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Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

Gew88, Gew98, Kar98 etc.
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CamaroDMD
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Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

#1 Post by CamaroDMD » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:03 pm

I have always loved the old Mauser rifles. I love the history behind them and I have always wanted a decent one of my own. When I was a kid, I hunted with a Sporterized 1938 Mauser with the 243 Mauser AG Borsigwalde receiver stamp. It had belonged to my grandfather and had been converted to shoot 30.06. Because of my great memories associated with that rifle (which I still have) and my love for history...I had wanted an "original" K98k for some time.

About 10 years ago, a buddy of mine and I were at a local gun shop. On the rack they had a "new" Mitchell's Masuer rifle. At the time, I didn't know that Mitchell's was a fraud...and as far as I could tell the rifle was a "restored" gun. Originality not being a major concern of mine at the time...I wanted a shooter...I took a look. Low and behold, it was a 1938 243 rifle...just like my grandpa's sporter. So, on an impulse I bought it. Knowing what I know now, I wish I never had. I took it out and shot it a few times...but the more I read about them the more the rifle bothered me. It wasn't what I wanted. It's sat in the back of my safe for several years now...waiting for the day I finally sell it. I will probably never shoot it again.

I want to start actually learning about these because I want to buy the right one. I'd like to first ask a couple questions of some of the experts here...to see if what I want is doable and if so what I should expect to pay. I'd like to get a K98k...in a perfect world a 1938 243 gun would be awesome as it would match my sporter my grandpa owned...but it's not that important. I want a shooter...so numbers matching isn't critical but the more original the better. What I want to avoid are the RC guns with the X marks on them. What would something like this cost and would it be hard to find?

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Re: Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

#2 Post by 72 usmc » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:53 pm

Every gun show that is on the larger side will have Bring back K98ks with miss matched numbers or matching with a miss matched bolt. Most have all matching, some put togethers, others all matching. Now it will take a few shows or searches at the auction sites to find the exact 1938 243 code. Price in Wi for a miss matched or one with a mis matched bolt say $700-1200. All matching is nuts$$$$ say $1000- 2500 depending on how crazy the dealer is. It is not a rare code. Do you get an original sling, bore condition, cleaning rod present, amount of blue ,and stock finish all factor into a price. You might find a dog refinished stock specimen that goes cheep because the stock is garbage, or you may find a rifle with someones SSN # written on the receiver- a common thing for 1950-70 guns and tools to mark ID. Such marks like import marks or SSN #s or refinished stocks really drag the value down. It all depends on what you want. BUT, TOP BUCK :pray: :violin: Just too many fakes to mess with high priced stuff. Spend some time reading the key K98 references if you are a high roller. Also each part of the US has its own prices depending on liberal vs conservative, market for gun shows, and private sale laws. All factor in on values. are you near a big city or out in the sticks- lots of gun shows or hardly none or you have to drive 5 hours to get to a show. May be the many auction houses are a better way to go. See Gun Collector magazine for ads of the best auction houses in the US.see link for GC:
https://gunandswordcollector.com/magazine/ Certain auction places always have quality stuff, but at top buck.
see https://www.gunvaluesboard.com/1939-luf ... 16333.html

Most common surplus junk K98 that collectors do not even consider worthy of putting in a collection are $500 plus. Gun shows cash & carry. Auctions you got shipping and cost of a hard case to ship it in, then the FFL transfer fee, and tax-- that can add an easy $100-125 to the auction cost. You may also have a % to pay the auction house??? So start at an estimate of $1000 with a +or- of $400 depending on if its your lucky day or a normal sale.

K98 books, best set is here viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1331
Mausers on the cheep side and more common: take an hour and read this viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1911

I'd keep the Mitchell as a shooter and search out the best safe Queen 1938 243 intact K98k I could find in the next 3 years. That way you got a Jester and a Queen with your code . Lots of sellers do special searches in their area of the country to search for a rifle you want, Todd at Family is on this forum and trustworthy with a rep. like GOLD, These guys can find what you want exactly- but you have a finders fee on top of the transfer& shipping.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

#3 Post by CamaroDMD » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:01 pm

Thank you for the information. That gets me a lot to work with.

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Re: Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

#4 Post by VMASCIOP2000 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:07 pm

CamaroDMD wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:03 pm
I have always loved the old Mauser rifles. I love the history behind them and I have always wanted a decent one of my own. When I was a kid, I hunted with a Sporterized 1938 Mauser with the 243 Mauser AG Borsigwalde receiver stamp. It had belonged to my grandfather and had been converted to shoot 30.06. Because of my great memories associated with that rifle (which I still have) and my love for history...I had wanted an "original" K98k for some time.

About 10 years ago, a buddy of mine and I were at a local gun shop. On the rack they had a "new" Mitchell's Masuer rifle. At the time, I didn't know that Mitchell's was a fraud...and as far as I could tell the rifle was a "restored" gun. Originality not being a major concern of mine at the time...I wanted a shooter...I took a look. Low and behold, it was a 1938 243 rifle...just like my grandpa's sporter. So, on an impulse I bought it. Knowing what I know now, I wish I never had. I took it out and shot it a few times...but the more I read about them the more the rifle bothered me. It wasn't what I wanted. It's sat in the back of my safe for several years now...waiting for the day I finally sell it. I will probably never shoot it again.

I want to start actually learning about these because I want to buy the right one. I'd like to first ask a couple questions of some of the experts here...to see if what I want is doable and if so what I should expect to pay. I'd like to get a K98k...in a perfect world a 1938 243 gun would be awesome as it would match my sporter my grandpa owned...but it's not that important. I want a shooter...so numbers matching isn't critical but the more original the better. What I want to avoid are the RC guns with the X marks on them. What would something like this cost and would it be hard to find?
If you are looking for a 1938 243 marked rifle receiver, and you don't care about numbers matching ,and for a nice shooter, You have it. Mitchell Mauser did not forge any receiver marks. They may have done some forced/humped matching of numbers but that should be of no consequence to a buyer looking for a good shooter. Most of their rifles are in top condition,have nice bores and shoot accurately. I'm saying that your present gun has more value then you seem to be giving it credit for. Having said that ,yes indeed continue your research, The study of Mausers is very rewarding in and of itself.
I was R.L.E.V.M. on our old forum.

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Re: Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

#5 Post by 72 usmc » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:42 am

Maybe get into that one German code for collecting different shades of K98K rifles. You got a sporter and nice Mitchell, now get an RC, French capture, Balkans capture, Norwegian, maybe an Israeli 308 and an intact bring back all with the 1938 243 code. That will give you 10-15 years of collecting fun and searching. Remember the hunt and meeting people is more fun than actually owning lots of stuff. Most of the time the story, history and occasion of how you stumbled onto a rifle is more fun than the actual rifle.
That Mitchell, if one of their selects, cost a good penny, but they were selected for excellent bores and headspace is perfect--- its one of the best k98 shooters. Just that they cost way too much. If you do not like the like new blond stock look, tone it down. To get a German brownish, beat look, just use some shoe dye. or give it a BLO scrub. See this old post for ideas: viewtopic.php?f=61&t=375
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

#6 Post by CamaroDMD » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:12 am

Hmm...maybe you guys are right. Maybe I should give the Mitchell another chance. The stock does bother me. But, I can't imagine it would be that hard to refinish. The rifle has a chromed (or otherwise highly polished) bolt...which doesn't look right to me. If memory serves, the bolt should be silver but not super reflective. But, maybe some use will tone that down. Did Mitchell's alter the finish if the receiver much...is it how it would have looked new from the factory or is it something different?

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Re: Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

#7 Post by 72 usmc » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:44 pm

Read that link of mine. A Mitchell K8 is a just Russian RC K98 that is rebuilt, refinished, remarked and made into a US redone rifle. There are different conditions they offered. The stock is more toward a German brand new, just off the factory blond, the blue is slightly different than the Russian black blue, but not the same as a true German blue, And the bolt was a lighter blue on a German original, not like the dark blue on an RC or the shine of a Mitchell. The stock did not have a serial number written on it as found on the RC and Mitchell. The X and serial number remains on both examples. These are not on originals. Please read the Mitchell K98 section in my link. Also look in some books at a correct blue or stock color on some bring backs. Do a search of bring backs at the K98 forum.

I would keep the Mitchell as is, consider one of the other types if you want a stock lacking the deeply stamped serial number and light color. :idea: :idea: :arrow: ;) It sounds like you want a German used look, but something not so rare that you can still shoot it. Best choice is a all matching bring back k98 with a mismatched bolt say around $800-1100. Or if you are real lucky you find a very early 1980s import marked K98 that is basically an all German rifle matching or mismatched bolt K98 that came out of Europe as an import. ITS ONLY PROBLEM IS IT HAS AN IMPORT MARK> See the link again at the end where "Pennsylvanianrifleman" provides excellent photos of such a rifle. I would buy one of these in a second if I see one at a show around $600-800. see page 4, this link: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1911&start=45

Also see my French capture K98 in that same link. It is basically an all German K98, but has the French stock cut for a French sling. It too shoots fine. If you collect "type" rifles you generally want to leave them as made. Hence an intact sporter, intact Mitchell, Intact RC ect...

Here is a link to the picture references on the K98 forum :arrow: http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php ... ence-Index
These guys are serious collectors and do not care for posts about sporterizing k98s. Lots of great info. from serious "I live and breath K98 rifles ", big buck collectors. You should be able to see original condition stocks , bolts, and blue.

If you do not want the Mitchell look that you paid top buck for, and want to modify a Mitchell :doh: -its your rifle and you do as you please. Most consider them as junk so it is no loss and would be easy to alter the stock color, tone down the bolt with an oil/cream blue rub, and just leave the blue the rifle has- it will wear on its own. But that finish can also be aged. Why pay top buck for a Mitchell and modify it. Maybe consider getting an RC with your code and alter it. A common problem with RC K98s is people altering them to appear more "German". they want to give them a "used condition" for WW II reenacting. Not many alter the super expensive Mitchell- they purchased it because they want a newish shooter.
:idea: :idea: Also think, that intact Mitchell rifle may have some trade value to help reduce the price on a bring back if you just want your dad's sporter and a bring back. Do you know what grade it is, and have the original box and certificate? Here is an ancient link with the prices ;
http://www.mauser.org/german-k98-mauser-rifle/




Libertytreecollectors Reference library has some nice photos on some K98 for stock color ,blue color and bolt finish:
https://www.libertytreecollectors.com/p ... ategory=82
https://www.libertytreecollectors.com/p ... ategory=82
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

#8 Post by CamaroDMD » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:32 pm

I really appreciate all the good advice. Lots of good and helpful information. The more I think about, the more you are right...what I have is what I want. A nice condition functional Mauser that isn't too valuable to shoot. I feel like I may have allowed myself to get down on the fact that "true collectors" dislike the Mitchell's guns because they are sold under questionable (a nice way of saying fraudulent) descriptions.

I had an extended lunch break today (had several patients cancel in the middle of the day) so I ran home from a long lunch. While there, I went and found the information that came with the rifle. I purchased a "Collector Grade" rifle...whatever that means. According to my record keeping...I paid $399 for it in 2008. I still have the box, certificate and everything it came with. So, I don't have much in it and I figure I might as well enjoy it because it is a WWII German Mauser shooter in nice shape...which is what I want.

Now, for the bad news. As far as I can remember, I only took this rifle out once and shot it. The ammo I used was some kind of eastern European surplus and the primers didn't work well. A lot of delayed fire rounds so I threw them away. I got home, cleaned the gun and threw it in the safe. Before long I had got online and read all these terrible things about Mitchell's and I let it get to me. I never shot the gun again. It sat in the back of my safe for the next decade without me using it. When I got home and pulled it out at lunch today...I started to look it over. I noticed a little bit of reddish material in the muzzle...I grabbed my bore light and looked and sure enough the barrel was dirty. Worse yet, surface rust was visible. My heart sank.

I thought back and years ago when I was in college (I bought this rifle in 2008, my freshman year in college)...my brother (who was in high school at the time) knew the combo to the safe and would "borrow" my guns. Of course, he never cleaned them but he preferred to shoot smaller type rifles (Mini-14, ect.) and the ammo he had was never corrosive. It was irritating, but I had to live with it because we were both living at home and had no respect for anybody but himself. The more I think back...I remember one time he did have a box of 8mm he got somewhere that were surplus and he would say that he wanted to shoot the Mauser. Being he was afraid of rifle recoil (my dad gave him a Ruger 30.06 for Christmas one year and he shot one round through it and wouldn't fire it again)...I figured he never would. Apparently I was mistaken...because the barrel was not clean and I'm meticulous about such things especially with possibly corrosive ammo.

So...I spent part of my lunch break today thoroughly cleaning the bore. Sadly, after sitting like this for approximately a decade...I do see a tiny about of pitting. I don't think it's going to hurt anything...but I am irritated about it. Fortunately, today only I have access to my guns so it won't happen again.

I still think this is a good gun for me. The stock isn't as light as I remember and the bolt isn't as shiny. For $400 10 years ago...I think it's worth keeping and enjoying. I'm going to begin to study them (starting with the link listed above) and learn about them...but you have made me feel less bad about this rifle and I think I will make an effort to take it to the range and enjoy it.

I'd like to try and find an appropriate sling for it. A reproduction would be fine. Any suggestions?

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Re: Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

#9 Post by 72 usmc » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:53 pm

A brass brush should clean up the bore and shooting some non corrosive 8mm should clean up that barrel fine. I use Hoppes and Gunzilla to clean my bores and bolts after shooting. Gunzilla is expensive, . Prvi 8mm or if you like Winchester or Remington 8mm a wee bit on the weak side should shoot fine. save the brass to reload or trade to reloaders. That expensive set of books is the best info on Mausers and is up to date. Like archaeological books all limited press books cost a wee bit.
other dated books are


To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

#10 Post by 72 usmc » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:12 pm

Law's ( 1993:63) info on your correct 1938 243 code K98 , p. 63 top view and bottom of the page view. These enlarge so you can see them I have a 2003 Mac and no scanner so these are photos w/o day light.
IMG_1329.JPG
IMG_1328.JPG
Last edited by 72 usmc on Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

#11 Post by CamaroDMD » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:14 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I will look into the books. Always want to find good resources.

I scrubbed the barrel down with a .30 cal brass brush using Hoppes and it looks pretty good. I see just a tiny bit of surface pitting but not much. I think it will be fine. Just annoyed. I was a little surprised though because the brass brush did not seem real tight. I suppose it was probably made with a 7.62 in mind and not a 7.92. Are there 8mm specific brass bore brushes or is the .30 brush good enough?

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Re: Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

#12 Post by 72 usmc » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:17 pm

You most likely got it clean ok, but do not forget the bolt. I would take it down clean and oil it, then grease a wee bit on the channels and bolt. No grease on the bolt face or chamber. bolt take down instructions if you forgot.
http://www.surplusfirearm.com/2012/07/1 ... eassembly/

u tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A_-FnDhmAc

Do not take off the extractor its a pain to get back on. That is not needed for cleaning, just take down for cleaning and lube.

Lots of K98 info here and all the internal links see http://www.mausershooters.org/k98k/SC_tips.html
Best oil to use is regular 30w motor oil, best cleaner is Gunzilla. :shhh: That should start some comments :lol:

Prvi ammo looks like this, get it at a source close to you to save on shipping:
http://www.sgammo.com/product/prvi-part ... -ammo-pp81

If you are getting into surplus rifles here are two books you might want to look into that are not too expensive. First Bolt Action Military Rifles of the World by Stuart Mowbray and Joe Puleo. See review and recommended books at end of the review ( Paul Scarlata’s Collecting Classic Bolt Action Military Rifles):
viewtopic.php?f=87&p=10767#p10767
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

#13 Post by 72 usmc » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:56 pm

I'd like to try and find an appropriate sling for it. A reproduction would be fine. Any suggestions?
repro sling :snooty:
The best are here and can be aged. There is a world of difference from Indian and Chinese reproductions on eBay and a quality reproduction. This is a high end, quality reproduction the reenactors use. https://www.atthefrontshop.com/product_ ... pslngs.htm
see http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php ... -98K-Sling

To my knowledge the Mitchell may have a sling in the box you forgot about. I go for originals, but an original on a Mitchell is like putting lipstick on a pig. :mrgreen: If I remember right, they came with a bayonet, sling, certificate of fakery, instruction book, and some cleaning kit, but maybe that was just the top grade:Premium Select Grade????
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Re: Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

#14 Post by CamaroDMD » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:03 pm

72 usmc wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:17 pm
You most likely got it clean ok, but do not forget the bolt. I would take it down clean and oil it, then grease a wee bit on the channels and bolt. No grease on the bolt face or chamber. bolt take down instructions if you forgot.
http://www.surplusfirearm.com/2012/07/1 ... eassembly/

u tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A_-FnDhmAc

Do not take off the extractor its a pain to get back on. That is not needed for cleaning, just take down for cleaning and lube.

Lots of K98 info here and all the internal links see http://www.mausershooters.org/k98k/SC_tips.html
Best oil to use is regular 30w motor oil, best cleaner is Gunzilla. :shhh: That should start some comments :lol:

Prvi ammo looks like this, get it at a source close to you to save on shipping:
http://www.sgammo.com/product/prvi-part ... -ammo-pp81

If you are getting into surplus rifles here are two books you might want to look into that are not too expensive. First Bolt Action Military Rifles of the World by Stuart Mowbray and Joe Puleo. See review and recommended books at end of the review ( Paul Scarlata’s Collecting Classic Bolt Action Military Rifles):
viewtopic.php?f=87&p=10767#p10767
Yes, I took the bolt apart today as well and cleaned and oiled it. It was pretty clean. The oil on it looked pretty fresh. The rifle hasn't been shot much in the time that I have owned it. It should be ready to shoot. I just need to pick up some 8mm and take it to the range.
72 usmc wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:56 pm
I'd like to try and find an appropriate sling for it. A reproduction would be fine. Any suggestions?
repro sling :snooty:
The best are here and can be aged. There is a world of difference from Indian and Chinese reproductions on eBay and a quality reproduction. This is a high end, quality reproduction the reenactors use. https://www.atthefrontshop.com/product_ ... pslngs.htm
see http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php ... -98K-Sling

To my knowledge the Mitchell may have a sling in the box you forgot about. I go for originals, but an original on a Mitchell is like putting lipstick on a pig. :mrgreen: If I remember right, they came with a bayonet, sling, certificate of fakery, instruction book, and some cleaning kit, but maybe that was just the top grade:Premium Select Grade????
That sling looks perfect. I don't need an original. Plus, with the gun "restored" a new sling would match it better anyway. Plus, that sling is pretty affordable. I will pick one up.

Thanks again for all the help!!!

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Re: Want to Find the Right Karabiner 98k

#15 Post by 72 usmc » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:58 am

CamaroDMD, Please if you get time in the future, no rush, please snap some reference photos- close ups of the receiver marks, the wood finish, the bolt, and the restamped serial number fonts on that collector grade Mitchell and a few pictures of the other details like the blue, the box, the certificate and add the photo documentation of your Mitchell to my post here so people can see overview photos of a 2008 Mitchell. This is the post to add photos to as a significant contribution to the forum data. see lower link. The more photos the better, but you are limited to 5 per reply so you just keep adding replies till all photos are posted on this topic:

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1911
If possible that would be fantastic.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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