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Thread: The other Portuguese Mauser

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    Moderator˛ Pisgah's Avatar
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    Default The other Portuguese Mauser

    I was a beginning Mauser collector back in the mid 1990's. I started out visiting gun shops, gun shows, and reading SGN. My first few purchases were a dot 1944, a byf 44, and a Hansen-imported Portuguese 1941. Somewhere in that time period, someone suggested joining the Karabiner Collector's Network to me. Between that and a copy of BOTW, my collecting universe opened up. I remember going to my mailbox daily hoping for my latest monthly edition of the KCN, soon to be every other month. I probably read every KCN cover to cover a dozen times. The July/August, 1998 newsletter had an article submitted by Bob Jensen titled, "Third Variation Portuguese Mauser." Being a proud owner of the last variation (937B), this article caught my attention. Here's an excerpt from that article in which Mr. Jensen describes the 937:

    "...The third variation described...was unknown to me at the time. The author (Mr. Jensen referencing a previous article) apparently had not seen one but knew of their existence from written reference materials. The rifles were simply standard K98k rifles taken from regular production and sent to Portugal as prototypes to troop trial or as fillers to make up the total number of pieces required by the contract with the Portuguese.
    Fortunately I recently purchased one of these rifles from an old collection of a long time collector friend. It is, in fact, simply an S/42 coded, 1937 dated rifle, serial numbered 1780 o. It is in fact about 80% overall condition but is all matching and complete. All proofs and markings are exactly what one would expect to find on an S/42, 1937 - except - on the left rear side of the stock the Portuguese crest, just as it appears on the receiver ring of both the M.37 (937A) and M.41 (937B) rifles, is stamped into the stock...In addition the Portuguese property number and the date 1937 is also stamped..."

    This article stuck with me. I accumulated other Portuguese contract Kar.98k's over the years, but rarely saw this variation mentioned and am not sure I ever saw one for sale in the US, at least not until about a month ago. I took a chance on some mediocre photos of a rifle not described as Portuguese contract. I knew going into the purchase that it had some rust at the woodline and was being described as matching, but had to take the seller's word while I interrogated a salesman over the telephone as he held the rifle (hat tip to Floyd). It showed up a few days ago and I was pleasantly surprised. Other than the cleaning rod (which is likely from a similar Portuguese contract rifle), it is in fact matching. The stock appears unsanded and the Portuguese crest and rack number are sharp. I have seen this type of rifle discussed briefly on this forum over the years but believe that all of those rifles were still in Europe where they are undoubtedly much more common than in the US. My example was imported, and although the marking is externally visible, it is not obnoxious. Regardless, I looked for one of these for 20 plus years and am not upset about that. I think the chances of me finding one not import-marked were not great. Whereas many of the later Portuguese 937A's and 937B's ended up being exported to the US, Canada, and Australia, for whatever reason, it is my belief that the majority of the earliest diverted 937's went back to Germany.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    WTB/WTT: (1)late E/H marked bcd stock either standard or semi-Kriegs; (2)unnumbered late MO Zf-41 stock, Kriegs or standard stock; (3)transitional late unnumbered type dot stock which uses bandspring and has bayo mount but no cleaning rod hole; (4)unnumbered byf standard stock as typically found on some byf 44 K and L block rifles; (5)unnumbered E/H bnz standard stock as typically found on bnz.4 and bnz 44 N, O, and P block rifles; (6)any bnz Kriegsmodell stock either with E/H or without

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    Moderator˛ Pisgah's Avatar
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    In addition to the old Jensen article in KCN, a more modern reference with more information is Bruce's and Mike's book, "Karabiner 98k" where the topic is explored in more depth with more examples on page 283. Bruce and Mike state that the 937's can be either S/42 1936's or S/42 1937's.

    Several more comments. I noticed my example has neither the letter designating which German service was intended to receive it (H, L, or M) nor the typical cross marking on the buttplate which all (or most) of the later Portuguese contract rifles seem to have. Also, my rifle has a walnut stock. I don't believe that the Portuguese received any Kar.98k's with the later laminated stock. Finally, note that, as expected, the Portuguese rack number on the left of the buttstock has no relationship to the rifle's actual serial number. It is a unique number.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Pisgah; 02-17-2020 at 10:44 AM.
    WTB/WTT: (1)late E/H marked bcd stock either standard or semi-Kriegs; (2)unnumbered late MO Zf-41 stock, Kriegs or standard stock; (3)transitional late unnumbered type dot stock which uses bandspring and has bayo mount but no cleaning rod hole; (4)unnumbered byf standard stock as typically found on some byf 44 K and L block rifles; (5)unnumbered E/H bnz standard stock as typically found on bnz.4 and bnz 44 N, O, and P block rifles; (6)any bnz Kriegsmodell stock either with E/H or without

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    Maple Syrup Mod Eh CanadianAR's Avatar
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    Cool rifle! And story! I’ll admit if I’d found that I’d have some questions
    Looking for 10" cleaning rod, early style e/214 #91, nazi style e/26 #04

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    Senior Member Eh jbmauser's Avatar
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    Pretty decent example of a hard to find variation! Interesting that it isn't marked for the Heer like others seem to be.
    WTB: Unnumbered MO bands, both KM and standard type, MO KM stocks including an unaccepted one, MO bands and stock 5897, upper band 0643

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bob in OHIO's Avatar
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    Very informative, and an old dog learned some new tricks today, thanks for ALL the help

    email => K98@bobinohio.com

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    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    I had heard and assumed that, but had never seen one. Thanks for posting Pisgah.
    “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

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    aka 8x57IS Stephan98k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
    Whereas many of the later Portuguese 937A's and 937B's ended up being exported to the US, Canada, and Australia, for whatever reason, it is my belief that the majority of the earliest diverted 937's went back to Germany.
    You are right, the majority of the M937 (code S/42 1937) went back to Germany, today it's the most common K98k at the German market. The majority got imported from Frankonia Jagd and Zeughaus Hege, the first big batch in the time frame 1971-1972 and the second big batch 1978-1981.

    The M937-A and M937-B are also very common at the German market. The M937-A got imported together with the M937 in the first and second batch, the M937-B got imported mostly with the second batch and later. I collected the data from the new German firing proof.

    Portugal (1).jpg Portugal (3).jpg

    In the commercial they call the M937 "Mod. S/42", the M937-A "Mod. 1937 A" and the M937-B "Mod. 1941 B 1" and "Mod. 1941 B 2". The "Mod. 1941 B 1" has a cupped buttplate and "Mod. 1941 B 2" has a flat buttplate.
    You had to pay 278,- Mark (around $150) for a matching rifle with a matching bayonet in very good condition.

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