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Thread: New Kar98a MG marked

  1. #1
    Senior Member chrisftk's Avatar
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    Default New Kar98a MG marked

    Picked this up on GunBroker. It was a bit of a sleeper and stayed in a reasonable bid level and I wasn't letting someone else steal it.

    Pretty typical bolt mm Erfurt 1917 in a nice beech stock. Interestingly, it does not have the fingergrove or takedown ferrule. Duffle cut behind the band.

    The top of the buttplate has a "10" written in punch marks (assumed postwar), but the buttplate itself has a clear marking to a machine gun unit.

    The handguard has some damage near the receiver ring, which isn't a gigantic distraction given the fragility of the part and being beech to boot.

    SN is 2341d

    All small parts match and are stamped "41", the bolt does not match, but matches itself.
    IMG_20190927_194905596.jpgIMG_20190927_195013073.jpgIMG_20190927_195032347_HDR.jpgIMG_20190927_195042246_HDR.jpgIMG_20190927_195109583.jpgIMG_20190927_195117911_HDR.jpgIMG_20190927_195238617_HDR.jpgIMG_20190927_195303584.jpgIMG_20190927_195406468_HDR.jpgIMG_20190927_195317701_HDR.jpgIMG_20190927_195349637.jpgIMG_20190927_195331480_HDR.jpgIMG_20190927_195339643_HDR.jpgIMG_20190927_195417028_HDR.jpgIMG_20190927_195424931~2.jpgIMG_20190927_195437937_HDR~2.jpgIMG_20190927_195217000_HDR.jpg


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    Attachment 217131
    Last edited by chrisftk; 09-27-2019 at 11:31 PM.

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  3. #3
    Moderator≤ Loewe's Avatar
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    Nice rifle, though I see nothing to suggest postwar (interwar)?

    I have yet done a satisfactory trends sheet on the modifications (TD & grips), though I can say they are not typical this early, - neither of them, though most interwar/republican era rifles were modified with a TD. At least in most cases, there are exceptions with the 98a, while the G98 almost universally received the modifications, some 98a police types didn't, PwB for instance. Whether this is related to police service, where such features are less necessary or desirable (waste of time for the ordnance shop) or related to the more secretive nature of all things police (the IAMCC and related "ambassadors" were routinely scrutinizing and nitpicking every element of police structure and operations); or possibly in the case of the PwB, a case of squirreling away rifles, but most I have recorded lack modifications although are property marked.

    Regarding the MG marking, Craig (CB) owned 1917 Erfurt 9905 b MGSSA.29.3.K.30, though largely matching, it sold soft at Amoskeag when they sold off much of his collection. Like $800, but when a large collection is dumped prices sometimes suffer due to volume and limited collectors/available funds. Craig reported the marking across the BP face, though I have no picture of it. I am sure it was like yours or the more common horizontally applied, which is more common than vertically. Of course Jeff Noll is the go to guy on these, he has a thing for MG related, but so far as i have seen, these are very rare, but that is true of any unit marked wartime 98a, but these rifles tend to be desirable and rare, a good combination!

    ** Another interesting thing about this rifle is its proximity to another of CB's rifles, one he had a special project regarding, he was working on the subject when he passed away and we spoke of it often. His rifle, 1917 Erfurt 1947 d, buttplate flat marked G.A. LAUF, which he attributed to a security role for the dam at border with Laufenburg (Switzerland), he wrote a brief outline of an article he was working on, never finished it so far as i know. Apparently, the Germans discovered a French plan to blow up the power plant which powered both Swiss and German industrial works in the area, the Germans naturally established a military presence, mostly armed with 98a and Reichsrevolvers apparently, as a few have been noted with these markings. I doubt the threat was very credible, though the Germans had to take precautions all the same, I can't see risking relations with the Swiss over such a trivial target, the Swiss would have taken it badly for sure and the the Swiss were no push over, both militarily and economically, hell in WWII they were the only country to still back their money with gold (in real terms) and the Germans needed them so much they left them alone, even Stain supposedly stated the Swiss were off limits when they took over Europe. Anyway, I need to try and weave something together from the draft article and his emails on the subject. A worthy subject and something that interested CB...

    *** Also, I am working on trends for the 98a, both RR acceptance and TD/grips introduction, but Erfurt seems to have been slow to introduce either feature, far behind the rest, even tardier than Danzig, though I am hoping there is more consistency when it was introduced and not erratic like with many of the other factories. I should have started where TD-grips are known and worked backwards... but i started from late 1916 and am working forward, which so far means consistency in lacking both!

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    Member Tyr-33's Avatar
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    Very nice! I did have that one on my watch list! Congrats

  5. #5
    Senior Member chrisftk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loewe View Post
    Nice rifle, though I see nothing to suggest postwar (interwar)?

    I have yet done a satisfactory trends sheet on the modifications (TD & grips), though I can say they are not typical this early, - neither of them, though most interwar/republican era rifles were modified with a TD. At least in most cases, there are exceptions with the 98a, while the G98 almost universally received the modifications, some 98a police types didn't, PwB for instance. Whether this is related to police service, where such features are less necessary or desirable (waste of time for the ordnance shop) or related to the more secretive nature of all things police (the IAMCC and related "ambassadors" were routinely scrutinizing and nitpicking every element of police structure and operations); or possibly in the case of the PwB, a case of squirreling away rifles, but most I have recorded lack modifications although are property marked.

    Regarding the MG marking, Craig (CB) owned 1917 Erfurt 9905 b MGSSA.29.3.K.30, though largely matching, it sold soft at Amoskeag when they sold off much of his collection. Like $800, but when a large collection is dumped prices sometimes suffer due to volume and limited collectors/available funds. Craig reported the marking across the BP face, though I have no picture of it. I am sure it was like yours or the more common horizontally applied, which is more common than vertically. Of course Jeff Noll is the go to guy on these, he has a thing for MG related, but so far as i have seen, these are very rare, but that is true of any unit marked wartime 98a, but these rifles tend to be desirable and rare, a good combination!

    ** Another interesting thing about this rifle is its proximity to another of CB's rifles, one he had a special project regarding, he was working on the subject when he passed away and we spoke of it often. His rifle, 1917 Erfurt 1947 d, buttplate flat marked G.A. LAUF, which he attributed to a security role for the dam at border with Laufenburg (Switzerland), he wrote a brief outline of an article he was working on, never finished it so far as i know. Apparently, the Germans discovered a French plan to blow up the power plant which powered both Swiss and German industrial works in the area, the Germans naturally established a military presence, mostly armed with 98a and Reichsrevolvers apparently, as a few have been noted with these markings. I doubt the threat was very credible, though the Germans had to take precautions all the same, I can't see risking relations with the Swiss over such a trivial target, the Swiss would have taken it badly for sure and the the Swiss were no push over, both militarily and economically, hell in WWII they were the only country to still back their money with gold (in real terms) and the Germans needed them so much they left them alone, even Stain supposedly stated the Swiss were off limits when they took over Europe. Anyway, I need to try and weave something together from the draft article and his emails on the subject. A worthy subject and something that interested CB...

    *** Also, I am working on trends for the 98a, both RR acceptance and TD/grips introduction, but Erfurt seems to have been slow to introduce either feature, far behind the rest, even tardier than Danzig, though I am hoping there is more consistency when it was introduced and not erratic like with many of the other factories. I should have started where TD-grips are known and worked backwards... but i started from late 1916 and am working forward, which so far means consistency in lacking both!
    Paul, extremely grateful for your insight as always. I was excited to get this, as it's my second unit marked rifle in as many months (the other being the '02 Erfurt we discussed last month) Very interesting regarding Craig's research. I unfortunately only corresponded with him a handful of times, mostly on Reichsrevolvers, but he was a pillar of the community and left us too soon.

    I also wanted to note poor word choice on my part when I said "postwar" for the "10" on the top of the buttplate... My intent was more something the vet did once he got home. I'd almost certainly think this was an AEF bring back.

    Thanks again Paul.



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    Moderator≤ Loewe's Avatar
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    I too think it is period, AEF bringback or similar. Could be one of those 80,000 the US Army brought back with them too... but period original either way.

    CB was one of the greatest, I knew him only superficially, although we emailed regularly, especially near the end, the last year or two, one of his last acts was to order me a copy of Storz 71 & 71/84 book to aid in the research projects under his name. Since his passing they are the most important of the projects this forum has undertaken, I try to maintain them and update them a couple times a week usually. He was a great man and collector, he wanted me to go to one of the shows the forum holds at the big Ohio shows, - should have gone, was a mistake i put it off, but now he is gone I don't care to go... not many Imperialist go anyway, but CB was the best of the Imperialists! (actually he knew all the eras better than any specialist...)

    Anyway, damn nice rifle and CB would have liked it!

  7. #7
    Senior Member flynaked's Avatar
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    Great rifle! Even better thread! Sorry for the noob question, but is that an initially rejected receiver?

  8. #8
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    Are you referring to the C/RC over the hardened position? If so, not really rejected, just a flaw or deficiency that was considered acceptable or allowable, basically it failed inspection but was considered serviceable. However in Erfurtís case, this must have been the norm, as it is rare to find a receiver without the C/RC over the receiver hardened inspection. Some makers were plagued by these problems, Erfurt and Danzig in particular, though Simson production also (1917 especially). The best makers you rarely see them, even in the worst war years, WMO & DWM very rare, Spandau uncommon, - Amberg was either not under their jurisdiction or rarely had flaws, which could be either case, but probably outside the jurisdiction of the inspectors. They probably had their own protocol for flaws and irregularities; but either way my trends sheets show no C/RC for Amberg and I have no recollection of ever seeing one.

    Possibly the inspectors at Erfurt were more stringent? The makers that had the worst problems with C/RC receivers were under their inspection, Erfurt and the Suhl makers (all experienced rifle makers; bayonets are also covered with the inspection). Though too, Danzig and Erfurt made the most rifles during the war, that had to come at a cost, the Suhl makers were relativity new to the G98 and at least in Simsonís case an unwelcome participant. Craftsmanship and mass production are often incompatibles, perhaps there was conflict between the skilled men at these commercial firms and the military inspectors, - I have read of the resistance of these craftsmen to the changes mass production demands, though I believe the case was at DWM or perhaps WMO... but would apply equally to the Suhl firms, possibly more so.

  9. #9
    Senior Member chrisftk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynaked View Post
    Great rifle! Even better thread! Sorry for the noob question, but is that an initially rejected receiver?
    Paul nailed it I think. I remember from Storz that Erfurt had some pretty big quality issues on P08s and 98as and had a prescribed list for dealing with many of the common flaws

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    ax - hole Warrior1354's Avatar
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    Great rifle Chris and as always I love the quality of information Paul posted on a thread it really is something to take in. And yes being an Erfurt collector nut and doing a lot of research on the Arsenal they had a lot of quality issues. But comparing a Luger made from this Arsenal compared to the commercial company DWM is like parking a Volkswagen next to a Mercedes.

    But in reality it really is something to see how much Erfurt produced before the war and during the war. I mean they produced almost the entire kar98 carbine production, Gew98 rifles, bayonets, P08 Lugers, MG08 maxim machine guns. Their quality may have not been up to par with the other arsenals and the commercial firms but they could punch them out.
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