Third Party Press

A question for those that have been collecting for a while....10 plus years...

joryfreeburg

Senior Member
I am looking for observations from you guys that have been collecting for a substantial amount of time. Of the 14,000,000+ K98k’s produced, how many do you guys guess are in this country in collectible condition? “Collectable condition” meaning mostly matching 85% or better, maybe very lightly cleaned stock to untouched stock, acceptable on up on the finish. Of those collectible condition rifles, what rough percentage do guys believe were vet bring backs as opposed to early imports in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s?
 
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hale1940

Senior Member
Im very interested to hear what some of the senior members have to say on this, its something I’ve wondered about quite a bit.
 

DaveDavis

Senior Member
I would estimate well over a million are still in collectible state, here in America......

Just think how many boat loads were imported in the 1950s early 1960s......

Real vet bring back are a small percentage of guns.

Pistols were the go to favorite for returning troops.
 

CLG

Senior Member
I’m going to go with a bit less than Dave but still hundreds of thousands. Cunningham alone brought in literally boatloads! Many of the imports I saw in the 50’ and 60’s were bolt mismatches though. Ye Old Hunter even offered k98’s without bolts.
 

bnz41john

Senior Member
The millions that came into the country post war were in collectible condition at that time...all these years later id say a majority are no longer in that same state. If were talking about 85% condition or better? Id say Archie's answer is closer to actuality. Maybe 100,000. But id imagine nowhere near a million. Most of those rifles that came over in the 40s/50s/60s were either sporterized, or were inherited by children who did not care for them. So I personally feel there is less then 100,000 in the US that are in 85% or better condition at this time. Out of what is left now as far as how many were imported and how many were brought back by service members? Not sure. Maybe a 50/50 split? Just my thoughts, certainly a interesting conversation to have.


John.
 

OttoVonBismarck

Exhalted One
and the more bubbas that keep sanding on them will cause that number to drop. fortuanitely I do not think many of the og bubbas are still able to pimp the rifles and I think the newer collectors have access to the internet which would bring them to forum like this or to gunboards. either site would tell them to leave it unmolested
 

Bob in OHIO

Senior Member
I asked this question 10+ years ago, and no one really wanted to tackle the question. One chap (in an independent thread) was trying to create an equation based on various assumptions, and reverse engineering.... but was summarily hissed at.

Part of the challenge (of course) is defining a collectible example.

I like the question, AND the idea of working backwards.... Perhaps, think of individual States, which is a smaller question, but more manageable. Can you somehow logically create a number of 98s in SD? Seems it would be easier to approach from the State level rather than starting with the whole enchilada.

If there are 1M in the USA, then there are 20K in each state on average.... don't think so.

There is a thing called group intelligence.... where the average of all answers from a group .... is surprising close to the actual value...

A classic demonstration of group intelligence is the jelly-beans-in-the-jar experiment, in which invariably the group’s estimate is superior to the vast majority of the individual guesses. When finance professor Jack Treynor ran the experiment in his class with a jar that held 850 beans, the group estimate was 871. Only one of the fifty-six people in the class made a better guess.
 

mrfarb

No War Eagles For You!
Staff member
Interesting question, the correct answer is 21,456 in collectible condition.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

OttoVonBismarck

Exhalted One
my guess is 750,000 in the country 75,000 in matching and or mostly matching condition with a 45000 in un bubba form...

add an additional 100 rifles per year to the collectible form once I start my smuggling buisness... there is an atf form by the way to get a gun into the country without an import mark
 

Herk1994

Senior Member
and the more bubbas that keep sanding on them will cause that number to drop. fortuanitely I do not think many of the og bubbas are still able to pimp the rifles and I think the newer collectors have access to the internet which would bring them to forum like this or to gunboards. either site would tell them to leave it unmolested

I disagree with this, simply because of current and "reasonably forecasted" prices. I wish the prices were lower just like every other new collector like me, but the one saving grace of the price is that it generally speaking keeps people who would do such things out of the game, because that "all matching" or "all original" value gives would be bubbas no inclinations to do such things in my opinion.
 

OttoVonBismarck

Exhalted One
I disagree with this, simply because of current and "reasonably forecasted" prices. I wish the prices were lower just like every other new collector like me, but the one saving grace of the price is that it generally speaking keeps people who would do such things out of the game, because that "all matching" or "all original" value gives would be bubbas no inclinations to do such things in my opinion.

either I read that wrong or thats some logic that would cause a compilier to crash...

Help me understand. Becuase prices are high bubbas wont be able to touch them or because they are sought after they will be modified in an attempt to make them more valuable?

To me $3000 for a mint k98 is far from reasonable, but it seems to be market value. $1500 for a all matching non dicked with k98 only seems to exist on here, at sos, and buying from a vet directly
 

Bigdibbs88

"Ach du lieber!"
I wouldn’t even have a guess. What I can say is the vast majority of 98ks are not even close to rare... by production numbers or surviving examples. It seems like all your hear is people saying how rare matching k98s are.... they’re not.
 

mrfarb

No War Eagles For You!
Staff member
Here’s my idea of how the math might work. Pick 1 code/year that you can reasonably make assumptions about. I chose S/147k. There are roughly 8800 total production. I figure there are about 14 collectible examples out there (I’ve seen 5-6 in 20 years of looking so there have to be at least 50-60% more as a guess). So:

14/8800= .0016% of production

So, using your 14,000,000 number:

14,000,000 x .0016 = 22,400 examples

The number changes slightly if you plug actual numbers in, but generally 21-24,000? Around that?but some codes are more rare than production suggest and others more prevalent like byf44 and dou44, so it could easily be double this.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Herk1994

Senior Member
either I read that wrong or thats some logic that would cause a compilier to crash...

Help me understand. Becuase prices are high bubbas wont be able to touch them or because they are sought after they will be modified in an attempt to make them more valuable?

To me $3000 for a mint k98 is far from reasonable, but it seems to be market value. $1500 for a all matching non dicked with k98 only seems to exist on here, at sos, and buying from a vet directly

No, because they are high they are less apt to being screwed with. Also, most people in their right mind would think twice about screwing with something if they pay market prices like we’re seeing now. Having said that, it was easy for a lot of them to screw with good rifles back in the day when they were $100 on surplus.
 

Winchester Cowboy

Senior Member
Only Werner Von Braun could have possibly answered this question with any degree of accuracy in time and space. So for now we will always wonder and ponder over a beer, or a Jack Daniels as we also ask, how many grains of sand are on the Earth? Maybe it’s just one of those things that we were never meant to know. And you have to ask yourself, does it really matter? We now return to our Jack Daniels!

I am looking for observations from you guys that have been collecting for a substantial amount of time. Of the 14,000,000+ K98k’s produced, how many do you guys guess are in this country in collectible condition? “Collectable condition” meaning mostly matching 85% or better, maybe very lightly cleaned stock to untouched stock, acceptable on up on the finish. Of those collectible condition rifles, what rough percentage do guys believe were vet bring backs as opposed to early imports in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s?
 

Tom H

Senior Member
Good question Jory. In coin collecting third party grading services collect population data, for example you can see how many 1842 half dollars have been graded and what the population is of each grade.

We don't have that in this hobby unfortunately. So everything is a SWAG. But we all know which date/codes are worth the most. We all have subjective opinions about condition and collectibility. Just collect what you like.
 

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