G.I. bring-back Mauser

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by RWMC, Jan 19, 2019.

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  1. RWMC

    RWMC Member

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    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.png image.png I have recently acquired a Vet bring-back Mauser. The rifle was manufactured by the Mauser plant at Oberndorf, Germany in 1939. It's last home ( before I acquired it ) was a closet for around the last 40+ years. It has the duffel-cut stock, and so the front part of the stock that had the upper barrel band and bayonet lug attached to it, is gone.
    The bolt, which is 100% matching parts, is mismatched to the barreled receiver. The rest of the rifle is all matching; receiver, barrel, rear sight assembly, lower barrel band, trigger guard and floor plate assembly. So I imagine at the end of the war, when the Germans were surrendering these, the bolts were possibly taken out and thrown in one pile and the rifles were stacked in another, thus rendering the weapons unusable.

    Even though it is not perfect and missing part of the stock, it is still a very interesting and historic weapon, that I am looking forward to cleaning-up and shooting one day.
     
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  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    check the headspace before you fire it.
     
  3. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Nicely done duffel cut example. More documentation (provenance) about the vet who owned this (from your post, I am assuming that you know him or the family) might help increase the rifle's value. One thing, if he still has it (or the family does), that adds quite a bit of worth is if he has the official permission slip to bring the rifle home as a war trophy. Restoration to a full stock probably is not worth it but is possible. If certified as a vet bring back, leaving it alone is probably the optimal course value wise.

    FWIW, Oberndorf Mausers have very tight tolerances, even during the later part of WWI and WWII when other makers slipped. All of my receivers (pre WWI, WWI, pre WWII, WWII) have checked out perfectly on headspace when coupled with an Oberndorf barrels and bolts despite not always having matched serial numbers or even years of production.

    Personally, I would still check the headspace with a gauge before firing it (especially with some WWII era k98 bolt makers) because you did not specify whether the bolt was Oberndorf made or not. Use the newer 8x57 no go or field gage, and not older 8x57 gage with a different shoulder (change was in the early 30's I believe).
    The bolt, if not peened on markings, should show the Waffenamt manufacturing code on it (codes can be found at http://mauser98k.internetdsl.pl/kodyen.html).
     
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  4. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Member

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    I like it! As the others said check the head space. Get a Frontier Big 45 pad to clean the rust off. I won't use the crap steel wool around these days. The B45 won't scratch or remove the bluing. Thats all I use and everyone thats tried one loves them. Looks like a great shooter with history. Good luck.

    http://www.big45metalcleaner.com/
     
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  5. RedlegRick

    RedlegRick Member

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    I like how it looks like that. Great find, OP.
     
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  6. greg_r

    greg_r Member

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    I lost my turnbolt milsurp collection in a house fire back in ‘99. I wish I still had them. An all matching non-molested, non-import stamped bring backs are bringing serious money these days. I saw a M38 sell for over $700 last summer. It was a Vietnam bring back. I had a T53 Vietnam bring back, a couple of Arisakas, one of which was a school rifle, a Carcano, and 3 Mausers all brought home by grandfathers and great uncles, except for the T53. All lost in a house fire.

    You have a good looking Mauser there.
     
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  7. oz_lowrider

    oz_lowrider Member

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    Great rifle the Mauser 98. I have several. Check the caliber there are some differences which aren't obvious. Try to find MAUSER Bolt Rifles by Ludwig Olson 3rd Edition it covers every Mauser 98 made. Good luck. BTW I have a 1935 Banner Mauser 98 in 7.65mm VERY accurate.
     
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  8. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    I thought that the purpose of a duffle cut was to allow the GI to fit the rifle into his duffle bag so he could sneak it back to the States.

    My dad told the story that he asked permission to bring a 98 back when he was in Germany. His CO told him to leave the rifle with him and he'd take care of it. They drilled a hole in the barrel before they gave it back to my dad.

    He told them to keep it
     
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  9. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    At the time, it depended a lot on the individual unit commander and the captains of whatever ship they found themselves on. 1945 Demobilization was not very well organized and a lot of unit commanders did not want to deal with war trophy paperwork. Then you have the Navy-Army interface complicating matters. I've read where some Navy captains required Arisaka bolts to be thrown over the side before allowing a rifle on board even though no such reg existed.

    Officially, whether the duffle cut or not was made is immaterial to whether it was a war trophy. Did some troops sneak them in, yes--in duffle bags, in boxes, in crates, in the mail, etc. But some duffle cuts have provenance as to being a war trophy thus at least some of these were done for other reasons (weight, damage, crude sporterizing?).

    http://www.nfaoa.org/documents/NotesonWarTrophyRecords.pdf

    Examples of WWII era paperwork certificates on this forum
    http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/174322-war-trophy-certificates/
     
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  10. ozzieo

    ozzieo Member

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    My father told me that he was on a troop carrier at the end of WWII entering Seattle. A day out they were made aware there would be a search for contraband when they departed the ship and if caught with contriband would spend their first night on US soil in the brig . He had two Nambu pistols which after great thought he threw over the side of the ship. They tied up on Christmas eve. Two MP's on duty. No seach. The troops were told to return in 24 hours at which point they would be mustered out. He always lamented about throwing them overboard.
     
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  11. RWMC

    RWMC Member

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    Thank you very much for the information on checking out the bolt. I used to have an earlier made K98, which was a S/42G model ( Mauser Werke, Oberndorf, 1935 ). It was one of the Russian capture guns that came into the country around 15 years ago. I sold it and have always regretted doing so, and so this will be my replacing it.
    Thank you again for your information. It is greatly appreciated!
     
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  12. RWMC

    RWMC Member

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    Thank you for your cleaning advice on this Scooter22. I will definitely give it a try, but very slowly and with patience and care.
     
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  13. RWMC

    RWMC Member

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    Thank you for the information boom boom .
     
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  14. RWMC

    RWMC Member

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    Sorry to hear about your firearms lost in the fire. Especially since they had sentimental value of being brought back by family members from the war. I get so disgusted when I see people taking grandpa's war trophies to the gun show to sell them, just so they have a handful of cash to go to the amusement park with for the weekend! They have no concern over what their loved one went through and the memories he lived in order to bring these trophies back to the states. When they are gone, and the money they got for selling them is gone, they have nothing.
     
  15. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Yeah. So, are they ignorant or indifferent? They don't know and they don't care.

    Have you shot this one yet?
     
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  16. Jeff B.

    Jeff B. Member

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    We recently found the "official" receipt for captured goods from my Dad's Battery Commander for the P38 he brought back. I knew I'd seen it as a kid, but wasn't sure my Mother hadn't "cleaned it up" at some point into the trash can.

    My wife is working with her sisters to get her Dad's 14th Air Force (China Air Task Force) Blood Chit from his jacket.

    I want the younger generations to know what their ancestors did for them...

    Jeff B.
     
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  17. fpgt72

    fpgt72 member

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    Really for the gun to have the added value you need to have that paperwork. And there are times the original owners....or I guess I should say the GI that brought it back....now in their 90's are a little funny about letting that paperwork out.
    Also many times they just did not keep it....they did not need to.

    I have two that I know came back, but have no paperwork. First is a 98k with the 22 kit in the box, but missing the little mags. Box is in real good shape and I had to work real hard to get him to let the box go, it has his name, unit, number, address and still the stamps. As it had all his personal info he wanted to keep the box....I finally got him to let me have it after he changed a 7 to an 8, and a 3 into an 8.

    The second is a type 99 with all the gizmos they hung on the early rifles. It has a mismatched dust cover, but from my research this was not uncommon, The Japanese would clean and then put them together, sometimes the covers got mixed up.....When I got this one it was beside a fireplace for 50 years and had so much dust in the barrel you could not see down it....how the fireplace did not dry out the wood is a puzzle.....but it is in very good shape....bayonet as well. Both are fine shooters, but without the bring back paperwork they are just good examples of the rifles.
     
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  18. RWMC

    RWMC Member

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    Not been able to do so yet but I definitely will have a return range report when I do so .
     
  19. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Sometimes permission was given to return war trophies. Documentation for dad to bring back a pistol. He made it as far as New Jersey. They stopped at a train station for lunch, when dad got back someone had gone through his gear and stolen the gun. I don't have the paperwork for it, but dad also mailed back a very nice pre war FN made SXS shotgun.

    Notice the 1946 date on the certificate. Dad didn't get to Europe until Jan 1945 as a replacement during the Battle of the Bulge. Since he was one of the last to get there, he was one of the last to leave. He got home in April 1946, nearly a year after the war ended. This may have been a big part of why he was allowed to return with stuff.

    img001.jpg
     
  20. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

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    I don't get the duffle bag cut stock. As a child growing up, every farmhouse had a mauser or arisaka rifle brought back by a son who had served in europe or the pacific. Not all of them were "smuggled in".

    Nuther question, how do you tell the difference between a 'bringback' and a surplus mauser sold in the 60s. There were millions brought in by Interarms. I saw a photo of them unloading the hold of a cargo ship in the port of Alexandria, VA. They were picking up loose rifles with an electro magnet. The accompanying manifest listed the cargo as "approx 4,000 metric tons of foreign military rifles". No itemized list of models or serial numbers.



    Good old days.
     
  21. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    I don't know about pre-GCA1968, but every surplus Mauser I've looked at had the importer's markings on the barrel. That says nothing about about sporters/re-barrels.

    As to duffel cut vs original... I wouldn't do it, but I wouldn't turn my nose up at one either. IIRC, that's a free-floating barrel, so the forward band and bayonet lug would have no effect on accuracy.
     
  22. fpgt72

    fpgt72 member

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    People have to remember this stuff was laying around everywhere, and worth nothing. They did not shoot common available US ammo.....they are just stuff. I can't think of a documented case where someone was told no you can't bring home that pistol.

    I do remember talking to an old GI that said they used german helmets for target practice after the war....when he saw what they sell for now he said how he wished he brought them home.

    This is the one thing people never really get.....most of the time the stuff that is of value is stuff that was really worthless at one time.
     
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  23. RWMC

    RWMC Member

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    After examining the bolt on the rifle it appears to be a later war production Bolt, due to the roughness of some of the tooling marks. It does lock up very tight though, with no play or movement at all once the bolthandle is turned down. Actually found some of the German proof stamps in the butt stock and according to the serial number even the stock and the handguard matches the barreled receiver
     
  24. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Does the bolt have a Waffenamt stamp? That would tell you who made it. Oberndorf Mausers used WaA63 (1935-39), WaA655 (1938-41), and WaA135 (1941-45) on parts (earlier prewar had different numbers as well). Overlap on years due to the binning system is to be expected on different parts as batches of parts were made and binned until needed. Depending on the factory, bins might have refills of newer Waffenamts ids on top of older ones. A similar situation exists on M-1 Carbines for example.

    Given the 1939 date on your receiver and the length of the war, if the bolt is unnumbered, it is also possible that a unnumbered replacement bolt was fitted by an armorer sometime during WWII. It could have occurred during the German surrender where sometimes bolts were put in a separate pile from the rifles. Sometimes bolts were even fitted back in the States by individuals or gunsmiths as k98 bringbacks and parts were common in those days.

    The tight lockup unfortunately does not tell you whether or not the rifle has excessive headspace as that is the distance between the bolt face (not the bolt locking lugs) and the datum point in the barrel chamber. The tight lockup relates to the fit of the bolt to the locking lug recesses, which may or may not, tell you that the bolt face distance to the shoulder datum pt. has headspace within specification. If your bolt face is slightly deeper than std and the barrel's chamber is slightly longer than std., then excess headspace from tolerance stacking/wear can exist (with a replacement bolt it can be shorter than spec which is also bad).

    This is why you should really have 5.56/.223 headspace gage sets for AR builds--it is uncommon but tolerance stacking even on new parts can leave you with too short headspace (very bad potentially) or too long (also not that good in a semi auto). This is especially true if you are mixing and matching barrels and bolts. That is why go gages and no go gages exist is to warn users when the headspace is beyond specification set by either SAAMI and/or CIP.

    Field gages indicate the supposed near maximum length where headspace becomes dangerous due to risks of cartridge separations causing hot gas to enter the receiver which can cause exciting events to occur for the user.
    As the 8x57 is a rimless case, the rear of the cartridge is unsupported which is where a lot of the fuss about headspace comes it. Rimmed cases use the rifle's barrel chamber case rim recess to bolt face relationship to determine whether or not in headspace. The difference is that a greater portion of the cartridge is supported by a rimmed chamber than a rimless design cartridge.

    A variant of this was the infamous Glock bulge in their .40 caliber barrels a few years ago where the brass bulged where the cartridge was not substantially supported by the barrel chamber.

    Depending on the degree of being out of specified go-no go headspace range, it can be worked around to some extent which is beyond a simple post because it depends on the rifle's design, it depends on the shooter's willingness to take risks, whether or not new brass is used, the cartridge design itself, strength and age of the action, accuracy expectations, risk to damaging the rifle (if not the shooter), and so on.

    Sorry to run long but these posts are sometimes picked up by Google searches and the like so others might read it years from now.
     
  25. RWMC

    RWMC Member

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    Thank you boom boom for all of the information. I have yet to find a waffenamt Mark on the bolt. I did completely disassemble the bolt, and even the firing pin is the correctly numbered part matching the rest of the bolt parts numbers. I appreciate all of the time you took in your very detailed and informative reply. I appreciate all of this information.
     
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