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Old November 9, 2012, 01:44 PM   #1
TheBear
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would you use it?

Hi,

Visiting my granpa the other day, he gave me his rifle, its an old k98k made in 1937. Its the rifle that my granpa used in ww2 on the eastern front (hes from austria).
He kept it in good shape all his live,oiled and cleaned it at least once a year. Its the only rifle he used/owned in his entire live.

Well now its mine, but im kind of a modern-technology-guy and i dont really trust an action that is 75 years old. +he never changed a single part, so its ww2 technology all over...
Im not sure if i should shoot it or just hang it on the wall as a family heirloom. Would it be safe to shoot it? Would i have to use reduced loads? I dont want this thing to blow up in my face because the steel of the chamber is to old...
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Old November 9, 2012, 01:47 PM   #2
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The K98 Mauser was an extremely strong action. Even today, they are highly sought as donor actions to build modern rifles. Use it and enjoy.
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Old November 9, 2012, 02:04 PM   #3
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Man that's a cool deal Bear, How did he make this far with that rifle, he should write a book about his life before and after the war.

and if he took great care for that rifle all those years I woud definetly shoot it.
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Old November 9, 2012, 02:12 PM   #4
TheBear
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back in the days, many things were possible, granpa came to america on a ship, his rifle wraped in a blanket and tied to his suitcase...cant imagine how hard it must be to go to another country and take your rifle with you nowadays...you would most probably end up in jail...
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Old November 9, 2012, 03:29 PM   #5
allaroundhunter
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Quote:
Im not sure if i should shoot it or just hang it on the wall as a family heirloom.
Do both.
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Old November 9, 2012, 06:17 PM   #6
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My uncle past away three years ago .His son knew I was into shooting, gave me a barrel & action wrapped in masking tape. Turned out to be a SPRINGFIELD 1903 When he served in the Korean War. Cost me over $350. to get all the parts,but it's a shooter I will keep forever.
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Old November 9, 2012, 06:36 PM   #7
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Hell yea I would shoot it if it seemed like everything was in good working order.

If he kept it cleaned and oiled, it will probably work like a well oiled machine. I would probably take it apart before shooting just to make sure its clean and to familiarize yourself with the firearm.

I wouldn't be afraid to take it apart as it looks like an easy process.

This is the k98k action taken apart


It is such a mechanically simple firearm that there is not a whole lot that can go wrong with it as long as it is taken care of and it seems like your grandpa took care of it from what you are saying.

Continue to show it similar attention (attention includes seeing some more use) and it will probably be something that you can give to your kids or grand kids.

Last edited by alex0535; November 9, 2012 at 07:15 PM.
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Old November 9, 2012, 06:44 PM   #8
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
Well now its mine, but im kind of a modern-technology-guy and i dont really trust an action that is 75 years old. +he never changed a single part, so its ww2 technology all over...
Im not sure if i should shoot it or just hang it on the wall as a family heirloom. Would it be safe to shoot it? Would i have to use reduced loads? I dont want this thing to blow up in my face because the steel of the chamber is to old...
Reduced loads wouldn't be necessary, if it's still 8x57mm Mauser.
It should have a .323" bore, but you'd have to slug it or have a gunsmith slug it (maybe even take a chamber cast), to be sure.
If you wanted to take it easy... All of the commercial ammunition put out by the big American ammo companies is watered-down, to begin with; and most of it has under-sized bullets, in case some one fires it in the older .318" bore. (the bullets in ".323"-marked ammo range from .319" to .321", and are loaded to around 28k to 36k psi, in my experience)


As for the "WWII technology"....
I don't own a rifle that is really any kind of technological improvement over that Mauser. In fact, most of the bolt actions are just simplified versions of the Mauser action... built with the same materials and processes.
My lever action, break action, and pump action rifles are even older technology... some of their basic designs pre-dating that Mauser by 60 years. The only "improvements" to the designs, since then, were cost-cutting changes that simplified the casting/milling/machining processes.

The only thing that really matters, is the way the receiver was hardened. And, in that case, the Germans knew what they were doing.
As long as the rifle is in good condition, I wouldn't worry about it, at all.
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Old November 9, 2012, 07:03 PM   #9
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All I could tell you is please DO NOT SELL IT! Many collectors would hound you to sell it to them. Maybe even wave cash in your face. That specific rifle has a story and a person attached to it, a "family member" no less. From the battlefield overseas carried in combat to the journey across thousands of miles of ocean to its final destination, America. Maybe other such rifles could be found, but not one with a personal story.
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Old November 9, 2012, 07:21 PM   #10
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Found this when looking the k98k up.

Quote:
The Mauser-type action is widely held to be the pinnacle of bolt-action rifle design, and the vast majority of modern weapons of this type, both military and civilian, are still based on it to this day
So basically this "WW2 technology" you are concerned about not working is in many respects the forefather of the modern bolt action. It is a solid design that has been replicated since its invention.

Like someone else said, keep this gun a family heirloom because it can be expected to function well for generations to come. Its old enough that if a part does not need to be replaced don't replace it.
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Old November 9, 2012, 09:25 PM   #11
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Sadly, that rifle it tougher than a lot of modern guns. Shoot it all you'd like. just take care of it.
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Old November 9, 2012, 10:07 PM   #12
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I would not shoot but a few times, keep passing it down
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Old November 9, 2012, 11:39 PM   #13
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Shoot it all you want and then pass it down to a grandchild.

It's a battle rifle. You are not likely to wear it out before your shoulder gives up.
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Old November 10, 2012, 12:00 AM   #14
Art Eatman
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Any of those old 98s dated 1942 and earlier are as pretty-much as good as anything made today, and better than most.

My gunsmithing uncle worked on many of those in the late 1940s and into the 1960s. His own pet was a "Varminter", fore-runner of the Rem. .22-250, with a Gebby barrel on a 98 action. Half-MOA tack-driver.
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Old November 10, 2012, 09:21 AM   #15
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Bear,
I'm curious. In what year did he come to the US carrying his old WWII German-issued rifle?
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Old November 10, 2012, 11:47 AM   #16
TheBear
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jonnyc:
in 1957, he had spent the first twelve years after the war alone as a hunter in a shack in the alps, he always says he was "fed up with humanity" because of the war. My Grandma was the Woman he alwasy sold the fur too, she was the one who wanted to go to america.
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Old November 10, 2012, 01:05 PM   #17
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You're gonna have to look long and hard to find a stronger action then the one on your Mauser.

Yeap (unless something exotic was done to the gun) its safe to shoot.

You sir have a real treasure. you're grandfathers rifle he actually used in the service, and a high quality rifle at that.
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Old November 11, 2012, 05:46 PM   #18
jackpine
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That rifle is made to a higher quality standard that most off the shelf units today. 1937 mauser is a hand crafted jem and I would shoot it with pride.
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Old November 12, 2012, 10:06 PM   #19
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would I use it?

Absolutely! I wouldn't change it any at all, because it is a family heirloom. If it was just a mauser you bought, I'd suggest altering the bolt, then drilling and tapping for a scope, in order to take full advantage of a great rifle's abilities. But, since it was your grandfather's... keep it just the way it is.
Mausers are GREAT rifles. My deer rifle is a Swedish mauser, and my elk gun (if I ever get to go) is an Argentine mauser rechambered in .35 Whelen.
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Old November 13, 2012, 01:19 AM   #20
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TheBear:
A friend barely escaped from East Germany a few years before the Iron Curtain 'fell'.
He told us that when his father came over here for a visit, he was so happy to see his son's authentic German K98 Mauser that he almost went to sleep with it.

Not many people in this country would even know who had owned a specific military Mauser, never mind the miniscule possibility that it would be a family member.
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