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Thread: Lets talk SS Deaths Heads

  1. #1
    No War Eagles For You! mrfarb's Avatar
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    Default Lets talk SS Deaths Heads

    I'm reworking this post as my original post is somewhat convoluted. I looked through some notes I made with different skull types and when they appear. Keep in mind, the graph below is BASIC, it is not thoroughly researched, just meant to give some kind of order when/where the different types of Totenkopf skulls show up on a timeline. I've added what I think are important dates and events, I even color coded things. I can't stress enough that the timeline is not hard and fast for dates, there are some variants of skulls that I have too little info on (such as the "Gull wing" type) to make any hard/fast conclusions from this chart. But, it serves the purpose of showing generally when these skulls were used. Most people think all of the skulls were used throughout the period, its not true.

    For some reason, many people that report SS totenkopf rifles rarely post barrel date info, most don't think it's important or they are too lazy to take the gun apart, so alas half the reports I collect are incomplete, which makes research incomplete. I have not dedicated myself to the study of SS rifles, I know enough to safely buy them.

    The graph below should explain a few things - Most of the "Lazy S" skull reports are from the 1938 time frame, with 1 single gun having a 1936 date. It's very possible this anomaly is a rifle that was reworked later and "rebranded' with the lazyS skull, its impossible to tell. I have no other 36-38 reports. Like I said, incomplete research but generally you will get the idea. I put the "+" marked, "lazyS", "SS" and "01" type in one row as I feel they are all from the same depot, just chronologically related. I still feel the "Gull wing" and "SS2" are related - the Waffenwerkstatt was formed in 1940/41, but I feel the SS must have started some kind of weapons repair in the Munich area prior to 1940, the area was one of the big SS centers. Speculation on my part, but something that could probably be researched by the next guy.

    Note that I do not include the "=" type guns, i have no date reports from those. I have a full photo spread on one but can't find it.

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    No War Eagles For You! mrfarb's Avatar
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    Some of the other SS Deaths heads seen, which are less common will be posted here, as I have time to arrange them. I'm also going to include the "SS" marked, "SS2", and "SS 01". To me, these are easier to figure out by studying the SS Depot repair system timeline. I'll put my guess as to which facility each one is as well:

    "01" - I feel this is the later iteration for the SS Oranienburg depot, aka Sachsenhausen "Lazy S".
    "SS 2" - I feel this is the SS-Waffenwerkstatt Dachau
    "SS" - I think this may be the skull used at Oranienburg between the "Lazy S" and "SS 01" skull, but I am less positive of this idea, just a guess really based on a feeling due to an epiphany.
    " = " - who knows, this thing is so odd that it seems fake, but I think its real
    " + " = skull - I now think this skull is from the original depot, but still think it may have connotations with further reworking as it's seen with the LazyS type skull.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Hercules's Avatar
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    Default SS2 Snipers

    These are some of my favorite rifles. All the variations make them interesting. One thing that I can add here is that all the SS Conversion Sniper Rifles I have seen are marked with the SS2 Death Head. Likely all regular Conversion Rifles were converted to Sniper Rifles there. Under the above information that would be Dachau.
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    No War Eagles For You! mrfarb's Avatar
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    You should clarify - your rifle is marked with "01" and "SS2" - this could just mean it was reworked at "SS2" and not necessarily made there. The SS Waffenwerkstatt Dachau wasn't operational until 1941. But I would agree that most if not all SS Gewehr conversion rifles were routed through Dachau (or "SS2").

    I have a working theory on that, and possibly why the operation at Dachau was expanded so much. Prior to 1940, the SS had no access to standard Army weapons, which was the reason they converted Gew.98 rifles to K98k length. In 1940, Waffen SS units were allowed to draw arms from Army Depots. I suspect at that time huge numbers of old, SS Gew conversions were transferred to Dachau for reworking. Why? The directive says Replacement units were not allowed access to Army rifles, only the field army. So, they needed a large number of K98k type rifles for training units (which may also explain why they went to so much trouble turning down bolts and making the front band arrangement like the K98k), and they were reworked and sent to the training camps. That may also by the reason so many of them are so worn out. Even today our Army sends worn out rifles to training units, no?
    Order the new K98k book at www.thirdpartypress.com
    Don't forget to visit www.latewar.com for info on late war 98k's.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hercules's Avatar
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    Default SS Conversion

    Here are a couple of photos of my non sniper SS Conversion.
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    Senior Member Hercules's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrfarb View Post
    You should clarify - your rifle is marked with "01" and "SS2" - this could just mean it was reworked at "SS2" and not necessarily made there. The SS Waffenwerkstatt Dachau wasn't operational until 1941. But I would agree that most if not all SS Gewehr conversion rifles were routed through Dachau (or "SS2").

    I have a working theory on that, and possibly why the operation at Dachau was expanded so much. Prior to 1940, the SS had no access to standard Army weapons, which was the reason they converted Gew.98 rifles to K98k length. In 1940, Waffen SS units were allowed to draw arms from Army Depots. I suspect at that time huge numbers of old, SS Gew conversions were transferred to Dachau for reworking. Why? The directive says Replacement units were not allowed access to Army rifles, only the field army. So, they needed a large number of K98k type rifles for training units (which may also explain why they went to so much trouble turning down bolts and making the front band arrangement like the K98k), and they were reworked and sent to the training camps. That may also by the reason so many of them are so worn out. Even today our Army sends worn out rifles to training units, no?
    Yes I think the rifle was converted at 01 and the Sniper Conversion was done at SS2. Thanks I took that for granted.
    I have seen a couple of SS Conversion Snipers with just the SS2 Death Head as well. As an add on to this discussion.

  7. #7
    Senior Member USCS03's Avatar
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    Here is my conversion. I canít make any markings out above the skull nearest the barrel shoulder.
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    Mike,
    Here is a rifle that was owned by a good friend of mine that came out of a concentration camp for added reference.

    Dan
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    Senior Member Slowburn's Avatar
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    Whoohoo... my dream thread!!

    USCS03
    Your dhd on the right is a ss2. That is my opinion based on its style and that it is on a double dhd rifle.

    Gringo
    Looks like you have another ď=ď dhd!

    Thanks to Ken a great member here I have one of the ď=ď dhd conversions that was posted here a while back. 8110 I think. Although unique, everything about it appears righteous for a conversion , but Iíve been too lazy to do a proper photo shoot. Iíll try to get pics up.

  10. #10
    Is that a scope you have in your pocket?
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    Here is a SS SSR , this one was sold at auction . Its DH marking is same/similar to the one USCS03 posted . Both have SS marks above DH missing , likely due to poor application while striking stamp on Barrel . Looking closely at USCS03`s pic it appear that there is a small partial mark of what looks like one of the Runes which is on left side above DH . Best Regards
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