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Old April 22, 2020, 06:58 PM   #1
mellow_c
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1944 dou kar98k

My friend has a “1944 DOU KAR98K” He said he paid $900 for it a year ago. I don’t know anything about Mausers.

He’s offering to trade it to me (we are still working out what I would trade for it)



I don’t have any idea what kind of condition it’s in. I haven’t seen it yet. I only know that he said it’s a “real shooter!” and that The bolt serial numbers match themselves, and that the rifle serial numbers match themselves, but that the bolt and rifle don’t match each other… which he says is common for these war rifles.



Based on that information alone, can anyone give me an idea of what it might be worth in various different conditions? It’s not in great or excellent condition, so we can leave those out at least.



Are there certain things I should be looking for when I finally get to see it? I’ve heard that some of these rifles can be Russian captured rifles which makes them less valuable? How can I tell the difference?



I’ve also seen Yugo Mausers for sale for $350+ in pretty good shape. Is the 1944 DOU KAR98K so much more sought after that it’s worth almost 3 times as much as a Yugo?



I am very interested in this rifle a collectable and long term investment, but I don’t know anything about them. Any information that anyone could provide would be greatly appreciated!
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Old April 22, 2020, 09:56 PM   #2
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if you're going for trade (edit: meaning "market" not "swap") value, look for these items in order:
matching serials
nazi marks
original condition metal and wood
paper trail linked to a veteran (with serials matching)
untouched wood(not sanded down or painted in camo)
good rifling
accessories

If you don't care about kraut crap particularly, Japanese ww2 firearms have been more affordable but increasing in value. I don't think that German militaria will drop in value, but the steeper entry price means you will earn less, if you're doing this as an investment. Good luck with it.
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Old April 22, 2020, 11:24 PM   #3
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Since the bolt serial does not match the rifle, your friend havs a "non-matching" rifle. I recently sold 2 rifles like this for 700 and 800 respectively. If you are looking for a shooter Mauser 98, I would look at a Brazilian or Czechoslovakian Mauser, they are typically cheaper than the German rifles. If you want a Mauser to shoot and are not dead set on a German rifle, you might also look at Yugoslavian M48 rifles. they are well built and relatively accurate and are similar to M98s but the actions are slightly shorter than a K98 action.

K98k rifles were the WW2 German issue rifle, and as such have not been produced since 1945, making them wartime relics and "collectible". M 48s were produced up until the early 2000s and are a military rifle, but no wartime "ooooooh!" factor. Russina capture K98s are just that, captured by the Russians as they advanced to Berlin and the Germans surrendered. They were stripped, refinished, and reassembled into working rifles, but not in a systematic way that would have kept matched parts together.
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Old April 23, 2020, 02:35 AM   #4
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Thank you both for your clear guidance.

Scorch, may I ask what kind of condition the two "non-matching" rifles that you sold for 700 and 800 were in? Would you mind elaborating a little if you can as far as the type of wear that they had, inside and out and what kind of condition you would consider them to have been in, Excellent to bad, based on the amount and type of wear?
I don't expect you have pictures that you could share but if you did, that would be amazing!

It would really help me come up with an idea about where this rifle might fall in terms of what is considered good condition for one of these obviously used 1944 German rifles.


If everything checks out and I feel like it's essentially an all original rifle, that hasn't been stripped and rebuilt, has a decent bore, and appears to be a solid rifle with good appeal, and usable potential. I'll probably go for it, since what I end up trading will likely be less valuable to me in the long run, but more valuable to him in this moment. So we'll both be happy
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Old April 23, 2020, 07:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mellow c
If everything checks out and I feel like it's essentially an all original rifle, that hasn't been stripped and rebuilt, has a decent bore, and appears to be a solid rifle with good appeal, and usable potential. I'll probably go for it, since what I end up trading will likely be less valuable to me in the long run, but more valuable to him in this moment.
But you already know that the bolt doesn't match the rifle, so it absolutely is not all original. It doesn't sound like a $900 rifle to me.
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Old April 23, 2020, 03:28 PM   #6
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Aguila Blanca,

That’s right, and that’s why I’m saying “essentially” original, however, I suppose that’s the wrong word to use because an original bolt would be essential to it being original. I guess I should say a mostly original rifle. In other words, if the only thing that’s not original is that it has a bolt from a different rifle, and it’s otherwise still together the way it was made and not stripped down and refinished or anything else. Maybe it’s worth $700-800 like Scorch mentioned.

Even though I have yet to see it, I doubt it’s a $900 rifle. Even if that’s what he paid for it a year ago. He probably paid too much for it at a gun show if I were to guess.

Last edited by mellow_c; April 23, 2020 at 03:34 PM.
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Old April 23, 2020, 03:39 PM   #7
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Scorch, may I ask what kind of condition the two "non-matching" rifles that you sold for 700 and 800 were in?
One had a very good barrel, stock finish was good original varnished, metal was the phosphate grey found on German K98ks, maybe 80%. Magazine box and bolt had different serial numbers. The other was a Russian capture, stock was red varnished, most parts mis-matched, good barrel, metal finish was blued, bolt had serial number electric pencilled into it. Both were very nice shooter condition rifles, the original finish one was perhaps slightly better due to original finish.

As far as value, offer him $600 and call it good. If he balks or wants more, walk away. There are other rifles out there.
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Old April 23, 2020, 05:41 PM   #8
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Finding out just a bit more from my buddy. He says “ Mine is a DOU Made at the CZ factory, most of the German ones were made by slave labor.” He also says it has a “sweet bore”. And. . . “ . . .it has the stock it was issued with. Laminate. Almost all of them do after 42”
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Old April 23, 2020, 05:56 PM   #9
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He sent me one picture of it, let me see if I can section it down and get them small enough to post.
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Old April 23, 2020, 05:58 PM   #10
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Old April 23, 2020, 06:00 PM   #11
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3rd
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Old April 23, 2020, 06:01 PM   #12
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And last
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Old April 23, 2020, 06:07 PM   #13
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What happened to those photos? They're too pixelated to be able to see any detail.
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Old April 23, 2020, 08:13 PM   #14
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I’m terrible with technology. Any time I ever try to post a photo on here it’s always too large of a file. I don’t use any kind of online photo storage site to link to either, so as far as I know, I’m stuck with reducing the file size by zooming in on a picture and then saving the zoomed in photo to reduce the amount of gigawhatsits and then posting that reduced size photo. No good for showing off but works well enough for some things.

Those are actually 4 separate zoomed in pictures of one regular sized picture of him holding the rifle. The the pixels are the same resolution that it was when it was taken, just zoomed in on 4 separate sections of the rifle.

That’s the only photo he has of it. The rifle is in another house out of town so he has to go get it before we can try to work out a deal.

Right now that’s the very best I can do to try to show you fine folks what it looks like and to get your opinion on its condition and what it may be worth.
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Old April 24, 2020, 01:10 PM   #15
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Being one of the guys who had dozens of milsurp Mausers when pristine all matching examples didn't even bring $100, I have a difficult time wrapping my head around the asking prices today.

TO me, none of them is worth $900. but that's just me.

If he wants to trade, and you'd be happy with the trade, then go for it.

The pics don't allow for a good examination, but it seems to be overall "fair" condition. Wood looks a little dry, but that could just be the pics.
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Old April 24, 2020, 03:47 PM   #16
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“ Mine is a DOU Made at the CZ factory, most of the German ones were made by slave labor.” He also says it has a “sweet bore”. And. . . “ . . .it has the stock it was issued with. Laminate. Almost all of them do after 42”
Well, almost all the factories used "slave labor" or some other form of compulsive work, not just German ones. Often the compelling part was that the workers got food rations that were hard to get, and that means more than threats to people with families. "Sweet bore" tells you nothing. How does it shoot? I had a K98 that was like new, perfect bore, wouldn't shoot for beans. And many rifles had laminate stocks, many had solid wood right up until the end of the war, depending on where they were made.
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Being one of the guys who had dozens of milsurp Mausers when pristine all matching examples didn't even bring $100, I have a difficult time wrapping my head around the asking prices today.
Yeah, me too. We used to buy K98ks for $50 each from Shotgun News ads and strip them for the actions. But that was then, this is now.
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Old April 25, 2020, 01:15 AM   #17
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many had solid wood right up until the end of the war, depending on where they were made.
One of the few "strategic" materials Nazi Germany wasn't short of, even at the end of the war, was wood.

Also not all the "slave labor" was not from the camps. A portion of it was "impressed" labor, which included native Germans up to middle aged Hausfraus.

We had Rosie the Riveter, and others, all voluntary because they were jobs and paid well, and they were needed. With the Nazi controlled economy, along with the volunteers they also ordered segments of their population into jobs supporting war production.

A lot of the labor was from the camps, some POW and many from the concentration camps, but not all.


A "sweet bore" only describes what it looks like and not necessarily what it does. I've got one Kar 98k with a bore that literally looks like a plowed field, and it shoots about as well as any other 98k I've ever had. What a bore looks like is only what it looks like. Shooting it is what it does, and if you're looking for a shooter, all that matters is what it does.

The "dou" might be a less common variant, and so worth more to a pure collector. There are many books detailing the production history and mfg codes used during the Nazi years.

If you do get that rifle, I would recommend you get some books and do some digging and collect every scrap of information about it that you can. Not only will that help you properly estimate its current value (collector appeal) but if you keep it with the rifle for some years, it will add to the value of the entire package, as time goes by the information is getting harder to find, and not everything is, or will be on the Internet.

Also, if you plan on keeping the collector value it currently has, do NO work or refinish to the gun. Cleaning is fine but nothing that would be refinish work, including to the stock. Collectors value the condition it is currently in, as "preserved" history. Any repair or refinish lowers what they will pay.

A kid I knew got a decent condition Arisaka type 99. With the mum intact. Without me knowing (and being able to explain why he shouldn't) he did a good looking refinish, wood and metal. Gun looks new. Collector value, now, about zip.
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Old April 25, 2020, 01:44 AM   #18
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Oh boy, I remember shotgun news. All the things I decided to pass on at the time I wish I had bought now, hah. Can’t have em all!

It’s hard for me to wrap my head around a rifle such as this being worth $900 also. But who knows what another 30 years, or 100 years would do to it’s collectibility.

He told me that at 100 yards it shoots about the size of a “salad plate” and that it should somehow be more accurate the further you shoot it. That that’s sort of a known thing for these rifles. But he’s only shot it as far as 100.

???

As if the groups spread out up to 100 yards but then magically stabilize and stop spreading from there. I don’t know. I’ve heard about this idea that some guns and ammunition don’t stabilize the bullet until it’s been in flight for a bit. But that whole idea of “its more a accurate the further you shoot it” has always seemed fishy to me.

I wonder what I could expect with this rifle. At 100 yards and beyond.

I’ve managed a 2” 5 shot group at 100 yards recently with a 357 Rossi lever action. And something like a 1&1/3” 5 shot group with an M1A scout scout squad. Both with irons. I’m fairly certain I could do pretty well with a Mauser if it wants to do well for me.

We’ll see. I’d like to haggle a bit more with the guy. But I feel like if everything checks out I’m probably getting a pretty fair deal considering the current market for his rifle and what I’d be trading him.
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Old April 25, 2020, 07:59 AM   #19
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A mismatch bolt is not the big hit to value some are describing it as. Many bring backs were pulled out of piles of rifles which had their bolts pulled and tossed in another pile. Their value is not affected.
kar’s were made by the Czechs after the war using wartime parts, but most of the time, they are 1945 marked, and usually have the large stamped “winter” trigger guard. These are not worth near as much as wartime production.
98k’s are one area that needs an expert appraisal.
Gunboards has a Mauser forum which will get you a better idea of the value of this rifle than you are getting here. Better pics would help.
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Old April 25, 2020, 08:11 AM   #20
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We used to buy K98ks for $50 each from Shotgun News ads and strip them for the actions. But that was then, this is now.
We used to buy them out of 55 gallon drums at Gibson's dept. stores for $15.00.
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Old April 27, 2020, 06:20 AM   #21
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Thank you.


$15. Each?

That means at that time $1200 could buy 80 of them.

Hah.

If you had 80 of them now, you’d have what would be worth about $60,000 or so.
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Old April 27, 2020, 06:21 AM   #22
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So what was a good car worth when they sold for $15 each?

Maybe we can see if they are increasing in value or just keeping up with inflation.
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Old April 27, 2020, 01:32 PM   #23
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So what was a good car worth when they sold for $15 each?
Depended on the car.

The $15 ones were a bit before my time, I got into them when they were around $40 or so...and in those days $300 would get you a "good" car, but not a nice one, or a new one.

When we look at what things are worth vs. what they cost, (asking price in $) its a moving scale, and it's been moving faster and faster every since they took the dollar off the gold standard.

when I started buying my own, a McDonalds basic burger was $0.20, but shortly after went up to $0.25!

What things are worth also depends on what they are. In the early 80s, you could get a good Remington 12ga pump for $200 (or less) or you could get a good Canon dot matrix printer....

That same shotgun is still worth money today, the printer? not so much...
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Old April 28, 2020, 12:30 AM   #24
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I love it when the younger guys get all excited about $50 rifles and $15 cars. But you have to understand that we thought $50 an hour was really, really good for semi-skilled labor wages. In 1974 I made $1.60/hr working in a gas station, so a $50 rifle was a full week's wages. In 1978 I was making $12/hour as a machinist and that was really good wages then, I bought my first brand new Ruger 77 off the shelf for $209.
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Old April 28, 2020, 04:20 AM   #25
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Hmmmmm...



Ya'll nailed it!


Money is extremely relative.
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