November 2015 - Featured Milsurp Library Entry of the Month
1934 'Banner' Mauser
(Mfg by Mauser Werke AG, Oberndorf a/N)
(Click PIC to Enlarge)
Caliber: ........................ 7.92 x 57mm (8mm Mauser)
Rifling & Twist: .............. 4 Groove, Right Hand
Barrel Length: ............... 23.62 in. (600mm)
Overall Length: ............. 43.7 in. (1110mm)
Weight: ........................ 8.38 lb. (3.8 kg without sling, ammo or bayonet)
Magazine Capacity: ....... 5 rounds
Qty Mfg: ....................... Unknown
Source: ....................... Backbone of the Wehrmacht
(The German K98k Rifle, 1934 - 1945) by Richard D Law" (1993) - ISBN: 0-88935-139-2
Canadian Collector Market Value Estimate: $
1934 "Banner" Mauser (168 picture virtual tour)
Observations: (by "Claven2")
The K98k rifle was adopted by the Wehrmacht in 1936. Prior to that time, the German government had been refining the Kar98b in secret so as not to openly violate the Versailles Treaty imposed at the close of WW1 which limited arms manufacturing and development in Germany. Work was begun on a new service rifle pattern using the Mauser Oberndorf “Standard Model” as a starting point. The Standard Model resembles closely the K98k with a Mauser Banner rollmark on the receiver ring and the text “Standard Modell” on the receiver sidewall. Among other small differences, it also had a straight bolt handle and was manufactured for the export market. The Standard Model was popular in Asia and the South Americas.
The German project to develop a new service rifle pattern was officially disguised by claiming that the rifle was actually being developed for the German Postal Service to protect mail trains. It incorporated many changes, the most obvious being a Mauser Oberndorf sidewall rollmark, a bent bolt with a dished stock and a new band arrangement with a single spring retaining the rear band and a pin through the front band. Rifles actually delivered to the ReichsPost were branded on the butt with a cartouche proclaiming the rifle to be a “Gewehr für Deutche ReichsPost” (GfDRP). The first of these rifles became available in 1934. In reality, some of the rifles went to German Wehrmacht troops for trials and others found their way into the hands of groups like the SA.
In 1935 when Hitler decided to outright defy the Versailles Treaty and begin building up the German Army again, Mauser Oberndorf and JP Sauer Und Sohn were asked to submit trials rifles building on the GfDRP rifles then being issued in small numbers. Mauser developed what we think of as the pre-1940 K98k pattern rifle with a single spring for both front bands, and Sauer basically copied the GfDRP rifle. Troop trials indicated a preference for the Mauser design and the rest is history. As an interesting side not, later in the 1950’s the Israelis would refurb their inventory of K98k rifles into basically the single spring and pin GfDRP configuration.
The rifle depicted is, in essence, of the Gewehr für Deutche ReichsPost pattern, but is not marked for Postal Service issue. It is impossible to determine now where this rifle was initially delivered, but for all intents and purposes it is of the GfDRP pattern. Such rifles will be encountered both with, and without the bolt take-down disk and with or without the side-sling arrangement. Original stocks will have finger grasping grooves and be made of Walnut, not laminated beech. Examples may also be encountered that have been German Arsenal refurbished into a latter pattern K98k.”
Collector's Comments and Feedback:
1. WARNING: Although the 1934 "Banner" Mauser is an immediate pre-cursor to the military K98k that followed it, this entire genre is one of the most commonly faked collector's rifles in the marketplace. Be very careful when you look to buy K98's, or one of these on-line, or at gun shows. Get as much information as possible about the rifle and its provenance. Ask LOTS of questions, check the markings (particularly the stamping FONTS) against known "all correct" righteous samples, like the one displayed here in our virtual tour. However, please note that these fonts will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so buying Richard Law's book (see above) would be a good investment, if you're planning on becoming a serious collector of K98k rifles. If not offered, request a "money back" inspection period from the seller and above all, if it doesn't feel right .... don't buy, but seek some more experienced help. Don't hesitate to ask one of the folks on our MILSURPS.COM Advisory Panel, who perhaps have sound expertise on the K98k. ...... (Feedback by "Badger")
2. Here are two K98k Mauser videos which have been extracted from our on-line "Screening Room" (click here). The first is contemporary WWII German Color Training Film) on the K98k Mauser Rifle, while the second one is a German K98k Bolt "Stripping & Assembling" Tutorial (Video courtesy of MILSURPS.COM member "CmpsdNoMore"). ....... Feedback by "Badger".
]To view any video simply click on the film strip PLAY button (big right arrow). Click on video while playing to PAUSE and use other buttons at the bottom of the video window to adjust your personal viewing preferences, such as viewing in FULL SCREEN mode. Place your mouse over the video when it is playing, then "right click" for a "drop down box" to change other viewing preferences. Make sure you turn on your speakers and set the the volume appropriately.
K98k Mauser Rifle
(WWII German Color Training Film)
German K98k Bolt "Stripping & Assembling" Tutorial
(Video courtesy of MILSURPS.COM member "CmpsdNoMore")