View Full Version : Could use some help on my 98K

July 6, 2009, 09:53 AM
Good Day
After about 35 years I have finally decided to take a look at a couple of 98K’s I have. This particular one I am asking about was bought at a tag/garage sale.
I (think) I know some things about my 98K and was wondering if someone can fill in the blanks.
This particular weapon can with a sling, all numbers are matching and the bore looks great.
The sling has a “L&F" which I think means that it was made by Linden & Funke G.m.b.H., Iserlohn.
The only markings on the stock are the numbers 4098 which are the numbers on all parts. There is also a number 3 where the slings feeds through.
The letters bnz. I think means that this weapon was made by Steyr .
42 I think means that it was made in 1942.
1) There is a marking (just above the W of DEW) that is a symbol below that a W something A823 on the barrel. The same markings appear above the bnz. I do not think it’s the serial number because the number4098 also appears on the parts. What do these markings mean?
2) I understand that Steyr is still making weapons today. Where were they located in WWII?
3) There are many markings and symbols such as DEW. Can someone please look at my link and tell me what all these mean?
4) Finally because this weapon is in fantastic shape with the original sling and all, is this weapon worth more than you average bear?
Click on link below for photos

July 6, 2009, 12:50 PM
I can't answer all of your questions, but I think you have a valuable rifle. Heres why: These rifles are quite rare if they're all matching since most of the bolts got switched out. I couldn't really tell (for sure) if some of the numbers match but it appears that it is all matching. If you checked the bolt and its matching the gun is most likely completely original. The gun appears to be in great condition and unrestored. This gun is worth over $1k easily perhaps $2k (as long as ALL numbers match). The sling is worth money as well so becareful with it. The 42 does most likely refer to 1942 and the 4098 is the SN. The A823 is probably a lot number or something like that but it is not the SN. Also the BNZ does refer to Steyr. I don't know everything about these rifles, but one thing is for sure, it IS worth more than the average bear :)

July 6, 2009, 01:52 PM
Wow that information sounds great.
Should I wait to see if anyone else on this forum can add more?

July 6, 2009, 02:02 PM
Steyr were and are an Austrian firm ... they were the most highly regarded of the K98 factories due to that fact. I have a rare 1939 660 code K98 which is among the first 1000 rifles ever manufactured by Steyr ... 660 was the code for Steyr in 1939 before they changed to BNZ in 1940. My particular rifle is also Kriegsmarine Nord Sea Fleet marked, which is very rare indeed, all matching but for the bolt and retains all Waffenamt and general markings.

I know my own rifle is easily worth over 2k these days ... I'm not even close to selling.


Big Ugly Tall Texan
July 6, 2009, 02:12 PM
The numbers are part numbers. Each part of a rifle was stamped with the same number so all the parts would match during assembly.

Those numbers are sometimes used as serial numbers, but they aren't.

Value of the rifle depends on a lot of different things. From your description, it seems to me this thing has more value to a collector than it does as a shooter.

July 6, 2009, 02:23 PM
Thanks for that info it is helpful

Big Ugly Tall Texan
you said there is no serial number. Does that mean that my rifle does not have serial number or that all 98K's did not?
And yes there is no way I would use this weapon as a shooter

July 6, 2009, 08:38 PM
Does anyone know what the DEW means?

James K
July 6, 2009, 08:57 PM
First, I think the "823" is really "623". The whole marking consists of a "stick" eagle and "WaA623". That is an inspection marking put on by inspectors from the German army "Waffenamt" or Weapons Office. The number was assigned to the officer who commanded the inspection team at Steyr at the time (later, number 77 took his place). AFAIK, no one today knows the actual identity of the persons behind those numbers.

Some parts have several inspection marks, indicating checks and inspections carried out at different points in the manufacturing process. There should be a larger eagle/swastika also, the army proof and acceptance mark.

The serial number is 4098e. The German serial number practice was for each maker to start with 1 each year, go to 9999, then to 1a to 9999a, 1b to 9999b and so on within the year for that maker. So a full identification of that rifle has to include the maker's code (bnz), the date (1942) and the serial number. If I calculated correctly, your rifle was the 54098th rifle made at Steyr in 1942; they made some 120,000 that year.

I don't know the meaning of the DEW, but it is not a code. It is probably the barrel maker, and the Crosshairs W is likely the "DEW" company trademark.


July 7, 2009, 08:52 AM
Thanks appreciate the info

Big Ugly Tall Texan
July 7, 2009, 09:00 AM
At least not the way we use the numbers today.

As I said, those are numbers that they used to match each part of the rifle. That's why they have some numbers on every major part - bolt, action, barrel, stock, trigger guard - and it's also why rifles with "matching numbers" have more value.

In fact, using a bolt with one number on a reciever with a different number can be dangerous because of potential headspace problems - or at least that is what several gunsmiths have told me.

In any case, I wouldn't shoot yours until I got it appraised by a competent smith.

If you want a shooter, the Yugos are cheap and - if you don't like the 8x57, easily rebarrelled to .308, 7mm-08, .243, 22-250, 7x57 or any of the shorter rounds in that "family".

July 7, 2009, 09:37 AM
im not sure if its been answered or not, but the symbols above the bnz and dew is a waffanampt (i believe thats how its spelled) its a German proof marking

July 7, 2009, 05:45 PM
Got everything I needed

July 8, 2009, 07:45 PM
TEX go back to bed.

January 22, 2010, 04:21 PM
Go to: 'OLDGUNS.NET' on the left side scroll down to MARKINGS. then to WW11 german codes and markings.......................cheers

January 23, 2010, 02:05 AM
Maybe he will take your suggestion except he may have sold the gun over 6
months ago, when he posted:rolleyes:

January 23, 2010, 01:06 PM
That's cool
Thank you

I have been off forum for a while. But your message was sent to my email account.


January 25, 2010, 05:14 AM
(just above the W of DEW)

This is more likely "OEW" which is an abbrevation for "Oesterreich Waffenfabrik."

a symbol below that a W something A823 on the barrel

I concur with Jim Keenen that the marking is actually WaA 623. WaA stands for "Waffen Amt" and roughly translates to "Weapons Office or Department." The Waffen Amts were responsible for accepting arms and equipment into service for the German military forces. There are some extant records indicating who was in charge of some of these offices, but they are not common.