German Mauser 98 looking for a little expertise!

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EDIT: all the numbers on the gun match, but no the the scabbard or bayonet. They both have different numbers that don’t match each other.

My grandpa was in the navy during WWII and brought this along with a few other items home with him. After his death years ago I acquired this Mauser and bayonet along with the old family shotgun and .22. I took it to the range once and shot it as much as my shoulder could handle and it’s been in the safe ever since. The shotgun hangs on the wall in the back room and has sentimental value, but this thing does not.

I know there are people out there that collect these and this one seems to be in really good shape! All the numbers match. There’s rust on the but plate and a few little spots on the barrel. The bore looks great. I think it was demilitarized?? Looks like it was tac welded, bolt to receiver and then cleaned up?? I guess that’s how they did it back then?

So I’m looking for someone to tell me what I got here and where a starting point is on its value. Any help would be appreciated and I can take more pictures of anything if needed!

Thank you in advance, now here’s some pics! 0891695C-FEFC-4106-93DF-903C8A18728E.jpeg 1C145D74-C5E3-40E7-84C9-9762435AB3FB.jpeg 55445C1C-7936-43C1-AE41-20974397505E.jpeg 9ABBFAC0-6867-449E-B2E6-F3616C573D0E.jpeg FC1919F7-1D61-4A41-8809-C716B529EED4.jpeg 86AFB6A1-54A6-41B4-9E77-4385CCAFE158.jpeg EA38873C-AB85-45F3-8696-5C1239172653.jpeg EB96DB98-8BB2-4BDB-BCEF-3DCB29AFBA8F.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Mikej

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Your deactivated Mauser Kar98[k] would have been a real sweetheart to have owned as a live shooter - byf is the Mauser Oberndorf factory wartime code. Apart from having been welded up [and it is no longer capable of operating, right?], it looks in remarkable condition - even got the original sling, by the look of it, AND the bayonet...:s0060:

However, making it into a wall-hanger, in a country where there is simply no need to ever have to do so, has tied its value to an anvil dropped over the edge of the Grand Canyon - so to speak.:s0099:

Here in yUK we would have put that on the rack for waaaaaaaay north of a thousand dollars as fine example of a fairly rare WW2 Mauser complete assemblage. But as a de-ac, maybe half that.

The de-ac market in the USA may well operate the same way, and I'm happy to learn from somebody else here.

All I can do meanwhile is have a gentle weep.
He said he shot it some years back? Deactivated?
 
Looks like the weld was ground off and the bolt is now free to move, so it should be a shooter!
Also looks like it could be cleaned up and all evidence of it's de mill should be swept away!
We happen to have a premier Smith here who I'm sure would love to work it over and "restore it" to it's former glory!

@Velzey is the guy to answer all your questions and concerns about this, and the members here can give you an aprox value on this!
 

gmerkt

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There is a marking on the right side of the butt, I can't make it out in the picture. It will be an H (for army), an L (for air force) or an M (for navy). Being as your dad was in the navy, maybe this was captured after the war from a German Navy ship. Or a shore battery. I've seen such rifles before. Navy markings are less common. However, as a byf 44, this was in a very high production period, lots of these made. Many people do not know this, peak German war production was in 1944. The spot welding, yes, as said above, not desirable. BUT. This is a very minor version of this disfigurement, slight marring of the finish, you have said it doesn't affect the function of the rifle. I'd say the value of the rifle being a veteran bring-back offsets this flaw. At least it would for me. Otherwise, it's a fairly clean example of a wartime rifle that has been around and seen some handling over the years. The rust on the butt plate may be from sitting on carpet butt-first in a dank closet over the years.

The tack weld that was easily defeated. I wonder about that. Maybe the US Navy (or only one ship's captain) required that for taking war trophy firearms back aboard ship. It was obviously very weakly done and quite possibly was only intended to be temporary. Rather than a permanent deactivation. Naval officers probably get nervous when they think about uncontrolled firearms in the hands of enlisted sailors. Once at sea, a ship is a restricted little world of its own; a lot less difficult for mutineers to take over than say, an army company on land.

Years ago, I knew a man whose dad was a US naval officer stationed at San Diego circa 1946. The Prinz Eugen was taken by the US as a war prize. It was sailed or towed (I forget which) to San Diego, and from there taken to the south Pacific where it was used in one of the A-bomb tests. When it was taken in to San Diego, they stripped the ship out and installed instrumentation for the bomb tests. The guy I knew, his dad took some stuff off the Prinz Eugen including a very nice K98K but after all, the rifle was only a couple of years old at the time. Dad gave the rifle to his son. This rifle had the naval M (for "Marine") stamped on it.

The Prinz Eugen wasn't sunk by the A-bomb but was heavily damaged as may be imagined. It was towed over to another island and allowed to slowly sink and it remains there to this day.
 
OP
d2the3
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To address the confusion: it was welded up at some point in history. I was young when I heard the story but as I I think I understand it, it had to be demilitarized/deactivated/inoperable in order to be brought home. Then it was “reactivated” at a later date. It functions and shoots fine!
 
OP
d2the3
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I also think I remember the story being that the good guys had stopped a train full of equipment. When the navy guys got to get on land they were prying open crates and these were just being passed out to any and everyone who wanted one.

Not sure how accurate that is as I heard the story 25ish years ago and I was 7 or 8 at the time.
 
OP
d2the3
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There is a marking on the right side of the butt, I can't make it out in the picture. It will be an H (for army), an L (for air force) or an M (for navy). Being as your dad was in the navy, maybe this was captured after the war from a German Navy ship. Or a shore battery. I've seen such rifles before. Navy markings are less common. However, as a byf 44, this was in a very high production period, lots of these made. Many people do not know this, peak German war production was in 1944. The spot welding, yes, as said above, not desirable. BUT. This is a very minor version of this disfigurement, slight marring of the finish, you have said it doesn't affect the function of the rifle. I'd say the value of the rifle being a veteran bring-back offsets this flaw. At least it would for me. Otherwise, it's a fairly clean example of a wartime rifle that has been around and seen some handling over the years. The rust on the butt plate may be from sitting on carpet butt-first in a dank closet over the years.

The tack weld that was easily defeated. I wonder about that. Maybe the US Navy (or only one ship's captain) required that for taking war trophy firearms back aboard ship. It was obviously very weakly done and quite possibly was only intended to be temporary. Rather than a permanent deactivation. Naval officers probably get nervous when they think about uncontrolled firearms in the hands of enlisted sailors. Once at sea, a ship is a restricted little world of its own; a lot less difficult for mutineers to take over than say, an army company on land.

Years ago, I knew a man whose dad was a US naval officer stationed at San Diego circa 1946. The Prinz Eugen was taken by the US as a war prize. It was sailed or towed (I forget which) to San Diego, and from there taken to the south Pacific where it was used in one of the A-bomb tests. When it was taken in to San Diego, they stripped the ship out and installed instrumentation for the bomb tests. The guy I knew, his dad took some stuff off the Prinz Eugen including a very nice K98K but after all, the rifle was only a couple of years old at the time. Dad gave the rifle to his son. This rifle had the naval M (for "Marine") stamped on it.

The Prinz Eugen wasn't sunk by the A-bomb but was heavily damaged as may be imagined. It was towed over to another island and allowed to slowly sink and it remains there to this day.
Thank you for your information! I do believe your assumption about the weld being necessary to bring it back on his ship is correct, but I’m not 100% certain
 

UnionMillsNW

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To address the confusion: it was welded up at some point in history. I was young when I heard the story but as I I think I understand it, it had to be demilitarized/deactivated/inoperable in order to be brought home. Then it was “reactivated” at a later date. It functions and shoots fine!

That is a pretty cool rifle!

While it's really tempting to gunsmith the spot weld off I would leave the rifle just as it is right now.

The world is full of museum quality pieces; that little blemish is a part of the rifle's history and an interesting conversation starter.

Since the rifle shoots in its current configuration I wouldn't change a thing.

Enjoy, and safe shooting!
 

gmerkt

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So, D2the3, tell us what the service marking is, H, L or M?

You know, if you don't like the recoil, you can load your own to lower specs - and recoil. I've fired many reduced charge loads in my Mausers. It makes for more fun in shooting not to get beat up in doing it.
 

Velzey

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Appears to be numbers matching rifle. I’ve seen a
Couple with the bolt welded like that. Yours doesn’t look to bad. Easy to clean it up a little more. But as mentioned above I would just leave it as is. It’s all part of the story.
 
OP
d2the3
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So, D2the3, tell us what the service marking is, H, L or M?

You know, if you don't like the recoil, you can load your own to lower specs - and recoil. I've fired many reduced charge loads in my Mausers. It makes for more fun in shooting not to get beat up in doing it.
when I get home I’ll look
 

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