Third Party Press

Gewehr 98m or Kar 98b stock?

Fal Grunt

Senior Member
I was at a show recently and looked at a Gewehr 98. The receiver was not marked, and did not appear to have been scrubbed. German commercial proof marks B&U on the left side of the ring. No serial numbers that I could see. Lange Vezier, though I did not note 200m vs 400m. No Imperial acceptance marks or Weimar marks that I could see. Photography is not permitted otherwise I would have taken a fair share of pictures.

What struck me as odd, and continues to irritate me, is the stock. It had a thin standard band as a Gewehr 98 would. The stock, for all that I could see, was a standard 98 stock, grasping grooves but marking disc. What has been bothereing me, is on the left side of the stock, there was a sling cutout with a steel bar for attaching the sling.

The rifle was labeled a Whermannsgewehr, which I do not believe it was. The barreled assembly looked original, the stock possibly something else, and the bands fit and finish did not seem to match. Possibly something built post WW1. It was chambered, according to the tag in 8.15x46, and the bolt was modified for it.

Out of my realm of knowledge but I am quite interested to learn. A Whermannsgewehr has been on my list.
 

chrisftk

Senior Member
Could it have been a Weimar "sneak" rifle, meant to get over on the Versailles arms limitations?
"Sneak rifle" ? I'm pretty heavy into interwar collecting, but that sounds like something a dealer would say to hype up his Spanish Civil War Gew98m. There were plenty of rifles produced in clandestine situations (S28, Zeithan, etc.) But this ain't one of them.

As to the original question. My educated guess would be that it was a Wehrmann that was sporterized and maybe a new stock added later. Hard to say without pics, but that's my guess. Another thought was that it might be a Danzig rifle made up of spare parts sold in Poland in the interwar years. The Poles inherited a ton of parts post WW1. 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

Loewe

Moderator²
Staff member
Nothing like "sneak rifles" to garner a reply!

No such thing of course, after 1927 there was no oversite of any kind, with small arms anyway, some inspections occurred in narrow fields. fortifications in particular, but even then they were reviewing work Germans had already conducted... really by 1926 there was no real scrutiny, certainly inspectors viewing factories (Krupp & ammunition was monitors the longest), barracks etc... were long past. Even at the high time of such they were superficial. the IAMCC was never more than a couple thousand (mostly fluckies, pencil pushers and paper shufflers...) a handful of inspectors. accompanied by German counterparts and often German police for protection from workers at factories, toured barracks and factories, under such conditions no real scrutiny is possible and it was mostly for intimidation...

The German press, German snitches, embassy attaches or spies were the real sources, - the German press and Prussian authorities (long before 1918 Prussia was quite ahead of the rest of Germany, anything but anti-Semitic, especially in Berlin, very open to socialism and internationalist views...) were the leaders in exposing the military's violations and paramilitary activities (Prussia was noted for seizing small arms of paramilitary formations - so much so the central government had to take actions to curtail these activities when the Reichsheer protested.

Anyway, no one really cared about illegal rifles, - there was little need to as the German military had a ammunition shortage so serious that the Army reported ammunition as the most critical bottleneck to any conflict with Poland (which was the only real threat Germany faced in the late 1920's), they said resistance could only be made at a war tempo for a short time (forget how long, a few weeks, but they also said there could be no resisting of a French invasion...)
 
Last edited:

Loewe

Moderator²
Staff member
*** Heye (Seeckt successor) stated in 1927 to the government that although the Army had access to 350,000 rifles (clandestine inventory, I assume in excess to the authorized holdings); 12,000 MG's (light & heavy), 400 trench mortars and 600 artillery pieces (along with plentiful vehicles and spare uniforms)_ but the ammunition for these amounted to no more than a days intensive combat... in short no sustained resistance was possible against Poland needless to say France.

** This would remain a serious problem even into the war, most of the earliest campaigns were a close run affair with ammunition and fuel, - only the USSR supplies made these campaigns possible (Stalin was every bit the equal to Hitler is depravity, cruelty and in the start of the war - WWII start could not have happened without Stalin's participation and support, in no way was there a difference between Hitler and Stalin - when Churchill & FDR allied their countries with Stalin they were not choosing the lessor of evils, rather they were choosing a greater evil because it suited short term emergencies or problems that seemed insoluble in the short term...)
 

Military Rifle Journal
Top