Best 98K Source


Ohen Cepel
March 22, 2005, 12:03 PM
I'm going to order a 98k this week. Want one with the german markings still on it, fine with the electra pencil markings that the Russians put on them.

Looking at Inter Ordinance currently. Is there a better option?

What is the diff between number codes and letter codes?

Does it seem to be worth the extra $20 for "hand picked".


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March 22, 2005, 12:35 PM
Check this guy out, they seem to be more expensive, but atleast you get a better feel for what your getting.

March 22, 2005, 12:49 PM
check here for the codes:

March 22, 2005, 12:55 PM
phantom, those prices dont seem all that high. well maybe for up here in alaska anyways. we still have dealers trying to get three bills for m48a's.

i'd definitely pay 3 and change for a russian capture with intact markings.

Ohen Cepel
March 22, 2005, 01:04 PM
They are a bit more then Inter Ordinance, but not much. Especially, if you want to know more about what you're getting.

Only bad thing I see about Empire is they are very specific in how to order from them. I don't think my FFL guy will want to deal with them so Inter Ord might be the way to go.

I need my C&R!

Thanks again for the info! Any other input?

March 22, 2005, 05:46 PM
just curious why wouldnt he want to deal with them?

March 22, 2005, 06:27 PM
You might want to check out AIM Surplus

They have the Russian capture k98s for 209. I have not bought a 98k from them but I did get an RC VZ24, a Yugo SKS, a MN 91/30 and a Swiss K31 and was very pleased with all of them.


March 22, 2005, 07:39 PM
phantom, it looks like empirearms "SOP" is to NOT communicate via telephone with their customers, which i'd have a tough time convincing myself is a good thing.
also, they wont even do a transaction without having a FFL on file to deliver to the customer. they want you to send them a copy before you place your order. according to empirearms, thats SOP for gun dealers.

not any dealers i know. everyone else i have dealt with has been willing to take my money, package my item, and send it once i get the FFL snailmailed to them.

before i go and start sending empire arms a FFL or place an order, i think i'd want to hear some feedback from others who have bought from them.

anyone here at THR ever bought from empirearms?

March 22, 2005, 08:35 PM
The owner of Empire Arms is well known in the C&R community. He is known for being VERY knowlegable, having good stuff, for being very honest when describing his stuff, and for being maybe a little high priced. Many people are willing to pay a little more for better service.

All-in-all, I'd order from Empire Arms if they had what I wanted. I've talked to Dennis quite a few times at gun shows, and he REALLY knows his stuff.

Ohen Cepel
March 22, 2005, 08:58 PM
The reasons my guy might not want to deal with him were well covered by Spaceman. I printed out their "SOP" and it's not real user friendly.
Empire might have great stuff and might be a great company. However, unless my dealer has an FFL with them already I think it will be more hassle than it's worth. Plus, if I pick a gun from the line-up odds are it will be gone before the paperwork gets to them.

I'm pretty sure he has one with Inter-Ord and that's probably the way I'll go. I have ordered stuff from them in the past (CZ-52 and Nagant Revolver) and have been happy.

I'll let you all know how it plays out. However, now I'm hot on the trail of an I Type Arisaka so..........

Thanks again for the input!

March 23, 2005, 12:18 PM

I would appricate it if you would let me know how it works out with buying your 98k from that other company, as I am in the market for 98k. Post back or pm me. thanks again.

Ohen Cepel
March 23, 2005, 03:09 PM
Guys- is it worth the extra $20 for it to be number codes vs letter codes?
I looked at the link above but couldn't really tell heads or tails from it.
Which one is early war?

Thanks again for the info!

I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

March 23, 2005, 04:05 PM
Once you go Aim, you never go back. They are the best. IO is dicey at best. Try them and find out what I mean.

Ohen Cepel
March 23, 2005, 06:33 PM
AIM looks good but they don't state the condition of the guns. That worries me a bit.

Still trying to figure out the path to take. At this rate I might just wait till the next show and pay the mark up to handle, inspect and pick mine out of a pile.

Thanks again for the info guys!

March 23, 2005, 08:35 PM
Call AIM and ask them. They are extremly nice. Explain to them that you have never ordered from them before, but had them recommended to you. You are a little unsure since they don't list the condition and wanted to call and inquire about it. If you want to talk to the honcho, ask for Erik. If you are not satisfied with your rifle, they will make it right and take it back. But they will not mis-represent what you are getting. It has been my experience that IO will ship you your order when they darn well feel like it. I ordered a repro M-39 bayonet from them, and they finally called me two months later to ask me if I still wanted it. I told them no. I had heard about this happening with them before.

It has been my experience that on the guns where AIM does not list the condition, they are in 90-95%. Also called "excellent" condition. These are Russian Captured K98's. I've bought several of these before and there is pretty much a set formula for what you will get. They all are about the same, except for the variations that I will note.

The finish will be near 100% black enamel, possibly with a small amount of pitting on some of the metal that has been refinished over. The furniture will be in very good condition, covered with thick, red/brown shellac. The seller will say if the waffenamps are intact or peened. I believe AIM's current batch has fully intact waffen amps. Now the bores are what varies. None that I have seen are extremely pitted or completely dark. But there can be a moderate amount of pitting and significantly worn rifling to a near perfect bore (shiny with sharp rifling). But they will be shootable at least, even though some won't win a beauty contest in the bore. IO's and AIM's are exactly the same in regards to the above description. They have the same provenance. Dennis at Empire Arms hand selects his so that they all have mint bores (he claims) and he will tell you exactly what codes are on each rifle. That is the difference with his, but they cost possibly twice as much. Dennis is a stand-up fellow though, just like AIM.

Remember, the soviets threw all the good parts from WW-2 rifles in a pile and rebuilt the guns. All the parts are refinished and in serviceable condition, usually in refinished, very good condition. I have owned a matching K98k (not a russian capture) and there is no comparison to the RCs. The action is so slick and the finish is so nice on the metal on the original K98k. The RC K98k actions are really klunky. But the K98k's are fine pieces of history and I own two now, once it was four. And also one Yugo K98k as well. They are fascinating rifles.

Call and talk to Erik at AIM. Remember they are extremely busy there, but he will make as much time for you as he can. They are my favorite of the wholesalers. I think they are the best.

Bear Gulch
March 23, 2005, 10:25 PM
I have alway had great luck the Southern Ohio Guns. If you are looking for a very pristine rifle to collect I would look at mitchels mausers. SOG BTW has yugo mausers for 119 this month. They are 99 bucks 2 or more. These are shooter grade with rearsenal stocks.

March 23, 2005, 11:08 PM
I really don't want to step on anyone's toes, but my opinion of Mitchell's Mausers is very low.

For one thing, they advertise their mausers as German WW-2 mausers. They are Yugoslavian M-48's made well after WW-2. They don't even have a true 1898 Mauser action, the Yugos are shortened. They are nice, but I got an absolutely mint Yugo M-48 from AIM about three years ago for $160 shipped. There is no reason to buy anything for $350 or whatever they are asking from those shysters. I really don't like dishonest people, or dishonest marketing tactics. They just have a really slick website that gets people all excited. That's all.

March 23, 2005, 11:34 PM
Here's a pic of my K98k's. The top two are RC's from AIM. The top one is as it came from AIM with the Soviet shellac. The middle one had the shellac removed with acetone and a light coat of tung oil put on it to seal it. They have had most of the swastikas peened. The top one has now had the shellac removed too and has a little different brownish-color laminated stock.

The bottom one is a Yugo Capture K98k that has a Yugo stock, not German. It is darned near mint.

March 24, 2005, 09:14 AM
Just another data point about Dennis at Empire Arms. His approach may seem strict, but he is very up-front about it and all of his "needs" are clearly spelled out. It's not that hard, really. Send him a C&R or have your FFL send his in in advance and voila, you're done. Dennis does price his stuff on the high side, but you can be sure that the items he has are graded quite conservatively and in most cases will be in far better condition than was described. I bought many milsurps from him when I had mu C&R and in all cases shipping was prompt and the rifles were in much, much better shape than I had been lead to believe by his descriptions. You can also "hand-pick" your own rifle from Dennis' stock - if you want a BNZ '42 with a flat buttplate, no peening and an "H" cartouche on a laminated stock - you can get it. Most others don't offer that kind of preference.

I'm not a "shill" for Dennis at all, just a very satisfied customer. Rest assured you can buy from him with confidence.


March 24, 2005, 09:24 AM
You really can't go wrong with Empire Arms. After collecting for a few years, I can tell you that when you can specify what you want and then get it in a condition better than advertised, it is worth the extra money. Money spent there and at Allans Armory, who will do the same, is well spent.

March 24, 2005, 10:25 AM
FWIW, I bought a Russian-capture 98 from AIM and it was in very nice condition, about like the middle rifle in the picture above. I forget what I paid for it, but I did pay something extra to get intact Nazi markings.

All in all, one of my better rifles although it is missing the front sight hood and locking screws. But they told me ahead of time that it would be, so no problem.


Ohen Cepel
March 24, 2005, 03:47 PM
Thanks for the pics of what they can clean up to look like!
I was concerned if I could get that finish off them.

Still sitting on the fence. Went to order it today but the guy was pinging so I let it go.
Gun Show in 2 weeks. I'll hit that and see what I can see.

Thanks again,

March 26, 2005, 08:47 AM
Hi. I’ve browsed this site for a while and recently purchased a pair of Mausers (one 1939 98K built by Mauser, and one Czech zv24 rifle) from Empire Arms so I decided to register and chime in.

Since I had already sent Empire a copy of my CCR FFL, I emailed my order on a Wed. evening. Thursday morning I got a response saying that everything was in order with my paperwork and credit card number and that he would process my order ASAP. Thursday evening I got another email saying that my order was shipped. UPS delivered them the following Monday or Tuesday. I was very happy with the rifles I got. Both were exactly as described on the website.

The only thing I don’t like about the whole email only thing is transmitting my credit card number insecurely. He does, however, give you the option to send half of your cc number to one email address and the second half to a second address.

Beetle Bailey
March 27, 2005, 12:43 PM
Maybe I had an easier time because I had previously sent a copy of my C&R License, but I'm generally pleased with the service I got from I got two RC 98k's from them a couple months ago and they were both accurately described. One of them doesn't seem to want to shoot worth a darn, but it sure is nice looking :rolleyes: (it'll be sold). With regards to the other one, I couldn't be more pleased. I managed a 1.75" group @ 100 yards with it last week using surplus ammo and I also get regular compliments at the range when I bring it out.

However, I should second the comment about the original German 98k's. My RC is a nice RC, but I saw a "like new" condition 98k last week and it made my RC look almost crude by comparison. Rich blueing and beautiful wood combined with glass smooth operation - now I know what all the experienced collectors are talking about. Too bad it was out of my price range :( . HTH.

March 27, 2005, 07:45 PM
The only thing I don’t like about the whole email only thing is transmitting my credit card number insecurely. He does, however, give you the option to send half of your cc number to one email address and the second half to a second address.

Just as an aside, Matt, this doesn't matter to your email provider. They see all the outgoing mail, and no matter where you send it, it could be looked at. Send it FROM two different addresses (on two different servers, like one from your ISP account, one from Yahoo) and TO two different addresses (same thing). And ONLY do this if you absolutely have to, even the phone might be more secure. :rolleyes:

Trust me, I read email fairly often (to troubleshoot sendmail/DNS problems) and I'm continually amazed at what people will put in an email. :banghead:

Oh yeah, I want a K98, glad to hear AIM comes recommended, my C&R gets here soon. :)


PS: I usually just read the header files, not the data files, but I'm not an identity thief or a snooper...

March 28, 2005, 02:33 PM
I bought two K98's and one VZ 24 from Dennis Kroh at Empire Arms. They were quite prompt in shipping. There was a problem with one of the K98's, and the gun was replaced with absolutely zero hassle. I would pay the little bit extra and buy from them again.


March 30, 2005, 02:01 AM
Thanks for the pics of what they can clean up to look like!
I was concerned if I could get that finish off them.

Sure thing. I'm sure you will love whatever you wind up getting. My K98k's aren't the prettiest or best made bolt rifles that I've got, but they definitely are some of the coolest and most fascinating. There is something incredibly, historically fascinating about a Nazi rifle that went to the eastern front, was captured and then reassembled from parts, stored for up to 50+ years, while some were given to belligerent, commie fodder in the cold war, and the others were later sold to us Americans, whose farthers and grandfathers originally saw these rifles on the Western front. Amazing.

cracked butt
March 30, 2005, 08:42 AM
Another vote here for Empire Arms. You pay a few bucks more but yoiu get exactly what is described versus the pig-in-a-poke chance at the rifle you will get elsewhere.

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