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Thread: VK98, safety wont engage

  1. #1
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    Default VK98, safety wont engage

    Time to dig into my VK98 a bit. I bought it off of the trader here last fall.

    It came with a mismatched bolt which had no striker assembly in it.

    I purchased a striker assembly from another forum member, and installed it into the bolt.

    It feels like it doesnt thread into the bolt as far as it should, and when cocked the safety lever wont flip up or to the right. It seems like it wants to go, but any more force will break it.

    I know I wont be shooting this rifle but I want it to be in working shape.
    Also, the bolt body that came with the rifle is blued and the striker assembly doesnt have any finish to it so the appearance is off.

    What would be the best step from here ? Try a different striker assembly that has a better matching bluing to it, or an entirely different bolt and sell this bolt and striker as parts ?



    Last, is there a good online source to learn about VK98s and lots of photos ? Most that I have seen have completely unfinished wood, blond, where mine is very dark. I am curious if this was a finish that was added post war or a sloppy paint job at the factory. I know they were desperate at this point and there was no rhyme or reason to "last ditch" builds.

  2. #2
    Keeper of the Def's Head M1903A3's Avatar
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    Can you show us some photos of the back parts of your bolt assembly? If the safety won’t engage then the shroud may not be screwed into the body all the way.


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    Senior Member moconfed's Avatar
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    You say striker assembly. As in firing pin, cocking piece, shroud, and safety? Your VK just came with a bare bolt body? Just a 98k bolt body, or?
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  4. #4
    Senior Member moconfed's Avatar
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    Researched the trader forum. You had a late steyr bolt body. I'd check the interior of the body for an obstruction first. Second, disassemble that back half and check for burrs.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member GunKraut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by builttoughf350 View Post
    It feels like it doesnt thread into the bolt as far as it should,
    Right there is your problem. Assuming none of the parts are totally worn, the forward position of the cocked cocking piece is only determined by the sear. The position of the safety is only determined by the position of the bolt shroud. If the bolt shroud won't thread completely into the bolt, the shroud is set back from where it should be by the pitch of one thread. So is the safety. And now it hits the cocking piece from the side instead of rotating in front of it.

  6. #6
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    That bolt back half was Phosphate by the way, worn but definitely not zero. I believe the stock on that rifle was sanded but I can’t remember for sure, been too long, have any pictures?

  7. #7
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    I hope these pictures work. There are some overall shots of the rifle.

    Flynaked you are correct the striker assembly I got from you is phosphate. I mispoke earlier when describing it.

    I posted a pic of the safety inside the rifle, that’s as far up as it will go.

    I did a complete tear down and cleaning of the shroud / cocking piece / safety / bolt body etc and the problem is still there.

    I posted a few pics of the angle of the safety that seems like it should slide under the edge of the cocking piece while rotating the safety which lifts the cocking piece a hair while the safety turns.
    I believe this could possibly need a little bit of trimming with a file to make more clearance ?

    I am still tempted to replace this striker assembly with a blued one so it looks more the part or put a all phosphate complete bolt in there if that would be more factory “correct”

  8. #8
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    There are many dual tone bnz45’s, but not typically dual toned bolts themselves but it does happen. On the other hand it seems to usually be the later rifles that show up dual tone, these earlier ones seem to typically stick to a consistent overall finish. Come to think of it, I can’t remember seeing a dual tone VG5, maybe someone else has.

    You need to check the sear as well on this rifle, if it’s been ground or honed it may not be holding the cocking piece back far enough to allow the safety to engage.

    Unfortunately it hasn’t just been sanded but rather reshaped fairly dramatically with a rasp. The stock should have sharp transitions at the corners and the forend should be parallel all the way down the barrel channel. Is the MR XE still showing on the wrist at all?

    Still a fairly hard rifle to find, and interesting to examine! Let us know if the sear is unaltered first, and hopefully that can be sorted out.
    Last edited by flynaked; 03-03-2019 at 10:32 PM. Reason: SpElLiNg

  9. #9
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    Flynaked -

    Without pulling the rifle out of the safe again tonight to check the sear,

    I forgot to mention earlier that a bolt from one of my other k98s works just fine in the VK98. Safety functions properly.

  10. #10
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    I knew the stock had been sanded to some extent before buying it. It’s a huge bummer that someone would even bother messing with a last ditch rifle, not like they were going to improve it LOL

    I would pass up any other K98 if it were sanded. But a VK98 is so rare and the price was right for me to be able to add one to my collection I could easily overlook the issues !

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