Third Party Press

1917 Danzig/Voigtlander Scharfschutzen-Gewehr 98

chrisftk

Senior Member
First, let me thank Sam, Cyrus and Wolfgang for helping me identify this rifle and Marc for the peer pressure to buy it.

I picked this up at the recent Amoskeag auction. My gut was that this one was fine after looking the listing over, so I took a chance. I don't typically chase sniper rifles, but this seemed like a nice example for the value.

The rifle overall is in wonderful shape and is matching except for a weird front band (it looks stamped upside down and may actually be matching--- wouldn't surprise me with Danzig...)

Some knucklehead disassembled and took the bases off at some point and lost the screws, so they are replacements and need a little fitting to the bases. Otherwise, the rifle is untouched and crisp. The wood is completely untouched and has that nice orange Danzig late finish. From my conversation with Wolfgang, the bases are for a Voigtlander 3x scope with an offset rear mount. The bases are numbered 47 and 52 underneath, but as I learned, these are not linked to the rifle serial number and are not cause for alarm. The patina on the bases matches the parts of the receiver they are mated to, so i have no reason to believe they aren't original to the rifle. While it's a shame the original screws were lost, it's a small distraction.

The rear sight is also Glasvisier marked.

My understanding on these was that the completed rifles from the Arsenal were actually converted into snipers by the optics companies (Oigee, Emil Busche, Voigtlander, etc..) That seems to make sense when looking at this one. The bolt was clearly serialized before it was bent, as there is a slight distortion to the markings and SN. The date/SN matches known sniper ranges and "feels" right. The bolt cut-out on the stock looks right as rain.
The barrel is Bismarckhutte and like many wartime Danzigs, the barrel code and acceptance are visible above the wood.

In any case, thank you for looking and please let me know if there is anything I missed/misinterpreted. Also, please let me know if anyone has a lead on a correct scope, I would like to complete the rifle if possible.
Many thanks!

Receiver 3630 cc
Barrel 3630 cc (BI 626)
Front Sight 30
Rear Sight Leaf 30
Sight Slider 30
Ejector Box 30
Trigger Sear 30
Front Barrel Band 02 or 30? (possibly stamped upside down)
Rear Barrel Band 30
Trigger Guard 3630
Trigger Guard Screws 30 / 30
Floor Plate 30
Follower 30
Stock 3630
Handguard 3630
Buttplate 3630 c
Bayonet Lug 30
Cleaning Rod Unnumbered
Bolt Body 3630 cc (bent)
Extractor 30
Safety 30
Cocking Piece 30
Bolt Sleeve 30
Firing Pin 30

Bases: For 3x Voigtlander scope (front #47, rear #52)

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Loewe

Moderator²
Staff member
Congratulations on a remarkable rifle, not too many have such a nice example (nice stock and bolt matcher), damn unfortunate on the screws... those might be hard to replace? The band i am sure is right, but if you could do a really good shot of the acceptance I can try and see if it is commonly encountered in this range. Same on the stock acceptance under the serial, a direct shot, typically it is C/B but this might be something else, - normally the wrist and lower are solid in patterns, but the serial is perfect, so too the wrist, so this is surely the right-factory stock, but i would like to confirm the lower acceptance as it may lead to a new pattern or a need to reconsider my interpretation of how "reliable" this acceptance is in consistency.

Anyway, the cc-block of 1917 is certainly one of the most common block ranges for sniper rifles, this makes six from this block and maker. Most aren't as nice as this one!

You are in "another" rather select "club", having such a nice sniper rifle, - though this is getting to be common with your collecting!
 

chrisftk

Senior Member
Congratulations on a remarkable rifle, not too many have such a nice example (nice stock and bolt matcher), damn unfortunate on the screws... those might be hard to replace? The band i am sure is right, but if you could do a really good shot of the acceptance I can try and see if it is commonly encountered in this range. Same on the stock acceptance under the serial, a direct shot, typically it is C/B but this might be something else, - normally the wrist and lower are solid in patterns, but the serial is perfect, so too the wrist, so this is surely the right-factory stock, but i would like to confirm the lower acceptance as it may lead to a new pattern or a need to reconsider my interpretation of how "reliable" this acceptance is in consistency.

Anyway, the cc-block of 1917 is certainly one of the most common block ranges for sniper rifles, this makes six from this block and maker. Most aren't as nice as this one!

You are in "another" rather select "club", having such a nice sniper rifle, - though this is getting to be common with your collecting!

Thanks for the kind words Paul. I think this was a sleeper at the auction. I think finding the scope is going to be the hard part. I see them pop up. I think patience is key on parts like that.

Here are the additional pics. The band looks c/M, while the keel acceptance is either damaged, worn or a bad strike. That's my least favorite part about beech. The bottom acceptance rarely fares well..
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9678c307c5d14fb609ddc93704c55451.jpg




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Absolut

Senior Member
Now I know why Wolfgang asked me whether the bases of my Voigtländer sniper would be matched to the rifle/serialized at all .. haha! Nice rifle of yours. Make sure the person who re-mounts the bases is VERY skilled. The screws need to be oversize in terms of height. When fully attached (torque-wise) then the exact direction of the screw head is filed to the screw and finally they are filed perfectly flat when installed. I'll check my Voigtländer regarding the direction of the screw heads and let you know.
 

chrisftk

Senior Member
Now I know why Wolfgang asked me whether the bases of my Voigtländer sniper would be matched to the rifle/serialized at all .. haha! Nice rifle of yours. Make sure the person who re-mounts the bases is VERY skilled. The screws need to be oversize in terms of height. When fully attached (torque-wise) then the exact direction of the screw head is filed to the screw and finally they are filed perfectly flat when installed. I'll check my Voigtländer regarding the direction of the screw heads and let you know.

Thanks Georg, I appreciate the help and expertise.

I was curious which friend Wolfgang was asking. Haha.



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Amberg

Senior Member
.... Now I know why Wolfgang asked me whether the bases of my Voigtländer sniper would be matched to the rifle/serialized at all. ....

Not that surprising.
There are only a few WWI collectors is trust, and only two of them with an original Voigtländer rifle. Had to make sure!
The Voigtländer bases I got decades ago from a gunsmith also bear a two-digit (non matching) assembling #'s.
Thanks!
 

chrisftk

Senior Member
Not that surprising.
There are only a few WWI collectors is trust, and only two of them with an original Voigtländer rifle. Had to make sure!
The Voigtländer bases I got decades ago from a gunsmith also bear a two-digit (non matching) assembling #'s.
Thanks!
Thanks again for your help Wolfgang.



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mauser1908

Senior Member
Chris, it's a screamer for sure! Glad you were able to snag it as this is one of the few we will say in detail. I must say, this one did fool me thinking it was an Oigee base. Glad Wolfgang was able to offer his expert assessment on it.

Wolfgang, with the exception of the 'n' block sniper contract from WMO, have you seen a 1917 or 18 dated sniper that wasn't built on a Danzig rifle? Aside from WMO, I don't have a single one recorded aside from Danzig.
 

Amberg

Senior Member
From my observations, only Voigtländer assembled rifles have the square locking lever on the rear base and the front base is in a more forward position on the receiver.

...... with the exception of the 'n' block sniper contract from WMO, have you seen a 1917 or 18 dated sniper that wasn't built on a Danzig rifle? Aside from WMO, I don't have a single one recorded aside from Danzig.

That agrees with my observations.
But you never know what will show up next.:googlie
 

Absolut

Senior Member
Chris, pulled out my rifle yesterday and took these two pictures for you. This is how the screw heads should look like and how they should align. Hope those are of help for you when getting the rifle restored. @Wolfgang, any ideas what the heavily worn acceptance bottom of the date on the receiver is?

As I had mentioned, the gunsmith needs to make the screws initially double the height required. When they are tightened, then the exact direction of the slot on the screw head is marked, the screws are removed, the screw head is nearly fully filed down and the correct aligned slot is cut. Then when you reattach the screw they perfectly align.

Re 1917/1918 sniper rifles: I was under the impression the late war Goerz Semi turret sniper rifles were also set up atop other manufacturers than Danzig - at least someone once showed me a receiver that had the Semi Turret bases stripped and it wasn't Danzig. But that was years ago and I could be wrong.
 

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Amberg

Senior Member
@Wolfgang, any ideas what the heavily worn acceptance bottom of the date on the receiver is?

Looks like crown over AN. Postwar french/belgian?? proof.


Re 1917/1918 sniper rifles: I was under the impression the late war Goerz Semi turret sniper rifles were also set up atop other manufacturers than Danzig - at least someone once showed me a receiver that had the Semi Turret bases stripped and it wasn't Danzig. But that was years ago and I could be wrong.

Have a Goerz 4x rifle with the bases removed. But it is a Danzig 1917.
Maybe this one??
 

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chrisftk

Senior Member
Chris, pulled out my rifle yesterday and took these two pictures for you. This is how the screw heads should look like and how they should align. Hope those are of help for you when getting the rifle restored. @Wolfgang, any ideas what the heavily worn acceptance bottom of the date on the receiver is?

As I had mentioned, the gunsmith needs to make the screws initially double the height required. When they are tightened, then the exact direction of the slot on the screw head is marked, the screws are removed, the screw head is nearly fully filed down and the correct aligned slot is cut. Then when you reattach the screw they perfectly align.

Re 1917/1918 sniper rifles: I was under the impression the late war Goerz Semi turret sniper rifles were also set up atop other manufacturers than Danzig - at least someone once showed me a receiver that had the Semi Turret bases stripped and it wasn't Danzig. But that was years ago and I could be wrong.
Thank you Georg, I greatly appreciate it. These pictures are very helpful.

Maybe one of these days I'll come across a proper scope.

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Loewe

Moderator²
Staff member
Been off-line, but just checked on these acceptance patterns, - which is hardly definitive because although Danzig-17 by far the highest producer that year, rifles in an original state (factory or even period to Imperial or Republican state) are very elusive, in 98k terms probably approaching rare... between the y-block and ii-block only 3 rifles are Imperial and well illustrated, maybe double this that are Imperial that "probably" are original but just poorly documented... so not much can be stated with certainty about the band, other than two look more C/K and one C/D (y-block); the stock acceptance offer more comparisons but none seem to exactly match? This looks maybe C/J but all I saw were C/B, but this is not clear enough to define so maybe C/B? But this matters little as the stock is period factory imo based upon other facts. Just wish it were clearer to add this to my trends with accuracy.

Thanks for the extra pictures!

Thanks for the kind words Paul. I think this was a sleeper at the auction. I think finding the scope is going to be the hard part. I see them pop up. I think patience is key on parts like that.

Here are the additional pics. The band looks c/M, while the keel acceptance is either damaged, worn or a bad strike. That's my least favorite part about beech. The bottom acceptance rarely fares well..
04005c6ef75285b6f6ae7fd2e01984c2.jpg

9678c307c5d14fb609ddc93704c55451.jpg




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