammo were you shooting that had hang-fires? :eek:
    I've used all kinds of surplus 8mm, some of it loaded in the 1930's. I've never had a hang-fire, but plenty of misfires with Yugoslav surplus, they have thicker primers.
    Cure that with a Wolff 22lb firing pin spring. Sometimes it's just cosmolene inside the bolt body, that has dried up as hard as concrete, and hangs the spring up. Carb cleaner and a bore brush will fix that.
    "ALL" surplus 8mm ammo is corrosive primed, don't believe the BS advertisements on the ammo websites, they'll tell you anything. Plain water will dissolve and flush the corrosive salts out. A Windex spray bottle is just handier to do it with.
    I've been running an experiment going on 3yrs now, with two Mosin M-44's that get nothing but corrosive ammo shot through them. One get's cleaned with the water/oiled process, the other with just Hoppes #9. So far, no difference between the two.
  19. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,306
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    TRAP55:

    It says on my bottle of Hoppes, purchased within the last couple of years, that it is for corrosive primers. Water should not be need, but I don't take a chance and rinse with water first the same day I shoot, followed by a Hoppes bore cleaning and then oil.

    LDBennett
  20. jim brady

    jim brady Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,310
    Trap55 - Those were mostly 1935 and 1936 German military production. These came from sealed cardboard cases (still have four full cases left). Also some noticeable hang-fires with some Turkish ball a few years ago. I'd say that at least 3 out of 10 rounds were hang-fires.

    You are right about sometimes the problem could be dried-up cosmoline in the bolt body. Ive seen that a bunch. No dice on that here. The spring is strong, the body is super clean and the firing pin dent on the primer is deep and sharp. Nope, it was the old primers for certain.

    You guys ought to try that windex trick with corrosive ammo. No harm in following up with Hoppes, either. Can't remember where I got that from - might have been a Rifleman article, but the ammonia in the windex kills the corrosive salts in those old primers. Lots of guys I know who shoot a bunch of that old military ammo use that trick and swear by it.

    By the way, maybe I am just a cheap-skate, but you are gutsier than I am with that experiment with corrosive ammo in your rifles. Good luck with that and let us know how that turns out.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
Curio & Relics Forum checked out a mitchels mauser k98 yesterday Apr 8, 2014
Curio & Relics Forum Mini Mauser Action For Sale? Mar 28, 2014
Curio & Relics Forum which mauser rifes to avoid Mar 27, 2014
Curio & Relics Forum what are turkish mausers packed in? cosmo? Jan 13, 2014
Curio & Relics Forum have some ?'s on 8mm mauser / firearms chambered for such Dec 25, 2013