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Thread: What do I have? Polish Kar.98 Rework?

  1. #1
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    Default What do I have? Polish Kar.98 Rework?

    Hello all,

    Been lurking here for a while but this is my first thread. I got an Erfurt 1916 Kar.98 barreled action in what I believe was an excellent trade, especially since I already had a Kar.98a/AZ complete bolt evidently waiting for this to come along. All it needs is a stock and bands (yes, I know for any variety of Kar.98 that's not likely to be easy or cheap). The bore is in remarkably good condition for its age and provenance so I think it's a worthwhile project. What's got me scratching my head is the lack of a top forearm lip on the sight base (or receiver), which leads me to suspect it's a Polish rework of some sort - Wz.29?

    So, what have I got and what kind of stock/handguard/hardware should I be looking for? Let me know if more pictures or info are needed!
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    It appears that the hanguard retaining flange was ground off of this Kar 98a to make a sporting rifle. I can't see any indications of it being reworked by the Poles. Don't know that I'd waste a good Kar. bolt on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thisistheway View Post
    Hello all,

    Been lurking here for a while but this is my first thread. I got an Erfurt 1916 Kar.98 barreled action in what I believe was an excellent trade, especially since I already had a Kar.98a/AZ complete bolt evidently waiting for this to come along. All it needs is a stock and bands (yes, I know for any variety of Kar.98 that's not likely to be easy or cheap). The bore is in remarkably good condition for its age and provenance so I think it's a worthwhile project. What's got me scratching my head is the lack of a top forearm lip on the sight base (or receiver), which leads me to suspect it's a Polish rework of some sort - Wz.29?

    So, what have I got and what kind of stock/handguard/hardware should I be looking for? Let me know if more pictures or info are needed!
    I don't see any evidence of Polish use on this one. Agree with swjXE, someones attempt at a sporter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swjXE View Post
    It appears that the hanguard retaining flange was ground off of this Kar 98a to make a sporting rifle. I can't see any indications of it being reworked by the Poles. Don't know that I'd waste a good Kar. bolt on it.
    Well crud. I was hoping against hope that wasn't the case. I have desporterized a 98k that had had the flange ground off, what a pain gently heating the solder to slide everything off, then fitting the new base - and the Kar.98 front sight looks like it would be even worse to get off and back on again. What gets me though is that the rear sight base really shows no signs of having had a flange to begin with. If there was one and it was ground off, they did very clean work (see close up pics)... Am I just not seeing what I don't want to see or is there a chance that this gun would take one of the full length style top handguards? I have seen some pictures of Wz.29s with no flanges, which is what made me think Polish...
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    And here are some Wz.29 photos off the 'web that appear to show a stock setup without lips. I have a Yugo M24/52c that seems to have this configuration as well. I haven't had the handguard off since I decosmo'd it though and don't remember if there's a hidden lip or something I'm forgetting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisistheway View Post
    And here are some Wz.29 photos off the 'web that appear to show a stock setup without lips. I have a Yugo M24/52c that seems to have this configuration as well. I haven't had the handguard off since I decosmo'd it though and don't remember if there's a hidden lip or something I'm forgetting.
    These use a spring steel barrel clip attached to the handguard like a vz 24. I guess you could use this method if you want to.
    The Kar.98 rear base never had a flange for the handguard.

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    I had a sporterized Kar 98a years ago that was all matching and in excellent condition, but had the stock cut down and the handguard retaining lip ground off. This was done to some of the Spanish Civil War German and Polish 98a rifles that were imported in the 1950's to make them sellable as cheap hunting rifles, a lot of SCW Mosins were also cut down into hunting rifle. "Gunsmiths" and home rifle butchers also did this to 98a's.

    The U.S Model 1917 and 1903A3 rifles use a rear handguard retaining ring, and this will work on a 98a with the lip ground off the receiver. I think there was also a Mauser model - Spanish, perhaps? that used a handguard retaining ring that will work. Swede Mauser might too, I don't recall, it's been a lot of years.

    A Polish WZ 29 stock will work on a 98a, since it is basically a large ring 98a. As I recall, the Poles and the Germans sometimes put 98a's into Wz29 stocks, with sometimes a little wood filler piece to fill the gap present when a small ring receiver is used.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    I had a sporterized Kar 98a years ago that was all matching and in excellent condition, but had the stock cut down and the handguard retaining lip ground off. This was done to some of the Spanish Civil War German and Polish 98a rifles that were imported in the 1950's to make them sellable as cheap hunting rifles, a lot of SCW Mosins were also cut down into hunting rifle. "Gunsmiths" and home rifle butchers also did this to 98a's.

    The U.S Model 1917 and 1903A3 rifles use a rear handguard retaining ring, and this will work on a 98a with the lip ground off the receiver. I think there was also a Mauser model - Spanish, perhaps? that used a handguard retaining ring that will work. Swede Mauser might too, I don't recall, it's been a lot of years.

    A Polish WZ 29 stock will work on a 98a, since it is basically a large ring 98a. As I recall, the Poles and the Germans sometimes put 98a's into Wz29 stocks, with sometimes a little wood filler piece to fill the gap present when a small ring receiver is used.
    Interesting. I appreciate all these ideas for putting something together now that "correct" is out the window. I traded the equivalent of maybe $100-150 for this so it's still a fun project as a frankengun... So I guess my next question is if there are any other small ring stocks this action will fit in. Otherwise, it sounds like the "easiest" approaches would either be to buy a new reproduction 98a stock and an 03A3 retaining ring or try to track down a Wz29 stock and hardware and essentially bed the action in it. Any other, more economical ideas for putting this action in a military configuration stock? Preferably one that involves more common wood and hardware...

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    I had one once that was in a shortened and modified Gew 98 stock. I wish I still had photos of it, but they were on an old computer that crashed years ago. I don't know who did the stock conversion, it was military, very old, and very well done, not a crude garage hack-job. It had a 98a handguard, and the fore-end had been slimmed down so the 98a bands would fig, with the 98a stacking hook and bayonet lug. The cleaning rod channel and the other inletting inside the fore-end had been filled. You had to look real carefully to see where all this had been done. When you looked at it, the first clue that it wasn't a standard 98a stock was that it had a sling swivel on the bottom of the butt, instead of the sling slot.

    I had posted a bunch of pictures of it up on Gunboards around 20 years ago or so, but I believe most of the stuff I posted there has been taken down out of spite and malice.


    A Polish WZ29 stock would be easier to find and cheaper than a decent 98a stock, because so many 98a's had the stocks "sporterized" by cutting them down, so there is quite a demand for good stocks to restore an otherwise nice rifle. Original 98a handguards are especially hard to find as they are kind of thing and fragile, and easily cracked or broken. Even the Nazi era BSW replacement handguards are incredibly rare, they probably didn't make a lot of them. Decent Polish stocks sometimes show up cheap because people don't know what they are.

    There was a guy in Poland making nice reproduction stocks and handguards, that would be a good option.

    Once in a while a 98a shows up that has been butchered by some jackass drilling and tapping it for a scope mount but is in a decent and usable original stock set. Something like that would be worth keeping an eye out for.


    Other than a German or Polish 98a stock, a Polish WZ 29 stock, a stock for one of the Spanish Air Force Mausers that use a 98a barrel or style barrel, or a good reproduction, there are no other options for a stock, unless you have the ability to make one out of a Gew stock.

    I had one once, came out of Romania believe, had been made into a "98K/short Gew 98" style rifle with Gew style bayonet lug and front band. I don't remember the details - I discussed it with "Mauser Bill" Reed on Gunboards years ago and posted photos, but I don't know if that still exists somewhere or has been deleted. As I recall, it used a cut-down Gew 98 stock, I think it used a shortened 98a handguard but don't remember for sure. It was very well done, but there was a space between the top of the front band and the barrel because a 98a barrel is smaller diameter at that location than a GeW 98 or K98 barrel.


    I used to have a ton of German and Polish 98a parts, but sold them all off long ago.
    Last edited by Marcus; 04-06-2021 at 02:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    I had one once that was in a shortened and modified Gew 98 stock. I wish I still had photos of it, but they were on an old computer that crashed years ago. I don't know who did the stock conversion, it was military, very old, and very well done, not a crude garage hack-job. It had a 98a handguard, and the fore-end had been slimmed down so the 98a bands would fig, with the 98a stacking hook and bayonet lug. The cleaning rod channel and the other inletting inside the fore-end had been filled. You had to look real carefully to see where all this had been done. When you looked at it, the first clue that it wasn't a standard 98a stock was that it had a sling swivel on the bottom of the butt, instead of the sling slot.

    I had posted a bunch of pictures of it up on Gunboards around 20 years ago or so, but I believe most of the stuff I posted there has been taken down out of spite and malice.


    A Polish WZ29 stock would be easier to find and cheaper than a decent 98a stock, because so many 98a's had the stocks "sporterized" by cutting them down, so there is quite a demand for good stocks to restore an otherwise nice rifle. Original 98a handguards are especially hard to find as they are kind of thing and fragile, and easily cracked or broken. Even the Nazi era BSW replacement handguards are incredibly rare, they probably didn't make a lot of them. Decent Polish stocks sometimes show up cheap because people don't know what they are.

    There was a guy in Poland making nice reproduction stocks and handguards, that would be a good option.

    Once in a while a 98a shows up that has been butchered by some jackass drilling and tapping it for a scope mount but is in a decent and usable original stock set. Something like that would be worth keeping an eye out for.


    Other than a German or Polish 98a stock, a Polish WZ 29 stock, a stock for one of the Spanish Air Force Mausers that use a 98a barrel or style barrel, or a good reproduction, there are no other options for a stock, unless you have the ability to make one out of a Gew stock.
    So I am handy enough/have the tools and know-how to make those modifications to a Gew98 stock, however that's a way bigger project than I'm looking for at the moment. Might be easier to find a chopped 98a stock and splice it with the front of another Mauser stock using threaded brass pins and Acraglas. Modifying a Wz.29 stock for the action sounds like the most straightforward and economical solution, since it sounds like the Wz.29 handguard would "snap" on with that internal ring. I am very tempted to just order a repro set from PPHU Fox (guy in Poland you were referencing?) but that would still leave me to track down a bunch of scarce metal hardware. Seems like the Wz.29 stock and hardware plus some fitting/filling is the best compromise between money and effort. Either that or as you suggest just hang it up and wait for a donor 98a to cross my path...

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