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Thread: A new unknown commercial variation, but what is it?

  1. #11
    No War Eagles For You! mrfarb's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know enough not to post about an auction I want to win.

    The problem with your dispersal theory is pressure test proofing. Pressure test proofing was not allowed just anywhere, and required expensive and unique equipment to perform the test properly (and legally). This rifle would have been assembled at Gustloff proper, just as the Sauer commercials were assembled at the Sauer factory. There were no bombings at either of those places.

    The commercial rifles were meant for non-military entities, such as the Volkssturm or other local defense/official organizations that were outside of the official military issue web. So, the factories produced them outside of Waffenamt inspection requirements using these rejected parts. Volkssturm units did not draw weapons from military stores until units were under the command of the military, which actually happened very little from what I’ve seen. To me it was mostly used for propaganda purposes.


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  2. #12
    Senior Member flynaked's Avatar
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    Parts must have been purchased in large volumes from Astrawerke and Kohler etc, by the commercial makers in Thüringia. Purely commercial but here’s one that adds to the perspective from late 1943.

  3. #13
    Maple Syrup Mod Eh CanadianAR's Avatar
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    Do you think the U and the diamond were applied together? As the diamond looks very similar to the odd little diamond stamps on the back corner of some k43 receivers.

    It’s a odd one for sure, but quite cool. The only pistol there are routinely observed on is cyq, zero series seems to use it as it’s own acceptance markings, maybe some odd connection? As it looks like it’s replacing waffenamt on this too.
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  4. #14
    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    Do we know that the gauleiters and such were authorized to procure weapons for and arm Volkssturm units outside of the channels of the OKW? I'm not a late war / Volkssturm guy, so... As for proof testing, did that consist of pressure testing the action with a proof round?
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    Hambone’s thoughts about the JPS commercials is the first time these have made sense to me. The stock has the “look” to me of having been on the rifle since it was assembled. Great piece, I especially like the bolt with no firing proof!

  6. #16
    No War Eagles For You! mrfarb's Avatar
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    Pressure test proofing is what you think, firing high pressure proof rounds through the action. I don't have the exact procedure, but I know that it was strictly controlled by law, which is why you see SS rifles sent to proof houses and not just done in house. It was not something you could do yourself, facilities were authorized by law to perform the function, hence the proof houses. It is theoretically possible that smaller assembly places could send weapons to a factory for proofing, but factories did not perform that function, regional proof houses did that (Suhl, Zella-Mehlis, Oberndorf am Neckar were the only 3 authorized). As you already know, those places used "Eagle N" firing proofs. Supposedly the law allowed for Branch offices, and from what I read there was a branch office of the Suhl Proof house in Berlin, but I could never find definitive proof of that, only an obscure reference. Regardless, it was very controlled.

    As to Volkssturm, I've read enough to be dangerous, and local Gauleiter were tasked with the responsibility of arming local Volkssturm. The Volkssturm was under the control of the NSDAP (Himmler specifically), not the military, hence it was not allowed to draw arms from military stores. However, in the few instances where the Volkssturm fought under Army control they were supposedly armed by the Army. The majority did not have enough arms for the number of people signed up, with obvious attention to arms issue aimed at those Volkssturm units close to the front lines. The Carcano rifles were requisitioned for the Volkssturm - we know that Army depots inspected those guns, so the military did have some role in arming them such as it was. I think a lot of the "Inn4" marked weapons were also for Volkssturm units, you see a lot of oddball guns with that inspection. Imagine supplying ammunition to a unit with 10 different calibers of foreign rifles.

    Also, rifles made outside of Waffenamt inspection would NEVER have been officially issued to German military troops, even in the last desperate days, and would not have made their way into the supply system. Locally? Maybe, as a "desperate measure" - ha, the name of Weavers Volkssturm book.
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  7. #17
    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    I guess what I'm saying is the "proofing" process did not require specialized equipment, just proof loads for firing and the beschusstempel ("dirty bird) stamps showing that was done, on the barrel/receiver and bolt, plus those diamond inspects. Was there authorization to do that at this assembly point? Was the firing proofing done by the provider of the barreled receivers and bolts? Were these much like a depot rework/assembly?
    “Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose.” - Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, 1933-1945

  8. #18
    Baby Face RyanE's Avatar
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    Fantastic find, and I agree it looks original. I am also inclined to agree with Mike that these were factory assembled like the Sauer guns. I would think the most likely scenario is Gau Thuringia contracting Sauer and Gustloff to assemble K98ks from their junk piles of rejected parts.

    Probably no way to know for sure unless someone finds the documents in the archive, assuming they survived.

  9. #19
    "Ach du lieber!" Bigdibbs88's Avatar
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    Very cool to see one in a KM stock. Seems logical that they continued and I’m surprised it’s taken this long for one to pop up. These are interesting guns and I’m curious to see what information comes to light on their production/use

  10. #20
    No War Eagles For You! mrfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hambone View Post
    I guess what I'm saying is the "proofing" process did not require specialized equipment, just proof loads for firing and the beschusstempel ("dirty bird) stamps showing that was done, on the barrel/receiver and bolt, plus those diamond inspects. Was there authorization to do that at this assembly point? Was the firing proofing done by the provider of the barreled receivers and bolts? Were these much like a depot rework/assembly?
    Actually, the proofing did require special equipment to be done properly. Actions were placed in a device and 2 high pressure test rounds were fired. After that, inspections for cracks and bulges were made, with special tools and gauges used to determine if there was any stretching or damage to the chamber. In Vol.1 P. 222-224 Bruce does a good job of giving the basics, along with showing 1 of the tests done and materials used for the test. Pressure test proofing was not a "gunsmith" activity like you imagine, where you crank off a few high pressure rounds and see if it blows up (I guess you and I would call it redneck reckoning). It was strictly controlled and held in high regard - it was meant really as a safety measure, but I bet it was also meant to protect the German gun making industry. Even today you must have official proof houses do this work.

    As to assembly, lets put it in perspective, using the Sauer commercials as an example. At the height of production Sauer capacity was 30,000 rifles a month. Divide that by 25 working days a month (roughly) gives you about 1200 rifles a day. Divide by a 10 hour shift it gives you 120 rifles an hour. With the highest serial under 1000, it might take a day to assemble all of the rifles at the height of production. My assumption is these were assembled after 98k production stopped at Sauer, so lets say it take 2-3 days taking their time. It's not too much work for a factory to make them.

    Gustloff is a similar situation (assuming the one I just posted is Gustloff). Since we have never seen another, and it's under 100, then feasibly these could be assembled and finished in a few hours time. Gustloff's production line was in full swing. Even 200, or 400 could be done so fast that it wouldn't even be a blip.
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