View Full Version : Trying to identify my rifle

September 15, 2009, 11:15 AM

I am working on identifying a rifle I have. Its in rough condition but Im still interested in finding out what it might be. Attaching pictures.

September 15, 2009, 11:16 AM
A few more pics.

September 15, 2009, 11:17 AM
some more pics to see

September 15, 2009, 11:18 AM
Definitely a Mauser 98 type. Straight handle indicates pre 98k. Need markings and dimensions for more detail.

September 15, 2009, 11:19 AM
and some more

September 15, 2009, 11:21 AM
I forgot to mention there was an aftermarket safety that didn't work in the bolt so it is removed.

James K
September 15, 2009, 03:18 PM
The only 98 Mausers I have seen in that bad condition have been of Chinese origin and I suspect that is where that rifle came from. The lack of markings (or light markings that wore off) is typical. While some of those Chinese-made 98's are of reasonable quality, others are poorly made of questionable material. If it is Chinese, it is probably in 8mm Mauser (8x57js) caliber.

It is, to be blunt, of little value; I strongly suggest you consider it a wall hanger and not spend any money trying to "restore" it.


September 15, 2009, 03:32 PM
Thanks for the advice. This belonged to my Grandpa and was in his basement for many years and so I am not surprised if its far past restoration (might be why he never did anything to it).

September 15, 2009, 03:35 PM
That is a standard configuration M98 short rifle. It is the one-size-fits-all rifle for developing nations in the early 20th Century, being one of the best and most heavily marketed pieces of military hardware ever made. You will find them in 7X57, 7.65X53, 8X57, and converted in the 1950 and 1960 to 7.62X51 NATO. Country of origin is hard to determine without a crest or armory markings. It could be Spanish, Brazilian, Uruguayan, Bolivian, South African, Belgian, you name it. Militarizing nations bought rifles from Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Serbia, whoever was offering rifles for sale at the right delivery time and price. Many also procured tooling from Germany, Belgium, or Czechoslovakia and made their own M98 rifles from local steel, so quality can often be somewhat sketchy. And, of course, there were many copies made without the benefit of engineering input from Europe.

Your rifle looks like it needs a good scrubbing, but may actually be in fair condition. Find out the chambering, it can tell you a lot sometimes.

September 15, 2009, 03:52 PM
There is an article in American Rifleman recently about Chinese rifles, including Chinese Mausers. The complete lack of markings except for an apparent serial number is odd. European makers generally had plenty of markings, like maker, a national crest, perhaps, and model. That almost looks sterilised of markings. But even the Chinese rifles had some sort of cryptic markings indicating factory of mfr. and somtimes faked Mauser marks. I cannot see any harm in cleaning off the loose rust. It is not like an antique Colt, where removing the brown "patina" will affect value any!

September 15, 2009, 04:26 PM
I agree, this is a great little restoration project, mainly because there's very little you can do wrong. Take it out of the stock, and check for markings underneath, you might get lucky and find a proof mark or similar to give us an idea where it's from.

September 15, 2009, 05:54 PM
Have to agree with the others that while Mausers in that condition are not rare, give it a good cleaning and check the bore.You dont know it might have a worthwhile barrel on it and thats the whole game.If it looks like it has a sewer pipe on it than hang it on the wall,if it looks decent then get it checked for the chambering and go wild.Hell bead blast it and duracoat and you have a pick-up rifle.

September 15, 2009, 07:10 PM
Thanks to all of you for your posts! I do plan to clean it for fun. When I get it apart, and cleaned off, Ill be posting anything I find that would help (markings measurements etc)

Thanks again!

September 19, 2009, 03:11 PM
Hello all,

I started cleaning it up and found that the bolt release also has a "C" on it. Underneath the barrel is an "M" stamped in. Behind the barrel where the bolt enters before the release is the number 1 stamped in. Under the rear sight there is a C stamped in as well. The magazine plate has a C stamped in and the part that is set in the stock shares the same number A 126. There is an imprint in the stock but I can't make it out. Im going to give it some time to dry and then I will try to see what else I can find. Hope that helps and thanks for the info.

September 20, 2009, 10:02 PM
OK, here are some pics

There is a Number 1 in the track for the bolt.

The "C" on the band

The "C" on the bolt release

September 20, 2009, 10:05 PM
A few more

There is a "C" in the hand-guard (underneath)

There is a "C" on the magazine floorplate (not sure what else to call it)

There is an "M" and a "C" on the barrel (underneath)

September 20, 2009, 10:07 PM
and some more...

There is the "M" and the "P" in the stock under the barrel

Here is a set of numbers that were also in the stock under the barrel.

There was a "C" underneath the rear sight.

September 20, 2009, 10:10 PM
OK, almost done.

At the end of the stock there was what looked like a "U" since it was facing a different direction but it would be a C.

Here is the bottom of the stock which has the serial in it.

This last pic makes me worry a little about the rifle as there is some pitting going on.....

September 20, 2009, 10:12 PM
There is something on the stock that is quite large but very faded. I can't make it out yet, but hopefully I can get a better picture of it to share. It would be on around where the disk in the stock is.



September 20, 2009, 10:22 PM
Well, the one part you didn't show (assuming because there was nothing to see) was the barrel. Any "reputable" military Mauser from Germany, Belgium, Czech etc would have proof marks on the barrel. The "Chinese Connection" sounds more and more likely, especially looking at the poor condition of the wood-covered parts. Looks like it got seriously wet at some point, and no one bothered to take it out of the wet wood. But even so the metal quality seems low.

September 21, 2009, 07:57 AM
Well, your right that there was no crest on the barrel or much else to see on it, however, I can descripe what the barrel looks like. Pretty much it is tapered to the end with somewhat obvious divisions (like steps). Thanks for your help!


September 22, 2009, 10:04 PM
I found a couple of things since some more cleaning.

There is a symbol on the stock that might help.

September 22, 2009, 10:07 PM
I also found that there was some writing on the left side of the receiver and a couple of letters set in the hand guard, a "K" and an "R".

Thanks for all of your help with this!


September 30, 2009, 12:38 PM
The left side of the receiver is rollmarked STEYR, an Austrian armsmaker who made and sold M98 pattern rifles. This narrows down the number of possibilities, because Steyr did not sell as many M98 rifles as DWM or FN. Chambering in 7X57 would possibly indicate a Chilean or Colombian M1912.

The symbol on the stock is an eagle facing left, perched on a cannon. I cannot remember what this symbolizes, but I have seen it before.

September 30, 2009, 06:10 PM

October 3, 2009, 08:36 AM

Although I agree that restoring it is not worth the dollars or it's value as a shooter, there is something to be said.
On one of the pictures some oil is on the stock.
Just see how nice the wood looks under it.
Furthermore it is a family heirloom.
My advice is: Restore it yourself, slowly, getting familiar with it.
Conserve it, hang it on the wall, NOT over the fireplace because it will catch soot and dust, and enjoy it as decoration.
Better not shoot it, there are cheap alternatives to do that.

James K
October 4, 2009, 12:00 AM
I think we have nailed it. The stock marking, though very blurred, appears to be the Colombian eagle, and the rectangle below it seems to have the numbers "19?2" which could be 1912. The Steyr Model 1912 carbines had serial numbers prefixed with an "A", and had "C" on all the parts. They originally should have had the Colombian crest on the receiver ring, but that appears to have been removed, either deliberately or by neglect.

For those who have Ball's Fourth Edition, check pages 104-107 and see what you think.

(My Chinese guess wasn't bad, both countries start with "C", and I was only wrong by a continent and 10,000 miles or so. Maybe I should be Secretary of State - at least I know where China and Colombia are!)


October 5, 2009, 08:30 AM
Thanks everyone! I picked up the 4th ed of Ball's book and that has helped a lot! Believe me, The more I oil it and polish it the better it keeps looking (minus the pitting of course) I was really surprised how nice the bolt looked after a little cleaning. Glad I didn't pass it up by how it looked. Im also working on another mauser I think I got nailed down as a czech vz23 (barrel and action) but its missing a alot of parts. Good winter project I guess. The bolt and stock are in tough shape (and probably not vz23 issued parts) but I think it will be fun to put something together.