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Thread: My First 98K, BYF 44 E block 135WaA

  1. #1
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    Question My First 98K, BYF 44 E block 135WaA

    Hello All,

    I recently purchased my first 98K and was wondering if I could get some info. and advice from the group. Any help is much appreciated. First, I have done some searching and research but would like some confirmation. I have been wanting to buy a 98K for a few years and came across this rife at a local gun store. Some things stood out to me so I decided to take a chance and pick it up. I guess time will tell if I made a good decision. If not, it's only money... anyway down to business...

    To my eye it is a 1944 byf Oberndorf, e block waffenamt mark 135. The receiver, bolt and safety are matching numbers. The shroud and floorplate are not. The barrel i'm not 100% on although it does have a 135 mark. It also appears to have a faint 3 and 7 towards the centerline left of the 135. I believe it to be re-blued. I'll get back to this fact in a min. The bore is bright and rifling is good. The receiver appears to be tapped for a scope although i think screws were installed and maybe re-blued over. Now, unfortunately, it has been "sporterized" at some point and has a Remington stock (looks like decent quality). Not what I was originally looking for as I wanted military original trim but, again, decided to roll the dice. My thinking at the time was that with a matching bolt, receiver and good barrel, I was more than half way to where I wanted to be and would track down a stock and bands.

    Since the gun store owner did not have any history on it I decided to have it checked out by a local gunsmith who had experience with Mausers. He checked it out ended up test firing and said it was in very good shape with excellent head spacing. So, when I asked him if I would have any concerns putting it back in military trim he said I would need a barrel. A little confused I asked for an explanation and he told me that the 98K barrels were stepped and this one had been turned when sporterized. Obviously unaware of this from the material I had seen previously (apparently not enough research) I was a little disappointed. His advice was to let him tap it for a scope, bend the bolt handle and go hunting.

    So, I told him to hold off and I would do more research. After some late night reading, now I am wondering if this rifle is possibly a high turret sniper rifle. The 135 marks seem to be in factory locations to accommodate the turret mounts. So, if anyone can positively ID what this actually is and help with a few questions. Again, I'm new to the 98K and not a gun expert by any means.

    1. Is this a HT sniper rifle? If yes, what is the tell tale sign? If no,what exactly do I have? Just run of the mill?
    2. Back to the barrel... Can I put a military stock back on with the barrel as is, not wanting to break up the possible original? Is it possible but it just won't look correct or is it physically a no fit situation?
    3. From what I have seen this rifle would have originally came with a laminate stock, cupped buttplate and stamped bands. Is this correct?
    4. If I wanted to track down a correct floorplate which version do I want? Were byf plates milled? Were they marked byf?
    5. Would the original front sight have come with or without hood?
    6. If I wanted to install high turret scope mounts, who currently makes the best reproduction mounts? I doubt the originals are readily available or cheap?
    7. What original high turret scope would Oberndorf used and who makes the best reproduction? Again I doubt I could afford an original...

    Thanks in advance for the help.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Hercules's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N882928 View Post
    Hello All,

    I recently purchased my first 98K and was wondering if I could get some info. and advice from the group. Any help is much appreciated. First, I have done some searching and research but would like some confirmation. I have been wanting to buy a 98K for a few years and came across this rife at a local gun store. Some things stood out to me so I decided to take a chance and pick it up. I guess time will tell if I made a good decision. If not, it's only money... anyway down to business...

    To my eye it is a 1944 byf Oberndorf, e block waffenamt mark 135. The receiver, bolt and safety are matching numbers. The shroud and floorplate are not. The barrel i'm not 100% on although it does have a 135 mark. It also appears to have a faint 3 and 7 towards the centerline left of the 135. I believe it to be re-blued. I'll get back to this fact in a min. The bore is bright and rifling is good. The receiver appears to be tapped for a scope although i think screws were installed and maybe re-blued over. Now, unfortunately, it has been "sporterized" at some point and has a Remington stock (looks like decent quality). Not what I was originally looking for as I wanted military original trim but, again, decided to roll the dice. My thinking at the time was that with a matching bolt, receiver and good barrel, I was more than half way to where I wanted to be and would track down a stock and bands.

    Since the gun store owner did not have any history on it I decided to have it checked out by a local gunsmith who had experience with Mausers. He checked it out ended up test firing and said it was in very good shape with excellent head spacing. So, when I asked him if I would have any concerns putting it back in military trim he said I would need a barrel. A little confused I asked for an explanation and he told me that the 98K barrels were stepped and this one had been turned when sporterized. Obviously unaware of this from the material I had seen previously (apparently not enough research) I was a little disappointed. His advice was to let him tap it for a scope, bend the bolt handle and go hunting.

    So, I told him to hold off and I would do more research. After some late night reading, now I am wondering if this rifle is possibly a high turret sniper rifle. The 135 marks seem to be in factory locations to accommodate the turret mounts. So, if anyone can positively ID what this actually is and help with a few questions. Again, I'm new to the 98K and not a gun expert by any means.

    1. Is this a HT sniper rifle? If yes, what is the tell tale sign? If no,what exactly do I have? Just run of the mill?
    2. Back to the barrel... Can I put a military stock back on with the barrel as is, not wanting to break up the possible original? Is it possible but it just won't look correct or is it physically a no fit situation?
    3. From what I have seen this rifle would have originally came with a laminate stock, cupped buttplate and stamped bands. Is this correct?
    4. If I wanted to track down a correct floorplate which version do I want? Were byf plates milled? Were they marked byf?
    5. Would the original front sight have come with or without hood?
    6. If I wanted to install high turret scope mounts, who currently makes the best reproduction mounts? I doubt the originals are readily available or cheap?
    7. What original high turret scope would Oberndorf used and who makes the best reproduction? Again I doubt I could afford an original...

    Thanks in advance for the help.
    Looks like it might have been a BYF Turret. Someone has buffed all that metal and re-blued it. Filled in the mount holes. Are far as collectability goes there is not much there that makes this worth much anymore. It has been ruined for collectability unfortunately. I suppose you could have fun restoring or shooting it.

    There are repro mounts on ebay. Original scopes come up occasionally on Ebay.
    Last edited by Hercules; 08-19-2019 at 10:33 PM.

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    Thanks Herc! Appreciate the reply. So to keep score, that's +1 for HT, -1 on collectability. I was planning on restoring (to some degree, not perfection but representative military trim) and it being a shooter. Target and maybe for hog hunting. So far the plan stays the same but if re-bluing and refinishing have impacted the collectability I don't think it will be an "all in" restoration. At least so far it does not sound like it might be worth the cost vs. value of the finished rifle.

    I did see original style mounts on eBay but was not sure about the quality. Does anyone have experience with these? Or any other repro mounts? Since i would be shooting this, accuracy with a scope and tight mounts is a concern.

    What are original scopes going for, usable condition? I think there were a few different scope versions used. Anyone have ballpark market value on the different originals? Also, the best repro?

    Any other info./input on the other questions in the original post? I would be interested in hearing several opinions. Especially about if the barrel could be used as is in an original stock. Thanks.

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    I would recommend you to sell the rifle minus the wrong stock and mismatching floorplate on gunbroker with a starting bid of $ 1 as a sportered but original HT sniper. Pretty sure you would be getting good money for it. With that money you could buy a much better K98k rifle still in military configuration, without having to restore a rifle yourself.

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    So I would interpret that comment as +1 on actual HT and not that it just looks similar to one. What are the deciding features? Is it that the E mark and 135 mark appear after the serial number? I would like to understand the reasoning.

    It crossed my mind to turn it and resell but what is the going rate for a sporterized HT in the current condition? I have not sold anything on gun broker yet so I would have to look at their fees and determine a decent value to set the reserve.

    So, I can understand, as previously stated, that collectors may not be interested in a rifle that is no longer 100% original condition. However, what is the value of a restored HT if the correct factory and mark parts were used? Because you can't go buy a new HT from the Wehrmacht today I have to think on some level an HT is still an HT and would hold more value than a standard 98K.

    Still doing more research. If anyone can weigh in on the current state and restored values or any of the other questions in the original post I would appreciate it.

  6. #6
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    I'm not from the US so I can't speak for the US market price for such a rifle. However, I do know that generally when you sell an item, start from zero and don't put a reserve on it. You'll get a higher price than for an item with reserve.

    The fact that it is a former HT sniper is easily told by the 135 proof, as well as the plugged holes of the bases. Since it was sportered if someone wanted to fake a HT sniper, he would not close the holes, reblue the whole rifle and put the correct sniper proof on a rifle in heavily sportered configuration. As a result it could be assumed your rifle was original.

    Even if you found original bases and replaced the barrel - it would always be heavily reblued and have a replacement barrel. And maybe then some would assume it was a fake, since it was so much reworked upon. Assuming you would put reproduction bases on it, then most would consider it a fake with faux sniper proofs. So this leaves you in the unfortunate position that whatever you do, you can't enhace the rifle much.

    As a result to this I came to the conclusion which I had stated earlier. Someone might be attracted by the fact that it is a former sniper rifle and would want to go through all of the hassle to find original parts and restore it to something it will never be again. It surely would bring more than just a "normal" sportered K98k rifle.

    Based on the fact that I had understood your plan was to have a K98k rifle and not necessarily a restoration project nor want to have a sniper rifle which yet needs to be restored, it seemed that if you sold this one you would maybe get a good money since you have properly identified it, and use this profit to buy a much better rifle.

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    Absolut, thanks for the reply. I have sold several things over the years by auction. Not a firearm on a site like gun broker but all things being equal in my opinion an auction is an action. I think low starting bid actions with no reserve might get more traffic/views but I have been burned in the past with no reserve. If you happen not to get views by the right crowd during that particular time of auction the item will sell for less than its' worth. I have seen it many times, especially with cars. I would think it would hold true with firearms. I think the key with reserve is to set a reasonable market price. If a serious buyer wants it they are already actively searching for it and will bid regardless of a low start bid or reserve. But I don't want to get too far off topic with auction strategy...

    Now, I agree with you 100%, in its' current state it would seem highly unlikely that someone would go to that extent to create a fake unless they thought they could make more than the effort. So, if i was selling maybe now would be the time to clear more than I have in it. It would still be very helpful to have some idea of the value to achieve that price by auction.

    I can also agree with your logic that if I keep it and hunt down the correct parts it would take some time and effort and if I ever wanted to sell the finished project there might be some doubt of originality. On the other hand I would think that if the proofs look correct today they will look correct the day that it would be sold to an educated buyer. I would keep the original barrel, stock and mount screws to be sold with the rifle. They should validate the condition I purchased it in and the known rifle's history and story.

    True, I was not looking for a project but now that it appears I own a historic sniper I'm considering taking on the project as I would not think the opportunity for one comes along often. That said, naturally it will cost more money. Knowing a "restored" value would give me a ballpark target of spending for the restoration. It's very possible I could exceed that in restoration. Part of me thinks it would be a shame not to restore it. As we know, if you vote with your heart and not your head it usually costs you more money. The question would remain how much more money vs. market value. Have to do some more research.

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